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Hydrow vs Hydrow Wave: How Does the New Model Compare?

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Hydrow vs Hydrow Wave featured image

With the arrival of the Hydrow Wave on the market in July 2022, rowers were introduced to a cheaper, more compact version of the popular Hydrow rowing machine

Since its introduction in 2017, the Hydrow has established a reputation for providing the premier integrated technology rowing experience of any rowing machine on the market. 

Along with the praise that was heaped upon the Hydrow was the complaint that it was too expensive and too bulky. The Hydrow team was listening and their response was the Hydrow Wave. 

In this article, we will put the Hydrow vs Hydrow Wave head-to-head to help you decide which represents the best investment for you. 

Hydrow Wave
Hydrow Wave
  • Light and movable
  • Compact design
  • Sleek, futuristic design
Hydrow
Hydrow
  • Immersive fitness experience
  • 3,000+ workouts
  • World-class instructors

The Original Hydrow

Hydrow Rower
Hydrow Rower
Hydrow Rower
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The Hydrow rowing machine aims to provide the ‘feel of the river’ whilst working out from the comfort of your home. The state of the art rower offers a truly immersive rowing experience. But is it really worth the money? Keep reading for everything you need to know about the Hydrow rowing machine.

Here at Start Rowing we include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission.

Not long after its introduction, the Hydrow rowing machine was labeled the Peloton of rowers. That’s because of its large HD touchscreen, intuitive software, and live, on-the-water workouts. 

The Hydrow comes with a 22-inch, 1920 x 1080 full HD touchscreen, complete with an inbuilt sound system. All of the workouts are filmed on the water, including on some of the most iconic waterways around the world. 

There are more than four thousand workouts available for all rowing levels, with new ones being added each week. You can also choose from such rowing types as HIIT, endurance, and cardio. To access the workout videos and live rowing classes, however, you need to subscribe and pay a monthly fee of $38.

Hydrow Rower

The Hydrow hardware is as impressive as the software. The seat sits 16.5 inches off the floor, making it easy to get on and off. The Hydrow uses an electromagnetic resistance system that is computer controlled. That means that the machine will automatically adjust the level of resistance to ensure that you are experiencing the smoothest rowing stroke possible. 

You will notice the difference that this computer-enhanced system makes the moment you start rowing. For one thing, you’ll experience no lag as you enter the catch position. This is a problem with many rowers.

The seat slides silently and effortlessly thanks to a whopping ten rollers that connect it to the beam. This ensures that your movement up and down the beam is frictionless. The foot pedals are far enough apart to provide a solid base and ensure that there is no lateral movement.

The Hydrow is a heavy rower, weighing 145 pounds. The max user weight is 375 pounds. 

Check all offers for the Hydrow on hydrow.com.

Read our full in-depth Hydrow review.

Hydrow Highlights

  • Sleek, futuristic design
  • Superb screen quality
  • Access to more than 1000 videos and live on-the-water workouts
  • Ideal for taller rowers (up to 6’6”)
  • Whisper quiet
  • Heart rate monitor included

The Hydrow Wave

Hydrow Wave Rower
Hydrow Wave Rower
Hydrow Wave Rower
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The Hydrow Wave is the second model in the Hydrow rowing machine stable. It’s more compact, and a thousand dollars cheaper yet retains the sturdiness and sleek performance of the original. The Wave features a 16-inch touchscreen, a polycarbonate frame that doesn’t vibrate, and access to awesome workouts featuring on-the-water video coaches.

The all-new Hydro Wave is a smaller, lighter, and cheaper version of the original Hydrow rowing machine.

The Hydrow Wave is 30 percent smaller than the Hydrow, allowing for easier transport and storage. In fact, you can store the Hydrow wave in an upright position with the aid of a vertical anchor (which you’ll have to buy separately).

The footprint of the original Hydrow is 86 inches long, 25 inches wide, and 47 inches tall. 

That compares with the Wave’s dimensions of 80 inches long, 19 inches wide, and 43 inches tall.

A very tangible benefit of the smaller weight is that the Hydrow Wave can be shipped to the end user via UPS. That means that you don’t need to be home to sign for it. 

Whereas the original Hydrow is made of steel, the Wave is constructed from black polycarbonate. While not being quite as strong as steel, it still makes for a very rugged rowing machine. It also makes the rower a lot lighter. The Hydrow Wave weighs in at just 102 pounds. That’s 40 pounds lighter than the original machine. 

The Wave still supports the same max user weight of 375 pounds, which I found especially impressive considering its lighter weight and smaller dimensions.

The Hydrow Wave rowing machine

The Hydrow has a similar contemporary design to the original machine. Its sleek lines and unique form make it an attractive addition to any room. 

The HD touchscreen on the Hydrow Wave measures 16 inches. That’s six inches smaller than the Hydrow. Apart from that, though, there is no difference on screen. You get the same brilliant visuals and the same access to thousands of on-the-water workouts. 

The monitor on the Hydrow Wave does not swivel to the left or right. That makes it quite tricky to see the screen if you are trying to follow along with off-the-seat workouts, which are also included in your subscription. 

The biggest difference between the Hydrow and the Hydrow Wave is the price. The original machine sells for $2495. That compares to $1495 for the Hydrow Wave. 

Check all offers for the Hydrow Wave on hydrow.com.

Read our full in-depth Hydrow Wave review.

Hydrow Wave Highlights

  • Sleek, futuristic design
  • Superb screen quality
  • Access to more than 1000 videos and live on-the-water workouts
  • Compact design
  • Whisper quiet
  • Light and movable

Differences Between The Hydrow And Hydrow Wave

So, let’s recap the differences between the Hydrow and Hydrow Wave:

  1. The Hydrow has a steel frame whereas the Hydrow Wave is made from polycarbonate.
  2. The Hydrow Wave is 40 pounds lighter than the Hydrow.
  3. The Hydrow wave is 30% smaller than the Hydrow.
  4. The screen on the Hydrow Wave is six inches smaller than on the Hydrow
  5. The monitor on the Hydrow Wave does not swivel to the left or right. 
  6. The Hydrow costs $2495 with the Hydrow Wave costing $1495

Comparison Chart

HydrowHydrow Wave
FrameSteelPolycarbonate
Screen size22 inches16 inches
Monitor SwivelYesNo
Dimensions86” x 25” x 47”80” x 19” x 43”
Weight145 lbs102 lbs
Max user weight375 lbs375 lbs
Price$2495$1495

The Verdict

As you can see when you look at the highlights of the two machines, the Hydrow Wave doesn’t lose out on much for its thousand-dollar price reduction. The screen is smaller and it doesn’t swivel to the sides. If you’re a taller person, the original Hydrow will be better suited to you. 

Apart from those few things, the Hydrow Wave delivers just as much as the original while saving you a lot of money. That makes it a great investment and our choice to beat out the Hydrow for all but the tallest of rowers. 

Hydrow Wave
Hydrow Wave
  • Light and movable
  • Compact design
  • Sleek, futuristic design
Hydrow
Hydrow
  • Immersive fitness experience
  • 3,000+ workouts
  • World-class instructors
Steve Theunissen

AUTHOR

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.