The WaterRower A1 and S4 rowing machines are unique machines because they are made of wood. Today we are going to talk about the Water Rower A1.

Just like the S4, the A1 rower uses water flywheel technology, which mimics a rowing motion in real water. It also has a water resistance system that automatically adapts to the effort put in by each user, so you don’t have to make manual adjustments. If you are looking for a very functional rowing machine with a unique character, then the A1 is an excellent choice for you!

  • Very comfortable seat and pull handle
  • Water resistance system providing the most natural feeling of rowing possible and offering great fluidity
  • Quiet operation
  • Stores vertically; there is no need to remove the water before storage
  • Increased stability; rubber stabilizers on all bases
  • 9 advanced training programs
  • Little maintenance required
  • Possibility to adjust the difficulty by adding / removing water in the tank
  • The chest strap is not included; it will have to be purchased separately
  • Assembly instructions can be a bit tricky to follow at first
  • Basic performance monitor; it lacks the advanced features found on monitors on other high-end rowers


  • Type of resistance: Water resistance
  • Brand: WaterRower
  • Product dimensions: 210 x 56 x 53 cm
  • Maximum user height: 196 cm
  • Maximum user weight: 125 kg
  • Weight: 36.3 Kg
  • Materials: Aluminum and ash wood finished in Danish oil


Main features of the Water Rower A1 ergometer

The Water Rower A1 has an impressive array of features. These guarantee better results, in less time, and with optimal comfort. The water resistance system provides a full body workout and engages all major muscle groups. The level of resistance depends on the amount of water in your tank: a full tank requires more effort than a half-filled tank.

Thanks to its ergonomic design, the level of resistance also depends on the intensity of your rowing strokes. The more you pull the handle, the greater the resistance. So you can easily set your own workout pace. Also, this rower has a handy monitor that will effectively track your workouts as well as your progress. To avoid confusion, the display is separated into different windows. Each window displays specific information. We will discuss this in more detail later.

Several users have reported a dramatic improvement in their smoothness of movement and lung capacity, after using this rower for only two to three months.

WaterRower A1 rowing machine build quality

The Water Rower A1 rowing machine is made with clear Danish oil finished ash wood. Ash is a premium hardwood, making it extremely durable.

It is the ideal material for the construction of rowing machines since it fulfills two functions: it is aesthetic and it absorbs sound and vibrations. The WaterRower A1 ergometer is therefore a very quiet machine.

The A1’s water tank is made from polycarbonate, aka the indestructible plastic.

Compared to the WaterRower S4 , the WaterRower A1 indoor rower costs less; the model underwent several adjustments to allow it to be sold at a lower price.

While the S4 features a dual rail for added stability, the A1 model only features a single rail. Additionally, the maximum weight limit on the A1 is significantly lower than other Water Rower rowing machines (125 kg compared to 500 kg).

That said, the overall build quality of the Water Rower A1 home rower remains excellent.

WaterRower A1 Rower Monitor

As the name suggests, the Water Rower A1 rower features a multi-functional A1 performance monitor. This monitor can track the following data:

  • Time
  • Distance
  • Intensity (watts)
  • Rowing strokes per minute
  • Stroke frequency (calculated over the last 500 meters)

To make tracking data more accessible, the A1 monitor takes care of displaying it in separate windows.

The A1 monitor compared to the S4 monitor

One of the reasons the A1 rower is less expensive than other WaterRower rowers is the fact that the A1 performance monitor does not have all the features that the S4 performance monitors offer.

Water Rower indicates that the A1 monitor is a simplified version of the S4 monitor. The A1 has a reduced number of buttons and functions.

Among the most important differences between these two monitors, we note the absence of the functionalities: “PC & Software compatibility”, “Heart rate display” and “Interval training”.

However, it should also be noted that these features are missing from most rowing machines on the market.

The A1 monitor has 5 buttons: 2 selection buttons, and 3 navigation buttons. They are all below the screen.

As with the S4, the A1 monitor screen is not backlit. So make sure you have enough light during your training sessions. The monitor requires 2 AA batteries to operate (included).

In short, the A1 multifunction monitor isn’t as rich as the S4’s. However, it will provide you with enough data to effectively track your workouts. It is therefore a good performance monitor.


The WaterRower A1 rower takes up quite a bit of space while in use. However, storing it in an upright position is easy, and only takes a few seconds. This will save you a lot of space!

In addition, the water tank located near the wheels and the light wooden structure allow the rower to stand up effortlessly. I can even put it in a vertical position with one hand!

In “stowed” mode, the footprint of the rower is equivalent to that of a dining room chair. Plus, the built-in casters make it easy to move around the corner of the room or against the wall.

Ease of use

This rower is quite easy to use. It’s perfect for first-time users, as it promotes a gradual evolution in your efforts. It allows you to train without exerting strong stress on your muscles and therefore without the risk of injury.

The seat is thick and padded. It easily adapts to your body shape, further improving your comfort level. Users will have no trouble getting on and off the machine, as the seat is just inches above the ground.

We liked the easy-to-grip pull handle: the problem with the pull handles of most rowing machines is that they tend to become slick, and therefore more difficult to use. However, the handle of the WaterRower A1 is ergonomically shaped, and will surely not disappoint.

The vast majority of users also declared their satisfaction with the large footrests. These can easily accommodate different shoe sizes. Nylon straps are durable and ensure your feet/shoes grip well.


Many rowers require regular lubrication. However, the Water Rower A1 is virtually maintenance free. The only maintenance required is to add a purification tablet to the steering wheel water every three to six months.

Purification tablets are supplied with the device. You can also order additional shelves if needed.

User reviews

Overall, the Water Rower A1 ergometer has received very good reviews on Amazon.

Many users claim that the sound of the machine makes them calm and meditative, and many others say they have gained stamina and strength since they started using it.

There are relatively few user complaints, but a few people mention that the machine is very difficult to assemble. If you are having this issue, then it is suggested that you watch one of the many assembly videos available online.

Finally, users also commented that the natural wood finish tends to match other furniture in the home. Almost all reviews of this machine are very positive, and most complaints are about minor issues.

Test verdict – Our opinion on the WaterRower A1 rowing machine

The Water Rower A 1 rower has an indoor rower classification. However, do not rely too much on this classification; its build quality is comparable to machines intended for commercial gym use. It is therefore a durable rowing machine, which will certainly stand the test of time!

This rower is one of the few rowers that has no major drawbacks. In addition, people who want to get in shape quickly will certainly appreciate the performance of this machine.

In addition, the water tank emits a pleasant sound that will delight all outdoor rowing enthusiasts. It thus provides a practically silent workout, and allows you to enjoy a movie during your workout. If you want to lose weight, then know that a 60 minute workout on this rowing machine with moderate intensity can burn up to 500 calories!

If you want to track your workout stats very accurately, then I suggest the Concept2 Model D with its more capable PM5 monitor. But if you’re looking for a durable rowing machine that offers a realistic rowing motion, then this is the model for you! There are so many reasons why people go to the gym. Some are looking to gain a few muscles around the body while others are looking to burn the extra fat around their waist. And seriously, it takes a considerable effort and commitment to attain the perfect beach body. However, not everyone can hit the gym regularly. Many people want to, but they simply don’t have the time for it.

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