Sunny Health & Fitness Carbon Premium SF-RW5983 Air & Magnetic Rower

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Sunny SF-RW5983

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265 lbsAir &
16 levels
23 programs,
Frame: 3 years
Parts: 180 days

The Sunny Carbon Premium SF-RW5983 is one of the rowers released by Sunny Health & Fitness in 2020. It’s an air & magnetic resistance rower quite similar to the SereneLife SLRWMC60 that we’ve already reviewed here. It has a slightly longer rail and a superior weight capacity, though. It’s not a commercial-grade model like the ASUNA Ventus 8580, but it definitely offers excellent sturdiness and a decent range of exercise programs.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 87.5L x 19W x 36H inches (222L x 48W x 91H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 74.6 lbs (34 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 265 lbs (120 kg)
  • Frame: Steel
  • Resistance: Air & magnetic, 16 levels
  • Console: 23 workout programs, goals, recovery
  • Extras: Device holder
  • Warranty: Frame 3 years / Parts 180 days

Frame construction

The Sunny Health & Fitness Carbon Premium SF-RW5983 rower features a steel frame with a dual-rail construction. This type of rail system offers better stability for the seat. The two parallel rail bars are steel made as well, like the rest of the frame, but they feature aluminum covers for extra protection.

All the steel parts in the machine’s construction are painted black, this being the only color available for the Carbon Premium rower model. Plus, the front section of the frame along with the magnetic resistance system and belt drive, is covered by two large ABS guards.

The fully assembled machine is fairly large. It is approx. 87.5″ (222 cm) long, and 19″ (48 cm) wide. The length of its slide rail is 44″ (111.7 cm) so the machine should accommodate users up to 6’6″ (198 cm) with no problem, allowing a complete leg extension. Also, the seat and the rail system are rated for a maximum user weight capacity of 265 lbs (120 kg).

This Sunny Health & Fitness rower does not have a folding frame. However, it can be stored vertically. In vertical position, its footprint becomes approx. 36″L x 19″W (91 x 48 cm).

The rower is fairly heavy. Its net weight is approx. 74.6 lbs (34 kg). All this weight provides excellent stability. Plus, both its base stabilizer tubes are equipped with adjustable levelers. The front base has a set of small wheels for easy relocation.

Seat and other parts

The Sunny Carbon Premium SF-RW5983 rower is equipped with a standard seat. Its top is covered with a thick layer of high-density foam so it’s not too hard. It is contoured for extra comfort. It is approx. 12.6″ (32 cm) wide, and 10.28″ (26 cm) long so it provides plenty of contact surface.

The base of the seat is steel made for improved sturdiness. It features three sets of rollers; two sets slide on top of the two parallel rails. These are concave for extra stability. The third set of rollers slides under the rails for added support. The rollers integrate sealed bearings and have a rubberized layer on the outside to reduce noise.

The rail system is not completely horizontal. It is slightly inclined forward. Therefore, the seat is a bit higher when extended all the way to the rear. It stands at approx. 16.5″ (~42 cm) above floor level for easy entry and exit.

The Sunny SF-RW5983 rower is equipped with two large footrests. Their bases are steel-made for improved sturdiness while the actual footrests are made of durable thermoplastic material. They have a textured surface, heel guards, and adjustable straps for improved foot stability.

The machine’s footrests attach to the frame via screws in several points. This being said, they do not pivot on their axis; they are completely fixed. Their angle is approx. 45° providing optimal positioning for your feet.

The rower is equipped with an ergonomic pulling handle. Its grips are slightly curved towards the user to minimize the impact on the wrists. Its grips are rubberized for extra comfort.

The handle is attached to a heavy-duty nylon strap. This is a plus as the usage of the machine is quieter and the strap doesn’t require any maintenance. Although it may wear over time, it should last for at least a few years even with everyday use.

Resistance system

The Sunny Health & Fitness Carbon Premium SF-RW5983 rowing machine features a hybrid resistance system combining air resistance and eddy current (magnetic) resistance elements. To begin with, the main resistance generator is the large, 8-blade fan visible at the front of the machine and guarded by the steel cage. This fan connects to the pulling strap through a pulley and a belt drive. Therefore, when you pull the handle, it spins inside its cage generating air resistance.

The magnetic resistance mechanism is motorized (automatic). This means you have to connect the rower to a power source in order to adjust its magnetic resistance. It also means that the console can adjust the resistance automatically.

The magnetic resistance mechanism consists of a servo motor and a magnetic brake. As you adjust the resistance from the console, the motor changes the magnets’ pull on the brake in relation to the internal flywheel, which adds or reduces the overall rowing difficulty.

It’s also important to mention that the rower provides a dynamic response. This means that the air resistance depends on how fast you pull, regardless of the selected magnetic resistance level. Differently put, if you pull the handle at a faster rate, the fan also spins faster and generates more resistance.

Similar to any other air resistance rower, the Sunny Carbon Premium does make some noise when in use. However, the generated noise is not extremely loud. It can be compared to the noise made by an electric fan of similar diameter as the one integrated into the rower’s resistance system.


The Sunny SF-RW5983 rower features a pretty advanced console. First of all, it is equipped with an LCD display divided into multiple sub-sections in order to show as many workout metrics as possible at once. It tracks time, time/500m, distance, strokes (per workout), strokes per minute, total strokes, calories burned, and pulse. The distance is shown in meters and there is no option for yards or miles. The pulse rating function requires a 5.3 kHz HR chest strap transmitter, an accessory that is included with the rower.

Although the console does not have Bluetooth connectivity and is not compatible with any online fitness apps, it has a pretty decent built-in workout program base. The first program (P1) is the Manual Mode. This gives you the possibility to just row freely and adjust the magnetic resistance as you like during rowing. It also offers the possibility to select workout targets for time, distance, calories, and strokes.

The next 11 programs (P2 – P11) are pre-set. Each one has its own specific segment layout which will appear on the bottom center display section. Some have an interval layout, others are better for losing weight, etc. As a general idea, each program will adjust the resistance automatically in its own specific way.

The P13 program is the Body Fat program. This program will prompt you to input your data (gender, height, weight, weight, and age). Based on it, it will calculate your Body Mass Index and Basal Metabolic Rate.

The P14 program is the Watt program. For this program you will have to select an energy output level, and based on it, the rower will automatically adjust the magnetic resistance to keep you at the selected Watt value.

The P15-P18 are the heart rate programs. The first three (P15, P16, P17) have preset HR values for 65%, 75% and 90%. The P18 program gives you the possibility to select your desired target HR.

And finally, the console also has four user profiles U1 – U4. Therefore, up to four users can save their own program settings and personal workout data and pick up where they left whenever they start a new workout session.

Two other notable console functions are the Recovery mode and the device holder. The Recovery mode counts how long it takes your pulse to return to normal after the workout, and based on the result, it will give you a fitness rating between F1 (excellent) and F6 (poor). The device holder is integrated into the console above the LCD display. You can fit most tablets and smartphones on it, and view your favorite shows as you exercise. It is important to mention, though, that the console does not have any ports to connect your device to it.

Assembly and Maintenance

The machine’s front unit with the fan, the magnetic resistance system, and the other drive elements, comes pre-assembled. The other parts do require user assembly, though. You will have to attach the front stabilizer, insert the seat onto the rails, connect the rail system to the front section of the rower, add the rear stabilizer, the footrests, and the console. This may take more than an hour of your time but the whole task is fairly simple. The manual provides clear assembly instructions and a set of basic tools is included with the machine.

Maintenance doesn’t require much. You only have to keep your rower clean, especially the rails to prevent any damage to the seat wheels. The internal parts do not require lubrication or any maintenance.

The Pros

  • Sturdy construction – can hold users up to 265 lbs (120 kg);
  • Can be stored vertically;
  • Adjustable levelers on both base tubes;
  • Transport wheels on the front base;
  • Dual rail system for improved stability;
  • Long rail for users with an inseam up to 46″;
  • Large footrests with heel guards and adjustable straps;
  • Padded and contoured seat;
  • Air resistance for a natural, dynamic response during rowing;
  • 16 levels of eddy current resistance for overall tension adjustment;
  • Power adapter included;
  • Multi-window console with LED backlight;
  • 23 programs on the console;
  • Goal settings for time, distance, count, and calories;
  • Pulse reading function;
  • HR chest strap included;
  • Very quiet for an air resistance rower;
  • Tablet holder included;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • All the necessary assembly tools are included;
  • Little maintenance required.

The Cons

  • No online connectivity;
  • No AUX or USB ports for connecting your phone or tablet.


The Sunny Health & Fitness Carbon Premium SF-RW5983 is an air & magnetic resistance rower offering 16 levels of resistance, an extra-long dual-rail system, and a console with multiple workout programs. A wireless HR chest strap is also included. It’s an excellent machine for light to intense cardio workouts, muscle toning, stamina development, and weight loss.

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