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Extremely durable, effective rowing machine with a water flywheel and Series 4 performance monitor

The WaterRower Natural rowing machine is the closest you can get to rowing a boat other than actually rowing a boat. It uses a smooth, self-regulating water flywheel to generate resistance and tension, and monitors your workouts with Series 4 performance technology that measures heart rate, distance, and so on. This product review will describe these features in more detail and also bring up some problems that the WaterRower has.

Water flywheel design with two paddles

The WaterRower Natural works using a water tank and flywheel (which is inside the tank). The two paddles row in the enclosed water tank (it’s a tug-style), so there are no moving, mechanical parts that wear down. The faster you row, the more drag is created, so you more resistance.

Series 4 performance monitor (S4 monitor)

The WaterRower includes a very advanced electronic monitor to track all your stats. The Series 4 performance monitor shows intensity, strokes, workout time, distance, and heart rate, which many monitors do not do. You can also choose to use the included strap-on heart-rate monitor.

1,000-pound weight capacity

No matter what kind of shape you’re in, you can use this rower. Many rowers have a maximum capacity between 250-300 pounds, but with this one, the limit is 1,000 pounds. If you are clinically obese and have been trouble finding a workout you can do, this rower provides a low-impact, smooth source of exercise with difficulty determined by how fast you can row.



One of the major benefits of water rowers in particular is that they are so quiet. There are no mechanical parts or whooshing fan blades to worry about, so you can work out at any time of day or night without disturbing anyone. Even the wooden design plays a role in this: the ash and honey oak frame acts like a sponge to absorb noise.


Feeling stable in a rowing machine is very important. If you feel wobbly, you won’t be comfortable and rowing will be difficult and awkward. The WaterRower Natural rower has four corner wheels designed to stablize you and also reduce sweat build-up. You’ll be able to row comfortably for however long you want.


Rowers made from steel and aluminum aren’t the only durable rowers out there. The WaterRower Natural is made from oak and ash, which are hardwoods known for their longevity. Since there aren’t any moving parts to take care of, there is essentially no stress on the machine other than the pulling cord.



With it’s price tag, the WaterRower Natural is one of the more expensive rowers out there. Unless you’re a serious rower or need the weight capacity to be very high, you can get an equally effective workout on a more affordable model. However, the water-resistance technology is very effective and might be worth the expense for a lot of people, so think about your needs and goals before abandoning this one.

Overall Review

The WaterRower Natural rowing machine combines the natural, smooth-moving design of water-resistance tension with the technological advances of the Series 4 (S4) performance monitor. Calculate everything about your workouts from distance to heart rate while you enjoy a quiet and comfortable experience. As an upper-end rower, the WaterRower Natural provides superior durability and a 1,000-pound weight capacity.