Without a shadow of a doubt, the best rowing experience comes through water rowing machines. This is because they mimic the feeling of rowing a boat to near perfection. This is achieved with their water-filled flywheels, as the mechanics of the flywheel spinning in the water make you feel like you’re in a body of water rowing.
It not only has that but the water also works as the resistance system, meaning there is no need for extra resistance. They work on the premise that the harder you pull, the greater the resistance will be. Now, there are not a ton of these types of rowing machines available, but I have managed to find five of the best!
WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine
Kicking off this list is the most gorgeous rowing machine I have ever seen. The WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine is handcrafted with ash wood and stained with beautiful honey oak.
Don’t think that the wood was chosen strictly for design, though. It’s actually a perfect vibration and sound absorber and it ensures that your workout is extremely peaceful. This fantastic rowing machine is also built for comfort. It features one of the most comfortable seats you will ever sit on, as well as rock hard footrests and easily adjustable foot straps.
There is one more aspect that really makes this rowing machine elite: the technology. It comes equipped with a Series 4 performance monitor that displays all of the goods: your duration, time, heart rate, stroke rate, zone bar, and workout intensity. You can also get an optional heart rate chest strap that is compatible with the monitor.
First Degree Fitness Newport AR Rower
I am just going to say it now, water rowing machines tend to be one of the most expensive types to purchase. However, one of the higher quality, cheaper water models that you will find is the First Degree Fitness Newport AR Rower. It delivers the perfect resistance, just like all the other water rowers, with an absolutely gorgeous exterior. Constructed from an aluminum red finish, it’s one of the best-designed rowing machines out there. However, it’s also great in performance.
The overall gliding motion is incredibly smooth and there is absolutely no jerking during the catch. Adjusting the water tank for your intended resistance is also incredibly easy and can be done so from the inner tank to the outer. It’s also worth mentioning that for a cheaper machine, it has an impressive user weight limit of 300 pounds. To be honest, the only aspect truly lacking on this machine is the technology. It’s not as advanced as some of the more expensive models, but I would highly recommend it.
Runner-Up 1: WaterRower GX Home
WaterRower is certainly one of the leading companies in the world of water rowing machines. Their GX Home model may just be their best. The integrated digital computer is actually designed with the ShockWave group in mind. You can track your total distance, calories burned, time, stroke rate, speed, and intensity. When you’re not using it, you can also store it upright (just make sure to not overfill the tank because then it will leak).
What mostly separates WaterRower models apart is how they build their rowing machines. Much like the WaterRower Natural model previously mentioned, this model is constructed with Verified Sustainable Hardwood straight from forests in the Appalachian Mountains. Also, one of the key reasons I prefer this version over the WaterRower Natural model is the way the railing is constructed. The seat runs on a central rail, while the Natural model runs on two plastic-covered tracks. Overall, it’s much more compact.
Runner-Up 2: HCI Fitness RX-750 ProRower
The HCI Fitness RX-750 ProRower Home Series water rowing machine is another model that is a little less advanced but is cheaper in price. It actually employs a very innovative Hydro-Power drive system. This system offers one of the best rowing experiences you will ever have, as well as having an extremely smooth ride. Speaking of smoothness, you will find the pivoting footrests very simple to adjust.
You will also find out that comfort is not an issue, as the rowing seat and handgrips are very well padded. If there is one thing I have learned with rowing machines, it’s that the cheaper ones tend to skimp out on the digital computer. This model is no different as the display model is very basic showing you strokes per minute, distance, 500-split time, heart rate and calories burned. However, although it’s not as advanced as some of the others, it will still satisfy you as long as you are not expecting extra features.
Runner-Up 3: WaterRower M1 HiRise
I have seen a lot of rowing machines and I don’t think there is one that is built as good as the WaterRower M1 HiRise. First off, it is made from coated, durable steel that is rust-resistant. You will also rarely ever have to clean or oil it due to its thick nylon pulling strap, an enclosed tank that prevents dust, and pulley-free bungee cord. The seat is also one of my favorite features as it is 20 inches up in the air (this makes it easier to get on and off the seat).
Dual rails with four corner wheels have also been built into this machine and they increase the seat stability. To prove to you how durable this beast is, it weighs in at a staggering 200 pounds and can hold up to an astonishing 1000 pounds. The S4 monitor, as I previously detailed, is also integrated. As great as this machine is, I only recommend it for serious fitness enthusiasts. I say this because of the outrageous price and I can only assume that you are not willing to pay an arm and a leg for it.
Water rowing machines may be the most exceptional fitness machines in the world. To me, anyway, they are! I promise you, you will be happy with any five of these excellent water rowers!