At a slightly lower price, the First Degree Fitness Newport sits very close to some of the best rowing machines out there. It comes with a solid metal frame construction, and fluid resistance technology offering a unique feature of adjustable water resistance.
The tank is made out of a very tough polycarbonate shell, housing a triple-bladed stainless steel paddle. It provides smooth and consistent resistance, mimicking that of outdoor water rowing.
The handle is ergonomically designed in order to offer a better grip position, as is the seat, which is comfortable enough for completing lengthy sessions. The belt is durable and produces minimum sound, and together with the tank and rail they make a very smooth and quiet rowing experience.
When it comes to weight it is sturdy enough to endure up to 300 pounds, weighting 68 itself. A performance monitor is also included, measuring time, distance, split, strokes per minute, calories burned, interval training and optional heart rate.
First Degree Fitness Newport AR Water Rower review
A refreshing design change compared to the wooden-frame water rower, the First degree Fitness Newport looks dashing. The nicely enclosed tank is perfectly matched with the strong red frame, and the black color of the rail and seat. All in all, it looks like a commercial model and a premium grade rower.
Performance wise, it excels in so many respects. While it cannot outshine the Concept2, this is perhaps one of the best water rowers available on the market. The rail provides a smooth glide, and the belt complements it with an equally smooth and frictionless pull.
If water is your preferred type of resistance, this is the most affordable machine rower offering premium-grade rowing experience.
Adjustable water resistance
Branding their adjustable level of resistance and calling it fluid resistance technology is definitely a smart move. It got me intrigued the first time I heard about it, and I honestly thought it has to do with an organic self-adjustable level of resistance. The drag however, is consistent, providing a natural feel.
The feature allows you to manually adjust the level of drag, which is definitely a rare thing with water rowers. The tank can house from 9 up to 17 liters of water, and you’ll need purification capsules in order to maintain the clarity. I’ve read several reviews where people were adding bleach, no more than once per year. It’s better to ask the retailer though.
Satisfying stroke move
The machine itself is rather sturdy and doesn’t produce a sound no matter how aggressively you begin the stroke. It is constructed from aluminum, which makes it heavy and nicely balanced.
The Fitness Newport makes minimal noise, which is definitely a huge plus when compared to other models. The rail and seat provide a very smooth glide, and the tank and belt allow for a frictionless drive and recovery.
The handle is ergonomically designed, which is to say curved at an angle, in order to prevent wrist injuries, greatly alleviating the stress from your hands. The rail offers more than enough leg space, and therefore a satisfying range of motion regardless of your height.
The feet platforms are of decent quality, and you can adjust the level of tightness.
I’m a fan of the wooden frame water rower, but this is a very refreshing edition. It looks heavy, sturdy, yet sleek and elegant. The red and black contrast gives you an impression of a commercial water rower, and I found myself captivated by it.
First Degree Fitness Newport Dimensions:
- 9 inches in width
- 8 inches in length
- 1 inches in height
- Weight is 68 pounds
- Weight capacity is 300 pounds
I forgot to ask about the warranty though, and online browsing took me nowhere. You’ll have to call the retailer and ask for yourself, since it may vary from one outlet to another.
The performance monitor seems to be accurate (I’ve read many customer reviews prior to testing it myself), and it provides tons of data. I like that you can track split time and strokes per minute, and especially surprised to see the interval training feature – not something you’ll find in other brands or models.
Storage and placement
With an upside down storage option, you won’t even have to empty the tank. The Newport is convenient, designed to occupy a very small footprint.
Placing the rower for a workout, however, requires a mat. Without it, it can easily slide one millimeter at a time, possibly damaging your floor. If you have a slight OCD itch like I do, it will definitely drive you mad. So get something to put underneath – preferably a mat.
First Degree Fitness Newport Features:
- Sturdy aluminum frame
- Comfortable seat
- Premium quality rail for a smooth gliding experience
- Polycarbonate shell
- Triple-bladed stainless steel plate
- 9 to 17 liters or water resistance
- Manually adjustable water resistance
- Ergonomic handle
- Frictionless stroke movement
- High-quality belt
- Accurate and feature rich performance monitor
- Warranty included (call the retailer for more info)
Conclusion of the First Degree Fitness Newport AR water rower review
If you want to train with a water rower, and get a natural and smooth rowing experience, this is something that I’ll definitely recommend. Sturdy and quiet, the Newport is one of the best machine rowers you’ll ever find. It is comfortable, convenient, and feature rich, with a price that is definitely a bargain.