Best Water Rowing Machines 2021 For A Cool Workout

Get In Shape While Having Fun With The Authentic Rowing Feel With These Top Water Rowing Machines

Exercises with the best rowing machines offer a great, full-body workout for beginners and experts alike. Whatever your current level of fitness, rowing can offer an effective and challenging home workout. Rowing machines with water resistance are some of the best on the market, and today we’re going to explore 10 of the best water resistance rowing machines out there!

Not only does it offer an effective full-body workout, but rowing exercise is a perfect option if you’re in need of a low-impact workout with a low risk of injury since it is not hard on the joints. There are a whole host of different home rowing machines on the market, but indoor rowers with water resistance are the perfect option if you’re looking for that authentic rowing experience.

The benefits of water resistance rowing machines are aplenty, but essentially, if you’re after a beautifully smooth and true-to-life feel, then a home water rowing machine might be just what you’re looking for. With infinite levels of resistance based on pull strength, an indoor rowing machine with water resistance is the obvious top choice for established or expert rowers.

Today we’re going to walk you through our top 10 choices of some of the best water rowing machines available, to help you make a wise investment that will cover all of your unique rowing needs. So without further ado, let’s dive right into our top picks and in-depth water rowing machine reviews!

Top 10 Water Rowing Machines:

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WaterRower Gronk M1

Coming in at first place on our top water resistance rower review is this stylish number by WaterRower and Gronk. When WaterRower and Gronk Fitness teamed up to create this limited edition and powerful rowing machine, the results were magnificent. If you’re on the hunt for a reliable, no-fuss water rowing machine of exceptional quality – look no further!


Established, reputable brand

WaterRower has been a top rowing machine manufacturer since 1988 and has become renowned for producing indoor rowers of exceptional quality ever since. This company really knows its stuff when it comes to indoor rowers with water resistance!

Easy to store

Due to their water tanks, rowing machines with water resistance are often more difficult to store and transport than rowers with magnetic resistance or air rowers, for example. The WaterRower Gronk can be stored upright – a useful feature if you’d like to keep your rowing machine in a small cupboard or another area with limited space.

Minimal maintenance

If you’re looking for a fuss-free home rowing machine to set up and use for years with minimal maintenance required, this may be just what you’re looking for. All that’s required to keep your WaterRower healthy is a purification tablet in the water tank every 6 months (this is available free of charge!)


May be unsuitable for taller users

With a 38” inseam, this rower may not offer a full range of motion for users over 6ft. There are many options out there with longer inseams that may be more suitable for taller users.

Interactivity and LED screen could be better

One user rightly pointed out that the display screen is fairly basic for a state-of-the-art home rowing machine and doesn’t have any option for WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity. This seems like a strange oversight on the part of WaterRower and Gronk.

A pricier option

The WaterRower has a slightly eye-watering price tag of $1905. This is perhaps not the ideal choice if you’re looking for affordability, however you do get what you pay for. The WaterRower is sleek, smart, high-quality and guaranteed to provide you with a great workout.

Life Fitness Row HX Trainer

Second on our list is this rustic and stylish Life Fitness water resistance rower. Its elegant design is an obvious pro here, and the wooden finish will make for a great, authentic rowing experience from the comfort of your own home.


Natural wood look

The stand-out feature that sets this water resistance rowing machine apart from the rest has got to be its sleek yet rustic natural wood finish. Why find a rower to ‘blend in’ with your space, when you can get your hands on one that is a feature in itself?

Adjustable resistance

Unlike many water rowing machines, the Life Fitness HX does feature manually adjustable resistance. With many home water rowers only offering adjustment based on your pull, this is a great option for those who prefer to control resistance manually, but still want that authentic rowing experience. It really is the best of both worlds!

Compact and easily moveable rowing machine

Similarly to our previous contender, this machine is easily stored upright and also features wheels for complete ease of movement!


Basic display screen

Considering the price point, this machine’s display screen could be much better. If you’re looking for stunning and large visuals, this probably isn’t the ideal option for you.

Only four resistance levels

As we mentioned previously, adjustable resistance is an unusual perk for an indoor water rowing machine, but with only four levels of resistance, the range could be a little better.

A slightly heavier option

Weighing in at 87lbs, this machine is a little heavier than many indoor rowing machines on the market.

First Degree Fitness Viking II

Despite being surprisingly heavy compared to other options on the market, the Viking II will make a striking centrepiece in any room! Whether you’re looking for an attractive home water rower or something for a small commercial gym, the Viking II is another great all-rounder.


Great warranty

The Viking II comes with an impressive 5-year warranty on its frame, 3-year warranty on non-wearing mechanical parts and 2-years on everything else. This generous warranty period only gives a good impression about the durability of this sturdy and well-constructed home water rowing machine!

Adjustable footplates

Constructed with a great ergonomic design and with all users in mind, the Viking II’s adjustable footplates are a lifesaver for particularly tall or short users. Easily adjust the footplates and straps for optimal comfort and foot placement at all times.

Ethically manufactured

The Viking II’s frame is ethically produced from solid American Ash to ensure the highest quality structure with added peace of mind.


Customer service could be better

According to its Amazon reviews, one or two users have received this home rowing machine with a faulty sensor. One user mentioned that although customer service was responsive to the matter, they have struggled to figure out a solution.

Much heavier than other models

The Viking II’s whopping 158.7lb weight makes the previously mentioned ‘heavy’ Life Fitness rower look like an ultra-lightweight option! On the bright side, its exceptionally heavy weight is perhaps down to its sturdy and reliable construction. This machine is certainly built to last, but if you’re looking for an easily moveable rower, this might be one to miss!

No adjustable resistance

This is fairly standard with water rowing exercise machines, but some users do prefer to control resistance using a dial, rather than simply having resistance based solely on pull strength.

WaterRower Ash

The calm and quiet WaterRower is absolutely ideal for beginners who are looking for a gentle cardio rowing workout, or for those of a heavier build. Though it isn’t always the most dependable option, the WaterRower Ash does have some obvious benefits.


A quiet option

Multiple users praised the noise level of this home rower. The WaterRower is a great choice if you enjoy the gentle sound of the water’s movement to accompany your workout, or even if you want to catch up on some TV or listen to your favorite podcast whilst getting your rowing exercise in!

Light shipping weight

The shipping weight of the WaterRower is an impressive 24lbs, meaning that minus water, this is an incredibly manoeuvrable indoor rowing machine and delivery shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.

Can carry up to 1000lbs

The weight capacity of up to 1000lbs is much greater than that of most rowing machines, making the WaterRower a perfect, accessible option for anyone looking to get into home rowing machine workouts!


Poor foot-holders

A few users mention that the foot-holders are not ideal for those with smaller feet (even making the machine impossible to use) and that the placement of the foot-holders, in general, is strange and uncomfortable. For a more secure workout with this machine, you should invest in one of the best shoes for rowing exercise.

Non-adjustable, low resistance

With non-adjustable resistance that does not increase to a high level with extra pull/water, this may not be ideal for those who are after a great strength-based water rower workout. This machine is perhaps better suited to individuals who are looking for a gentle cardio option.

Could be more reliable

There are too many reviews of this product stating faults for it to be a coincidence. Despite its obvious benefits, this might not be a great option if you’re unwilling to deal with potential returns or breakdown after a couple of years (or even less).

Mr Captain Rowing Machine

This home water rower’s striking design makes it a top choice for those who wish to make a statement with their exercise equipment! Its eye-catching vintage design combined with Bluetooth connectivity and ergonomic construction makes the Mr Captain rowing machine a great all-rounder for those who are after something a little different and one of the best water rowers under $1000.


Striking vintage oak design

If you’re looking for a beautiful wooden water rower for your home, the Mr Captain is bound to turn heads! Its vintage design really nails the authentic rowing boat feel and guarantees that this home rowing machine will be a feature in your room, rather than simply an exercise machine.

Ergonomic seat

The Mr Captain is made with comfort in mind, featuring an unusually plush-looking ergonomic seat, an active recoil system and height adjustable footplates.

Bluetooth compatible

This rowing machine features Bluetooth monitoring options, allowing you to set customized rowing exercise goals for a more effective workout experience.


Inaccurate distance tracking

This home water rowing machine appears to only track distance based on number of strokes, rather than by strength of stroke, meaning your workout tracking may not always be 100% accurate.

Foot straps may be unsuitable for large feet

One Amazon reviewer points out that the foot straps may not extend far enough for people with particularly large feet to ensure a comfortable and secure workout.

Small display screen

This rowing machine’s display screen is extremely small and is situated behind the footplates. Keeping an eye on your progress mid-workout may be a challenge!

Mr Rudolf Water Rowing Machine

The Mr. Rudolf is very similar to our previous option and is an equally great choice for users who’re looking to make a statement with their rowing machine! Its attractive oak design makes for a great addition to any room, and what’s more – this affordable water rowing machine is a great option for value, being one of the best rowers under $1000.


Customizable Bluetooth monitor

If you enjoy interactivity and accurate monitoring, the Mr Rudolf offers 3 modes to help you keep a track of your progress (manual, interval custom and target).

Great value for great quality

Despite having a significantly lower price point than many other rowing machines with water resistance, the Mr Rudolf indoor rower has an exceptional number of great Amazon reviews that are certainly a testament to its quality!

Easy to assemble

Most users agree that the Mr Rudolf rowing machine is not too difficult to assemble regardless of your DIY abilities, making this a great option if you’re looking for a fuss-free setup experience!


Maximum capacity of 320lbs

With a fairly low maximum weight capacity, this may not be the sturdiest or best rowing machine with water resistance for much taller and heavier users.

Poor monitor

Similarly to the Mr Captain, the monitor on this home rowing machine is described as being small and dim – it may be difficult to keep an eye on your statistics and progress mid-row.

Those with little experience with technology may struggle

The Mr Rudolf’s app and Bluetooth technology are great additional features, however, one user importantly states that the instructions leave a lot to be desired. If you’re a technology whizz, you may be ok. If not, you may struggle to get the monitor connected and working.

MARNUR Water Rowing Machine

The MARNUR Water Rowing Machine features a handy adjustable monitor and anti-slip foot pedals for the ultimate comfortable user experience. What’s more, its impressively low noise level makes it a clear contender if you’re after a relaxing and zen rowing workout experience.


Adjustable LCD monitor

The display screens of many rowing machines with water resistance tend to be quite poor, but this one is markedly better than many options. With adjustable positioning for ease of use and a larger 9-inch size, it’s super easy to keep an eye on your workout stats during your session.

Anti-slip foot pedals

This indoor water rowing machine features great anti-slip foot pedals to combat the common and annoying issue of feet slipping off the pedals. Foot stability is of utmost importance for intense rowing workouts, and the MARNUR certainly delivers on this front.

Very quiet

Reviews state that this machine is extremely quiet, making it a great option if you prefer a silent, meditative workout or enjoy listening to music or watching TV without distraction.


Limited resistance options

Although this machine’s resistance can be adjusted by changing the water level, one user states that the resistance cannot go very high, meaning this may not be the best option for those looking for a strength-based workout.

Poorly labelled instructions

Though most users seem to manage construction without too many hitches, one reviewer does mention that the instruction manual is mislabelled and a little confusing.

Weight capacity on the lower side

The MARNUR’s 300lb maximum weight capacity is higher than some, but nonetheless on the lower side compared to other options like the WaterRower home rowing machine.

HouseFit Water Rower

The HouseFit Water Rower is a bit of a hidden gem if you’re looking for affordable quality. With overwhelmingly positive reviews, this no-frills yet functional water rowing machine is perfect for beginners or those on a tighter budget since it’s one of the best affordable rowers.


Adjustable resistance

If you’re after the quiet smoothness of a water rowing machine workout combined with manually adjustable resistance, you’re in for a treat. Contrary to the majority of indoor rowers with water resistance, the HouseFit features a respectable 6-levels of manually adjustable resistance, which is what makes it one of the best water rowers under $500.

Large tablet holder

Easily slot your tablet or phone into the handy 10.2” tablet support and enjoy all your favorite entertainment whilst getting your daily rowing exercise in!

Easy assembly

According to its Amazon reviews, this product’s assembly is incredibly straightforward. It comprises of only 3 main parts that simply need slotting together and you’re all set and ready to go. One user even claimed to be set up in an impressive 20 minutes!


“Clunky” design

If you’re seeking a rowing machine that will double up as an attractive centerpiece, this may not be the best option for you. The HouseFit rower certainly puts function before form and isn’t the most attractive rowing machine on the market.

Simplistic LCD display

As with many other options we have discussed so far, the HouseFit’s LCD screen leaves a lot to be desired and is extremely small. Unless you have 20/20 vision, keeping an eye on your stats mid-row won’t be an easy feat.

Arrives in a large package

One user did mention that this water rower arrives in a very large box. However, this is because it is pretty much pre-assembled, which perhaps explains why this rowing machine is described as being very easy to put together. Nonetheless, receiving your indoor water rowing machine in a huge package may not be the most convenient option.

Sunny Health and Fitness Water Rowing Machine

With its extra-long slide rail making it ideal for taller users, the Sunny Health and Fitness rower is a great and affordable option for beginners. Having said that, some users do experience annoying leaks from the water tank over time, so if you’re looking for something long-term, this may be one to miss. You can enjoy a more comfortable and safer workout wearing good gloves for rowing machines.


Can track a good range of stats

Finally, a water rowing machine with a reasonably sized screen! And what’s more, this reasonably sized screen comes with a great range of stats, including all the basics and extras like ambient temperature and heart rate.

Mimics competitive rowing

With its 16 Hydro Blades, this Sunny Health rower can provide a smooth and authentic rowing experience.

Long slide rail

This home rower’s impressively long slide rail, with an inseam of 49 inches is absolutely ideal for taller users to ensure they get a full range of motion.


Low maximum user weight

With a fairly low maximum user weight of just 250lbs, this rowing machine is not accessible to heavier users, which is disappointing considering it accommodates for height so well with that extra-long slide rail!

Some users experience leaks

Possibly the biggest potential downfall of the Sunny Health indoor rower is that at least 3 Amazon reviewers mention experiencing leaks from the water tank after varied periods of time. Is it worth the risk for the lower price tag? Perhaps, but maybe not if you’re looking for a highly reliable and long-lasting option.

Large and heavy

Similarly to our previous contender, the Sunny Health rowing machine is pretty large and ‘clunky’, and not really a feature in itself. Sure, it can be stored upright, but if you’re after a non-imposing option to fit a small space, it might not be quite right for you.

MaxKare Water Rowing Machine

The MaxKare rowing machine with water resistance is a great contender for a fuss-free yet effective way of getting in your daily rowing workout. Designed with ergonomic features and handy transportation wheels, this is the perfect home water rower for beginners as it’s one of the best rowing machines under $500.


Large LCD monitor

Similarly to the Sunny Health monitor, the display is fairly large compared to most rowing machines with water resistance, so it should be easy enough to track your progress on the go.

Transportation wheels

Move your MaxKare home rowing machine around with ease using the convenient transportation wheels. As with most water rowers, the MaxKare can also be stored upright (with water removed).

Ergonomic design

Despite its lower price point, this indoor rower has been designed with comfort in mind, featuring a large, cushioned seat, stabilizers to avoid annoying rocking, adjustable footplates and even a bottle holder. For more stability, you can add a rowing machine mat, which will also protect your floor or carpet.


No adjustable resistance

The MaxKare does not allow for manual adjustment of resistance, so if this is something you prefer it might not be the choice for you. If manual adjustment is something you’d like, take a look at the HouseFit Water Rower.

Low maximum weight capacity

With a similar maximum weight capacity to the Sunny Health rower at 265lbs, this rower may not be sturdy enough to hold users of a larger stature.

Display could be of better quality

Despite the obvious benefit of having a slightly larger display screen, more than one user describes poor display quality and annoying beeping noises from the monitor in this water rowing machine’s reviews.

Rowing Machines With Water Resistance Buying Guide

We hope our top water resistance rowers review has sparked some ideas and left you feeling more informed about the variety of water rowers on the market, whatever your budget! We love each of the options included in this ranking, but the final choice really is down to you and your personal needs. Here are just a few things to consider when making your decision.

What is the noise level like?

Generally, water resistance rowing machines are fairly quiet, with only the noise of lapping water to accompany your workout. But of course, noise levels do vary, so if this is important to you be sure to check out the product reviews for a better insight.

Is adjustable resistance important to you?

Although many rowing machines with water resistance do not have adjustable resistance, some do, so if this is a feature you’d like it’s worth weighing up the options. In fact, a few of the rowers we have covered today feature great manually adjustable resistance! If you want to see some options with more adjustable levels and also affordable, check out the top air rowers for under $500.

Will the water rower be suitable for your height and weight?

The height and weight capacities on water rowers can vary immensely, from the Sunny Health rower, which is capped at a relatively conservative 250lbs, to the WaterRower that can carry pretty much any weight.

Final Verdict

All the rowing machines with water resistance that we have covered today have their own unique pros and cons, and we hope you can leave feeling a little more informed on the choices available.

If you’re looking for something top-of-the-range, why not treat yourself to the WaterRower Gronk M1, or if you’re after a balance of affordability and unique style, the Mr Captain’s striking oak design might be the ideal choice for you.
Whatever you opt for, we hope our top water resistance rowers review has been helpful in the decision-making process, and we’d love to hear how you get on with your new indoor rower!

Fitness Elan