XTERRA Fitness ERG650W Water Resistance Rower

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350 lbs76 lbsFluid,
6 levels
Total time,
6 modes

So far, XTERRA Fitness has released two water resistance rowers. We’ve already reviewed the ERG600W model, so in this post, we’re going to address the XTERRA ERG650W. This rowing machine offers a greater weight capacity, a dual-rail frame for extra stability, and a superior console with extra programs. Although it’s not a machine made for commercial use, its construction and feature range are definitely close to at least light-commercial level.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 79.5L x 20.7W x 33.9H inches (202L x 52W x 86H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 76 lbs (34.4 kg)
  • Supported weight: 350 lbs (159 kg)
  • Frame: Steel & aluminum
  • Footrests: Adjustable, with straps
  • Resistance type: Water
  • Console: Time, distance, strokes per minute, total strokes, calories, time/500m, pulse, drag force, watts, 6 programs
  • Warranty: Frame lifetime / Parts 2 years / Labor 1 year

Frame construction

The XTERRA Fitness ERG650W combines steel and aluminum elements in its frame construction. For example, the front frame section that holds the water resistance tank, both base bars and the two rail bars are steel made. However, the two rail bars feature aluminum covers for a smoother seat motion. All the steel parts in the machine’s construction feature a heavy-duty paint finish that is highly resistant to corrosion and abrasion.

The fully assembled rower is fairly large, especially lengthwise. It is approx. 79.5″ (202 cm) long, and 20.7″ (52 cm) wide. Plus, it is recommended to leave at least two feet of clearance on each side of it, and at its rear for ease of access and unhindered usage. This being said, the machine may not fit too well in a small room.

Unlike other water resistance rowers, such as the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5866 for example, the XTERRA ERG650W does not have a folding frame. It can be stored vertically, though. When stored vertically, its footprint becomes approx. 26.5″W x 20.7″ D (67 x 52 cm), as the mount of the console, can be folded. Also, when stored vertically, the water can remain in the tank.

The fully assembled machine weighs 76 lbs (34.4 kg) and at maximum tank fill evidently weighs a few extra pounds. But nonetheless, the unit can easily be handled and relocated as its front base features a set of large wheels. Also, the rear stabilizer is equipped with two rubberized adjustable levelers.

Two last aspects to mention here regard the length of the rails and their angle. The XTERRA ERG650W offers approx. 40″ (101 cm) of travel for the seat, which means it should accommodate users up to 6’4″ (193 cm). Also, the machine’s rails system is not horizontal. Is slightly inclined forward which results in a bit of extra workout for the legs during the push phase, and a slightly faster recovery motion.

Seat and other parts

The XTERRA Fitness ERG650W is equipped with a fairly large seat. It is approx. 14″ (36 cm) wide so it offers plenty of contact surface. Its top features a thick layer of polyurethane material which is also contoured for extra comfort. It stands at approx. 15″ (38 cm) above floor level which can be a plus for users with certain disabilities, as a lower seat may result in positioning difficulties.

The seat frame is made of steel, similar to the rest of the frame. Both the seat and the rail system are very sturdy; they’re rated for a user weight capacity of 350 lbs (159 kg), which is quite great for a home-use machine.

The seat is equipped with three sets of wheels. Two of them slide on top of the rails, the other slides on the lower rail section for extra stability. All wheels integrate heavy-duty ball bearings while the top ones have a rubberized outer layer to minimize noise.

The XTERRA ERG650W rower is equipped with two large footrests. They’re adjustable, offering multiple positions, so they pretty much can accommodate athletic shoes of all sizes. They feature heel guards and adjustable straps so you can perfectly secure your feet on them during rowing.

The machine’s footrests do not pivot. They’re directly attached to a metallic plate. Their angle is approx. 45°, so they provide optimal and firm positioning of the feet during rowing.

The machine’s pulling handle is a simple straight bar. It’s fully covered by a layer of rubber foam material for extra comfort. It doesn’t have pulse sensors, but the unit’s console can track pulse. The handle is attached to a heavy-duty, abrasion-resistant nylon strap. This means you don’t have to lubricate it as it is the case for a chain-drive rower. It also results in a smoother rowing motion.

Water tank and resistance system

The XTERRA Fitness ERG650W rowing machine features a resistance system and overall front unit construction similar to the Marcy NS-6023RW. Its water tank is made of durable polycarbonate material and integrates a multi-blade impeller. The impeller is connected to a pulley system which enables it to move in reverse during the recovery motion and recuperate the strap to which the handle is attached, preparing it for the next pull.

The exact capacity of the tank is not specified, but considering its size, it should be approx. 3 gallons (11 l). As opposed to the First Degree Fitness rowers, it has a simple (one chamber) construction, so it does not have a mechanical resistance adjustment system. However, there are 6 levels marked on it. Therefore, you can adjust the overall resistance by adding or removing water from the tank using the provided pump. But nonetheless, the tank should not be filled over the 6th level.

Similar to other water resistance rowers, the XTERRA ERG650W provides a dynamic response during rowing. The resistance depends on the speed of the impeller. Differently put, if you pull the handle faster, the impeller will spin faster and generate more resistance. This leads to a sensation similar to the rowing of a real boat.


The XTERRA Fitness ERG650W rower is equipped with a multi-function console that uses two AA batteries as its power source (so, no adapter needed). It offers a similar range of features as the console of the Marcy NS-6023RW. It has a large 5.5″ LCD display divided into multiple sub-sections in order to show as many workout metrics as possible. It tracks time, time/500m, strokes per minute, total strokes, calories, pulse, drag force, and watts. Distance is shown in meters. And for the pulse rating, the console is telemetric. It means that it can be paired with a wireless HR chest strap transmitter; this accessory is not included, though.

The console doesn’t have online connectivity and is not compatible with any online fitness apps. However, it does offer several programs to keep you motivated. To begin with, it has the Quick Start mode, which basically just requires you to row at your own pace and the console will monitor your data. Next, there is the Standard mode; once this is selected, you can choose 2000m, 5000m, 30:00, 500m/1:00. These are basically four preset programs.

The next two modes are Target Single and Target Intervals. If you choose Target Single, you can select a goal value for time, distance, calories, or heart rate. When a time, distance or calories goal is selected, the console counts down from the selected value until it reaches zero, basically until you reach your goal. If a goal is selected for heart rate (between 90 and 200 BPM), if you exceed that value, the console will beep prompting you to slow down. The Target Intervals mode offers interval programs for time, distance, and a variable one.

The console offers a Custom program and a Race program. The Custom program offers four interval workouts as well. The first one is a 30/30 seconds interval workout, the second one is 60/60 seconds interval workout with 7 repetitions, the third requires you to complete a 2000m distance, rest for 3 min., then repeat for three more times. The fourth custom mode is set for a work interval of 1 minute and 40 seconds, with a rest phase of 20 seconds, and 9 repetitions. The Race program has 15 levels of difficulty, and if selected, you will basically compete with the computer for a certain distance during a selected time interval.

It’s important to mention that several sources (including the official XTERRA site) say that the console offers 15 workout programs. This probably refers to the 15 levels of the Race Program. So, to be more specific, the console has 6 workout modes, some of them with multiple programs or settings.

Finally, two other notable features of the machine’s console are the device holder and the foldable mount. The device holder is placed under the unit’s display and can accommodate a phone or a tablet; however, the console does not have an AUX or USB port to connect your device to it. The foldable mount consists of a long metallic arm with a tilt feature that allows you to adjust the angle of the console or fold it when the machine is in storage.

Assembly and Maintenance

The front section of the machine, with the water resistance tank, drive system, and footrests comes pre-assembled. However, the rest of the parts still require user assembly. So, you will have to attach the two rail bars to the front unit, add the seat, the rear stabilizer, and connect the console. The task shouldn’t take more than 30-40 minutes and all the necessary instructions are covered by the manual. A basic toolkit is also included.

For maintenance, there are two important aspects to consider. First of all, a pack of chlorine tablets is included with the machine. So, to keep the water clear and prevent the formation of algae, it’s recommended to add one tablet in the tank every 6 months. Second of all, the machine’s rails should be kept clean to prevent any debris or dirt from causing damage to the seat wheels. Other than this, you just have to keep the machine clean.

The Pros

  • Sturdy frame – can support users up to 350 lbs;
  • Aesthetic design;
  • Dual rail system for improved seat stability;
  • Can be stored vertically to save space;
  • Transport wheels on the front base;
  • Adjustable stabilizers on the rear base;
  • Ergonomic, contoured designed seat;
  • Adjustable footrests with heel guards and straps;
  • Water resistance system, providing the most natural rowing feel that you can get;
  • Multi-function console that tracks time, 500m/time, pulse, distance, strokes per minute, total strokes, calories, drag force, and watts;
  • 6 workout programs, some of them with multiple workout modes;
  • Recovery function;
  • Tablet holder integrated into the console;
  • Angle-adjustable arm for the console;
  • Smooth and quiet operation;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • HR chest strap for not included;
  • A tablet placed on the tablet holder will cover the console display.


The XTERRA Fitness ERG600W is a heavy-duty rowing machine made for home use. It features a water resistance system, a durable dual-rail steel frame, a multi-function console, and a comfortable seat. It’s an excellent machine for a full-body cardio workout, muscle toning, stamina development, and weight loss. It’s not exactly one of the most affordable water resistance rowers but does offer light-commercial quality, even if it’s not meant for club use.

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