Rowing Machines For Professional Experience Rower

Rowing as a form of exercise is among the most pleasurable and rewarding of activities one can indulge in within the gym. If you are a professional experience rower though, rowing for you is much more than a hobby, it is a passion and a profession. Thus, while the average rowing enthusiast may well find his ideal fitness product in the list of best rowing machines for beginners, you require a product that is feature packed, highly customizable and capable of handling the lengthy and intensive rowing sessions that help you become the champion. Admittedly products that qualify as rowing machines for professional experience rower are not the cheapest, nor should they be. Instead, the focus should be on obtaining the best value for money through sustained use of features that are tailor-made for professionals. To make your choice easier, we have compiled a list of attributes that world-famous athletes look for in quality rowing machines. Thereafter, we have studied the ability of some of the top brands to provide these attributes in their flagship rowing machines.

What Factors Should You Consider?

Type of Resistance: The resistance type determines the level of customizability and the extent to which the experience mimics real boat rowing. Quite naturally, the top water resistance rowing machines offer the feeling of rowing on water since it is the water in the water tank that produces the resistance. Air rowers are also popular as they allow resistance to be modified in real time through modification of the strength applied in the stroke.

Magnetic rowers are known for providing smooth rowing with precision resistance levels. They may not provide the most natural of rowing experiences, but the uniformity of the resistance allows for good cardio workouts that keep athletes and professionals in top shape. Finally, some prefer piston rowing machines as many of these come with the outrigger/orbital handles that allow for high level of customization and a realistic rowing stroke (as opposed to simply pulling a single handle with both hands).

Latest Features: As technology is constantly moving forward, professional rowers have to constantly upgrade their abilities to stay in the hunt for medals and honors. It is vital that their rowing machines incorporate the latest technology and features. For instance, if the international rowing associations determine a new form of lap/split time measurement, the rowing machines must also offer such measurement system, or the professional will never know how he fares in relation to the competition.

Adequate Comfort: Rowing is an exercise that taxes the muscles greatly. Given that professional rowers have to row far longer and more intensively than ordinary rowing enthusiasts, it is imperative that their muscles not be exposed to undue stress. Features such as molded and well padded seat, ergonomically designed handle (with padding) and large pivoting footrests are just some of the comfort-enhancing features that can be the difference between improvement and injury during a highly charged workout.

Quality Materials: The rowing machines for professional experience rower need to survive long hours of heavy workout without suffering dislocation or damage. Indeed, a dislocation can not only disrupt the workout, but also cause a serious injury. To preclude such danger, the top brands offer sturdy aircraft grade aluminum or high carbon steel frames, high quality bungee cords, excellent resistance units, well oiled and sealed ball bearing led seat carriages and excellent display units.

Custom Program Options: Professional rowers need more than just the average rowing programs, especially since these are mostly geared towards the average rowing enthusiast. Instead, professionals follow highly customized rowing routines that are made specifically for their bodies by coaches and fitness trainers. The rowing machines for professional experience rower, therefore, must include provision for a number of custom workout regimes. Further, these should be easily modifiable and ideally, portable from one machine to another.

Brand: Though it would be incorrect to claim that any single brand enjoys exclusive patronage of the professionals, production of rowing machines for professional experience rower demand a certain level of design and engineering skill. Such skill is possessed only by a few companies, and it is not surprising to find their products being endorsed by professional rowing champions and athletes from other fields who use rowing to stay fit. We have listed these companies, their salient features and their top products in the next section.

Our Recommendation

1. Concept 2 Rowing Machines

Concept 2 Rowing MachineThough its collection of products may be numerically smaller than many manufacturers, Concept 2 is without a doubt a trendsetter in terms of quality and feature set provided. All of its frames are made using specially molded aircraft grade aluminum that support unbelievable user weights. Furthermore, the frame combines with other high quality parts to offer quite simple but extremely efficient and useful product designs. Furthermore, these other high quality parts like seat, handle and footrests, are all ergonomically designed and extremely comfortable to use.

A specialist in air resistance units, Concept 2 offers a large and efficient flywheel that has received almost no complaints till date. Furthermore, the PM3 and PM4 displays used in Concept 2 machines are considered to be among the best displays. Apart from supporting a wide range of metric measurements and excellent programmability, the monitors offer a special Concept 2 data card (called Log Card) that allows programs to be carried from one Concept 2 machine to another. Coupled with excellent computer integration, this makes shifting from one rowing machine to another a breeze.

Last but not least, Concept 2 machines offer a five year warranty on frame, which is excellent for any price bracket.

Here are the top three Concept 2 rowing machines in the market today:

  • Concept2 model D With MP3 Rowing Machine
  • Concept2 model D with MP4
  • Concept2 model E

2. WaterRower Rowing Machines

WaterRower OxbridgeAs the name suggests, WaterRower creates water resistance rowers. Specializing in wood construction, it offers sturdy wooden frames that have been improved with special ingredients like Danish oil. Indeed, such is the sturdiness that many WaterRower products boast of very high user weight capacities, in some cases going up to 1000 pounds. Not believing in futuristic looks, WaterRower maintains a simple but elegant core design that is modified according to the specifics of the model. This design includes a well padded seat, large and comfortable footrests and of course, a high quality handle.

The transparent water tank is made of sturdy polycarbonate and comes with an equally sturdy water flywheel mechanism. The display, furthermore, is sufficiently sophisticated without being cluttered or illegible and has sufficient number of program options for professionals.

Lastly, WaterRower offers an excellent 5 year warranty on frame and 3 years on parts.

Here are the top products from WaterRower:

  • WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor
  • WaterRower Oxbridge Rowing Machine in Cherry with S4 Monitor
  • WaterRower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor
  • WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine in Black Walnut with S4 Monitor
  • WaterRower A1 Home Rowing Machine

3. First Degree Fitness Rowing Machines

First Degree Fitness Full Commercial E-520Another water rower specialist, First Degree Fitness incorporates the finest metallic engineering in its products. Hence, the manufacturer’s products are most often made of high quality anodized aluminum and acrylic, thereby giving the machines the capability of handling user weights of 300 pounds with ease. Further, the company uses special low friction Air-Glide Delrin rollers for the seat carriage to ensure that the seat movement is never hindered, even during intensive workouts. Coupled with the colorful and stylish yet easy to use designs, these make First Degree Fitness’ products a pleasure to behold and use. Improving the pleasure quotient are the excellent handles, pivoting footrests and sufficiently comfortable seats.

The water resistance unit is made of shatterproof polycarbonate, and features a sturdy water flywheel. The products make use of fluid resistance technology to offer discrete resistance levels, which is no mean feat in the field of water resistance machines. The display, furthermore, is large and sufficiently well endowed with metrics and customizable programs to cater to even Olympic athletes.

First Degree Fitness generally offers 5 years warranty on frame, 2 years on water tank and seals and one year on components.

Here are some of the top models from the house of First Degree Fitness :

  • First Degree Fitness Full Commercial E-520 Fluid Rower
  • First Degree Fitness Evolution Series E-520 Fluid Professional Rower

4. Kettler Coach Rowing Machines

Kettler Coach E IndoorUnlike the above, German manufacturer Kettler specializes in making some of the best magnetic resistance rowing machines. As befits this class of rowers, the design is both simple and efficient. The foundation of the design is laid by a chrome plated high carbon steel frame that can support 285 pounds of user weight. Furthermore, some rower models offer attachable components that allow the user to try out different types of exercises in addition to rowing. The seat padding consists of soft rubber, while the handle and footrests are ergonomically designed for ease of use.

The magnetic resistance system uses “eddy current” mechanism to provide a number of precise resistance levels that are well suited for professionals. The display unit is also adequate, offering a multi-level display system that can be viewed even from the farthest point of the stroke. Kettler also offers a number of programs that can be customized to suit the professional’s needs.

The Coach series of rowing machines is covered by 3 years warranty on parts and one year on residential labor.

Below are the two premier models of the Kettler Coach range:

  • Kettler Coach E Indoor Rower
  • Kettler Coach M Rowing Machine

5. BodyCraft (BodyCraft VR500 Commercial Rower)

BodyCraft VR500BodyCraft is an emerging brand that has come up with some truly outstanding rowing machines with hybrid resistance. Made using aircraft grade heavy duty aluminum, these products offer a remarkably lucid design for a structure that does so much more. Merging into such simplicity is the comfort factor, provided by a large seat placed on a wide shaft, an ergonomically designed handle and large footrests.

Hybrid resistance typically involves air resistance at lower levels and air and magnetic resistance combined at higher levels. In catering to such levels, the two resistance mechanisms gel perfectly, thus producing a comfortable rowing experience. Further, the display unit is large, shows enough metrics and vitally, has enough programmability.

The icing on the cake though is the lifetime warranty on the frame, complemented by 1 year warranty on parts and 90 days warranty on labor.

Here is the best rowing machine from BodyCraft – BodyCraft VR500 Commercial Rower


As an ultimate comparison chart of top rowing machines would indicate, each brand has its own ideas about what is ideal and what is not. The requirement, therefore, is to narrow down the list of options to include only those that have features truly useful to the professional. These features, as listed and sought for in the various brands studied above, are what make rowing machines for professional experience rower worthwhile. Of course there is a second stage to the choice – deciding on the relative importance of each feature depending on one’s own exercise regimen. Still, the above review of brands should be more than adequate in initiating the professional into the rowing machine market, after which he/she can make his/her own choices.