WaterRower Club Rowing Machine Review

The WaterRower Club Rowing Machine is unlike any rowing machine on the market, as it’s resistance is generated using water.

Not only is it different in its resistance type, but it also differs in that it’s constructed from wood rather than metal.

From the outset it sounds like a novelty rowing machine, however, the WaterRower is much more than that. It can provide a top workout for even the fittest people as well as being easy enough for beginners to get started.

At over $1000 some may consider it expensive, but it’s worth every penny and much much more.

If you are looking for something totally different from a traditional indoor rower, then the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine is worth a closer look.

Overall Rower Rating: 5/5

WaterRower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor
  • Handcrafted rowing machine with "water flywheel"...
  • Flywheel sits in enclosed water tank to provide...
  • Series 4 performance monitor tracks workout...

Pros

  • Extremely sturdy and heavy duty
  • Quality materials used for construction
  • Quiet and ‘zen’ like water sound
  • Aesthetically pleasing on the eye
  • Water resistance simulates rowing in water
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Need to change the water or add purification tablets (every 6 months or so)
  • Doesn’t have a foldable design
  • No direct resistance controls

Key Features

  • Water resistance replicates rowing feel
  • Smooth, quiet, self-regulated resistance
  • Series 4 performance monitor tracks workout intensity, stroke rate and heart rate
  • Solid ash construction

Video Overview

WaterRower Rowing Machine

Price: 4.5/5

At over $1000 the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine isn’t cheap, but its unique experience is well worth the money. Not only is it one of a kind in its looks and feel, but it will last you a lifetime and is extremely reliable.

In the case of the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine, you really do get what you pay for. When you start to use and become the owner of one, you’ll know that you bought a high-quality rower and that no cheaper rower can compare.

Reliability & Warranty: 5/5

The reliability of the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine is second to none, and you could probably put forward the case that it’s the most reliable rower. There isn’t much that can wrong as the water resistance mechanisms are simple yet effective. The construction is sturdy and of the highest quality so it’s highly unlikely anything will break.

The warranty on the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine comes with some caveats (at the time of writing). On purchase of the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine, the warranty covers the frame and parts for 1 year, which is extremely poor for a machine over $1000, however, if you complete a registration form WaterRower will upgrade the warranty to 5 years on the frame and 3 years for the components.

I’m not a big fan of warranties like this as I feel it’s a ploy for corporations to get your personal details to market to you later on. Why not make the process for your customers as hassle-free as possible and just give the full warranty at the beginning?

That being said, the customer service is fantastic and very responsive. You’ll feel well taken care of by their customer service.

How to assemble the WaterRower Indoor Rowing Machine

Stability and Quality: 5/5

The WaterRower Club Rowing Machine is extremely rare in that its constructed of wood rather than metal like most other rowers. Given that it’s constructed of wood, one would expect it to be susceptible to damage. Don’t be fooled though, it is made of solid ash and makes for a very sturdy rower.

Not only that, but the wood finish easily makes the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine the best-looking cardio machine you’ll ever lay your eyes on. In the area of aesthetics, it totally trumps its biggest rival the Concept2 Model E rowing machine.

The WaterRower Club Rowing Machine also stands out in that they are manufactured in the United States, so the WaterRower isn’t one of the many machines on the market that get manufactured in another country using cheap labour.

Resistance: 4.5/5

The resistance on the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine is unlike any other rower on the market. You’ll come across fan, magnetic and a host of others but the WaterRower’s water resistance is truly unique. It provides a smooth rowing stroke and mimics the feel of real rowing.

The only gripe is that the water resistance doesn’t have manual controls but rather is determined by how slow or fast you row; much like air resistance rowers.

You can indirectly change the resistance, however, depending on how much water you put in the tank. If you want more resistance you put in more water, and if you want less resistance you put in less water. The only problem is this isn’t something you are going to be doing before every workout as it’s a very cumbersome process to change the water (more on this below). What you’ll find is that you’ll tweak the amount of water you put in then stick with that amount long-term.

WaterRower Club Rowing Machine requires purification tablets to keep the water clean

Maintenance: 2/5

I am an owner of the WaterRower, and I do love everything about it, but maintenance is the one area that has proven a bit of a nuisance for me. There’s nothing to maintain per se, but since the tank does involve water, it’s not going to stay clean on its own. It is recommended that you put in purification tablets into the tank every 6-8 months in order to keep the water clean, which although it isn’t the biggest inconvenience, I’d still prefer the total freedom to do nothing like the Concept2.

My own WaterRower Club Rowing Machine is placed in a bright room which is even more of a hassle because the water gets cloudy even quicker, and it does get to a point where the water does need to be replaced. The tank isn’t detachable so it involves having to use a syphon and a bucket to extract the dirty water.

Once you have removed the water, you then have to put clean water back into the tank (I use a watering can). A lot of problems would have been solved if you could simply detach the tank and take the whole thing to the sink. Some would argue that the tank would have been quite heavy but it’s much easier than having to syphon all the water out.

Perhaps I’m lazy, but if you want the lovely feature of having the experience of water rowing it comes with a trade-off.

The WaterRower Club Rowing Machine can be stored vertically

Size: 4/5

The WaterRower Club Rowing Machine is quite a long machine but not very bulky despite its heavy duty build, in fact, it has a very streamlined look to it. The one disappointment people may find is that it isn’t foldable, nor can you easily disassemble it into two pieces like the Concept2 Model D. So if you want to store it away long-term you will have to disassemble it completely.

You can, however, stand the rower up in a vertical position. It’s quite easy to lift it into this position as all the weight is at the bottom.

Although the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine isn’t foldable, it’s not too much of a problem because it’s a great looking machine and very pleasing on the eye. It doesn’t look like gym equipment but something more along the lines of a grandfather clock or a tall unit (when vertical) so you may find that you have no desire to hide it away should visitors come over!

Noise: 5/5

The WaterRower Club Rowing Machine has the best sound of any rowing machine. It isn’t dead silent when using it, nor is it supposed to be, but you get the sound of the water gushing around the tank which ultimately proves to be very pleasant. The video below shows the typical noise level. Do you find this type of noise annoying or pleasant?

WaterRower – See and hear the water

The amount of noise is also dependent upon how fast and hard you row. If you row slowly the water gets pushed around the tank gently, but at higher tempos, the noise can be much higher as the water is pushed around more violently. However, even at the highest speeds, it’s still relatively quiet and not noisy. It’s unlikely you will have a problem watching TV over the water noises.

In terms of noise/sound, the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine beats the Concept2 Rowers simply on the basis that the water sound is more pleasant than a fan noise.

Features: 4.5/5

The console on the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine is what you would expect on a high-end rower. It measures, intensity, stroke rate, time and distance. It is also compatible with heart rate monitors, however, you will need to buy this separately.

Should I Buy the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine?

If you’re considering buying the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine then you’ve most likely come across the Concept2 Model D rower and you’ve boiled down the decision to one of the two.

The Concept2 Model D rowing machine is the top rowing machine amongst the rest of the pack. If you want the top indoor rowing machine that looks like a piece of gym equipment and functions like one then the Concept2 Model D is what you want.

Although I said the Concept2 Model D is the best of the pack, I don’t consider the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine to be part of the ‘pack’ as it’s represents something totally different to a normal piece of gym equipment. For one it looks beautiful, and the sound of the water whilst you row only adds to the experience.

WaterRower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor
  • Handcrafted rowing machine with "water flywheel"...
  • Flywheel sits in enclosed water tank to provide...
  • Series 4 performance monitor tracks workout...

The WaterRower Club Rowing Machine isn’t just a novelty rower which just happens to look and sound good. It is also a rower that can give everyone an intense workout for beginners to even the fittest people. Not only that but it’s also extremely reliable, well built and durable.

If you do decide to buy the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine you really won’t be disappointed. Yes, it costs over $1,000 but taking everything into account it’s a solid investment that’s worth every penny.

Leave a comment

Want to learn about more of the best gadgets?

Join others who get our FREE weekly newsletter on the best tools and techniques for living pain-free, improving mobility and fixing your posture.

By entering your email, you agree to our privacy policy

Send this to a friend