Anyone interested in WaterRower’s Natural Rowing Machine knows that this isn’t your ordinary rower. First and foremost, water rowers simulate the natural movement and resistance that professional rowers experience out in the water.
When it comes to a realistic rowing experience, nothing beats a water rower.
A high-end machine, WaterRower provides one of the most durable, natural rowing machines on the market. From top to bottom, this model has been designed for performance, and even includes one of the best monitoring systems on the market today: The S4 Monitor.
WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine Features
- Handcrafted design
- Water flywheel
- Series 4 Performance Monitor
- Upright storage option
- Self-regulated resistance and quiet performance
The Natural Rowing Machine is a technical marvel, and provides one of the industry’s most realistic rowing experiences I’ve ever experienced.
Assembly and Setup
When delivered, the box was extremely heavy with a weight of 86 pounds. Having one or two extra people to help you move the box into your home and assemble this model is recommended. The entire setup process is quick and easy.
You can have this model assembled in well under an hour.
Pay special attention to the seat and wheels when assembling. A lot of users have had problems with squeaky seats or loose wheels because they’re not properly assembled.
With that said, the machine is very easy to assemble. The wheels allow you to push the rower upright and move it into a corner for easy storage. You will be required to fill the flywheel with water. While the initial weight is just 86 pounds, when water is added, the total weight of this rower is 117 pounds.
Again, the wheels allow for easy transport after assembly.
Remember: Drain and replace the water routinely, and use the water purification tablets that are provided by the manufacturer.
Comfort and Precision
The seat rolls smoothly across the wooden rail system, while the handlebar is nicely padded and comfortable in your hands. The solid ash and stained honey oak used on this model are exceptional, and actually work to absorb noise and vibration when you’re rowing.
The flywheel is enclosed in water, offering a realistic rowing experience while adding the natural resistance of water.
The footrests allow your feet to stay snug in position and have straps to keep your feet in place. There is some give when you push off during your row so that you can use the power of your legs during the catch and release.
Smooth and quiet, it’s almost serene listening to a person row on the WaterRower as all you hear is the swishing of the water in the flywheel.
The harder and faster that you row, the more overall resistance will be increased.
The Series 4 Monitor is one of the best in the industry and offers you the utmost in exercise metrics. You can see virtually everything about your rowing session, including:
- Time rowed
- Time counter
- Rowing intensity and speed
- Stroke rate
The time counter allows you to set your own alarm right on the monitor. This is ideal for anyone that wants to “space out” during their workout and not count down the seconds until they can hop off of their rower.
Built-in software allows you to connect your USB device right to your rower. There are also a few neat inclusions that make rowing more fun:
- The We-Row online community of rowers.
- A virtual training and racing system offered through NetAthlon
- Coaching through the UltraCoach
You don’t have to plug the monitor into the wall. Instead, this monitor takes 4 AA batteries to operate.
- Natural rowing experience
- Advanced monitoring options
- Natural, handcrafted design
- Easy to move with transport wheels
- Great for tall and short users
- Extremely quiet
- Footholder issues
I didn’t experience this issues myself, but early users did complain about issues with the footholders. The main issue is that the strap doesn’t stay on tightly, and after readjusting the pedal, it eventually moves out of place.
The strap issue I did have when I tightened them too tight, but most models I’ve been able to review have the same issue.
As for the footrest losing its placement, I haven’t had the issue. WaterRower likely corrected these issues in their latest models because they weren’t a problem for me or recent reviewers. Overall, the WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine did exactly what I thought it would – provide an unreal rowing experience.
From the handcrafted design to the smooth rowing with virtually no noise production, this model is simply unmatched. It’s a high-end machine meant for serious rowers, and it will last years without any issues. I’ve never had the pleasure of rowing on a static rower with this level of realism before – I felt like I was rowing out in the bay.