WaterRower Club HiRise Rowing Machine

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WaterRower Club

Check Discounted Price
700 lbs67 lbs,
(104 lbs with
water in tank)
Water9 workouts,
PC interface
HR capable

WaterRower offers several rowing machine models with a “hi-rise” frame construction, such as the WaterRower M1 HiRise. This basically means that their frame features feet that will place the machine a few inches above the floor level in order to provide ease of entry and usage.

The M1 HiRise model features an aluminum frame, the elevation feet being directly welded to the rail bars of the machine. However, for several of the wooden models, WaterRower offers a HiRise Adapter Kit, which basically consists of four feet to add to your rower. In this review, we’ll address the WaterRower Club model which includes this adapter kit.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 82L x 22W x 28H inches (208L x 56W x 71H cm)
  • Product weight: 66.5 lbs (30.5 kg) w/o water; 103.5 lb (47 kg) w/ water
  • Supported weight: 700 lbs (317 kg)
  • Frame: Wood (Ash)
  • Footrests: With straps
  • Resistance type: Water
  • Progress tracking computer: S4
  • Warranty: Frame 5 years / Parts 3 years

Frame construction

This rowing machine is basically the same as the WaterRower Club model that we’ve previously reviewed here. It features an Ash wood frame stained with a rosewood tint, which makes it more resistant to soiling than the Natural model. All the wooden parts within its frame construction are imbued with Danish oil for extra protection while the side rails are urethane dipped.

The fully assembled rower is fairly large. It takes approx. 82″L x 22″W (208 x 56 cm) of floor space. With the HiRise feet attached, the rower’s height is 28″ (71 cm), while without them it is only 20″ (51 cm). WaterRower recommends maintaining a clearance of at least two feet all around it, for safe operation, though.

The frame isn’t foldable such as for the LifeCore R100, for example, but it can be stored vertically. When stored vertically, the rower is meant to stand on its front wheels and the small stabilizers mounted on the water tank cage. In case you’re wondering, the water does not need to be removed from that tank when the machine is stored in upright position.

This fitness machine isn’t extremely heavy. Without water in the tank, it weighs approx. 67 (30 kg), while with the tank filled to maximum capacity, it’s approx. 104 lbs (47 kg). Its front end, however, integrates a set of wheels which facilitate its relocation.

The frame rests on four rubber stabilizers which can be mounted directly on the side rails, or, if you will be using the HiRise Adapter Kit, they should be attached to each one of the foot elements.

The WaterRower Club HiRise model features quite a durable construction. It’s designed to support users up to 700 lbs (317 kg). Also, the rails offer a range of motion for the seat that is long enough to accommodate users with an inseam up to 38″ (96.5 cm) or differently put, users up to 6’5″ (196 cm).

Seat and other parts

The seat of the WaterRower Club model combines Ash wood, steel, and vinyl elements. It is approx. 12″ (31 cm) wide, and 9″ (23 cm) deep, with a 2″ (5 cm) thick top padding. Its top part is also contoured offering the optimal comfort and grip during rowing.

The seat glides on high-grade, extremely durable rollers. They integrate stainless steel ball bearings for smooth operation, with PVC coating on the outside. The extrusions of the rails, on which the seat glides, are also PVC made. Now, the fact that the rollers and seat glides are not metallic, offers the advantage of a much smoother and quieter drive. The gliding surface is also much tolerating with any small particles that may fall on it. As opposed to that, if the glides of a rower are metallic, even the slightest dirt particle fallen on it will result in bumps and clicks during rowing.

The machine’s pulling handle is a simple, straight bar, with an ovalized design, covered by a sheet of rubber foam material, in order to provide maximum comfort. It’s attached to a heavy-duty nylon strap.

Finally, this WaterRower model features a simple setup for the footrests. They’re mounted on a 45° angle wooden board. They are equipped with foot straps and heel guards in order to provide maximum foot stability. Their angle cannot be adjusted; however, their size is adjustable and can basically accommodate athletic shoes of all sizes.

Water tank and resistance

As the name of the product suggests, it’s a rowing machine featuring water resistance. As opposed to other types of rowing machines, the WaterRower Club model offers a smooth and natural rowing feel, similar to the rowing of a real boat. Its resistance is given by the 2-paddle water flywheel placed inside the water tank and connected a system of heavy-duty bungee cords and pulleys. As you pull the handle, the flywheel begins to spin into the water tank, generating resistance.

This rowing machine is equipped with a 5 gal (19 l) tank, which is made of highly durable polycarbonate material. Its walls are transparent and gray in color. However, the water in the tank can be colored. WaterRower actually supplies various colorants for it, including the blue variety which you may have seen in various displays of the rower.

Although the tank’s maximum capacity is 5 gal (19 l), the maximum amount of water to be introduced into the tank is 4.5 gal (17 liters). There are markings on the tank which indicate the water level. Also, the box should come with a siphon which facilitates the filling/emptying of the tank.

The tank is not equipped with a water level quick-adjustment mechanism, or quick resistance adjusting mechanism, such as the First Degree Fitness S6 Laguna or Daytona models, for example. In other words, in order to adjust the overall resistance of the machine, you will have to add or remove water in the tank; the more water, the higher the overall resistance. However, since it’s a water rowing machine, the resistance is given by the strength you put behind each stroke. In other words, the harder you pull, the more intense your workout will be.

Exercise meter unit

The WaterRower Club HiRise rowing machine is equipped with the S4 console, just as the Oxbridge or the Natural models. It features a multi-panel LCD display which means it can show multiple workout metrics simultaneously so you won’t have to use a SCAN function to alternate them. It shows speed (or intensity), watts, KCalories per hour, stroke rate, heart rate and distance. The unit is battery powered and requires 4 AA batteries.

The S4 unit features Interval Workout Settings for distance and intensity, as well as 9 Advanced Workout Programs. It’s PC interface capable, via a monitor cable. Also, this type of performance monitor has built-in PC interface capability. In other words, you can connect it to your PC via cable, and use several apps such as WaterRower’s Online Rowing Community, WebRacing, and WaterCoach FIT.

This fitness monitor is telemetric. Differently put, it can track your pulse via an ANT+ or Polar HR chest strap transmitter.

Assembly and Maintenance

The machine’s assembly is far from being complicated. The water tank comes already assembled, encased in the front part of the frame. Thus, you will only have to attach the side rails, the seat, the foot pad with the footrests, connect the cords, the monitor and once you’re done, fill up the tank with water.

The frame itself doesn’t require any maintenance. For the water tank, chlorine pills are supplied with the package. You should add one new pill every 2-6 months into the water to prevent the formation of algae. Also, wiping the rails of the seat with a piece of cloth before using the machine is recommended, as any small objects all small particles such as sand, for example, may damage the rollers or the rail extrusions.

One last important aspect that we should mention here regards the unit’s warranty. The WaterRower Oxbridge rowing machine has 1-year warranty by default. But if you register it with WaterRower as you receive it, you will get 5 years of warranty for the frame, and 3 years for parts.

The Pros

  • Highly durable frame, capable of holding users up to 700 lbs;
  • Superior aesthetics, Ash wood frame, urethane sheet covers;
  • Can be stored vertically to save space;
  • Easy to handle and transport;
  • HiRise Adapter Kit included;
  • Water resistance system, providing the most natural rowing feel that you can get;
  • Contoured, ergonomically designed seat, with 2″ padding;
  • Advanced performance monitor with several pre-set programs, PC compatible and HR strap compatible;
  • Smooth and quiet operation;
  • Rower for users of all levels;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Excellent warranty package.

The Cons

  • The angle of the footrests cannot be adjusted;
  • An HR chest strap transmitter accessory is not included.


The WaterRower Club HiRise is a commercial grade rowing machine. It features a highly durable Ash wood frame, water resistance which delivers a dynamic response with every stroke, and the S4 fitness monitor. This model also includes the HiRise Adapter Kit which elevates the machine by 8″, resulting in ease of use and entry for users with disabilities. It’s an excellent machine for a full body workout, as it engages more than 80% of the user’s muscle mass. It’s not a cheap rowing machine, but due to its quality, durability, effectiveness, and aesthetics, we can safely say that it has an excellent price/value ratio.

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