Just how good are water rowing machines? In the U.S. television series House of Cards, Kevin Spacey’s character is seen using a water-powered rowing machine to give an outlet for his frustrations. The specific machine used in the show is the WaterRower, which has a wooden frame and is made in New England. They aren’t the cheapest rowing machines on the market, but they give users a great workout and are aesthetically pleasing. The wood used for the machines is usually oak, ash or cherry wood and these types of wood are from trees in the Appalachian forests in the New England region of the United States.
What else can be said about the WaterRower? For one thing it’s quiet, and the only thing you’ll hear is the sound of the water in the tank. The faster you pull on the strap, the more resistance is given. However, if you want to practice rowing with a faster stroke it will be necessary to reduce the amount of water in the tank. Storing the WaterRower is easy because the machine is built to stand in an upright position with the water tank acting as a stabilizer. You can put it in a closet.
The WaterRower isn’t perfect. One disadvantage that may throw somebody off buying this machine is the plastic footrests. Rowing barefoot may become painful because the footrests are square-shaped at the bottom with tough edges. They were neither made to accommodate bare feet nor pairs of shoes. Even if shoes are worn they aren’t easy to get in and out of the footrests. Another downside is the angle of the seat, which tilts backward. The WaterRower has greater resistance at the catch (the start of pull) and this won’t be comfortable for users with lower back pain. On the flip side, the WaterRower is better for people with knee problems.
All in all, the WaterRower is an excellent machine. It’s easy to use, easily stored, and works the entire body. However, it’s not cheap. How does the WaterRower compare to another popular model, the Concept2? The Concept2 is an air machine and, along with the WaterRower, have been rated as the best home rowing machines. The Concept2 have some advantages the WaterRower does not, such as causing less pressure on the muscles of the lower back. Also, the Concept2 is less expensive. Keep in mind, though, that a lower price brings its own set of drawbacks. Before you commit to buying a Concept2, know that it’s noisy. It’s an air machine, after all. The Concept2 isn’t as simple to put in a closet but it can be dismantled into two parts. Not many rowing machines are built like this.
Here’s one great thing about the Concept2 – the footrests are curved, allowing comfortable barefoot rowing! Like the WaterRower, the Concept2 is well built and will last for years with proper care. If you don’t mind the noise, the Concept2 may be a better option than the WaterRower. Weigh the pros and cons carefully. For a more in-depth review of the Waterrower check out our review