Reviews of the best rowing machines

WaterRower Club Review

WaterRower rowing machines look and operate completely differently to every other rowing machine on the market today. They’ve been building their high-quality rowers for over 25 years and are one of the top two rowing machine manufacturers in the world. The WaterRower Club is a club-quality rowing machine that is also suitable for home use.

Type and Model

The WaterRower Club, like all WaterRowers, is a very attractive wooden-framed indoor rowing machine designed for commercial or heavy home use. The Club model is built using sustainably sourced ash hardwood and stained warm honey oak. With heavy use in mind, the frame is enhanced with extra-strong rosewood and specially designed signs of wear and tear. It is hand finished with Danish Oil and urethane to further enhance the appearance and to protect the wood.

For resistance, the Club is fitted with WaterRowers’ patented water flywheel system which consists of a set of paddles sealed inside a watertight drum. This provides a very realistic rowing action which is accompanied by a unique noise so that using the Club feel and sound like you are rowing on water.

The wooden frame and solid build mean that the Club is no lightweight. When the water tank is empty, the Club weighs in at 66.5 lbs. but this increases to 103.5 lb. when the water tank is full for use. The WaterRower Club is also quite big – length – 82.25”, width – 22.25”, height – 20” – which should be considered if you are buying a rower for home use.

Features and Functions

The Club is as well-equipped and loaded with features all the usual things you’d expect from WaterRower – the main difference between the models being the material used for frame construction. It’s most noteworthy feature, and what sets WaterRowers apart from every other rowing machine on the market, is the unique water flywheel resistance system. However, the Club also features:

  • Padded, dual-rail seat for comfortable, smooth rowing
  • Rated for users up to 1000 lbs. in weight
  • Drive strap in place of a chain which is quiet in use and very hardwearing
  • Adjustable, flexible footplates fitted with straps to hold your feet in position
  • Padded rowing handle for enhanced comfort and grip
  • Can be stood upright for easy storage
  • Initial 3-year frame warranty and a one-year parts warranty which can be extended to five years for the frame and three for the components with registration
  • S4 multifunctional performance monitor

The S4 performance monitor is one of the best onboard rowing computers around and has the ability to track workout intensity, stroke rate, heart rate, duration, target fitness zone, and distance. It can also display and track heart rate when used with a compatible heart rate chest strap. The S4 has been preprogrammed with several workouts and the user can program and save workouts too.

Price and Value

The WaterRower Club is among the most expensive rowing machines currently on the market but that is true of all WaterRowers. Designed to last a lifetime in even the busiest of commercial environments, the WaterRower Club represents good value for money if you expect to row frequently and consistently and want a machine that will function and look good for many years to come.

Final Thoughts on the WaterRower Club 

While a little on the expensive side, the WaterRower Club is an excellent choice if you are a rowing enthusiast and want one of the best rowing experiences money can buy. With its low seat, some users do report that getting on and off the rower is a bit of a struggle and those with big thighs may find the narrow footplate settings a problem. However, with those issues asides, the WaterRower Club is a great rowing machine.