WaterRower Rowing Machine

9.5 score
[Editors rating (9.5)] = (Garage Gym Ideas - Ultimate Home Gym Design) score (9.5)/10

Editor rating: 9.5 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Editor’s Conclusion
Looking for the best of the best and willing to spare no expense? Not only does this design from WaterRower make you feel like you are out on the open water, but it is also a gorgeous piece of workout equipment. It is composed of eco-friendly sustainable wood for the frame and high-end performance features for a heart-pounding yet comfortable ride.

What’s great about water rowers is that the tension is generated from a tub of water on the base for reliable and generally maintenance-free tension on the line. The WaterRower rowing machine utilizes a standard water tank housed inside of a wooden frame with comfortable features that make for a smooth ride. It also comes with an easy-to-read LCD screen that details all of your progress as well as provides workout programs of varying levels of difficulty. It’s one of the more expensive models out there on the market, but well worth it for dedicated rowers.

Below, I wanted to take a deep dive into all of the specifics that make the WaterRower rowing machine one of the best cardio options that money can buy.
WaterRower Rowing Machine Review Facts
Editor's Pros & Cons

Weight capacity is 1,000 pounds
1-year warranty on frame
Includes water purification tablets
Runs very quietly
Comfortable seat and handles
Pre-programmed workouts


Expensive price point
Bulky frame takes up a lot of space
Very heavy

Key Features


This rower looks very different from other metal and steel models out there on the market. The frame is composed of solid ash and stained honey oak that almost looks like an art installation. The wooden frame serves more purposes rather than looking sharp. This frame is incredibly solid, and will not wobble or shave even as you start to pick up the pace.

Wood also works much better at absorbing sound, which means that this device runs much quieter than similar water rowers out there on the market.


Whether you're new to the rowing game or a tried and tested veteran, this design is a great choice. It boasts a very user-friendly frame and comfortable features that make each stroke feel nice and even. Overall, I would recommend this machine to those that have rowed before and found that they absolutely love it.

If you have never engaged in rowing as a cardio workout before, you may want to give it a spin before you invest in this very expensive design. Some users just don’t like the motion of rowing and find that it just doesn't work for their workout goals. This machine is very expensive, so it is always best to try it before you buy it.


The progress monitor on this device is slightly better than your average progress screen on budget-friendly models. It doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles that you would come to expect on machines surpassing the 4-digit dollar mark, but it will certainly help you with your workouts. This LCD screen boasts a large display that is easy to read as you row, and details your speed, stroke count, distance, and heart rate.

What makes this screen stand out from other simplistic options is that it also offers a few pre-programmed workouts to give you a little guidance and to keep things exciting. These programs include suggestions for beginners and run all the way up to programs for advanced users as well.


The seat is mounted on a dual rail glider for a nice and smooth ride. Users found that the seat is incredibly comfortable, and has a contoured finish that is great for those long-distance rides. The foot pedals are stationary and firm, which many users love for a secure grip, and include a set of straps to really help anchor your feet in place. The handlebars are coated in a thick layer of EVA foam that protects your hands from calluses and blisters.

One of the things that users love most about this design is that it is incredibly smooth. The tension on the line is just as strong and firm at the beginning of your stroke as at the end, and the super comfortable seat glides effortlessly along the track with no sticking points. Overall, it feels like you are gliding along the water.


If you took notice of a photo of this machine, you already know that it’s fairly beefy. It measures to be 84 inches long, 21 inches wide, and 22 inches long. This machine will take up quite a bit of room in your home gym, and it is a little difficult to move once the chamber is filled with water. When empty, the unit only weighs in at just shy of 25 pounds. Once the chamber is filled, that number shoots up to almost 120 pounds.

However, the overall design of this machine makes it easy to nestle it up against a wall to clear up permanent floor space.


At first glance, this machine looks like a serious art installation that cannot be moved once assembled, but looks can be deceiving. While the wooden frame is unable to be folded, this machine is built so that it is able to be flipped to be stored upright. At the top of the device are a frame around the water tank and a set of wheels that allows users to prop their machine up against a wall when they need more floor space.

Compared to other designs out there on the market, this is surprisingly one of the more portable. As long as you have a ceiling that clears 83 inches tall (or about 6 feet 11 inches), this machine can clear up quite a bit of floor space as needed. Plus, the way in which it flips upwards means that you will not need to lift the heavy water tank, which your lower back will thank you for!

Although, when the water tank is empty the entire machine weighs in at just 24 pounds, which is quite light compared to steel designs.


Of all the styles of resistance found in rowing machines, water resistance is my absolute favorite, and I know that I’m not alone. Not only does this machine offer natural resistance that feels just like you are in the water, it runs very quietly. While the whooshing water will make a little bit of noise, the sounds are very soothing.

Plus, the wooden frame of this machine works to absorb a lot of the sound and vibration, which offers up a super smooth ride.


One of the things that I love most about this design is that it requires very little maintenance. When you are finished working out, simply wipe down the machine to clear it of sweat, bacteria, dust, and dirt. It’s also important that you check the status of the water inside of the tank to ensure that it is clear of sediment that can gum up the works.

WaterRower suggests that you inspect the status of the water every 6 months. While other water-powered devices suggest that you change out the water a few times a year, WaterRower knows that this is super time-consuming and many users skip this step to save on time. That’s why they include a few water purification tablets to add to your water. Every six months, simply pop in a tablet and you are ready to go!


One of the very few downsides to the WaterRower rowing machine is that it clocks in at a pretty steep price point. For those that are serious about rowing, this design is worth every penny. It is made from high-quality materials that are eco-friendly due to their sustainability, and the overall maintenance of this machine is super easy.

It provides rowers of all skill levels with a challenging ride that helps shed calories and build muscle, and will likely be the last rower you will ever need to buy.


The construction, performance, and comfort of the WaterRower rowing machine make this cardio machine an excellent investment. Sure, it may set you back a considerable amount, but there are few rowing machines that perform quite like this machine.

Other higher-end designs out there on the market often skimp on the overall performance of the machine and pack in additional bells and whistles (like a full-color touch screen) that you may not need or want. If you prefer general performance and a smooth ride over advanced and modern features, this machine is one of your best options.

What I love most about this machine lies in its simplicity. It has a strong and sturdy frame that won’t wobble or vibrate as you row, and a sleek frame that looks like an art installation. Plus, this option is far easier to care for over time than some of the other options out there on the market. Simply wipe down the machine once a week, and pop in a water purification tablet every six months and this machine will hold up quite well over years of daily use.