WaterRower Club Rowing Machine Review

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

Like the other WaterRower models, it provides an ultra-smooth rowing motion that mimics the feeling of rowing on water.

It also provides a top of the line performance monitor and unmatched build quality.

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

The WaterRower Club has additional features to withstand heavier usage, such as black finished rails to prevent scuffing. It also has a rosewood finish, which is more resistant to soiling than other WaterRower models.

If you know anything about rowing machines, you know you can’t go wrong with the WaterRower brand. However, is this the right WaterRower 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, it causes the paddles to spin. As the paddles spin, they must displace the water in front of them, which causes the resistance.

As the user rows faster, the paddles spin faster, and create more resistance. We call this ‘variable’ resistance because there are an infinite amount of resistance levels.

To feel more resistance, a user must row faster. To feel less resistance, they just need to row slower.

For a more thorough explanation of water resistance rowers and other resistance types, visit my comparison article here.

Resistance Benefits

The WaterRower Club Rowing Machine has all the great benefits water resistance provides.

It has a smooth, strong rowing stroke that feels like you are rowing on water and is fairly quiet. As mentioned previously, WaterRowers are unique because resistance is based off rowing intensity.

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.

In other words, rowing faster requires a lot more power and energy!

WaterRower Club Rowing Machine Review

In addition to determining resistance based on your rowing intensity, you can further adjust the WaterRower Club resistance 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 passengers). The less water you have, the “lighter” the rowing will feel (like rowing a boat by yourself).

Users also praised how quiet the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine is when being used. Some even found the noise to be soothing and meditative.

The only sound you can hear from the WaterRower Club is the sound of splashing water, which can’t be heard in a neighboring room. It’s also much quieter than an air rowing machine.

A few other users mentioned they were able to row while watching TV at regular volume and easily hear music.

Resistance Overall

Overall there were  no complaints about the WaterRower Club’s resistance. Most users felt the rowing stroke was smooth, strong, and quiet.

The WaterRower brand provides some of the best water resistance and the Club Rowing Machine is no different!

Monitor/Control Panel

The WaterRower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood comes with a S4 multi-functional performance monitor. It can track the following data:

  • Time
  • Distance
  • Intensity
  • Strokes per Minute
  • 500m Split Time
  • Watts

In addition to program information, the S4 separates all the tracked data into “windows”. Each can be viewed at the same time while rowing (see photo below).

WaterRower Club Rowing Machine S4 Monitor

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 watts and calories burnt per hour
Stroke Rate Window:
  • Displays number of strokes per minute
Heart Rate Window:
  • *Option is available when heart rate monitoring equipment is used (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 (if a predetermined workout time was set)
Distance Window:
  • Displays distance rowed in meters, miles, kilometers, or strokes
  • Can also display distance remaining (if a predetermined workout distance was set)
Program Window:
  • This window is used to help the user navigate through the monitor’s advanced functions

There are 9 buttons on the monitor, which include 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 rowing.

You can link the S4 monitor to your computer (required cable not included) to utilize training programs, online racing, and upload your fitness data to analyze your workouts.

Popular S4 computer software includes We-Row (WaterRower’s own software), NetAthlon, UltraCoach, and Rowyo.

With all this different information, you would think this monitor is difficult to operate. However, it is extremely intuitive and very easy to navigate!

Monitor Downsides

A few users commented the S4 monitor isn’t as advanced as other high-end rowing machine performance monitors.

While this is true in some cases, the WaterRower Club S4 monitor provides more than enough information to get a complete workout and is still considered “advanced”.

The only monitor more advanced than the S4 is the Concept2 PM5. This monitor is used for Collegiate Crew teams and Olympic Rowers. If you think you want to race in indoor rowing competitions and compare your times to athletes around the world, then a Concept2 Rower is more in line with what you need.

You can read my Concept2 Model D breakdown here.


The WaterRower Club S4 monitor is an advanced tracking device that records all the information needed for a great training session.

There are really no pieces of data it can’t track and it only lags behind 1 monitor on the market.

If you are rowing for personal use and not looking to compete against other athletes, the S4 monitor is more than enough!

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Build Quality

The WaterRower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood is built extremely well, just like all the other WaterRower models.

However, this model is commercial-grade and specifically built to take the abuse from heavier usage at commercial gyms and other high traffic areas.

It’s hand crafted from solid ash wood, stained, then hand finished with Danish oil and urethane for protection.  In addition, the black styling on the dual rails is designed to prevent scuffing.

WaterRower Club Rowing Machine Reviews

The WaterRower Club frame is extremely durable and rock solid.  Don’t let the wood finish and plastic tank fool you!

When I first rowed on a WaterRower it completely surprised me how durable and sturdy the entire rowing machine felt. I rowed as hard as I could and the rower did not budge!

The water tank is molded from one of the strongest plastics (polycarbonate), which is virtually indestructible. Only minor maintenance is needed to keep the water looking clear by using the included chlorine tablets.

The wood design of the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine was specifically chosen to absorb sound and vibration, so don’t expect to hear much noise while rowing. The only noise you will hear is the splashing of water and wheels gliding on the seat rail.

The seat, bearings, wheels, footrests, handle, and rowing strap are all made from high quality material that is built to last.

Overall, the WaterRower Club is made to last a lifetime 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 to make rowing for extensive periods comfortable. The seat has 8 bearings in total, allowing for an extremely smooth rowing stroke.

The WaterRower Club’s handle is covered in soft material making it easy and comfortable to grip while rowing. Users thought the handle was comfortable, especially when compared to other rowing machine handles that give people blisters.

WaterRower Club Comfort

The footrests hold your feet firmly in place and can be adjusted in a matter of seconds to accommodate users with different shoe sizes.  Nylon straps are used to secure your feet and the ‘heel cups’ allow a natural movement as you row.

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.

Rowing on a WaterRower Club Rowing Machine is truly one of the most comfortable rowing stroke you can find!

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The WaterRower Club Rowing Machine is fairly large when using but can be stored to a small footprint.

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

WaterRower Club Rowing Machine Storage

Although the unit is fairly heavy, it takes very little effort to stand up due to its clever design. Just lift from the back of the seat rail and tip the rower forward.

Storage can be done using one hand, although I recommend using two!

Users can also roll the WaterRower Club using the front dual caster wheels. Just lift from the back and push like a wheelbarrow.

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

WaterRower Club Rowing Machine Review

The WaterRower Club has a fairly long seat track, which makes it ideal for taller rowers, especially those with fairly long legs. Rowers as tall as 6’5” (196 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 6’6”, I recommend you visit a local fitness retailer to try out the WaterRower Club before buying.

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

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  • In-Use (Lx W x H):
    • 84.0″ x 21.0″ x 22.0″
    • 213 cm x 53 cm x 56 cm
  • Storage/ Upright (L x W x H):
    • 22.0″ x 21.0″ x 84.0″
    • 56 cm x 53 cm x 213 cm
    • 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 seems to be fairly simple, even for people not used to putting things together.  Several user comments were able to confirm this statement.

The assembly instructions are very detailed and easy to follow. They are also accompanied by detailed pictures.

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

Below is a video animation of how to assemble the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine with S4 monitor.

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Pros and Cons


  • Commercial-grade with solid build quality
  • Smooth and realistic rowing motion
  • Ash wood with Danish oil and urethane finish
  • Easy to assemble
  • Dual caster wheels
  • Easy “upright” storage
  • Comfortable seat and handle
  • Variable resistance adjustment determined by rowing intensity
  • Can further adjust rowing experience by adding/ subtracting water from tank
  • Can link S4 monitor to computer for additional features


  • Performance monitor lacks data accuracy and some 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 operates. It also provides a very strong and smooth resistance without any jerkiness.

Check out more WaterRower Club Rowing Machine review and comments here.

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 is generally the same wherever you purchase it from.

WaterRower’s are quite expensive but most people agree they are worth every penny. Especially with the build quality that is meant to last a lifetime and the top of the line resistance.

Many people choose to purchase from Amazon due to their easy order system, low prices, consumer protection, and they usually offer free shipping!

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Final Thoughts

The WaterRower Club Rowing Machine is a fantastic rower overall with so many amazing features and benefits.

If you are in the market for a WaterRower rowing machine and want the commercial finish or like the black look, then the WaterRower Club is for you!

While the price can be a bit expensive, if you have the funds, you are not going to find a better water rowing machine than this.

WaterRower does make a few other models of rowing machines that all function exactly the same. The only difference is the wood they are crafted from, which changes the price. A very similar model is the WaterRower Natural, which has a lighter wood finish. You can read my full ‘Natural’ review here.

You can see the full WaterRower lineup by visiting my Compare Rowers Page and sorting by water resistance.

I hope you enjoyed my WaterRower Club Rowing Machine review! Please leave any questions or comments below.

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