Ergatta vs WaterRower: Water Resistance Showdown 

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Ergatta vs WaterRower

In this article, I’ll be comparing the Ergatta and WaterRower rowing machines. 

As an in-home personal trainer, I’ve been recommending rowing machines to my clients for more than three decades. Over the past 10 years, the quality and range of home rowers have undergone seismic change. Two major innovations have been the introduction of the water rower and the integration of streaming technology. The Ergatta and WaterRower are great examples of both. 

I do a lot of research on new rowers in order to make informed recommendations to my personal training clients. For this review, I’ve devoted more than a dozen hours to bring you the facts about the Ergatta and the WaterRower. 

At a Glance

The Ergatta and WaterRower are very similar rowers in terms of their hardware. That’s because they are both manufactured by the WaterRower company at their Rhode Island factory. The difference comes with the 17.3-inch touchscreen monitor and streaming capabilities of the Ergatta.

The Ergatta provides you with the best-gamified experience you will find on a rowing machine. That’s because the guys behind the machine were originally video game designers. There are lots of immersive games, along with interval and race workouts.

So, if you are after a fully immersive streaming workout that will allow you to get caught up in the experience and are a lover of online games, the Ergatta is the obvious choice. 

However, if you are simply after a top-notch piece of rowing hardware that you can get on and row, without any streaming capability of built-in programs – and want to save $900 – then the WaterRower is the choice for you. 

Keep reading for an in-depth comparison between these two high-level water rowers. 


The Ergatta rowing machine is actually made by the WaterRower company. Ergatta is a video game company that decided to get into the home exercise market. Rather than building their own rower, they decided to contract out to WaterRower. Therefore, when we discuss the Ergatta, we are talking about a Water Rower rowing machine with a cutting-edge gaming console installed. 

The Ergatta hardware is very similar to the Oxbridge model of the Water Rower. It has a chic cherrywood frame that supports a maximum user weight of 500 lbs and looks amazing while being rock-solidly stable.

The Ergatta app membership is $29 per month. The gaming options are a real highlight of this machine, featuring virtual environments, multiplayer challenges, personal avatars, leaderboards, and in-game rewards.

The Ergatta has a retail price of $2499. 


  • Offers interactive and personalized workouts through a screen
  • Has a modern design and technology-based features
  • Huge range of interactive games
  • Offers a variety of resistance levels to challenge different fitness levels


The WaterRower is a high-end rowing machine that simulates the feeling of rowing on water. It features a unique design that includes a water tank, providing a natural resistance that adjusts according to the user’s rowing intensity. 

There are 14 different rowing machines in the WaterRower stable. For the purposes of this review, we will focus on the WaterRower Classic. 

The machine is made of American black walnut, giving it a stylish and natural look, and has adjustable footrests and a comfortable seat. The WaterRower also comes with performance monitoring software and can be connected to fitness apps via Bluetooth. It provides a low-impact, full-body workout and is suitable for people of all fitness levels.


  • Beautiful Walnut finish
  • Simulates the feeling of rowing on water
  • Offers a smooth and quiet rowing experience
  • Has a natural look and can be a nice addition to a home gym’s decor

Ergatta vs WaterRower: Appearance

Both the Ergatta and WaterRower have a classic timber look, with the difference being that the Ergatta is fitted with a 17.3-inch HD touchscreen. In contrast, the WaterRower has a small S4 monitor.

The WaterRower is constructed from American black walnut, giving the machine a rich chocolate brown color, accented with hints of gray, red, and purple. Each machine will have its own unique look influenced by the grain of the timber. Three coats of Danish oil enhance the deep luster and warmth of the timber.

The Ergatta is handcrafted out of solid cherry wood. Depending on the actual timber used, the color may vary from reddish-brown to deep red. When exposed to light, the wood’s color will deepen over time. As with the WaterRower, the Ergatta is finished with three coats of Danish oil to bring out the nuances of the timber. This triple coating also makes the frame more durable. 

The Ergatta features a 17.3-inch screen that sits above the rowing handle at eye level. This contrasts with the natural look of the frame, which may be slightly off-putting. For that reason, the all-natural aesthetic of the WaterRower slightly wins out when it comes to appearance.

Winner: WaterRower

Ergatta vs WaterRower: Construction And Design

The Ergatta is a compact rower that can be stored in an upright position. It features dual rails, a relatively low seat, and foot pedals that are quite close together. 

The WaterRower is constructed from black walnut, providing a natural and stylish appearance. The machine’s design is inspired by traditional rowing boats, with a water tank that provides resistance and creates a realistic rowing experience. 

The Ergatta is a longer rower than the WaterRower Classic, with a length of 86 inches, versus 82 inches. It is also slightly heavier, both with an empty tank and when filled with water. (76.5 lbs empty compared with 66.5 lbs for the Ergatta). 

The maximum user weight of booth machines is impressive. The Ergatta can handle 500 lbs, while the WaterRower’s max weight is 700 lbs. That tells you that both of the frames are extremely strong and durable. 

Winner: Ergatta

Ergatta vs Waterrower: Comfort And Feel

Even though both the Ergatta and WaterRower are constructed by the same company, there are some differences between the models that affect the comfort and feel of your rowing experience. 


The seats on both of these rowing machines are virtually identical. They are raised from the dual rails with timber sidings and have a comfortable padded base. The seat glides smoothly on the rail and operates quietly. 

Both seats may be a little small for larger users. 


Again, the footplates on the Ergatta and the WaterRower are very similar. As both machines have dual rails, the footplates are on the rails rather than to the side, as you would find on a monorail rower. 

Both machines feature floating heel rests that can be adjusted by pushing a central button. Velcro straps allow you to lock your feet in place. 

Some people may find that the footplates are too close together to allow for a comfortable rowing experience. The distance between the footplates on these machines is 3-5 inches. Compare that to some monorail rowers, which have a distance of up to 8 inches apart. 


The WaterRower handle is 38 cm long. It features a straight design, with a sweat-resistant padded grip area. People who need a longer grip can purchase an upgraded handle which is 5 cm longer. 

There is no central cut-out or grip feature in the middle of the handle, so it’s not designed for single-handed rowing. 

The Ergatta handle is the same as the WaterRower.


Both rowers have dual rails. Dual rail rowing machines tend to provide a more stable platform, have a longer track for the seat, and offer a more natural rowing experience. However, as we’ve seen, the footplate distancing is also usually narrower than you get on a monorail rower. 


The WaterRower Rowing Machine uses a unique resistance system known as the “WaterFlywheel.” This system creates resistance by using a flywheel that is filled with water, which creates a smoother and more natural rowing experience compared to traditional resistance systems that use air or magnets. 

The resistance can be adjusted by changing the amount of water in the flywheel, which allows for a customizable workout experience. Overall, the WaterFlywheel system is widely regarded as one of the best resistance systems available for rowing machines, offering a smooth and challenging workout.

The Ergatta uses the exact same resistance system as the WaterRower classic. The water tank has water levels indicated, from 13 to 19. The higher the water level, the greater the weight that you are pulling. The recommended starting level is 17. 

Rowing Performance

Both rowers provide you with a smooth, natural rowing performance. Using a WaterRower (which both rowers essentially are) is the closest thing you will get to rowing on the lake. 

The Ergatta is the best option for beginner rowers. That’s because it has a program to teach you the basic rowing strokes. It then guides you through a 1000-meter row to gauge your fitness level. The onboard computer will then adjust the settings so that you are training at a level that is appropriate for you. After every dozen or so rows, the computer will recalibrate your fitness level and make the needed adjustments. This will ensure that you are training at progressively more intense levels, ensuring that you’re getting fitter and stronger.

Winner: Ergatta

Ergatta vs WaterRower: Noise Levels

Both of these rowing machines provide you with a noiseless, smooth rowing experience. You will get a whooshing sound with every spin of the water blades, but most people find this to be very soothing, adding to the on the water experience. 

Winner: Tie

Ergatta vs WaterRower: Screen/Monitor

The Ergatta rower features a 17.3-inch HD touchscreen. The monitor is Bluetooth and Wifi enabled. Dual wooden arms emerge from the base of the rower to support the monitor. Speakers are built into the monitor, however, even at full volume, they are not that loud so you may want to connect your own speakers. 

In order to access the amazing virtual gaming world that is the main drawcard of the Ergatta rower you will need an internet connection. 

The monitor on the WaterRower is a standard S4 unit. It sits to the left of the dual rails on the base of the machine at eye level. It features all of the diagnostic tracking data you’d expect. However, the screen is not backlit, so viewing from different angles can be a problem. 

Winner: Ergatta

Ergatta vs WaterRower: Membership And Content

The Ergatta rowing machine app offers a comprehensive and personalized workout experience for users. The app provides access to a variety of gamified workout programs and challenges, as well as personalized coaching and progress tracking.

With a membership to the Ergatta app, users can access a library of workouts, including high-intensity interval training (HIIT), endurance training, and recovery sessions. The app also offers virtual rowing competitions and leaderboards, allowing users to compete with others and track their progress.

The Ergatta rowing machine app incorporates video gaming features to enhance the user’s workout experience. These features include:

  1. Virtual Environments: The app features virtual environments that users can row through, including scenic landscapes and interactive worlds.
  2. Multiplayer Challenges: The app allows users to compete against others in virtual rowing competitions and challenges, providing an added level of motivation and fun.
  3. Personalized Avatars: The app allows users to create and customize their own avatars, adding a personal touch to their virtual rowing experience.
  4. Leaderboards: The app includes leaderboards that track users’ progress and scores, allowing them to see how they stack up against others.
  5. In-Game Rewards: The app provides in-game rewards and incentives for users who complete workouts and reach fitness milestones, keeping them motivated and engaged.

The video gaming features on the Ergatta app are designed to make the rowing experience more engaging and interactive, providing users with a fun and challenging workout experience.

In addition to workout programs, the Ergatta app also provides personalized coaching and guidance, helping users set and reach their fitness goals. The app tracks the user’s progress and provides feedback and suggestions for improvement, making it a great tool for users who are looking to get the most out of their rowing machine.

The WaterRower rowing machine does not have its own built-in programs or a dedicated app. However, users can use third-party fitness apps, such as MyFitnessPal or Strava, to track their progress and connect their WaterRower machine. These apps offer a variety of workout programs, training plans, and progress tracking, providing users with a comprehensive workout experience.

Alternatively, you can also create your own workouts and programs on the WaterRower machine.

Winner: Ergatta

Ergatta vs WaterRower: Usability Without Membership

The Ergatta rower can still be used without a membership, but you will not have access to any of the interactive features that make this rower so popular. Without a membership, the Ergatta reverts to a standard WaterRower. You will have access to the same metrics that you’ll find on the WaterRower S4, allowing you to monitor your distance, time, and strokes per minute.

There is no membership option with the WaterRower classic. 

Winner: Tie

Ergatta vs WaterRower: Price

The Ergatta Rowing machines retail on the official website for $2499.

You will need to pay an additional $29 per month to subscribe to the Ergatta app.

The WaterRower Classic sells for $1599.

Winner: WaterRower

Ergatta vs WaterRower: Warranty

The warranty conditions on the Ergatta are:

  • Structural Frame & Upright Storage Kit: Five Years
  • Components, Screen, & Other Electronics: Three Years
  • Labor: Twelve Months

The WaterRower comes with the following warranty:

  • Frame: Five Years
  • Parts: 3 Years

Winner: Ergatta

Comparison Table

Console17.3” HD5”
Max User Weight500 lbs500 lbs
Warranty5 yrs Frame3 yrs Parts1 yr Labor5 yrs Frame1 yr Parts1 yr Labor
Subscription Monthly Cost    $29  n/a

Ergatta vs WaterRower: The Winner

The Ergatta rowing machine is an enhanced version of the WaterRower. You get all the hardware with the extra gaming features that the Ergatta company throws in with the streaming platform and 17-inch monitor. Those features effectively banish workout boredom so that you’ll look forward to your workouts, burning calories without even knowing you’re doing it.

Winner: Ergatta


Are Ergatta and WaterRower the same?

No, Ergatta and water rower are not the same. However, the hardware on both machines is manufactured by the same company; WaterRower. The Ergatta is essentially the Oxbridge model of the WaterRower with a 17.3-inch monitor, and streaming technology built in to provide gamified rowing capabilities.

Does WaterRower make Ergatta?

WaterRower manufactures the actual rowing machine. Ergatta then adds the monitor and technology to turn it into an interactive gamified streaming home gym marvel. 

Key Takeaways

The WaterRower Classic and the Ergatta are essentially the same machines, apart from the streaming features of the Ergatta. That is, however, a big difference. 

If you are wanting an immersive experience that puts the fun into fitness, then the Ergatta is the machine for you. Its range of gamified content is unrivaled. However, you won’t find on-the-water or in-studio instructor-led workouts. If that’s what you’re after, check out our Hydrow review.

If you’re not into gaming and prefer a basic, rowing workout that feels (and sounds) as if you’re rowing on the water, then the WaterRower classic will be a perfect fit for you. 

Steve Theunissen


Steve Theunissen is a freelance writer living in Tauranga, New Zealand. He is a former gym owner, personal trainer, and school teacher and is the author of six hardcopy books and more than a hundred ebooks on the topics of bodybuilding, fitness, and fat loss. Steve also writes history books with a focus on the history of warfare. He is married and has two daughters.