Top positive review
Perfect for an apartment and best cardio bang for your time buck.
Reviewed in the United States on January 7, 2019
I've always hated cardio. Running bored me and hurt my knees. I had a recumbent bicycle and put a lot of hours into it, but took a long time to burn calories and only worked a few muscles. At my gym, I discovered the rowing machine. The ones at the gym are a different brand (Concept2) and are typically used by professional rowers during off season. A rowing machine is very low impact (good on your joints) but works roughly 80% of your muscles and thus burns more calories. If you're going at a good pace, you can burn 500 calories in 30 minutes easily.
If you're looking for a great cardio workout, this waterrower is the way to go. If you're looking to get into competitive rowing and compare your times to others, this likely isn't the rower for you.
Here's why I went with the Waterrower for my apartment and have no regrets.
The Concept2 uses a fly wheel with a chain to pull it. When you're pulling a lot of power, the chain and flywheel can be super loud in a small environment. The waterrrower uses a watertank that displaces water as you pull it. The cable is nylon so the only sound you hear is the water swirling. It's almost calming. The noise is compared to a slow cycle of a washing machine.
The size of the Waterrower is smaller and easier to store upright. I have a smaller apartment, but can easily store it upright in the corner with no problems. It stands very stable and don't worry about it falling over if someone were to run into it.
It's really easy to take care of. Every 6 months, you need to put a purification tablet in the water and that's about it. You can wipe down the rails to make sure they slide easily.
I like the seat on this a lot better than the concept2. You can purchase extra cushy seats if you wanted.
One note, the product comes in two packages, one with the Tank, seat, monitor and another with the rails. For me, they came in two different shipments, with the rails coming a day later. Assembly was easy, easier than any Ikea furniture at least.
Filling the tank is simple with the siphon tool they give you. There are suggested levels on the tank: the more water you put in, the more resistance you'll get when you pull since there's more water to displace. DO NOT FILL THE TANK TO THE TOP as it can ruin the tank. Suggested level is 17.
The pull is pretty smooth, and gets easier as the water is displaced. This is different than the Concept2 which has a consistent resistance throughout the pull. Because of this, WaterRower tends to have better times when compared to a Concept 2.
The only place where the Waterrower is lacking is the monitor. It just doesn't have all the features of the Concept2 and the metrics pale in comparison. But for a cardio workout, the readings are consistent enough to determine if you're improving or not. Just don't go to a Concept2 rower expecting to pull the same times. As of right now, I pull a 7.8K in 30 minutes on the water rower, but more like 7.4K on a Concept2
So all in all, I love this machine. It looks good in my apartment and keeps me motivated to work out. Added benefit is I can put on some TV and can still hear it while rowing (and over my heavy breathing this causes).