Hydrow Rower Review


The Hydrow rower is a high-end indoor rowing machine that offers a unique and immersive rowing experience (what they refer to as Live Outdoor Reality, or LOR). With its sleek design and advanced technology, it's designed to replicate the feeling of rowing on the water. 

The Hydrow Wave is a more compact and affordable version of the Hydrow rower that still offers a full-body workout. Both machines come with a subscription service that provides access to a library of on-demand and live rowing workouts.

Also in this article:

Features and Specifications

  • The Hydrow rower measures 86" x 25" x 47" and weighs 145 pounds. It has a 22" full HD screen and a maximum weight capacity of 375 pounds and uses an electromagnetic resistance mechanism.
  • The Hydrow Wave measures 80" x 19" x 43" and weighs 102 pounds, with a maximum weight capacity of 375 pounds. It has a 16" HD touchscreen and uses electromagnetic drag just like its larger counterpart.
  • Both models require standard 120v outlets for charging, and of course you'll need wifi connectivity to be able to stream live and pre-recorded workouts through your Hydrow subscription.
  • Both offer free porch delivery, with an option to add premium in-home setup

Build and Durability

Both the Hydrow rower and Hydrow Wave are built with high-quality materials and are designed to be durable and long-lasting. Also, importantly, they both run on the same patented electromagnetic drag system that is central of the authentic rowing experience. 

Still, there are a few key differences in the design.
  • The Hydrow rower has a frame composed of aluminum and steel, with a flat anthracite polymer body, while the Wave is made up of stainless steel for the track and a thermoplastic polymer frame, which helps account for its significantly lower weight and smaller footprint.
  • The Wave has a smaller touch screen that cannot be adjusted or pivoted, whereas the Hydrow rower's monitor can be pivoted as much as 25 degrees left and right, and adjusted 15 degrees vertically. 
  • The Hydrow rower has a sliding seat built on a 10-roller system, making it extremely smooth; the Wave has a 2-roller, 2-idler system.
  • The Wave also comes in a variety of colors, not unlike the way Apple often releases hardware in attractive colorways (these come at a premium, however — typically $300 more than the standard black model). 

Comfort and Ergonomics

The Hydrow rower and Hydrow Wave both feature a comfortable, contoured seat and an adjustable handlebar that accommodates a range of arm lengths. The footrests are adjustable to fit various shoe sizes, and they have a secure and comfortable grip.

User Experience

The Hydrow rower and Hydrow Wave both offer a smooth and realistic rowing experience that simulates rowing on water. The resistance on the both rowers is adjustable, and users can choose from different workout modes and difficulty levels. 
  • Note: Other reviewers have noted that the original Hydrow rower has a smoother feel than the Wave, which may be more similar to the Concept2 (not at all a bad thing, in our opinion, but worth noting here). 
The subscription service provides access to a wide range of on-demand and live workouts, including scenic rows at exotic locations all around the world — as well as races like the Head Of The Charles in Boston (an event that attracts some 200,000 athletes and spectators to Cambridge, MA in October every year). 

Additional Benefits

Interactive training

The Hydrow rower offers interactive and engaging training with access to live and on-demand workouts, making it a standout feature for those who want to take their rowing experience to the next level.

Low impact 

Rowing is a low-impact exercise, making the Hydrow rower a great option for individuals with joint pain or those who are recovering from an injury.

Space-saving design

While the Hydrow rower is not the smallest rowing machine on the market, its compact design is space-saving and fits nicely in smaller living spaces.

Advanced metrics tracking

In addition to tracking basic metrics like distance and time, the Hydrow rower also provides advanced metrics such as power output and stroke rate, which are useful for serious rowers and fitness enthusiasts.

Unique coaching

The Hydrow rower provides a unique coaching experience with highly skilled trainers that will guide you through each workout, providing expert advice and motivation along the way.

Social community

The Hydrow rower offers a social community platform that connects users and provides support and motivation, making it a great option for those who prefer a group fitness experience. There are even in-person meetups at events throughout the year.

Tracking and Metrics

Both the Hydrow rower and Hydrow Wave have a built-in display that tracks distance, time, calories burned, and stroke rate. Users can also track their progress over time and compare their results to other Hydrow users.

Price and Value

The Hydrow rower is priced at $2,245, while the Hydrow Wave is priced at $1,895. The subscription service costs $44 per month, which includes unlimited access to live and on-demand workouts. There are also options for bundles that build in subscriptions with your Hydrow rower or Wave purchase. 

While these prices are higher than many other rowing machines on the market, the Hydrow rower and Hydrow Wave offer a unique and immersive rowing experience that can't be found elsewhere.
  • Key to the value is Hydrow's commitment to the immersive rowing experience. By hiring a combination of experienced rowers (including Olympians) alongside fitness experts from other fields, Hydrow gains an air of authenticity that other rowing subscription services lack — this is something that can make non-rowers feel comfortable in the knowledge that they are being guided by the best coaches, while also pulling in rowing athletes who may otherwise roll their eyes at another 'fitness' machine. 

Pros and Cons


  • Realistic rowing experience that simulates rowing on water
  • Belt drive and electromagnetic resistance makes it very quiet 
  • Comfortable and ergonomic design
  • Wide range of on-demand and live workouts, often filmed on location in beautiful venues across the US and Europe
    • These workouts have recently been expanded to include yoga and strength training, as well as circuit training
  • High-quality construction and durability
  • Built-in display tracks metrics and progress over time


  • High price point compared to other rowing machines on the market
  • Cannot be stored vertically without an additional upright storage kit (sold separately)
  • Requires wifi connectivity and power outlet 
  • Requires a monthly subscription for access to all workouts and advanced metrics
  • The subscription service may not be suitable for users who prefer to design their own workouts

Can't decide?

The Hydrow app is now available for $19.99/month. If you're curious about the experience but already have a rowing machine or don't way to dive in at such a high price point without sampling it first, you can subscribe to the iOS and Android apps and use them with your existing machine, or take advantage of the yoga and strength classes if you're less into rowing (although, not sure why you'd be here if that were the case). 

The point is, there's a way to peek under the hood a bit if you want — you'll just need to provide your own device (and likely rowing machine). 


Overall, the Hydrow rower and Hydrow Wave offer a unique and immersive rowing experience that's well-suited for both beginners and experienced rowers. The subscription service provides access to a wide range of on-demand and live workouts, which is perfect for those who prefer a more structured approach to their workouts. The machines are well-built and durable, ensuring they'll last for years to come. However, the high price point and required subscription may not be suitable for everyone, particularly those who prefer to design their own workouts or those on a tighter budget.

If you're looking for a high-end indoor rowing machine that offers a realistic rowing experience and a wide range of workout options, the Hydrow rower and Hydrow Wave are definitely worth considering. Just keep in mind the cost of the machines and subscription service when making your decision.

Now read our other rowing machine reviews:

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