WaterRower Club ReviewThe WaterRower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood is another fine addition to the already stunning WaterRower collection.

Like its other WaterRower siblings, it provides a realistic and ultra-smooth rowing motion that’s unmatched by any other and is as durable as a rowing machine can be.

It’s very similar to the ‘Natural’ rower, but the ‘Club’ is designed for heavy-duty use in commercial gyms and rehabilitation clinics.

The WaterRower Club also has additional features to withstand heavier usage such as styled black rails to prevent scuffing and a rosewood finish, which makes it more resistant to soiling. 

If you know anything about rowing machines you know that you can’t go wrong with WaterRower, but is this the right model for you?

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Table of Contents
(click a title to jump ahead!)

1. Resistance Type
2. Monitor/Control Panel
3. Build Quality
4. Comfort
5. Storage
6. Capacity
7. Dimensions
8. Assembly
9. Pros and Cons
10. Consumer Reviews
11. Warranty
12. Price

Resistance Type

The WaterRower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor is a water resistance rowing machine.

It uses a “water flywheel” or paddles suspended in a tank of water to provide resistance for the user.  When a rower pulls the handle on the Club rower, it causes the paddles in the water tank to spin.

For a more thorough explanation of water resistance rowers (in addition to the other resistance types), click here.

What makes water unique for providing resistance compared to a hydraulic piston and magnetic resistance unit is that the amount of resistance the user experiences on the rower depends on the level of intensity they’re rowing at.

This is discussed in the ‘rowing machine resistance types’ article linked above but just in case you didn’t read it (okay I’ll stop) here’s a brief example.

If you want to take it easy and row with low intensity, you won’t feel too much resistance. If you want a more intense workout, row with more intensity, and in return you will feel much more resistance.

Scientifically this is described as the ‘Rule of Cubes’ on the WaterRower website. The rule states that a doubling of the speed of the boat will require an eight-fold increase in resistance.

You may be asking, how does water resistance compare to air resistance? Well they are very similar but there are some key differences (generally speaking):

  • The WaterRower Club Rowing Machine uses water rather than air
  • Noise level is much less
  • Rowing motion is smoother

WaterRower Club Rowing Machine ReviewIn addition to determining your resistance based on your rowing intensity, you can further adjust the rowing experience by adding or subtracting water from the water tank.

The more water you add the “heavier” the rowing will feel (like rowing a boat with some passengers in the boat), the less water you have the “lighter” the rowing will feel (like rowing a boat by yourself).

The faint sound of the water splashing in the water tank is very soothing and adds to the rowing experience.  It’s also much quieter than you could imagine!

Users loved how quiet the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine is, especially when compared to an air resistance rowing machine.

A few users commented on how this is ideal for apartment residents because it’s so quiet.  Another user commented on how he loved this rower because he’s able to use it in the same room while his wife is sleeping.

A few others mentioned how they’re able to row while watching television with a regular volume level.

Overall there were really no complaints about this WaterRower’s resistance. Most people know that water resistance provides one of the strongest, smoothest rowing strokes on the market and the WaterRower brand delivers the best of these machines.

Monitor/Control Panel

The WaterRower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood comes with a S4 multifunctional performance monitor.

NOTE:  I reviewed the S4 monitor in a previous WaterRower review.  Here is an excerpt of the review:

It tracks workout intensity, stroke rate, heart rate, duration, target fitness zone, and distance.  In addition to program information, the S4 separates all the tracked information in separate “windows” that can all be seen on the “home screen” at the same time.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what’s presented on the monitor:

Intensity window:

  • Displays rowing speed in meters per second, miles per hour, minutes per 500 meters, and minutes per 2 kilometers
  • Also displays power and calories burnt per hour

Stroke rate window:

  • Displays number of strokes per minute

Heart rate window:

  • *Option is available when optional heart rate monitoring equipment (Cardio Sport ANT Digital) is used with the fitness monitor (not included)
  • Displays beats per minute

Target zone [bar] window:

  • Displays target zone readings for intensity, heart rate, and stroke rate

Duration window:

  • Displays time rowed in hours, minutes, seconds, and decimal seconds
  • Can also display time remaining in current workout (if a predetermined time for workout has been established)

Distance window:

  • Displays distance rowed in meters, miles, kilometers, or strokes
  • Can also display distance remaining in current workout (if a predetermined distance for workout has been established)

Program window:

  • This window is used to help the user navigate through the monitor’s advanced functions

There are 9 buttons on the monitor, 6 quick select (short cut) buttons and 3 navigation buttons.  It’s powered by 4 AA batteries (included) and it’s not backlit so you will need some light to view the monitor while you’re working out.

You can link the S4 monitor to your computer (required monitor cable not included) to use in conjunction with other computer software to train, race, and to upload your fitness data to analyze your workouts.  Popular S4 computer software includes We-Row (WaterRower’s own software), NetAthlon, UltraCoach, and Rowyo.

By reading all the options and knowing there are 9 different buttons, you would think this monitor would be difficult to use but based on user comments and personal experience, it’s not difficult to use at all.

A few users commented that the S4 monitor isn’t as advanced as other high-end rowing machine performance monitors, but still thought that the fitness monitor was more than enough for their needs.

As mentioned above, there are plenty of functions the monitor can handle and unless you’re a professional athlete that needs advanced fitness monitoring, the S4 monitor will suit everyone else just fine.

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Build Quality

The WaterRower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood is solidly built rower just like all the other WaterRower models.  However, this model is commercial-grade and is specifically built to take a pounding from heavier usage at commercial gyms and other high traffic areas.

It’s hand crafted in solid ash, stained, and hand finished with Danish oil and urethane for protection.  In addition, the styling on the dual black rails is designed to prevent scuffing.WaterRower Club Rowing Machine Review

The frame is extremely durable and rock solid.  Don’t let the look of wood fool you!

I rowed on a WaterRower for the first time not too long ago and it completely surprised me how durable and sturdy the entire machine felt.  I pulled as hard as I could possibly pull on the handle and the rower did not flinch one bit thanks to the solid build and low center of gravity.

The water tank is made of one of the strongest plastics on earth (polycarbonate), which is virtually indestructible so there’s no need to worry about it breaking on you.  Only minor maintenance is needed to keep the water looking clear by dropping chlorine tablets in the water (included).

The wood design of the rower was specifically chosen to absorb sound and vibration so you don’t hear much noise from the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine other than sounds you would expect to hear such as the wheels on the seat gliding up the rails and the faint sound of the water splashing.

No users commented on hearing any annoying creaking or other miscellaneous sounds often heard on cheaper machines.

Overall, it’s a machine that is built to last and requires very little maintenance. You can’t ask for a better combination!

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The seat is ergonomically designed and comes with sufficient padding that makes rowing for extensive periods of time still comfortable.  The seat has 8 bearings in total giving the seat great stability.

Users commented on how comfortable the seat is, one in particular mentioned the seat was “perfect” because it isn’t too hard or too soft.

WaterRower Club ComfortThe WaterRower Club’s handle is oblong shaped and covered in soft material making it easy and comfortable to grip while rowing.

Overall, users thought the handle was comfortable, especially when compared to other high-end rowing machines’ handles because they feel “too plasticky”.

The heel rests hold your heels firmly and the footboards can be adjusted in a matter of seconds to accommodate users with different shoe sizes.  Nylon straps are used to secure users’ feet when they row.  The footrests don’t pivot, but your feet are still able to move naturally as you row.  Overall, the footrests are comfortable.

The fluid rowing motion on the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine is one its biggest selling points.  The seat glides up and down the dual rails and the spragg clutch prevents any jerkiness from happening. When the stroke is performed the rower can enjoy a truly smooth and fluid rowing motion.

The faint sound of the water splashing in the water tank adds another dimension to the realistic rowing machine.

One user mentioned he hasn’t been in a crew boat for years, but reminisces about the times he was in the water every time he rows on his WaterRower Club Rowing Machine.  That speaks volumes about how realistic the rowing motion of a WaterRower really is!

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WaterRower Club Rowing Machine StorageThe WaterRower Club Rowing Machine has a fairly large footprint when in use, but to store all you have to do is stand it upright.

When in storage mode, it takes up as much floor space as a kitchen stool, which is great for conserving floor space.

Although the unit is fairly heavy, it takes very little effort to stand it up on its base because of its clever design (I can do this one-handed effortlessly – it really is that easy).

It comes with dual caster wheels to help move the rower when needed.

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According to Amazon, the maximum weight capacity of the rower is 1,000 pounds (454 kg).  I also confirmed with the manufacturer that Amazon has it listed correctly at 1,000 pounds (454 kg).

WaterRower Club Rowing Machine ReviewThe machine has a fairly long seat track, which makes it ideal for taller rowers, especially those with fairly long legs.  Rowers as tall as 6’4” (195 cm) have used the WaterRower without any issues and even had a few inches to spare.

I’ve seen elementary school children use this rower without any issues so you shouldn’t be concerned about being too short to use the Club rower.

If you’re taller than 6’4” (195 cm), I recommend that you visit a local fitness equipment retailer to try out the machine before you buy it – just to make sure you can use the Club rower without any issues.

If you’re just “barely” taller than 6’4” (195 cm), I honestly think you will be okay, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Other than that the capacity is pretty wide open for the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine.

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  • In-Use:
    • 84.0″ x 21.0″ x 22.0″ (213 cm x 53 cm x 56 cm) (Lx W x H)
  • Storage/ Upright:
    • 22.0″ x 21.0″ x 84.0″ (56 cm x 53 cm x 213 cm) (L x W x H)
    • About the size of a dining room chair
  • Weight:
    • 117 pounds (53 kg) (full water tank)
    • 73 pounds [33 kg] (empty water tank)

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Assembly of the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine appears to be fairly simple, even for people not used to putting things together.  Several user comments were able to confirm this.

I looked at the assembly instructions and they are detailed and easy to follow, accompanied with detailed pictures.

According to WaterRower, assembly should take no more than 30 minutes and everything can be assembled by using the provided allen wrench.

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Pros and Cons


  • Commercial-grade
  • Solidly built
  • Smooth and realistic rowing motion
  • Nice Ash wood with Danish oil and urethane finish
  • Easy to assemble
  • Dual caster wheels
  • Easy “upright” storage
  • Comfortable seat
  • Comfortable handle
  • Variable resistance adjustment determined by rowing intensity
  • Can further adjust rowing experience by adding/ subtracting water from the water tank
  • Can link S4 monitor to computer to race others, train, and upload workout data for further analysis


  • Performance monitor lacking advanced features
  • Higher price range

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Consumer Reviews

Users love the smooth and realistic rowing motion of the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor.  Many owners say the Club rower reminds them of actually rowing on water!

They love how durable it feels and how surprisingly quiet the rower is. It also provides a very strong and smooth resistance without any jerkiness.

Check out more WaterRower Club Rowing Machine Review.

Average Rating: 4.8

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  •  Frame: 5 year warranty*
  • Parts: 3 year warranty*

*Requires completion of registration form.  Otherwise, warranty is 1 year.

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WaterRower Club Rowing Machine Price

The price of the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor varies depending on where you buy it but Amazon tends to have the lowest price around!

Please leave a comment with any questions and I hope you enjoyed my WaterRower Club Rowing Machine review. Happy rowing!

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