Workout Equipment

The 7 Best Water Rowing Machines – [2020 Reviews]

Cardiovascular exercise has countless benefits  for both the mind and the body, though most people resort to running or using the elliptical machine when they workout.

There’s actually another incredibly effective form of cardiovascular exercise out there: rowing.

Many people don’t have the time or just don’t want to deal with going out on the actual water, but the top water rowing machines can replicate the feeling and effects.

We’ve spent the past month reviewing and testing countless models to bring you the top water rowing machines. Let’s jump right in and get started!

Best Water Rowing Machines

 Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing MachineWaterrower Rowing Machine AshMaxKare Water Rowing Machine Water Rower
editorschoice
Stores Vertical:Yes NoYes
Weighs:92 Pounds117 Pounds85 Pounds
Size:80" x 22" x 34"84" x 21" x 22"n/a
Capacity:300 Pounds300 Pounds264 Pounds

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Water Rowing Machines

  1. Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine Rower
  2. Waterrower Rowing Machine Ash
  3. MaxKare Water Rowing Machine Water Rower
  4. Merax Water Rowing Machine
  5. First Degree Fitness Fluid Rower AR Newport
  6. Goplus Water Rowing Machine
  7. XTERRA Fitness ERG650W Water Rower

Our reviews to the top rated water machine rowers with our comparison table and buyers guide will help you choose the right water machine rower for you.


Water Rower Machine Reviews

Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine Rower

First up, we have the Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine Rower. This one has gained the prestigious title of one of “Amazon’s Choice” products, and for good reason.

The Obsidian Black design looks incredible anywhere you use it, and it’s also pretty easy on the budget.

With the use of a flywheel and durable steel fan blades, you’ll experience instant resistance combined with smooth and consistent rowing.

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The 16 Hydro Blades work to replicate the movements of competitive rowing, which is excellent for fitness and training purposes.

The non-slip HD handlebar is actually comfortable to use, moisture-resistant, and wide enough to work with all different hand sizes.

The seat is also quite comfy, being as it’s molded and padded. The high-profile shape makes it easy to get on and off of the seat without placing excess stress on your back and knees.

If you want real results, you need real data. That’s why we loved the R2 Fitness Meter that comes included. This meter is made to track with incredible accuracy.

You’ll be able to monitor your total time, 500m time, SPM, total strokes, calories burned, heart rate, ambient temperature, and more.

When you’re finished using it, the high-density, non-marking rubber wheels make it easy to move upright and roll away.

 

Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine Rower at a Glance:

  • Stores Vertical: Yes
  • Weight: 91.9 Pounds
  • Size: 80″ x 22″ x 34″
  • Weight Capacity: 300 Pounds
  • Other: High-density non-marking rubber wheels

Waterrower Rowing machine

If you love the feeling of real outdoor rowing and have been unable to find a machine that mimics that feel, then you’re not the only one.

It’s pretty difficult to find a rower that can, but the WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine comes as close as possible.

Instead of air or magnetic resistance, this stunning product includes a water flywheel, so you have water resistance to work with even though you’re working out in the comfort of your own home.

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Another huge point of interest is its appearance. While we’d tried out dozens upon dozens of models, we were still hard-pressed to find one that could even come close to matching the Waterrower’s visual aesthetics.

The frame is comprised of an Ash Wood which was sanded and satin-finished, leaving it soft and silky smooth.

Then, they added in a bright blue, translucent water tank down at the end, which is also entertaining to watch the water through.

The wood not only serves for looks, but also durability while also reducing the vibration of the rowing motions so you can work out at all hours of the day and night without being noisy.

The resistance is self-regulated, which allows for a natural feel and on top of that, features a Series 4 monitor to easily track your workout through heart rate states, your stroke rate, among other stats.

 

Waterrower Rowing Machine Ash at a Glance:

  • Stores Vertical: Yes
  • Weight: 117 Pounds
  • Size: 84″ x 21″ x 22″
  • Weight Capacity: 300 Pounds
  • Other: Made with solid ash and stained honey oak

MaxKare Water Rowing Machine Water Rower

The MaxKare Water Rowing Machine Water Rower is another beautiful choice, with an all-black steel frame that looks sleek and modern in any setting.

The ergonomic design makes it comfortable for anyone under 264 pounds, encouraging you to work out longer and harder.

On top of that, it’s also a great budget option if you’re trying to save some cash. In fact, every single part of the MaxKare Water Rowing Machine is made with your comfort in mind.

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The stabilizers in the rear of the machine help to ensure that it always stays level, no matter how hard you’re working out or the type of flooring it’s resting on.

Adjustable footplates are there to make sure your legs are at the right angle, and the large, cushioned seat will eliminate any discomfort and hot spots.

Finally, fully foam-padded handles will keep your hands soft instead of the bar creating blisters or soreness. You even get to take advantage of a handy water bottle holder so you’re always hydrated.

To keep track of your progress, a large LCD screen is front and center. It tracks your time traveled, stroke per minute, distance, strokes, calories burned, and more.

With water resistance, you can set the difficulty level while enjoying a realistic rowing experience right from your home.

When you’re finished for the day, the included wheels and pulleys make it easy to fold up and transport anywhere you need it to go.

 

MaxKare Water Rowing Machine Water Rowerat a Glance:

  • Stores Vertical: Yes
  • Weight: n/a
  • Size: n/a
  • Weight Capacity: 264 Pounds
  • Other: Large LCD Monitor, Ergonomic Design

 

Merax Water Rowing Machine

The Merax Water Rowing Machine features innovative engineering all through the design.

However, the addition that really stood out to us was the unique inclined water tank which is made to offer more powerful resistance as opposed to those in the traditional flat position.

You’ll be able to improve your strength and endurance in no time! The sleek design comes with an all-black solid steel construction with gorgeous blue complements in the branding on the side along with the bright blue water tank.

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Its looks, along with the compact footprint with built-in wheels make it easy to use in smaller homes, such as apartments.

The smooth glide is offers recreates the dynamic movements through real open bodies of water, and the sound of the water splashing inside of the tank is quite relaxing, too.

Fill the tank to your desired level to adjust the resistance – the funnel and pumping siphon which come included make this process easier.

A 19-inch long ergonomic handle makes it easy to row without any awkward positioning or discomfort. As it’s fully padded, you can use it for long periods of time without any blistering as well.

The contoured, molded seat is one of the most comfortable we’ve used, and with the adjustable Velcro foot straps, you’ll be able to properly secure your feet while rowing.

 

Merax Water Rowing Machine at a Glance:

  • Stores Vertical: Yes
  • Weight: 90 Pounds
  • Size: 78” x 20” x 25.5”
  • Weight Capacity: 330 Pounds
  • Other: Inclined water tank, Built-in wheels

The First Degree Fitness Fluid Rower AR Newport is a straightforward yet heavy duty model that’s sure to last for years to come.

As the first rowing machine with patented adjustable fluid resistance technology, you can fully control and adjust the resistance anywhere from “Feather Light” to “Olympic Sprint”.

This makes it a great option for anyone, no matter what your current physical fitness level or athletic experience is!

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The water-based system offers smooth yet consistent resistance throughout the entire workout, which is important for real results and safety.

Not only that, but the fluid resistance tank is almost completely silent. To change the resistance, all you have to do is turn the dial so you’re not wasting any time.

With an advanced computer monitor, you’ll receive some of the most accurate results out there.

You’ll be able to see your time, distance traveled, 500M split time, strokes per minute, calories per hour, watts, and heart rate.

On top of that, it even comes with a USB port so you can charge your smart devices!

Having proper form is important though difficult to pull off if your water rowing machine doesn’t allow for it.

This one sure does, with height-adjustable footplates and straps to keep your feet secure during intense sessions.

The seat is also very comfortable and runs on precision bearings for incredibly smooth and safe functionality.

The frame is the perfect balance between being lightweight and durable, as it’s made of a high-quality anodized aluminum.

This, along with built-in transit wheels make it easy and effortless to move around your home.

 

First Degree Fitness Fluid Rower AR Newport at a Glance:

  • Stores Vertical: Yes
  • Weight: 57 Pounds
  • Size: 38″ x 22″ x 22″
  • Weight Capacity: 300 Pounds
  • Other: Inclined water tank, built-in wheels

Coming close to the end of our list, we have the Goplus Water Rowing Machine. Made with heavy-duty steel, the rower is made to be incredibly durable, supporting up to 220 pounds.

The aluminum alloy beam resists against corrosion as well, while offering a quiet and smooth workout experience.

The PU seat is just firm enough to provide proper support with comfortability, mounted on rollers which glide smoothly every time.

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The large, adjustable, textured pedals will keep your feet firmly in place, further aided by safety straps which work with a wide variety of foot sizes.

The non-slip rowing handle will also allow for high-intensity training sessions without any instability.

The large LCD monitor is one of the biggest we’ve seen, displaying your count per minute, time, calories burned, distance traveled, and scan.

The scan mode is helpful to show all of your progress, making it easier to accomplish your fitness goals.

Including a water-resistant chest heartrate monitor, you’ll have the most accurate HR readout possible.

Furthermore, connect your smartphone and download the free app to monitor your stats anywhere you want.

On top of all that, the machine is covered with a 3-year warranty where you’ll get 100% risk-free satisfaction guarantee to give you the peace of mind you need to use the rower without inhibition.

 

Goplus Water Rowing Machine at a Glance:

  • Stores Vertical: No, but folds
  • Weight: 57 Pounds
  • Size: 38″ x 22″ x 22″
  • Weight Capacity: 220 Pounds
  • Other: Aluminum alloy frame, large LCD monitor

XTERRA Fitness ERG650W Water Rower Machine

Last but definitely not least, is the XTERRA Fitness ERG650W Water Rower.

XTERRA Fitness is one of the most well-respected fitness equipment brands currently on the market due to how consistent they offer high quality and innovation.

Their ERG650W is exemplary of that throughout the entire design. If you take a look, you’ll see that the tank here is also angled to offer a larger range of resistance which means you’ll get better results and more variability.

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The 15” seat height that you’ll see on most rowing machines make it difficult to get on and off of at times, placing excess stress on the knees and back.

However, this model has it at over a food off of the ground which will make it safer and easier to do.

The padded handles and flex footplates allow for constant comfort while rowing, while keeping it as authentic as possible.

You’ll be able to move naturally which also lowers the risk of injury.

Covered with a lifetime warranty, the dual aluminum covered rails are incredibly durable and offer a smooth, quiet rowing motion so you don’t disturb anyone if you’re working out at the very late/early hours.

 

XTERRA Fitness ERG650W Water Rower at a Glance:

  • Stores Vertical: Yes
  • Weight: 76 Pounds
  • Size: 79.5″ x 20.7″ x 33.9
  • Weight Capacity: 350 Pounds
  • Other: Phone/tablet holder, lifetime frame warranty

Water Rowing Machine Comparison Table

Water Rowing Machines Vertical StorageWeightSizeCapacityRating
Sunny Health & FitnessYes91.9 lbs80"x 22"x34"300 lbs4.1 / 5.0
Waterrower Rowing MachineNo117 lbs84"x21"x22"300 lbs4.6 / 5.0
MaxKare Water RowingYes85 lbsn/a264 lbs4.6 / 5.0
Merax Water RowingNo90 lbs78”x20”x25”330 lbs4.7 / 5.0
First Degree FitnessNo57 lbs38"x22"x22"300 lbs4.3 / 5.0
Goplus Water RowingYes57 lbs38"x22"x22"220 lbs4.6 / 5.0
XTERRA Fitness ERG650WYes76 lbs79"x21"x34"350 lbs5.0 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Water Resistance Rowing Machine

rowing machine with waterNow that you’ve had the chance to go through all of the top water rowing machines on the market today, have you already figured out which one you’ll be using in your home?

If not, then it’s important to take a look at the crucial questions to ask yourself before you decide on a certain model.

We know how challenging it can be, so we’ve decided to go ahead and write up the comprehensive buying guide, below. By the time you’re done reading, there will be no doubt which is the one for you!

Size

One of the most important considerations to take here is the size of the machine. If it doesn’t fit in your home, then there’s not much point in focusing on anything else.

There’s two things to take into consideration here: the size of your body and the available space you have in your home to use for your new rowing machine.

Rowing machines vary in length, so if you’re taller you should choose one that will adjust to suit your height.

The manufacturer’s site will inform you of the heights that will work with the model in question. If the height works for you, it’s not going to matter much if it can’t support your weight.

That’s why you must look into the weight limit of the machine you have your eye on. Weight limits vary greatly, depending on the manufacturer and model.

Display Screen

water rowing machine display

While this isn’t the most important feature of a rowing machine with water, it can still affect your motivation levels and subsequently, your results.

For many (if not most) of us, it can be difficult to stay motivated during cardio workouts. They can be monotonous and time can feel like it’s passing incredibly slow.

Stats are a large factor in staying motivated during these times.

Receiving accurate stats on your monitor will undoubtedly help you become more physically fit, and accuracy varies per model and manufacturer, too.

Perhaps you want to only burn 200 calories and move on with your day. If you don’t have a display screen, how will you know how many you’ve burned?

Improving our body composition is a science, and real stats are required to correctly track this.

However, not every screen is the same. Some are more dated-looking, grayscale screens which only show the very basics.

Others are full-color LCD, backlit screens which most of us have become accustomed to in our day and age.

As an alternative or addition, there are some machines with capabilities, letting you can track all of your stats through a free app on your smartphone or even play games with others around the world!

Comfort

When it comes to exercising, there’s always some type of discomfort involved. However, this discomfort should never be due to a poorly designed machine or workout equipment.

This equipment should work with your body instead of against it. There are a few different points to consider in terms of comfort in water rowing machines: the footplates, seat, and handlebar.

These should ideally have a non-slip surface and grooves or nubs to help keep your feet in place, no matter how intensely you’re rowing.

On top of that, they should be large enough to fit your feet comfortably without risking them slipping off. There are some which also rotate a bit, which will allow for more natural movement and motions.

This rotation will also help to lower the risk of injury while letting you move easier to have better results

The seat should be wide enough to give you the support you need while being able to move around naturally without having to continuously re-adjust your body to avoid losing your balance.

Contoured, molded seats will help to eliminate soreness and keep you firmly centered in place, working with the natural shape of your body instead of it being hard and flat, which can leave your bones feeling uncomfortable quickly.

As you’re going to be holding onto these rather firmly the entire time, you don’t want them to cause soreness or chafe your hands.

The models you want to look at will have handlebars covered in a thick foam material to protect your hands and fingers from the hard bar inside.

Contoured bars help with this, too, and can help you grip onto the bar more securely.

Portability

Are you going to be leaving your water rowing machine out the entire time? Or will you move it back to be stowed away once you’re finished with your workout?

This will influence how portable the model needs to be. If you have a dedicated space you can keep the machine, you may not have to think much about this.

However, if you don’t, then look for one that is foldable, lightweight, and has built-in transport wheels so you can easily roll it away once you’re done.

If it’s not foldable but it has wheels, then this will also help. Just know that water rowing machines vary widely in weight.

Warranty

The warranties also vary widely on the models currently out there.

A year is pretty standard for the entire water rowing machine, though if you go up in price you’ll often find that you’ll get longer warranties like 3 to 5 years, with some even offering lifetime warranties on the frames!

If you think about it, that’s going to end up saving you money in the long run so it may just be worth it to shell out a bit more money upfront if you can swing it.

FAQs About Water Rowing Machines

Q: Why are water rowers better?

A: Water rowers offer a more realistic rowing experience, just like if you were in the actual water. They’re very quiet to use, and you can change the adjustability as you’d like.

Q: Can you lose belly fat on a rowing machine?

A: If your diet is correct, then yes. It all comes down to burning calories. If you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming, you’re going to lose body fat.

While it’s impossible to spot-reduce, you’ll reduce the overall body fat levels of your body which will include the belly.

Q: Are water rowers loud?

A: No, they’re famously silent or very, very quiet.

Q: Is rowing better than running?

A: There’s no “better”, however, running is much more low-impact which is gentler and healthier long-term on the joints.

Q: Is rowing good for your back?

A: Yes, it is! It helps to target your back muscles which strengthen them and further promote correct posture and spinal alignment.

Tips For Choosing Water Rowing Machines

#1: Measure the area in which you wish to use your water rowing machine before you make your purchase.

Many people just “eyeball” the area and end up not having enough room.

You want to keep at minimum, a foot of space between the machine and any other wall or obstruction so you can freely move.

You may even want a few feet of room behind you so you can pull back and row comfortably.

#2: Look for a model that comes with smartphone connectivity for further motivation.

There are some models which let you sync your smartphone through Bluetooth and let you “row” with others around the world!

This is more entertaining so you’ll have longer and more competitive workouts which will yield faster and better results.

#3: If you like listening to music while you row, look for one with a USB input.

There are some which include USB inputs so you can charge your smart devices while you workout. You can also use a Tablet in place of a smartphone, if that’s where you keep your music.

Summary

Now that you are practically an expert in the world of water rowing machines, do you know which one is perfect for your workout plans?

If not, then there’s no need to worry. No matter which model you choose from our guide, you can rest easy knowing you’re getting one of the best on the market today.

However, what’s most important is that you select one perfect for your fitness goals and your body. We hope that our guide has helped you do exactly that.

Thanks for joining us, and we’ll see you again soon. Happy rowing!

Performance
Features
Quality

The Sunny Health & Fitness is our Editor's Choice for the best water rowing machine with its performance, features and quality.

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