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26
4.3 out of 5 stars
WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine - Ash Wood
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 17 April 2010
I had been used to the Concept2 rower at my gym and my original intention was to buy that because I was used to, and liked, the feel of it. The only problem was that the rowing machine was to be set up in a room that would need to be used occasionally as a guest bedroom, probably not an uncommon issue. I then came across the Water Rower, the initial attraction being the fact that it can be tipped upright when not in use (without draining the water tank) and it is a lot more attractive than most rowing machines.

Although the online reviews were all very positive, I decided to check out the machine before buying at the nearest sports equipment supplier (about 40 miles away). After a trial I had no hesitation in ordering the Water Rower. The machine is beautifully engineered and solidly made; the seat moves smoothly on its runners and the rowing action is also very smooth. My first introduction to rowing was on the river, rather than in a gym; the gentle 'swishing' noise and the rowing action are very like rowing in water, which feels slightly different to the usual gym rowing machine. There is a monitor showing distance, time, strikes per minute, etc..

There are much cheaper rowing machines on the market but in my experience the cheap ones are cheap for a reason - jerky action, flimsy construction. The Water Rower cost less than an annual membership at my gym. The gym wasn't on my doorstep and half the time I couldn't be bothered to go so I figure that overall I have saved money and, because I have a gym at home, I exercise much more regularly.
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86 of 89 people found the following review helpful
I've been using my waterrower for six months and am very, very pleased with it. I did a lot of research before buying it. I'm an experienced gym user and have owned a gym-quality exercise bike for a decade. I discovered ages ago that it's worth buying high quality kit for use at home because if you buy a cheap option then it is very often clunky, uncomfortable to use and fragile. If you invest a lot in a decent bit of kit then it should last for years PLUS you're more motivated to use it. I can't stand the thought of spending that much money and letting it go to waste!

The waterrower is unlike most other rowing machines in that it is very handsome to look at. It's going to sit in your living room (or where ever) and the wooden finish and design make it much easier on the eye than the usual lots of metal and white plastic.
The waterrower is also very different in that you're not pulling against cogs or chains, but a tub of water. So the action is *very* smooth, and the sound is very pleasant. The action is much less snatchy than most home rowers. Overall it's very easy to use and this encourages me to use it more often.
When not in use the waterrower can be stored upright, so although it is very long you could stand it on end behind a door to tuck it away.
Unlike many rowing machines, the waterrower doesn't use an external power source so you don't have to plug it into the mains. (That always drives me mad, that my exercise bike needs to draw power yet I'm pedalling away producing loads of the stuff!). The only power supply needed for the waterrower are batteries for its monitor.

Downsides: the monitor on mine (a type III a think) has a liquid crystal display which is hard to see in bright sunlight and impossible to see in dim lighting. It has plenty of measurements (strokes per minute, distance travelled and so on) but not calories -- which si the one I'm really interested in. The later monitor can be fitted but it's a faff.
You also need to be careful about positioning the foot pads before you tighten them at initial assembly time. If two people are using the machine regularly, and they have very different sized feet, then it's important to make sure the straps will be in the right place for both -- at first mine was hard to use because it had been set up for someone with much bigger feet than me.

The Waterrower is available in ash and other wood and metal finishes. There is very little difference between the actual workings of the rower; it's down to what sort of wood you prefer. The ash is the lightest colour and the cheapest option, and over time the wood tends to darken naturally. You can pay more for a different finish, but you're not getting any operational improvement for the extra money.

Finally, the water rower is not a cheap rowing machine even though it is very accomplished. As you might expect, plenty of people buy a rowing machine with good intentions but don't use it very much in the long run, and this means you can find secondhand ones in excellent condition.
If you're going to buy it brand new, then you need to be very certain that you're going to use it!
However, if mine was stolen (or something) then I would definitely replace it with another waterrower, and I find traditional-type rowing machines at gyms quite unpleasant to use in comparison.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I've been using my waterrower for over two years and am still very satisfied with it. I did a lot of research before buying it. I'm an experienced gym user and have owned a gym-quality exercise bike for a decade. I discovered ages ago that it's worth buying high quality kit for use at home because if you buy a cheap option then it is very often clunky, uncomfortable to use and fragile. If you invest a lot in a decent bit of kit then it should last for years PLUS you're more motivated to use it. I can't stand the thought of spending that much money and letting it go to waste!

The waterrower is unlike most other rowing machines in that it is very handsome to look at. It's going to sit in your living room (or where ever) and the wooden finish and design make it much easier on the eye than the usual lots of metal and white plastic.
The waterrower is also very different in that you're not pulling against cogs or chains, but a tub of water. So the action is *very* smooth, and the sound is very pleasant. The action is much less snatchy than most home rowers. Overall it's very easy to use and this encourages me to use it more often.
When not in use the waterrower can be stored upright, so although it is very long you could stand it on end behind a door to tuck it away.
Unlike many rowing machines, the waterrower doesn't use an external power source so you don't have to plug it into the mains. (That always drives me mad, that my exercise bike needs to draw power yet I'm pedalling away producing loads of the stuff!). The only power supply needed for the waterrower are batteries for its monitor.

Downsides: the monitor on mine (a type III a think) has a liquid crystal display which is hard to see in bright sunlight and impossible to see in dim lighting.
You need to be careful about positioning the foot pads before you tighten them at initial assembly time. If two people are using the machine regularly, and they have very different sized feet, then it's important to make sure the straps will be in the right place for both -- at first mine was hard to use because it had been set up for someone with much bigger feet than me.
You will also need to hang on to the allen key tool provided for assembly, because over time your rower's fixings will loosen with vibration. It's best to check and tighten them every six months or so.
I have found it very hard to change the water level (and thus the basic resistance), because the bung is a very tight fit and quite diffuclt to remove without damaging the surround. So I tend to use speed as my variable rather than resistance, and this is the one area in which the water-rower is less flexible than a traditional rowing machine.

The Waterrower is available in ash and other wood and metal finishes. There is very little difference between the actual workings of the rower; it's down to what sort of wood you prefer. The ash is the lightest colour and the cheapest option, and over time the wood tends to darken naturally. You can pay more for a different finish, but you're not getting any operational improvement for the extra money.

Finally, the water rower is not a cheap rowing machine even though it is very accomplished. As you might expect, plenty of people buy a rowing machine with good intentions but don't use it very much in the long run, and this means you can find secondhand ones in excellent condition.
If you're going to buy it brand new, then you need to be very certain that you're going to use it! However, if mine was stolen (or something) then I would definitely replace it with another waterrower, and I find traditional-type rowing machines at gyms quite unpleasant to use in comparison.
9/10
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Five years after buying it, I'm still very satisfied with my water-rower. I did a lot of research before buying it. I'm an experienced gym user and have owned a gym-quality exercise bike for 15yrs-plus. I discovered ages ago that it's worth buying high quality kit for use at home because if you buy a cheap option then it is very often clunky, uncomfortable to use and fragile. If you invest a lot in a decent bit of kit then it should last for years PLUS you're more motivated to use it. I can't stand the thought of spending that much money and letting it go to waste!

The water-rower is unlike most other rowing machines in that it is very handsome to look at. It's going to sit in your living room (or where ever) and the wooden finish and design make it much easier on the eye than the usual lots of metal and white plastic.
The water-rower is also very different in that you're not pulling against cogs or chains, but a tub of water. So the action is *very* smooth, and the sound is very pleasant. The action is much less snatchy than most home rowers. Overall it's very easy to use and this encourages me to use it more often.
When not in use the waterrower can be stored upright, so although it is very long you could stand it on end behind a door to tuck it away.
Unlike many rowing machines, the waterrower doesn't use an external power source so you don't have to plug it into the mains. (That always drives me mad, that my exercise bike needs to draw power yet I'm pedalling away producing loads of the stuff!). The only power supply needed for the waterrower are batteries for its monitor.

Downsides: the monitor on mine (a type III a think) has a liquid crystal display which is hard to see in bright sunlight and impossible to see in dim lighting.
You need to be careful about positioning the foot pads before you tighten them at initial assembly time. If two people are using the machine regularly, and they have very different sized feet, then it's important to make sure the straps will be in the right place for both -- at first mine was hard to use because it had been set up for someone with much bigger feet than me.
You will also need to hang on to the allen key tool provided for assembly, because over time your rower's fixings will loosen with vibration. It's best to check and tighten them every six months or so.
I have found it very hard to change the water level (and thus the basic resistance), because the bung is a very tight fit and quite difficult to remove without damaging the surround. So I tend to use speed as my variable rather than resistance, and this is the one area in which the water-rower is less flexible than a traditional rowing machine.

The Water-rower is available in ash and other wood and metal finishes. There is very little difference between the actual workings of the rower; it's down to what sort of wood you prefer. The ash is the lightest colour and the cheapest option, and over time the wood tends to darken naturally. You can pay more for a different finish, but you're not getting any operational improvement for the extra money.

Finally, the water rower is not a cheap rowing machine even though it is very accomplished. As you might expect, plenty of people buy a rowing machine with good intentions but don't use it very much in the long run, and this means you can find secondhand ones in excellent condition.
If you're going to buy it brand new, then you need to be very certain that you're going to use it! However, if mine was stolen (or something) then I would definitely replace it with another waterrower, and I find traditional-type rowing machines at gyms quite unpleasant to use in comparison.
9/10
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2012
I was getting fed-up waiting to use the Concept-2 rowers at the gym. My other exercise is running and cycling so I cancelled the gym membership and bought this on the back of the usual in depth research that I do with any purchase. I chose the basic home model - it looks beautiful and I don't think that the more expensive finishes make you any fitter!

The machine was easy to assemble but took a little time to get it done. I used a watering can to top up the tank. The sensation of rowing is very different to the Concept rowers. It is much smoother and actually increases resistance with effort. The only disappointment I had is with the Polar T31 heart rate monitor sensor which intermittently fails to pick up the hear rate from the chest monitor, resulting in a lower average heart rate. I have Polar watch that I use instead but I like to record stats on performance and I reckon a £900 system should perform to a high standard. There is a new heart rate monitor system coming out but it is quite pricey.

The footprint for this machine is less than 2 square feet and tucks away very easily behind a door but it looks so good that you might want to show it off. Personally, I bought it for the exercise benefit and I have not been disappointed. I did look at ebay prices - which were £600-£700 for second hand examples that were 4-5 years old, so I decided to purchase new. If you don't have space for a full gym, this is an intelligent purchase: It is strong but light and works beautifully.

Will-power to use it regularly is not included!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I've now been using my waterrower (a slightly earlier version than the one shown here) for over four years and am still very, very pleased with it.
I did a lot of research before buying it. I'm an experienced gym user and have owned a gym-quality exercise bike for a decade. I discovered ages ago that it's worth buying high quality kit for use at home because if you buy a cheap option then it is very often clunky, uncomfortable to use and fragile. If you invest a lot in a decent bit of kit then it should last for years PLUS you're more motivated to use it. I can't stand the thought of spending that much money and letting it go to waste!

The waterrower is unlike most other rowing machines in that it is very handsome to look at. It's going to sit in your living room (or where ever) and the wooden finish and design make it much easier on the eye than the usual lots of metal and white plastic.
The waterrower is also very different in that you're not pulling against cogs or chains, but a tub of water. So the action is *very* smooth, and the sound is very pleasant. The action is much less snatchy than most home rowers. Overall it's very easy to use and this encourages me to use it more often.
When not in use the waterrower can be stored upright, so although it is very long you could stand it on end behind a door to tuck it away.
Unlike many rowing machines, the waterrower doesn't use an external power source so you don't have to plug it into the mains. (That always drives me mad, that my exercise bike needs to draw power yet I'm pedalling away producing loads of the stuff!). The only power supply needed for the waterrower are batteries for its monitor.

Downsides: the monitor on mine (a type III a think) has a liquid crystal display which is hard to see in bright sunlight and impossible to see in dim lighting. It has plenty of measurements (strokes per minute, distance travelled and so on) but not calories -- which is the one I'm really interested in. The later monitor can be fitted but it's a faff.
You also need to be careful about positioning the foot pads before you tighten them at initial assembly time. If two people are using the machine regularly, and they have very different sized feet, then it's important to make sure the straps will be in the right place for both -- at first mine was hard to use because it had been set up for someone with much bigger feet than me.
Altering the resistance proved to be a little tricky -- it's simply a matter of adding more water to make it harder but the bung is a right pest to remove!

The Waterrower is available in ash and other wood and metal finishes. There is very little difference between the actual workings of the rower; it's down to what sort of wood you prefer. The ash is the lightest colour and the cheapest option, and over time the wood tends to darken naturally. You can pay more for a different finish, but you're not getting any operational improvement for the extra money.

Finally, the water rower is not a cheap rowing machine even though it is very accomplished. As you might expect, plenty of people buy a rowing machine with good intentions but don't use it very much in the long run, and this means you can find secondhand ones in excellent condition.
If you're going to buy it brand new, then you need to be very certain that you're going to use it!
However, if mine was stolen (or something) then I would definitely replace it with another waterrower, and I find traditional-type rowing machines at gyms quite unpleasant to use in comparison. After using it for around three hours each week for more than four years, I'm very pleased to report that it's still going strong.
9/10
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on 10 June 2015
Assembly is simple with clear instructions. Mine is now approaching seven years use and its really as good as new. Robust yet easy to manoeuvre when placed in the storage position, comfortable in use. High wear areas like the seat cushion and grips are still completely intact and showing none of the creases or tears often associated with lesser machines. The water reservoir demands a little more monitoring and care. If exposed regularly to high levels of daylight, algae can occur due to photosynthesis. The manufacturer supplies chlorine tabs that should be replaced every six months. These are available for resupply free of charge for the lifetime of the machine. its sensible to cover the reservoir with a sheet or similar to help prevent a build up. The water can be replaced easily with the syphon pump provided with the WaterRower. Higher volumes offer greater resistance, and resistance also increases with greater effort. besides occasionally replacing and/or treating the water, application of Danish Oil to the wood will protect and preserve the ash wood. Bolts and allen screws should be checked periodically to ensure they remain tight and secure. The WaterRower is a joy to use and as others have said, the swish of the water is part of the fun. This can of course be drowned out with music of your choice! If as I was you are new to rowing, be sure to check out some excellent instructional videos like this one https://youtu.be/sfnAhEAa_T8 Get your technique right and you can look forward to years of WaterRower use with probably one of the best methods of exercise available.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 30 November 2011
I bought this some years ago, having tried it out in the shop and found it stood out among the exercise machines for how pleasant and easy it was to use, and that strange swoosh of water with each stroke. Now I am not an exercise/sport freak at all, so when I decided to buy it I was all too aware of the risk of spending a huge sum on what could potentially become a proverbial white elephant, gathering dust as I did the same!

I'm pleased to say that my concerns were unfounded. I use the rower nearly every day for just under fifteen minutes, and it has made a huge difference to my life. Keeping fit has become part of my routine - something I had really struggled with before.

I think the Waterrower's strengths boil down to two things: Firstly, the fact that water rather than air is used for resistance produces the pleasant pull of real oars (you don't get this at all with conventional rowers, in fact I don't find them that pleasant to use due to the differently distributed resistance the air gives). And secondly, there is just one level of resistance, it is beautifully simple. While others may not be daunted by the array of settings, and endless ways in which you can customise those settings to your own preferences found in most gym equipment, I am! The only variables are how fast you row and how long for, which makes establishing an exercise routine more accessible I think.

As I say - beautifully simple.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 15 August 2010
I have recently purchased the ashwood water rower and I am very happy with it.When I looked at other fitness machines I did not feel they were appropriate for my needs.This Rower I incredible an give me the sounds of water as I use it and it has excelant performance.The seat is comfortable but the foot rests are difficult to get used to.I used to cycle a lot in the past but I can use this safely in my own home in summer or winter.
if you want a good cardiovascular workout in a safe environment this is a product to really consider.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2012
I have had mine for about a year. It has been easy to move and use. Before I purchased the water rower I had a good look at the alternatives. I tried a few out at the stores. It makes a difference. The benefit of the water rower is that it can be stored upright when not in use, even with the tank loaded with water. Most of the other rowers are not that easy to store when not in use. The Water rower can be put upright in a matter of seconds, and put back on the ground for use just as quickly. When stored upright it takes little floor space, which is great if space is an issue. It also does not look too utilitarian when upright, it also looks good, which was another reason for getting it.

As has been noted the monitor is difficult to read in bright light. Though it is not essential for usage. The resistance is supplied by filling the tank with water. The more water the greater the resistance needed to row it. That can make it heavy, but it is still easy to move, with the small wheels on the frame. You can simply wheel it wherever you like. I use mine while watching the TV. The sound of the water is actually quite soothing and that is another reason I bought it. It does not whirr like some others.

Overall it is great to use and while pricey it does what it needs and when not in use is very easy to store. As rowing is a very good cardiovascular form of exercise and non impact as well it is good for the knees. So what would you prefer an expensive gym membership or a quality rower that looks good? If you no longer need it you can always sell it.
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