Water rowing machines are often more expensive than other models of indoor rowers, but there’s a reason they don’t come cheap. They are often the most costly to manufacture and some parts are usually made from pricier materials such as solid hardwoods rather than steel and aluminum.
Water resistance rowers offer a stylish alternative to the sleeker, more industrial models of hydraulic, magnetic or air resistance models currently on the market.
Water rowing machines use revolving fins or paddles in an enclosed tank of water to provide the necessary resistance for a workout. The paddles essentially replace the flywheel found on other types of rowers.
When you pull on the handlebars, the paddles revolve in the closed, sealed tank, creating drag that increases the resistance as you increase the speed of your pull.
The combination of water mass and drag creates a reliable, variable resistance that some users feel is more realistic than that provided by magnetic or air resistance.
Keep in mind that water storage tanks are fairly large. When you combine the weight of the machine itself with the weight of the water required in the tank, you end up with a very heavy piece of equipment.
Water resistance rowers also tend to be longer than other types of rowers because you have to accommodate the full range of movement for the legs as well as the oversized water tank. They aren’t the best choice for apartment dwellers or those with smaller spaces.
Many indoor users prefer the action of water rowers because it is smoother and quieter than air or hydraulic models. Some feel this is the closest to the feel of actually rowing on water because some air rowers have a “dead spot” where resistance drops momentarily during the stroke cycle.
Competitive indoor rowers and athletes often choose water rowers for this reason, especially top end models like the Water Rower Natural, although some still prefer the feel of an air resistance model.
If you’re looking for a high end piece of exercise equipment, there are several water rowing machines that will fit the bill. There are many reasons why they’re so popular for at home use.
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If you have the chance to try out a few water rowing machines, you’ll quickly know whether you like the feel of them or not and whether you’re willing to invest in one for your own workouts.
If you can’t try them out, our reviews will give you a good idea of which ones are the best for your situation.
Higher End Choices
When it comes to the best water rower, we would definitely recommend the WaterRower Natural, one of the top models on the market today with beautiful solid ash wood and the smoothest, on-water feel.
It has been on our list of the Best Rowing Machines for several years now, and reviews from experts and customers alike have been very positive.
The company also offers other models with different color woods as well as metal if that is your preference. The Natural is the most popular, as well as the least expensive, so it's a solid option for you.
As far as other great water rowers, take a look at First Degree Fitness, another great company that has a variety of water rowing machines to choose from.
More Affordable Options
If the WaterRower Natural and First Degree Fitness rowers are a bit out of range for you, there are several good options in a lower price range.
You're not going to find anything decent at a lower price point, as these types of machines are the most expensive to make. Anything cheaper is just not going to be good quality.
UPDATE: New Year's Rowing Machine Sales are going strong!
The top choice of professional rowers and health clubs, a quality piece of equipment and a great investment for your home gym.
BEST WATER ROWER
The XTERRA ERG 650W rowing machine is a stunning piece of fitness equipment and offers an amazing simulation of the feel of on-the-water rowing.
BEST BUDGET ROWER
A solid budget model offering great value for the money, with continuous resistance and ergonomic design.
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