WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine Review

by Gary Patterson | Last Updated: May 15, 2021

About WaterRower Rowing Machines

WaterRower is an American-made fitness brand that has been selling water resistance rowers since 1988.WaterRower uses Appalachian hardwood for their products, giving their pieces a unique and beautiful aesthetic.

WaterRower uses only the finest hardwoods and is verified sustainable, using ethically sourced materials when manufacturing their rowers.

WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine Review 

WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine Review

This WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine review found that all of the brand’s equipment is handmade in the New England town of Warren, Rhode Island. Considering WaterRower’s rowing machines are made of top-quality materials, you can spot their rowers in luxury hotels, health clubs, and boutique fitness studios worldwide. 

WaterRower has had notable mentions in fitness publications such as Top Fitness Magazine for their outstanding, luxurious rowing machines. With substantial features such as American Black Walnut wood and a FlyWheel mechanism, their rowers are manufactured to help you achieve effortless results

The WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine is a rower that provides an efficient form of exercise that’ll give you a full-body workout. The self-adjustable water resistance allows you to achieve the intensity you desire. This water rower is ideal if you’re working with a small space and need to store it afterward. When you’ve finished with your rowing, storage is made easy with its upright storing functionality.

This WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine review will give you more deets on the product’s quality, design, efficiency, and overall value to help you decide if this rowing machine is worth the hefty investment. Before diving deeper into this WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine review, let’s look at some pros and cons of the company and product.



Technical Specifications

In this section, this WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine review will share some technical specifications that you might want to know about the Classic Rowing Machine.

The dimensions of this water resistance rower are 82.25L x 22.25W x 20H in, while the total weight of the wooden rower is 66.5 lbs dry and 103.5 lbs with the recommended 17L of water. The material of this rower is American Black Walnut wood, topped with three coats of Danish Oil. The handle has a padded foam grip, and the seat is durable and ergonomic, providing additional comfort. 

The display is the S4 Performance Monitor, featuring time, stroke count, heart rate count, and speed and intensity of your workout. The type of workout you can achieve on this rower is a full-body workout with its self-adjustable water resistance. You can access workout videos through Ergatta and other compatible rowing apps.

This workout machine functions using a FlyWheel mechanism to deliver an effective workout that you can intensify to your standard. As for additional connections, this rower comes with a water tank, syphon pump, and water purification tablets. You’ll also receive a 1-year limited warranty and the option to upgrade to a 5-year frame warranty and 3-year parts and components warranty.

Resistance Type

The resistance type that the WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine uses is water resistance. This rower uses a unique WaterFlywheel design that uses a specific paddle, which helps accurately cup moving water. This WaterFlywheel also mimics the feeling of rowing on a moving boat.

WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine Rower Review

Like rowing on the water, water resistance allows you to control the level of resistance you’d like to endure. To put it simply, the faster you row, the more resistance you’ll face, leaving you in charge of the intensity of your workout. Plus, if you start to get tired, you can ease up, and the machine will work with you.

This WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine review found that the benefits of water resistance include instant resistance, no jerkiness, even strokes, and a smooth connection. The wooden structure of this rower absorbs any sound, making it a silent experience. One user shared, “[…] It is also a very attractive fitness device and easy to store out of the way. It is super quiet which would make it great for apartment dwellers. […].” Water resistance is suitable for anyone, regardless of age, sex, or fitness level. 


The WaterRower Classic Rower retails for $1,495 at the time of this WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine review. This rowing machine is surely not the most affordable one on the market, as there are definitely cheaper options out there. When it comes to quality, the wooden structure and FlyWheel mechanism add great value to this exercise machine.

Customers seem to be satisfied with this rower, regardless of the price point, as it has a total rating of 4.5 stars on Trustpilot. You can purchase the Classic Rowing Machine directly through the brand’s website at WaterRower.com. Some additional retailers that also sell this Classic Rowing Machine are Walmart, The Fitness Outlet, Fitness Zone, Amazon, Fitness Edge, and QVC.

When it comes down to making the payment, WaterRower offers a standard payment method through manual credit or debit; they don’t use third-party payment apps such as PayPal and Amazon Pay. Unfortunately, aren’t any payment plans available at the time of this WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine review.

Shipping & Assembly

For shipping your product, WaterRower charges a fee of $69.95 per wooden rowing machine. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, shipping is a tad delayed, and rowing machines are being shipped within 6 to 8 weeks. At the time of this WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine review, the company does ship internationally.

This WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine review discovered the brand uses ground shipping, and you will be given the choice of signature upon delivery during checkout. If you’d prefer expedited shipping, you’ll have to contact WaterRower for a quote and place your order via (800) 852-2210. You’ll also have the option to request any specific shipping instructions during the checkout process.

Your product will arrive partially disassembled in two or three different boxes. Since these pieces will arrive separately, the rower is going to need some assembly. Don’t worry, the assembly process shouldn’t take any more than 45 minutes. Your job is simple, you just have to assemble the main parts together! Plus, you can search for videos here to make things a little easier.

WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine Rower Review

We figured it was necessary to note this customer comment we stumbled upon on the WaterRower website, “[…] My only issue was during the assembly the feet rest part was very difficult to install, I had to put a lot of pressure to align the holes, other than that it’s a fantastic product, great workout. […].”


Once your rower is assembled, it’s time to fill up the tank with water using the hand syphon pump provided or a hose. Be sure to read the manual to see how much water is required; it’s crucial not to overfill your tank!

Design and Features

The Classic Rowing Machine is handmade and built with sustainable American Black Walnut wood from the Appalachians. This premium hardwood is designed for ultimate longevity and proportionate stability. In this section, this WaterRower Classic Rowing review will go over important details of the product, including the build quality, comfort, and capacity.

Build Quality

Since this rowing machine is built with an upright feature, it’s super convenient to store your house. The base of this rowing machine is a wooden frame and has a large water tank, making it quite a sturdy piece of machinery. The weight of this rower is just around  66.5 lbs, which isn’t horribly heavy. This WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine review can confirm that the build quality of this water rowing machine is well-made and durable.


WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine Rower Review

Comfort is key! It’s essential to invest in equipment that will support your body accordingly during your workouts. The result of rowing will leave your muscles feeling sore enough, so you really don’t need additional pain that a good machine could prevent. This Classic Rower has your back (quite literally), featuring a comfortable ergonomic seat, soft-touch foam handlebars, adjustable foot pedal straps for optimal comfort when crushing your workout.


This WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine review found that this rowing machine has a weight limit of over 900 lbs and is suitable for both men and women of all sizes. This rower also features an adjustable resistance level, ideal for users of all physical fitness levels. The faster you row, the harder you’ll go.

One customer on Trustpilot expressed how she was pleased with the capacity and the assembly process. Giovanna stated, “Great product, smooth ride, holds my weight. Easy to assemble. I look forward to using it!” 


WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine Rower Review

The display featured on the Classic Rowing Machine is an S4 Performance Monitor, a user-friendly monitor designed to help you stay on track of your progress. The S4 Performance Monitor conveniently displays the following:

We all know exercising can get tough, so having this information displayed to you during your workout can help inspire you to push further, encouraging you to excel on your rowing journey!

The S4 Performance Monitor on this rowing machine allows compatibility with several rowing apps, as well as the WaterRower Bluetooth ComModule. Additionally, the monitor is compatible with the Ergatta Interactive Touchscreen, which we will discuss further in the membership portion of this WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine review.


After purchasing a WaterRower rowing machine, you have the option to buy the Ergatta 17″ Interactive Touchscreen. This addition will immerse you into an interactive experience that’ll step up your traditional workouts. Ergatta’s digital rowing experience will help push you to endure your best performance! You can find out more about Ergatta here.

There are also digital apps available to help make your rowing workout more interactive and exciting. Some apps include CityRow Go, WaterRower Connect, SmartRow, and KinoMap. Some of these applications are only compatible with models that come with the S4 Performance Monitor with Bluetooth ComModule. For more specific info, click here.

If you’re wondering what the Bluetooth ComModule is, it’s an additional piece of hardware that you can purchase separately for $59.95. This WaterRower ComModule turns your S4 Monitor into a Bluetooth-enabled device, allowing you to connect to different apps and just overall enhance your rowing experience!


WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine Rower Review

The WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine is ideal for home workouts, featuring the option to store it upright. The product dimensions of this beautiful wooden rower are 82.25L x 22.25W x 20H in, and its stored dimensions are 20D x 22.25W x 82.25H in. and with a weight of 66.5 lbs empty, this rower isn’t too hard to maneuver on your own. 

This aesthetically pleasing design is perfect if you’re looking for a mobile exercise machine that doesn’t ruin the look of a room, allowing you to store it wherever you please. One customer agreed, stating it has a “[…] beautiful design aesthetic and the upright feature makes storage in an NYC-sized apartment doable. […].” 


When you purchase a rowing machine from WaterRower, you’ll have to pay a shipping fee that ranges from $69.95 to $124.95. As for warranty, you’ll automatically receive a one-year workmanship warranty that allows free repairs and replacements. Additionally, suppose you’d like to upgrade it to a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty on the structural frame of the rower and a 3-year warranty on all other components and parts. In that case, you’ll have to register your rower within the first year of purchase.

The company will want proof of purchase; therefore, all warranty claims must include the receipt you received with the product. Just so you’re aware in advance, the following aren’t covered under the WaterRower warranty:

  1. Touchscreen electronics, rechargeable batteries, and electronics accessories (will be covered for the first year)
  2. Improper assembly
  3. Overfilling the water tank
  4. Misuse, abuse, accidents, and wear and tear

To register your WaterRower warranty, click here.

If you’re not thrilled with your purchase, here’s WaterRower’s return policy, as stated on their website:

“For direct assistance with warranty or defective items, please contact WaterRower at 1 (800) 852 2210. We recommend items should be returned using a traceable carrier to ensure return delivery. Returned items should be packaged properly to protect against damages that may occur during transit. Please include your name and all pertinent information clearly stated on/within the box. As stated in our warranty, all items must be shipped back to WaterRower with freight prepaid.”

Final Thoughts

Based on the price, features, quality, and usability of this product, we think the WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine is of absolute premium quality! Although it’s a pricier option compared to other rowers out there, it definitely has a lot to offer. This rowing machine has many remarkable attributes, including its beautiful wooden structure, water resistance, high weight capacity, and S4 Performance Monitor to name a few.

Since being founded in 1988, this WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine review deems WaterRower a reputable American-made brand, offering a great contribution to the fitness industry with its sustainable practices. After reviewing a fair share of customer reviews, we’ve discovered most customers are pleased with WaterRower as an overall brand. Customers were specifically thrilled with the product assembly process, reliability of the brand, eye-capturing design, and high quality.

As for affordability, there are surely more budget-friendly rowing machines on the market that range under $1,000. Although the equipment is expensive, customers have reported that they’re happy they decided to invest in such great, effective rowing machinery. The WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine has many rave reviews on Trustpilot, allowing us to confirm that this rower serves its utmost purpose and leaves customers feeling satisfied with their purchase.

Another plus is that the warranty that NordicTrack provides with this rower is excellent and will allow you to feel reassured in your purchase. Customers have also reported wonderful experiences with the WaterRower customer service team, which we were pleased to find. One reviewer expressed, “Beautifully designed machine that is a pleasure to row on. Customer service is very responsive and the company stands by its product.”

On the other hand, the few cons that this WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine review discovered include the shipping fee, the non-foldable design, and of course, the pretty price tag.

This classic water rower is worth a try if you are prepared to invest in the price. Rowing is an efficient form of exercise, and this silent machine allows you to work as hard as you’d like, encouraging you to take things at your own pace. It also features a helpful monitor that can help you keep track of your progress and, therefore, perform to the best of your body’s ability

We found a review that gracefully ties our final thoughts together, “It is beautiful. It is quiet. It is a great workout. When on its end, it fits into the room and looks like a natural part of the decor. The team at WaterRower kept me up-to-date. Bonus: This is an exercise I can do indefinitely. I can go hard for a short time or pull steady for awhile depending upon the time I have available.”


Where can I purchase the WaterRower Classic Rower?

You can purchase the WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine on waterrower.com. Additional retailers include:

Is there a WaterRower Classic Rower discount?

There are no current discounts or promotions available for the Classic Rower at the time of this WaterRower Classic Rower review. 

WaterRower offers a rental program, allowing you to experience at-home fitness without committing to your own rower. Due to COVID-19, the company’s rental inventory is occupied until June 2021, but you can still sign up via their waiting list. For more information on WaterRower’s rental program, click here.

WaterRower also has a referral program that allows the opportunity to refer their products to someone you know. Once the referral recipient makes a purchase, you will receive an exclusive gift voucher from WaterRower! Here is the link to the referral program.

Does the WaterRower Classic Rower fold?

No, the WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine does not feature a folding mechanism. The rower has a wooden frame and can be stored upright if needed.

Can you lose belly fat on a rowing machine?

Sure, you can indeed lose belly fat on a rowing machine. Though it might not target the belly directly, rowing is a great activity to burn calories efficiently. Once your heart rate elevates and you’re burning those calories, you’ll begin to shed fat all over your body. 

Is rowing better for you than running?

Let’s get something straight, all types of exercise are efficient and good for your body, but you want an effective approach to building muscle, rowing does the job quite nicely. Rowing has been proven to activate more muscle groups than running, which is important because muscle activation helps decipher the effectiveness of a workout. Rowing supposedly activates nine muscle groups and works 85% of your body’s overall muscle. To work your musculature and tone your body, yes, rowing is a better option than running.

How to contact WaterRower?

To contact WaterRower for any additional inquiries that don’t relate to this WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine review, you can email them at [email protected] or call their team at (800) 852-2210. You can also leave their customer service team a message here.