ProRower H2O RX-950 Club Series Review

Having read the names of WaterRower and First Degree Fitness on almost every water rower worth its salt, many users assume that when it comes to water resistance machines, they are not only the standard but also the only options available. Thankfully, ProRower has been making some splashes in the water rower industry, and for good reason – machines like the ProRower H2O RX-750 Home Series Rowing Machine have proven to be worth every penny spent on them. The ProRower H2O RX-950 Club Series Rowing Machine takes this trend forward, adding a number of interesting features and improvements that appear to justify the higher price tag on paper. However, a bunch of better features is no guarantee of a substantially improved machine, and while we can trust ProRower with producing a quality machine, the question does arise as to whether this is indeed one of the best. To answer it, we have carried out a detailed review of all features of this product, the results of which are listed below.

Technical Specifications

  • Product Dimension: 89 x 26 x 30 inches
  • Product Weight: 117 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 550 pounds
  • Storage: Foldable
  • Warranty: Lifetime on frame, 3 years on water tank and seals, 2 years on all other non moveable parts

ProRower H2O RX-950 Club Series

Ease Of Assembly

Like the H2O RX-750, the ProRower H2O RX-950 Club Series Rowing Machine comes preassembled to a large extent. Though you have to source the allen wrench separately, the required washers are provided with the product. Using these and the simple instructions in the user manual, this rowing machine can be assembled in less than half an hour.

Structure

The ProRower H2O RX-950 Club Series Rowing Machine combines a few innovative design enhancements with an extremely solid structure. The design inventory enhancements comprise of a raised seat that reminds us of the higher end First Degree Fitness models, and a single unified footrest instead of the twofound on the RX-750 Home Series Rowing Machine. The specific attributes of these new features are studied below, but here it can be mentioned that they go a long way in accentuating the realism and efficacy of the workout. This is important because being a Club series rower, users expect it to be able to prepare them for the actual boat rowing sessions they like to try out at the clubs.

The build quality has been kept top notch by the use of anodized aluminum and stainless steel, both of which are corrosion resistant and capable of handling extreme pressure for long periods of time. Indeed, when compared to the 350 lbs weight capacity of the RX-750, we find that the Rx-950 can offer 550 pounds, which is second only to some of the WaterRower models priced much higher than this product from ProRower.

If that isn’t enough to testify to the strength and stability of the product, consider that the manufacturer has provided this product with a lifetime warranty on the frame, three years warranty on the water tank and seals and two years on all other non moving mechanical parts.

Ease Of Use

Despite the improvements, the overall design of the product has been kept as simple as possible. The seat contours have been retained from the RX-750, thus allowing users shifting from it to the ProRower H2O RX-950 Club Series Rowing Machine to get a sense of familiarity. Further, despite being on a raised pedestal (see below), there is virtually no wobbliness or instability involved even if you shift from side to side while going through the procedure for using a rowing machine. Furthermore, there is an optional backrest with lumbar support that can be attached to the seat without dismantling any parts. Some users complained however that this attachment has to be purchased separately. However, none of the users complained about comfort, with many commending the use of heavy padding in the seat.

The handle on the other hand offers the ergonomic curved design that was seen on the RX-750 as well. Covered with a soft rubber layer, it ensures comfort to the hand muscles as one pulls hard on the handle during workout.

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Operation

The ProRower H2O RX-950 Club Series Rowing Machine offers an enhanced water resistance mechanism that allows you to increase or decrease the resistance substantially by varying the water level and rowing at a slower or faster pace. Once the water tank is filled to the optimal level and the feet are strapped in, one simply has to seat oneself on the raised seat and begin the rowing motion with the handle.

Given the ergonomic design of all parts and the simple yet efficient resistance system (read below), using this rower is an extremely smooth experience that can relax the mind even as it flexes the muscles and burns the calories.

Parts

The ProRower H2O RX-950 Club Series Rowing Machine contains a standard sturdy polycarbonate water tank that can be opened and closed easily to fill/drain water and put in chlorine tablets from time to time. As mentioned above, the machine offers a special “natural adaptive resistance” that allows for more accurate increase or decrease in resistance with water level/effort applied. Further, the technology allows for the “pushback” effect, which is vital to learning how to row a boat in real life. These, along with the internal paddle of the water tank are parts of the overarching “Hydro Power Drive System” which is geared towards ensuring as realistic a rowing experience as possible.

The seat carriage is, like in some First Degree Fitness models, embedded in the shaft. This, along with the well oiled ball bearings on which it runs, offers excellent stability and a total absence of that irritating grating soundthat many cheap rowing machine seat carriages produce.

The footrests have been merged into a single “sure-grip” footpad that holds both legs together, much like one would have to when sitting in a small boat. While this may add to the realism for some, other customers found the older separate footrest design of the RX-750 more viable for exercising. However, they also noted that the footpad had been modified to accommodate a larger number of foot sizes and shapes and the feet remained well secured during workout. Finally, the footrests have a pivoting function that allows for natural feet movement during the rowing motion.

Display

Display of this rowing machineThe display is large and shows multiple metrics in uncluttered and quite large fonts. These metrics include speed, distance covered, exercise time, calories burnt, 500 meter split time and heart rate. Though some users were miffed at not receiving a transmitter for heart rate measurement, they did mention that the heart rate receiver integrated into the product offered high precision readings.

A number of inbuilt programs are present which allow a wide range of users to carry out exercises based on their heart rate, etc.

Storage

The ProRower H2O RX-950 Club Series Rowing Machine offers a standard folding mechanism which can be triggered by removing a pin that holds the shaft parallel to the water tank. The shaft can then be raised to a vertical position and the pin replaced to lock the rowing machine in this position. While this is not the smallest of rowing machines, it does take minimal floor space when stored away in this position.

Advantages

  • Number of useful design changes for a more realistic “Hydro Power Drive System” rowing
  • Anodized aluminum and steel body for stability and durability
  • Raised ergonomic seat with optional lumbar support
  • Seat carriage situated within shaft for stability
  • Ergonomically designed handle for additional traction
  • Sturdy water tank with paddles that increase the realism of the workout
  • Unified footpad with “sure-grip” technology
  • Large display with heart rate measurement support
  • Lifetime warranty on frame

Disadvantages

  • Some users regarded single footpad as slightly inconvenient
  • No heart rate measurement instrument included

Conclusion

Though the RX-750 may be one of the best rowing machines in its price bracket, ProForm has shown that it is not confined to any one price bracket when it comes to delivering quality. The higher priced ProRower H2O RX-950 Club Series Rowing Machine offers a range of improvements which converge on the Hydro Power Drive System that it has devised to provide actual boat rowing training indoors through a high quality rowing machine. Coupled with the excellent warranty and high user weight support, these improvements make this product a winner in almost all the departments.

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