Comparison between the Water Rower, First Degree Fitness and the cardiostrong Baltic Rower
Among our range of home fitness equipment, there are some particularly popular equipment. They are naturally classics like the elliptical trainer or the ergometer bike. Although in recent years another device has crept onto this list: rowing machines. It is rumored that Frank Underwood did his bit by training on a Water Rower in the House of Cards series. Although it may also be due to a growing awareness that rowing is the ideal full-body workout. In a row you apply 80% of your muscles and train strength and cardio at the same time. The fluid movement on a rowing machine also has a very low impact on the joints.
Anyone thinking of buying a rowing machine will find that they have to decide between various resistance systems. One of them is the water resistance system, in which with each stroke a paddle is activated inside the water tank. Which manufacturers use this system in their rowing machines? What are the most popular models on the market? What is the difference between a Water Rower and a First Degree Fitness rowing machine? Here we introduce you to water resistance rowing machines from three well-known manufacturers.
These are the advantages of a water resistance paddle
People who are an active member of a rowing club or those who paddle passionately on rivers and lakes in the summer months know this. Listening to the rustle of the water is extremely relaxing. Water resistance rowing machines provide exactly that pleasant sensation in home training. They resemble outdoor rowing as much as any other device. In addition, a good water tank rowing machine is simply beautiful and adds a special touch to any environment in your home.
In this type of oars, the resistance arises automatically. The higher the paddling force, the higher the resistance, exactly the same as when paddling in water. This way you can determine the intensity independently and during training, without having to make any adjustments on the training computer.
The truth is, it’s amazing how these paddles manage to convey the feeling of outdoor rowing training on a fitness machine. All the water is reduced to the water tank and despite this you get (almost) the same feeling.
Here are the best 15 Water Rowing Machines. Check here
Water Rower rowing machines
Water Rower is the ‘cornerstone’ in the field of water-resistant wooden rowing machines. Developed in 1988 by the rower John Duke in the USA, Water Rower GmbH has been present since 1994 in the German city of Nordhorn.
An advantage of the Water Rowers is the range of different woods: beech, ash, oak, cherry and walnut complete the assortment. By the way, the model in natural beech will only be found in Fitshop. So you can choose the paddle that best suits the decoration of your home. In addition to the natural variants, with the Shadow and the Clubsport Water Rower it also offers two oars in ash wood with dark stains. For those who would love to get a Water Rower, but the price is beyond their budget, the A1 is a great inexpensive entry-level option. It rolls on a single rail instead of the double rail, and dispenses with the connection to the PC and the possibility of pulse measurement.
In addition to the wooden rowing machines, the M1 and S1 are presented in the assortment as particularly stable aluminum and stainless steel oars for professional rowers and gyms.
In the patented water tank, an ergonomically shaped double paddle moves with each stroke. The resistance generated in this way is regular and without jerks.
Water Rower Accessories
Another plus point is the use of the free We-Row training software. If you connect your Water Rower with the PC through the appropriate port and cable, you will be able to compete online against other rowers or record your training data (Attention: the We-Row program cannot be used with the A1, as this model does not have PC port).
To complete the rowing machines, Water Rower offers a wide range of accessories. From water tints to laptop stands to the ergonomic cushion and soft grips. You will find everything you need to make the rowing experience comfortable and individualized. Among the most notable accessories, you will find the Smart Row. It is a replacement pulley whose electronics allow you to measure the length and force of each stroke and calculate the power independently by transmitting it wirelessly to your tablet or smartphone. State-of-the-art technology for top-notch paddles.
For all its appliances, Water Rower provides a 24-month warranty for both home and professional use (exception; A1).
Rowing machines from First Degree Fitness
Also the Australian manufacturer First Degree Fitness offers excellent water resistance paddles. The difference with the Water Rowers consists on the one hand in the technique. In addition to the resistance exerted by the pulling force, in the case of First Degree oars you will also have the option of adjusting a base resistance using the rotary knob on the water tank. This works by means of the patented two-chamber system (“Fluid” technology).
The tank is divided into an active chamber (exterior) and a passive chamber (interior). Depending on the resistance selected on the yellow regulator, the water flows from one chamber to another. Thus the amount of water in the active chamber also establishes the resistance by means of the triple paddle. Meanwhile the water in the passive chamber acts as a reserve. This system is very practical especially for beginners, who wish to start with low resistance. It is also suitable for family members who want to train with different intensities. Think that once the base resistance is adjusted, you have to do a couple of strokes so that the change is noticeable.
Finishes and special models
American ash is used for the wooden rowing machines. A nice detail is the curved wood element for the footrests and the cable, made from a single piece of wood. This touch is especially elegant and “round.” The seat is ergonomic and very soft, so you won’t need extra padding.
The Apollo and Viking wooden rowing benches complete the wide range of excellent stainless steel models for professionals and gyms. Upright, blue-tinted water tank paddles, like the E316, provide a refreshing touch. Another peculiarity in the First Degree assortment is the Fluid Upperbody ergometers. These are basically rowing machines for arms, which allow the training of the upper body in an upright or sitting position.
The accessories are somewhat less remarkable than in the case of Water Rower, but you have all the basics.
Also notable are the long warranties for certain components. For example, for the frame you will have a 5-year guarantee, or even up to 10 years in the case of professional appliances.
The Baltic Rower
Last but not least, we present you another rowing machine. Despite operating with water resistance, it is aesthetically totally different from the Water Rower and First Degree Fitness wooden paddles. This is the cardiostrong Baltic Rower. This rowing machine has a modern design, thanks to the color concept in black, silver and turquoise. The blue-tinted water tank provides a beautiful optical effect. This way you won’t have to tint the water additionally. The seat rolls silently down a rail, while the display is very easy to read. The paddles are made in such a way that there is no “dead center” when rowing. In addition, the Baltic Rower is a very economical alternative to water resistance oars. This makes it especially attractive to those new to training and looking for a modern, inexpensive beginner’s device.
Summary: Rowing Machine Comparison
All models offer a natural training feel, easy assembly and (except the E520 and E316) a simple folding mechanism. The seat rolls silently on the rails. Regardless of all this, each manufacturer and each model has its own advantages. When purchasing a water resistance rowing machine, you must decide which points are especially important to you.
Water Rower focuses on naturalness, especially when it comes to water resistance. Thus, only the individual stroke determines the intensity of the training. Great is the wide variety of wood types and accessories, as well as the free We-Row training software.
Base resistance can be adjusted on First Degree Fitness rowing machines. This setting may be of particular interest especially to beginners. It is also very practical for members of a family with different levels of training.
The Baltic Rower comes with a modern design and a great price. It is ideal for those who begin to train, and do not want or cannot invest as much in a rowing.
If you decide on a water resistance rowing machine, the rule of thumb is this. You have to have a good training feel in it.