Probably the best water rowing machine on the market, the WaterRower Natural is a bird of another feather. Its unique and unprecedented design commands attention, and its performance is unmatched.
Constructed in solid ash wood, stained honey oak, with Danish oil finish, the frame is absorbing most of the noise and vibration during rowing. Parallel to providing for the elegant and dashing exterior, the handcrafted wooden frame helps performance as well.
The patented flywheel mechanism has been specifically designed to emulate the dynamics of natural rowing, with a self-regulating resistance system that provides a smooth and quiet workout.
Equipped with a premium quality performance monitor, the data you’ll get is super accurate. Tracking time, distance, strokes per minute, intensity and heart rate the S4 performance monitor offers numerable programming windows as well.
WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor review
The WaterRower Natural is my favorite Santa-I’ve-been-a-good-boy, top of the list rowing machine. And it’s easy to see why.
The name befits it well, describing, accurately, the most natural rowing experience I’ve ever tried on an indoor rower. While it doesn’t offer artificial and adjustable resistance (suitable for augmented professional training), it resembles the actual rowing stroke. Same as on water, the resistance increases parallel to your energy output – the faster your row, the more difficult it becomes.
The company, as I did my research, is among the very first to patent this flywheel model, and a pioneer in designing a water-based resistance ergometer.
The design is so unprecedented that it’s been put on display at the Design Museum of London – the only piece of sports equipment that managed to get there. It earned numerous awards, and I’d say it again – it’s easy to see why.
I love the finish, the natural look, the color of the wood and the captivating contrast with all of the black elements, as well as the transparent water tank.
Before trying the WaterRower I was under the impression that the wooden construction was for show only. In my mind, I expected to witness a less balanced and more wobbly experience. Wood, after all, is inferior to steel and metal, right?
Wrong! The ash wood and stained honey oak are carefully selected, with a more important purpose than aesthetics only. They absorb both noise and vibration, making the stroke movement completely uninterrupted. The glide is smooth, frictionless, and noise-free.
The only noise you’ll hear is that of the water tank, but the sound, if I have to use a single word in order to describe it, is soothing.
The feet pedals are perfectly angled. They keep your feet in place with quality straps and nicely placed heel support. Both of them are adjustable. The rail is long enough to allow for extended range of motion, and the glide is super smooth.
When it comes to the seat and handle, they are both very comfortable, but I’d like the grip to be somewhat angled. Anyway, it has more than sufficient padding, so the pull shouldn’t affect your wrists in a negative way.
The eight ball-bearing mounted rolls, made of anti-abrasion polyurethane ensure a perfectly smooth, and super balanced glide.
The WaterRower Natural is super convenient
A super sturdy and durable machine, the WaterRower Natural can endure up to 1000 pounds of weight. It doesn’t vibrate, skid or slide and you won’t have to lubricate any moving parts whatsoever.
Unlike other brands and models where you definitely have to use a mat, the WaterRower comes with small legs attached and fixed underneath, that prevent the machine from skidding or sliding as you row.
The belt is extra durable and doesn’t require additional maintenance. Regardless of how aggressively you pull the handle (and I obviously want to try this with any machine rowing model), it perfectly distributes the force.
Storage is not a problem per say, since the machine can flip vertically and occupy a very small footprint. Besides, I’d love to put it on display anyway. If however, you are determined on storing it elsewhere, the attached wheels would make transporting the rower super easy. The water, of course, remains in the tank.
Advanced performance monitor
Marketing within its price range, the WaterRower Natural has to have a serious competitive edge in performance tracking as well. The S4 monitor, it seems, is a successful attempt.
It shows you all the necessary stats, and has a side placement for an unobstructed view. The numbers use an elegant and tall font, which is in perfect sync with the rest of the product design. It is, of course, easy to see from the far end of the rail.
User friendly, the S4 monitor has more than you’ll ever need when it comes to performance tracking.
You can connect it to your computer, or access the We-Row software which is free of charge. You’ll be able to compete against other WaterRower users, or set up your own private workout. Since some of the other WaterRower models are used in commercial clubs, you’ll have a rich database of competitors in order to test your metal.
The software also offers to store your data, for easy view and progress tracking.
WaterRower Natural features and specs:
- Constructed from solid ash wood, and stained honey oak
- Finished with Danish oil
- The wooden construction absorbs vibration and noise
- The perfect natural rowing simulation
- Patented flywheel water resistance
- Self-adjustable resistance
- Elegant and timeless award-winning design
- Vertical storage
- Transport wheels
- Comfortable 8-ball-bearing-wheels seat for a smooth glide
- Nicely padded handle
- Extra-long rail
- No need to lubricate moving parts
- Super durable belt
- S4 performance monitor with advanced features
- We-row software for competing against others and creating your personal workouts
- Compatible with a heart rate monitor strap
- 84 inches in length
- 21 inches in height
- 22 inches in width
- Wight – 117 pounds (with water)
- Weight capacity – up to 1000 pounds
- 1 year warranty on both frame and components
- Upgradable warranty to 5 years on the frame and 3 years on components with registration
If you have the money to spare, and like to experience a natural rowing stroke, I would strongly recommend the WaterRower Natural. It is everything a rowing enthusiast could ask for. The design of this model is stunning and decorative, and the built quality unmatched. Handcrafted to perfection, and built to last, the WaterRower will definitely endure the test of time. Combined with the S4 monitor and the We-Row software, this is a perfect indoor training rower.
Compared to the Concept2, it provides a more realistic simulation of the stroke, a noise-free experience, and much more attention to detail. The price is somewhat higher, but completely justified by the design alone.
If I had to choose a single model from the list, this is definitely my pick.