WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine with S4 Performance Monitor
Good rowing machine for home
I spend quite a lot of time rowing (and racing) on the water and using a Concept2 rowing machine (the benchmark model for rowers, and the one you'll see in most gyms, with a fan for resistance).
The waterrower is a good, complementary, machine for home. It looks great. It takes up relatively little space for a good-quality machine, and looks good standing up. I was really impressed by how solid and well-built it feels.
It didn't take me long to build (I know others have said it was difficult; I found it easy and intuitive - there's a video on YouTube).
When rowing, the feel is great - it's sharp at the catch (the start of the drive) - better than a Concept2 in fact - and I feel a good connection through to the end of the drive. The strap which connects the handle to the paddle feels a little soft and stretchy when driving, but it's not a bid deal, and in fact feels less jarring than a Concept2 set up can.
The monitor is less impressive: it doesn't seem very accurate (while keeping my stroke rate the same, the read out on the monitor varies widely), there seems to be a lag between the drive and the read out for the power of the stroke, and it doesn't display as much data simultaneously as a Concept2 monitor does.
So I think that the waterrower is best for long, endurance, pieces, and for maintaining fitness, but less good if you want to track your progress precisely during a piece of work or between pieces of work (I don't yet have a feel for whether it is consistent between workouts, but the read outs I've been getting don't seem very consistent).
I've not yet mastered the monitor, and it has more features than I've used.
For serious rowers, I don't think that this is a substitute for time on a Concept2, but it's a great complement to it.
As always, great service from John Lewis (and from Waterrower).
28 July 2013
Quality piece of kit - investment in your health for the long term
Bought this back in June, and still consider it a very worthwhile investment in my health and wellbeing. As a busy professional with a long commute and a young family, I could not go to the gym the 3 or 4 times a week needed to do it justice. Just not enough time. So, I had to look at equipment for the home. I thought a cheap rowing machine would have been a false economy, and so opted for the WaterRower Natural, which had great reviews in many online forums. This machine, whilst very expensive initially, has easily got more than ten years of life in it, given the simple but solid quality wood construction, and therefore in the long run it will 'pay for itself' - it's actually good value over time.
I've been using it frequently, about three times a week either early morning before work, or evening, and at the weekends, and it gives me a full body workout. Highly recommended if you need the convenience to exercise at home, need a decent workout, and are in it for the long haul.
After each workout, the rower can be neatly put away standing upright in a corner.
Also lots of online support and advice from WaterRower.
My few minor criticisms are :
- delivery took too long - more than three weeks but that's the supplier, not JL
- assembly slightly more difficult, the instructions could have been clearer, and one length of wood would not fit completely flush with another section (a few millimetres so no big deal), but I didn't want to go to the trouble of returning it
- the foot straps tend to loosen during the workout, unless you pull them very tight at the start.
But to conclude, I'm very happy and relieved I've found a great way to get regular exercise at any time of day or night.
18 November 2012
Modified Rapture (not rupture)
Although I have no previous experience of exercise machines,this appears
to be a quality product and I enjoy-indeed,look forward to-using it each morning.
Why,then,have I given it less than 5 stars ? It is because I had a LOT of
trouble assembling it ! I can appreciate that the manufacturer would not want
to discourage a potential buyer,but to say that the assembly "should take no
more than half an hour"is disingenuous - to say the least( in my case more
like half a day,and that with much cussing and swearing ).My recommendations
for assembly :-
1.It would be easier with two able-bodied people(one of whom should be a
2.Give yourself plenty of room
3.Leave ALL connections extremely loose until all the bolts are located in
their holes - then proceed to tighten everything up.
16 September 2012
Smooth and Stylish.
Had to return my first delivery due to a small flaw in the wood. Have received my replacement and happy to say am very pleased with the way it all fitted together easily, It's a dream to use, as smooth as being on the water, very tempting to just keep on rowing ! It fits nicely against the wall and looks very stylish. If I had to add one thing ,it would be a comfort strip on the heel grip to enable me to row barefoot.
09 September 2012
We've moved house - further from the gym - and thought that it would make more sense to have a rowing machine at home. I thought that I'd feel torn about giving up my gym membership but after only a week of having the rower I'd cancelled it. The WaterRower is easy to put together and super to use. The noise of the water is calming and so doing my prescribed distance is enjoyable. I have struggled to work out how to programme it - but then reading the instructions rather than relying on intuition may help! I work from home and so its easy to make the time to fit exercise into my day and am already seeing results. I highly recommend this piece of equipment; its comfortable, looks good and makes exercising a pleasure rather than a necessary evil. Praise indeed!
05 September 2012
perfect training aid
excellent build quality , smooth and functional , was easily put together ,instructions are clear and effective.
09 August 2012
We bought this rower as we wanted a rowing machine that was a quality piece of kit but did not look out of place in the home. We are not dissapointed.
As soon as you take it out of the box the quality is evident. When you have completed the task of putting the pieces of rower together, it looks fantastic in its natural wood. It does take a little longer than the indicated half hour in the instructions, but worth the effort.
In use it is clear that the product is a premium quality item. It is also very quiet. The sound of the water ads to the enjoyment.
12 June 2012
Great exercise experience
We chose the WaterRower because it was quiet and a pleasure to use. The design fits really well in the corner of our lounge, which means it gets used almost every day. The wood finish and compact vertical storage make it fit in nicely to its surroundings. For us this was a key issue, so that we could use it while watching TV.
My wife, who is not at all athletic, really likes it because you can sit down, it is low impact and gentle to use. I like it because rowing is a very good work out that you can easily do little and often. From a very low fitness level I have noticed a difference in a matter of days with just a few minutes a day.
I would recommend trying the WaterRower in the shop for yourself. I see it as an investment in our health and wellbeing.
01 May 2012