WaterRower Driftwood with S4 Monitor

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WaterRower Driftwood

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1,000 lbs108 lbsWaterS4

The WaterRower Driftwood follows the same design as the WaterRower Natural or the WaterRower Oxbridge. It’s a newer model, though, available since 2017. It’s a very sturdy machine offering a higher weight capacity than the other mentioned models. Needless to say, it’s a rower that can be used for elite training, featuring a commercial-grade construction. Also, it includes the S4 programmable fitness computer.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 83L x 22W x 21H inches (211L x 56W x 53H cm)
  • Product weight: 108 lbs (49 kg)
  • Supported weight: 1,000 lbs (453.5 kg)
  • Frame: Premium Ash wood
  • Footrests: Size-adjustable, with straps
  • Resistance type: Water
  • Exercise meter: S4
  • Warranty: 1 year limited

Frame construction & parts

As we’ve mentioned above, the WaterRower Driftwood features a similar design to the Oxbridge model. Its frame is made of durable, premium Ash hardwood with a driftwood stain finish for an aged look. All the wooden parts are imbued with Danish oil for a beautiful aspect and a long lifespan.

The fully assembled unit is fairly large, especially lengthwise; it takes approx. 83″L x 22″W (211 x 56 cm) of floor space, and it is recommended to leave at least two feet of clearance at its rear and on each side for safe and unhindered operation. Therefore, it’s not exactly a fitness machine adequate for a small room. But on the other hand, it can be stored vertically, its vertical footprint being 21″ x 22″ (53 x 56 cm).

The WaterRower Driftood fluid rower is slightly heavier than the Natural model. With water in the tank, it weighs approx. 108 lbs (49 kg). However, its relocation isn’t too difficult once it is assembled as its front base is equipped with transport wheels. Also, the rear part and the front part of the machine feature small, rubber stabilizers which provide a superior grip onto the floor.

The machine’s rails are long enough to accommodate users with an inseam up to 38″ (96.5 cm). Or, differently put, users up to at least 6’5″ (196 cm) should be able to exercise properly, with a complete leg extension.

The seat included with the WaterRower Driftwood features a base frame made of the same Ash hardwood material, reinforced with steel elements. Its top integrates a layer of padding, also being contoured for optimal comfort. The seat and the rails are rated for a weight capacity of 1,000 lbs (453.5 kg). Although this would seem to be a bit of a stretch, the rails and the seat are definitely strong enough to hold users of all sizes.

The seat is equipped with a set of durable wheels. they integrate heavy-duty ball bearings in order to deliver a smooth motion. Four of them are placed on top of the rails, while other four slide on the inner sides of the rails to add stability.

In case you’re wondering, the top of the seat stands at approx. 14″ (36 cm) above floor level. It’s not too high, and users with certain disabilities may have difficulties with taking a seat. But on the other hand, there is a “HiRise” kit available for this rower. It consists of four small feet which can elevate it by approx. 8″ (20 cm). The “HiRise” kit is not included, though.

This rowing machine features a set of adjustable footrests. They offer several length adjustment positions and can accommodate athletic shoes of all sizes. They have heel guards and adjustable straps so you can perfectly stabilize your feed during your workout.

The distance between the footrests is approx. 4″ (10.1 cm), which means your feet are naturally positioned on them, without resulting in any extra lateral stress on the ankles and knees. They don’t have a pivoting design, though; their supporting board has an angle of approx. 45°.

One last aspect to mention here regards the unit’s pulling handle. This element is a short and ovalized bar, featuring rubberized grips for optimal hand adherence and comfort. The handle is attached to a high-strength nylon strap, resistant to wear and tear. Also, since it’s a strap, not a chain, it does not require lubrication, and it generates considerably less vibration.

Water tank & resistance

The rower is equipped with a polycarbonate water tank similar to most other WaterRower machines. Its total capacity is 5 gal (19 liters) but its maximum fill is only 4.5 gal (17 liters). The tank features a patented impeller attached to a system of heavy-duty bungee cords and pulleys. As you begin rowing, the impeller spins into the water generating resistance.

The machine’s water tank does not have a 2-chamber design such as FDF rowers. It also doesn’t have a water level adjustment system. Therefore, if you want to train with less overall resistance you will have to manually remove some of the water from the tank. Conversely, if you want to train with the maximum possible resistance level, just as professional athletes, you should fill it up to its top marking, with 17 liters of water (4.5 gal).

Although the machine’s water tank does not have an adjustment system like the First Degree Fitness Pacific Challenge AR, for example. The water resistance is variable in itself. The machine generates a dynamic response, and a feeling similar to the rowing of a real boat. In other words, the harder you pull, the more resistance you will get.

With regards to the level of noise generated by this fluid rower, we can say that it is considerably more quiet than most air resistance rowers. The movement of the impeller in the water tank can be heard, though, but it’s far from being annoying or loud.

Exercise meter

Just as the A1 Rose model, the Driftwood rower comes with the S4 monitor, not the basic one. This is one of the reasons it costs approx. $100 more than the other models. 

This S4 monitor features a multi-panel LCD display, which means that it can show multiple workout metrics simultaneously. It features six QuickSelect buttons and three Navigation Buttons. It can track intensity (or speed), watts, KCalories per hour, stroke rate, heart rate, and distance traveled. It also features Interval Workout Settings for distance and intensity, as well as 9 Advanced Workout Programs.

The unit can be programmed to show the distance in meters, miles, km, or number of strokes. The same goes for speed, which can be shown in m/s, mph, /500m, or /2 km). It’s also telemetric. This means that it can work with an ANT+ or Polar HR chest strap transmitter. It’s also PC interface capable. In other words, you can connect it to your PC via cable in order to connect to various online fitness apps such as WaterRower’s Online Rowing Community, WebRacing, and WaterCoach FIT.

The unit is battery-powered. It requires 4 AA batteries. It has an On/Off/Reset button but also has a sleep function which initiates after 2 minutes of inactivity on the rower.

Assembly & Maintenance

The water tank comes pre-assembled, but the rest of the unit’s main parts do require assembly. For this, you will have to connect the two main rails together, add the seat, the water tank, the footrests, connect the recoil belt to the bungee cord, and attach the console. The manual will guide you through all the assembly steps, and the tools required for the assembly are included. A small water pump for filling/emptying the tank is also included, along with several chlorine pills for treating the water.

For maintenance, the unit’s frame doesn’t require much. It’s recommended to check its joints and bolts from time to time. The water in the tank requires chlorine treatment every six months in order to prevent the formation of algae. The rails should be wiped before every use.

One last aspect to mention here regards the machine’s warranty. Like most WaterRower machines, it comes with a 1-year warranty by default. But by registering your unit to the WaterRower website within the 1st year of use, you will extend the warranty to 5 years for the frame, and 3 years for the parts.

The Pros

  • High-capacity rower (1,000 lbs);
  • Ash hardwood frame with superior aesthetics and a Driftwood pattern;
  • Can be stored vertically;
  • Transport wheels and rubberized stabilizers; 
  • Contoured, padded seat;
  • Water resistance system for a dynamic response;
  • Adjustable footrests with heel guards and straps;
  • Advanced fitness computer with 9 preset programs;
  • Smooth and quiet operation;
  • Rower for users of all levels;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • No angle-adjustability for the footrests;
  • No HR chest strap;
  • The computer doesn’t have backlight.

Bottom Line

The WaterRower Driftwood is a high-capacity, fluid resistance rower. It features a durable Ash wood frame with a beautiful Driftwood pattern, an ergonomic seat, and the S4 programmable fitness computer. It’s a machine for users of all levels, from beginners to professional athletes, for home use or commercial use. It provides a full-body workout which targets approx. 84% of all muscles. And finally, it’s not one of the most affordable rowers, but its quality and durability definitely match the price.

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