WaterRower are known for producing, you guessed it, water resistance models. Everything on this model has been designed with precision, and it even features a handcrafted design – no mass production flaws here.
Solid ash wood makes it heavy at 117 pounds, but it’s unmatched in terms of durability, and sound and vibration absorption.
While testing unit there were a lot of things we liked with this model. In fact, we may never look at another rowing machine the same way again. And the small quirks that we found are so minor, they’re barely worth noting but add to the overall experience.
- Handcrafted design
- True water rowing
- Extremely quiet function
- 5-year warranty
- S4 performance monitor
- Can be stored upright
- Very heavy
Assembly and Maintenance
Once it arrives you may need a hand to get it inside as it is fairly heavy thanks to all the hardwood that is used in the design.
The setup up process is straight-forward and only took me about 25 minutes to do, but I have put together the Natural verision before which did speed the process up as they are almost identical.
The tools required to complete the assembly process are included (just a 5 mm Allen key). The majority of parts come pre-assembled and all you have to do is follow these steps:
Step 1 – lie the rails on the ground and attach them using the rear spacer.
Step 2 – Place the seat on the rails ensuring it is the right way around. Then slot the guide wheels in-between the rails.
Step 3 – Place the pre-assembled tank on the rails
Step 4 – Connect the tank to the rails using the nuts and bolts provided.
Step 5 – Attach the footboard to the rails and to the tank mount.
Step 6 – insert the heel rests into the footboard.
Step 7 – Fix the dolley wheels to make it easy to move about.
Step 8 – Stand upright connect the recoil belt to the rear bungee through the D-ring.
Step 9 – Double Check that the recoil belt is positioned correctly on the pulleys.
Step 10 – Fill the water tank using municipal water (tap water) and insert a purification tablet.
Note: Make sure to clean any water you may have spilled as it can make the wood swell.
Keep an eye on the bolts over the first few weeks of using it as quite often some of the bolts will loosen as the hardwood adjusts to its new climate.
One of the biggest differences I like about this model is that they have coated the rails in a black stain. This reduces the chance of scuff marks showing up. This makes maintenance a little easier than that with the natural version you could see any marks easily.
You may have noticed they specify to add municipal water to the tank, this is because tap water tends to have been treated already and reduces the chance of bacteria and algae forming.
It is recommended that you add another purification tablet every 6 months or if you feel like the tank needs one. The tablets react with sunlight therefore, if the it located in a well-lit area it may need boosting with another tablet more often.
Designed to withstand up to 1,000 pounds of user weight, 99.9% of people will be able to use it without an issue. The flywheel is filled with water and has two enclosed paddles to provide smooth, quiet, true water resistance.
Clinically proven to work 84% of your muscle mass, it can help you build muscle, burn fat and meet your fitness goals.
You may be wondering how you are meant to change the resistance? Well there is no way of changing the resistance as the water tank acts like a rowing boat would on water. The faster you paddle the greater the drag will be on the paddles generating the resistance.
This is great for high intensity interval training as you just row faster in the work phase and slower in the rest period and the resistance will adjust itself.
You may think that you could increase the resistance by filling the water tank with more water… However, this is just like rowing a heavier boat as you are moving a greater mass of water.
Limited on space? No problem. It can be stored upright and has Dolley wheels on the front that allow it to be moved from one room to another with ease. The only issue is that it does take quite a bit of strength to flip it into the vertical position – a consideration for older users.
You’ll be blown away at the attention to detail with this machine. Utilizing high-strength straps instead of a chain, you’ll notice that operation is extremely quiet.
If you have never rowed on a water resistance model before the first thing that you will notice is the swooshing noise that the tank makes while you row. It is almost therapeutic and makes the workout more enjoyable not having a loud fan and chain generating a ridiculous amount of noise waking the entire house.
This model is sat on the ground and if you think that you may find it difficult getting up and down to the seat then it may be worth getting the Hi-Rise legs that raise the seat up to 28 inches off the ground.
Monitoring is a strong point of this unit thanks to the Series 4 monitoring system. This system allows for six information and programming windows, quick selection buttons, and displays:
- Stroke rate
- Zone bar – Helps you with your predefined work zones
- Heart rate – Beats per minute
This monitor is one of the most advanced on the market but that doesn’t mean it is impossible to use. The basic metrics are easy to cycle through and if you do want to make the most of the advanced features the instructions you get in the owner’s manual explain clearly how to use it.
You can set “zone workouts” in the advanced functions of the monitor. These workouts are where you set your desired upper and lower targets for metrics such as intensity, stroke rate and heart rate (if you get the optional chest strap).
For example, if you set your stroke rate to range from 24 – 30 strokes per minute. If you go below 24 or over 30 then the monitor will flash and make a sound indicating whether you need to row faster or slower.
There is an optional extra getting a chest strap to track your heart rate, this works well with the workout zones as it will make sure that you are getting the most out of your workout.
I loved the WaterRower Club’s cousin, the WaterRower natural and knew that I was in for a treat with the Club version. I think that the black stain on this model does eliminate the risk of leaving scuff marks on the hardwood.
The performance monitor is one of the best on the market and rivals the PM4 of the Concept2.
Smooth and reliable, this is what professional athletes recommend. This is one of the most realistic experiences on the planet. Period.
If you’re serious about your fitness goals or you’re an avid fitness enthusiast, there are not many models that can compare to the this one.