MaxKare Water Rowing Machine

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MaxKare Fluid Rower

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The MaxKare water resistance rower is one of the new MaxKare products released in 2019. It is quite similar to the Sunny SF-RW5713 model but features a set of adjustable and non-pivoting footrests and a seat with more cushioning. It’s also one of the most affordable fluid resistance rowers available at the moment.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 78L x 17.3W x 35.4H inches (198L x 44W x 90H cm)
  • Shipping weight: 86 lbs (39 kg)
  • Supported weight: 264 lbs (120 kg)
  • Frame: Steel
  • Footrests: Adjustable
  • Resistance type: Water
  • Exercise meter: Total time, 500m time, distance, SPM, total strokes, calories, heart rate, race program, recovery

Frame construction

The MaxKare water rower features a frame made of steel tubing with a monorail designed to support users up to 264 lbs (120 kg). All the steel parts in its construction are coated with a corrosion-resistant paint finish. The color used is black, with the “MaxKare” logo painted white; these are the only colors available for this particular rower.

Although this MaxKare rower is not as large as other fluid rowers, such as the WaterRower Gronk M1, for example, it still is fairly large. It measures 78″ (198 cm) in length, and 17.3″ (44 cm) in width. Plus, it is recommended to leave at least two feet of clearance all around it to be able to perform a complete and correct rowing motion, and for ease of access. This being said, it may not be the best choice for a small room or apartment.

The machine’s frame is not foldable, but it can be stored vertically, resting on its front base and on the extra stabilizer on the front upright section of the frame. So, when stored vertically, its footprint becomes approx. 30″D x 17.3″W (76.2 x 44 cm).

The unit is fairly heavy as well. Without any water in the tank, it weighs approx. 81-82 lbs (36-37 kg). This being said, the transport of the boxed unit may require two people, but the assembly can be done by only one person. Once the unit is assembled, it can be transported with ease by using the small wheels attached to the front base bar. Also, the rear base bar features a set of adjustable stabilizers.

Seat and other parts

The MaxKare water rower is equipped with a fairly large seat. It is approx. 12.5″ (31.7 cm) wide, and 10″ (25.4 cm) long. It provides enough contact surface for a comfortable workout. It stands at approx. 16″ (40.6 cm) above floor level. Therefore, entry and exit shouldn’t be too difficult even for elderly users, or users with certain disabilities.

The top of the seat does not integrate any cushioning. It’s made of PU material though, so it’s not extremely hard. It has a contoured surface, in order to provide optimal comfort and adherence.

The base of the seat is steel-made. It integrates three sets of rollers, two on top of the rail and one under the rail for extra stability. These rollers have a rubberized cover to provide a smooth and quiet seat movement. They also integrate sealed ball bearings for a prolonged lifespan.

The rower’s rail is approx. 43.3″ (~110 cm). Therefore, the machine should accommodate users up to 6’2″ (188 cm) with no problem, promoting a complete leg extension.

This MaxKare rower is equipped with a set of fixed footrests. In other words, their base plates are directly attached to the main frame, so they do not pivot on their axis as for other rowers, such as the Merax model. They are set at an optimal angle of 45° and provide a firm support.

The footrests are adjustable, large enough to accommodate athletic shoes of all sizes. They also have heel guards and adjustable straps for extra foot stability.

The rower’s pulling handle is a simple, straight metallic bar, with rubberized grips for optimal comfort. The handle is attached to an abrasion-resistant mesh strap, designed to resist the stress of repeated pulling for a long time.

Water tank and resistance system

The MaxKare water resistance rower is equipped with a polycarbonate water tank with transparent and clear walls. Its exact capacity is not specified, but it should be somewhere between three and four gallons (11-15 liters), similar to other machines in this feature range. It’s important to mention, though, that the manufacturer recommends to only be filled up to 2/3 of its total capacity (there are markings on it).

The machine’s water tank is equipped with a multi-blade impeller. This is the main resistance-generating element. There is no resistance adjustment system as for the First Degree Fitness rowers, but just as any other water resistance rower, it delivers a dynamic resistance response. In other words, if you put more strength behind your strokes, the impeller will spin faster in the water and you will benefit from more resistance, similar to rowing a real boat.

The unit’s overall resistance can be adjusted though. It also depends on the quantity of water in the tank. Therefore, in order to increase or decrease the total resistance, you can manually add or remove water from the tank, making sure, of course, to not exceed the maximum allowed level. Also, the water can remain in the tank when the machine is stored vertically.

With regards to the level of noise generated by this water resistance rower, we can say that it is considerably quiet. The spinning of the impeller inside the water tank does generate some noise, but the level is low.

Workout data monitor

This rowing machine is equipped with a mid-range fitness meter, similar to the one included with the Circuit Fitness AMZ 986RW magnetic rower. It features a multi-window LCD display which is a plus because you can view all the workout metrics at once, without having to continuously select the one that interests you, or without using a Scan Mode. The monitor shows time/500m, total time, strokes per minute (SPM), total strokes, distance, watts, calories, and pulse. Distance is shown in meters (cannot be set to miles or yards), while for the pulse reading you will need a wireless HR chest strap (not included); the unit should work with any 5.3 kHz HR chest strap transmitter.

The exercise meter unit does not have any online connectivity, nor it is compatible with any online fitness apps. However, it has two workout modes: Race and Manual. The Race mode has 15 levels of difficulty. For the first level, Time/500m is set at 8:00 minutes, while for the 15th level it is set at 1:00 minutes. The distance for this program can also be adjusted up to 10000 m.

The Manual mode gives you the possibility to select workout goals for distance, strokes, calories, time, and pulse. Therefore, you can increase your workout load with each session in order to improve your progress.

There is also a pulse recovery function. This application gives you the possibility to calculate your fitness level. Based on the heart rate at the end of the workout it will give you a fitness rating between F1 (Excellent) – F6 (Poor).

The meter unit is very easy to use. It has 6 buttons. From right to left, the first one is the Recovery button; you can press it at the end of the workout so that the console will calculate your fitness level. The 2nd button covers the Reset function; by pressing it, you can clear all the values on the unit to zero. The 3rd button covers the Start/Stop functions for the program in use, while the 4th (Enter) button allows you to select values. And finally, the Up / Down buttons on the right give you the possibility to increase or decrease your goal values or navigate through functions.

The meter unit is battery-operated. It uses 2 AA type batteries. It also has a sleep mode to which it will enter after a few minutes of inactivity on the machine. When in sleep mode, it displays the current date, room temperature, and clock.

One last aspect to mention here regards the fitness meter mount. It is quite a plus that you can adjust its angle either by its whole arm or from its connection point to the arm. This way, you can get the perfect angle for the best visibility.

Assembly and Maintenance

This rowing machine requires some assembly. However, the water tank with all the drive and resistance elements comes pre-assembled and integrated into the front frame section. You only need to add the front base, the rail, the seat, the rear base stabilizer, and the exercise meter. This shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes. The task is quite straightforward all the necessary tools for it are included.

For maintenance, it is recommended to add a chlorine pill in the tank water every 6 months. Other than this, you should keep the monorail clean to prevent any damage to the seat rollers, and periodically check for any loose parts.

The Pros

  • Pretty sturdy steel frame which can support users up to 264 lbs;
  • Aesthetic design;
  • Can be stored vertically, and the water doesn’t require to be removed for storage;
  • Transport wheels for easy relocation;
  • Adjustable stabilizers on the rear base;
  • Contoured and padded seat;
  • Water resistance system which provides a dynamic response during rowing and natural feel;
  • Mid-range fitness meter which indicates time, time/500m, SPM, strokes, distance, calories, and pulse;
  • Two workout modes – Manual and Race;
  • Clock, calendar and room temperature reading function on the meter;
  • Recovery function;
  • Smooth and quiet operation;
  • Tools for assembly are included;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Easy to assemble.

The Cons

  • Meter unit display doesn’t have LED backlight;
  • HR chest strap not included.


The MaxKare water rower is a fitness machine designed for home use. It features a sturdy steel frame with a capacity of 264 lbs, a 43″ monorail, and a mid-range console that can track time, time/500m, SPM, strokes, distance, calories, and pulse. It’s an excellent trainer for a full-body aerobic workout. It’s great for interval training, light to intense cardio training, weight loss, and stamina development. And finally, it’s one of the most affordable rowing machines with water resistance available at the moment.

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