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Solid cherrywood, water flywheel rowing machine with Series 4 monitor

If you want your rowing machine to mimic real rowing on a lake (or other body of water), the WaterRower Oxbridge rowing machine provides not only quiet and smooth rowing very similar to actual rowing, but it also comes with a Series 4 monitor (S4) and beautiful, solid construction. This review will describe how the rower works, what kind of data the monitor gives, and what you can expect when you use the rower.

Flywheel in enclosed water tank

The Oxbridge is powered by you and as you row, the resistance increases. This is because of the rower’s design. A flywheel with two paddles sits within an enclosed water tank. There are no moving parts that wear down with frequent use, so the water tank/flywheel system is completely self-regulating. The result is a quiet, silky smooth experience that air, hydraulic, or magnetic-resistance rowers can’t achieve.

Series 4 monitor (S4 Monitor)

Tracking your workout stats is important if you want to meet fitness goals and track your progress. This rowing machine comes with series 4 performance monitor that shows info like your strokes, heart rate, workout time, distance, and workout intensity. The machine also comes with an optional heart rate chest strap and receiver.

Solid cherry wood

The Oxbridge’s construction is a major part of its appeal. It’s handcrafted from solid cherry wood and coated in Danish oil. The cherry wood is even protected from light so its beauty is preserved until the machine is built. Unlike metal frames, the wood absorbs sound and vibration, making the WaterRower Oxbridge even quieter.



Rowing is a repetitive exercise where you’re seated, so it’s important that you feel comfortable. The Oxbridge’s seat is molded with heavy pads, so you don’t get sore, and the machine can hold up to 1,000 pounds. Four corner wheels help keep the user’s weight stabilized, so you always feel secure as you row.


Rowing machines can be loud. Air-resistance rowers have fans, and metal hitting metal can sometimes create noise, too. The wood absorbs sound, so even the quiet sloshing from the water in the tank (which many find soothing) is muted.

Easy to store

The WaterRower is kind of big, so it’s a pleasant surprise that it’s actually easy to store. The water flywheel is close to the wheels, so when you fold it up into “storage mode,” it takes up the same space as your average wooden chair. It also comes with dual caster wheels so you can roll it around easily.


Monitor lacks advanced features

As is the case with some water rowers (they tend to prioritize construction and smooth movement), the monitor lacks some more advanced features. It doesn’t have preset workouts, games, or wireless capabilities so you can store your data or add the data of other users. However, the rower does track your heart rate, which many rowers don’t, and has all the necessary info to keep tabs on your progress.


The other downside to the Oxbridge is that it’s expensive. Wooden water rowers tend to cost the most, but they do offer more durability, beauty, and natural rowing motion that metal rowers don’t.

Overall Review

Constructed out of cherrywood and designed with a flywheel in a water tank, the WaterRower Oxbridge rowing machine is an exceptionally smooth, comfy rowing machine. It comes with an electronic monitor complete with heart rate and has a max weight capacity of 1,000 pounds, which is way higher than most machines. If you want a natural rowing experience with a machine that will last for many years, consider the WaterRower Oxbridge rower.