- Provides an excellent full-body aerobic and muscular workout while emulating the pleasurable sensations of rowing on water.
- Eye catching, aesthetic design made from beautiful, sustainably managed Appalachian Mountain wood blends like furniture into your home or gym room.
- Refreshing sound of rushing/swishing/gushing/sloshing/swooshing water (from flywheel in the water tank) as you row makes for a therapeutic, stress-busting experience, ideal after after a busy day at work.
- Ultra smooth, quiet operation (aside from the deliberate water sound) you can watch TV or even your iPad at a comfortable volume while working out without disturbing others or waking up the family.
- Monitor is not backlit, angle and may be difficult to read while in use.
- Foot rests seem a little on the flimsy side.
- Adjusting for foot size may be fiddly and awkward for some. Not ideal for barefoot rowing (not that you’d normally row barefoot in a real boat anyway).
The WaterRower is truly a work of art and looks very much at home in your home due to its unique, naturalesque sturdy wooden body and water tank which also provides your rowing resistance. It’s even been rewarded the accolade of being exhibited at London’s Design Museum as well as being awarded the prestigious German Plus X Award in sports & lifestyles for its design. This rower is proving hugely popular with gyms across the world and is often used in group rowing classes.
WaterRower rowers are made in the USA (the steel model ‘S1’ is made in the UK and USA) which is comforting to know, rather than compromise build quality by simply outsourcing it to far east asian countries to lower production costs. The Natural WaterRower has an upscale, high end feel being made of solid ash wood with honey oak stain and finished in Danish oil while the water tank is made of hard-wearing polycarbonate (transparent) plastic. Like most rowers at this level, it’s pretty much maintenance free, so you can expect it to last for years and for peace of mind there is a 5 year warranty on the frame and 3 years on parts as standard upon registering your machine with WaterRower.
Features & Benefits
The WaterRower is definitely designed first and foremost with delivering a fluid ‘on the water’ rowing experience in mind. As such, it eliminates undesirable fatigue, results associated with conventionally designed rowing machines. The special patented water flywheel gives a smooth natural system/method of resistance and can be varied for any user of any strength level. There are infinite levels of resistance possible, for example, doubling your rowing speed will need an 8-fold increase in power and effort. It is distinctly quieter than air rowers or other mechanical cardio equipment. Other neat advantages include it being very compact and unobtrusive in size means it’s easily moved and stored upright, against a door for example. There are no chains or vents to clean.
This is where the WaterRower comes into its own/excels with its smooth, silky, tranquil operation and meditative and therapeutic effects. As mentioned, it really is all about the experience of simulating/emulating rowing a boat which it achieves admirably. Forget the jagged cranks or edge glitches and creaks you might have experienced in budget machines It is precise in the catch, as you glide smoothly on its comfortable seat while pulling against the natural water resistance through the stroke, extending your legs through to the peak of the end movement slightly arching the back. With this rower it’s easy to establish a rhythm whilst building and maintaining momentum.
Remember with rowing you are able to recruit 9 major muscle groups: a ratio of 60% legs, 20% core (midsection and back) and 20% upper body (arms and shoulders) so it makes sense to get the maximum return on energy output/expended with as smooth and ergonomical a design as possible. You can’t get as complete an overall-body workout (from cycles or ellipticals which, using less of the body’s muscle mass, reduces the overall cardio vascular training benefits) as you can from rowing.
At £950 it sits in the company and price point of similar quality rowers like the Concept 2. It’s stylish, innovative and with each one being uniquely hand-crafted from living wood, there’s the appeal of owning something a little bit special -no two machines will be identically alike- a nice touch in a world of impersonally mass manufactured home gym equipment!
Often attractive to family members young or old, the WaterRower starts to make very good investment sense if all you need to do is persuade them a little to use it!
Of note is WaterRower’s excellent customer service team which helped us with our queries promptly and cheerfully; it seems they are committed to taking care of and assisting their customers throughout the world to support you for a ‘lifetime of rowing’.
The WaterRower comes highly recommended and esteemed by numerous professional rowers, such as Olympic Gold Medalists Xeno Muller, Martin Cross, not to mention 5 time Olympic Gold medalist Sir Steve Redgrave and British Olympic Physiotherapist Mark Edgar. What’s more it’s interesting to note that these rowers are owned by a wide range of people from Princess Anne to Steven Spielberg, U2’s Larry Mullen, actress Anna Friel and is even featured in London’s Museum of Design.
Take a look at this video from hit TV series “House of Cards” where Kevin Spacey trains on the WaterRower:
If you are looking for a way to enjoy vigorous, sweat-inducing workouts in a pleasurable way; care about space, aesthetics and noise level and have like the idea of having a conversation starter into the bargain, then the WaterRower is without doubt the machine for you. If however, cutting edge technology features hold more appeal, you don’t mind a bit of noise, and space (or social approval) aren’t deciding factors for you, then the Concept 2 may well just edge ahead.