Concept 2 Vs WaterRower


The best equipment for a home workout would always be the rowing machine. If I would ever choose just one piece of equipment for my training sessions, it’d be a rowing machine.

I understand it’s a rowing machine and the name suggests an outdoor use. Rowing machines are quite convenient indoors, especially in countries where you cannot readily access ice or water parks for such sport.

Even if you’re in such an environment, using your rower outdoors might be problematic. You might face harsh weather conditions. Have you ever considered high tides at rivers?

The rowing machine is perfect for Crossfit training. That’s not all; if you’re looking to increase your aerobic, anaerobic, and cardio endurance, this is the machine for you. The rowing machine ensures that every muscle in your body is active, especially your arms and legs.

Strength building? Check.

Efficient cardio workout for your stamina? Check.

Concept 2 models

When prominent Olympians, Dick, and Pete Dreissigacker created Concept 2 in 1976, little did they know that their masterpiece would be groundbreaking. Concept 2 went on from being the first indoor rowing machine to becoming the highest-grossing rowing machine ever.

Generally, concept 2 models are famed for their sense of belonging and providing extra support for athletes who desire to achieve more. It is the quintessence of modernity. Each model has an interactive display console embedded in it.   Even more advantageous, different athletes can train together from the comfort of their homes and console displays different information. Even more, these athletes can race against each other without being physically present.

The LCD screen conveniently displays data related to fitness. Some of them include the number of calories one has burned, the length of distance covered, and the number of strokes. Also, there are approved heart rate strap for you to use. The screen will display real-time heart rate statistics for you.

In addition, concept 2 models have tweaked air pressure. Therefore, it provides different options for air resistance. A user can easily change the level of speed he or she desires. If you’re in a high motion and you want to take things slow, it’s easy for you to adjust the settings.

Concept 2 is a fan rower. Since fan rowers are noisier than water rowers, you might want to keep it away from the living room. It’s available in light grey and black. Never short of aesthetics.


  • Anti-scratch protection
  • It’s durable
  • 2-year warranty on some parts
  • 5-year warranty on the frame
  • Quite mobile
  • Comes with a performance monitor/data display console
  • The chain is nickel-plated and it makes the chain durable
  • Comes with an instructional manual
  • It’s easy to couple
  • Not too tall
  • Air resistance available


  • Tends to be noisy when rowing
  • Needs regular maintenance

WaterRower machine

Unlike the concept 2 models, the WaterRower machine is relatively new. But that doesn’t mean it should be discarded. It uses an air rower and it comes in highly recommended for those who prefer to stay away from the river for rowing.

Its aesthetics is impressive as it sports a solid ash wood body design and an overall honey-oak stain. You can place the machine anywhere in your home, including the living room. It’s easy to disassemble it. Therefore, when not in use, you can place it in an upright position.

The machine is powered by water and the machine is covered in wood. Therefore, the wood absorbs every trace of noise and vibration caused by the machine. It’s why the machine is almost noiseless.

The WaterRower displays a water flywheel. The flywheel is securely placed in a tank of water and it gives users a feel of rowing on an actual river or in a boat.

The resistance of the WaterRower, which is controlled by the flywheel, is self-regulated. It means that the resistance you feel depends on how fast you can row.

That’s not all; the interactive digital display the WaterRower sport is impressive and user-friendly. Maybe not as impressive as the Concept 2’s though.

The display console tracks various data such as the intensity of the exercise, rate of stroke, duration of exercise, heart rate, and distance covered.


  • It’s compact
  • The wood finish makes it aesthetically beautiful
  • Its durability can be vouched for
  • It comes with an interactive performance monitor
  • It requires just limited maintenance
  • It is almost noiseless
  • The wood finish absorbs noise and vibrations
  • There is a guaranteed 3-year warranty for parts
  • 5-year warranty for the frame


  • Water has to be purified often
  • It is more expensive
  • Its resell value is less.

Similarities Between Concept 2 And WaterRower

There are striking similarities that exist between the Concept 2 and WaterRower. The first and most obvious similarity is that both machines can be used indoors. Therefore, you don’t have to look for a river before you have to row.

Also, I have to admit that both rowing machines are of high quality, at least due to their country of origin. Both Concept 2 and WaterRower are made in the United States and the country is popularly known for making high-quality rowing machines.

Furthermore, both rower makers have three high-quality models. Concept 2 boasts of Concept2 Model D, Concept2 Model E, and Concept2 Dynamic Rower. Also, WaterRower churned out three topnotch models; WaterRower Natural Rowing, WaterRower GX Home Rowing, and WaterRower Club Rowing.

In terms of durability, both machines are praised by those who have used them. A look at their designs shows that both machines use metal aluminum and steel rails. This reduces the possibilities of scratches and marks on the machines.

I might have to add that WaterRower is more durable than Concept2 because of its wooden design. It’s built to last for a long period.

Differences Between Concept2 and WaterRower

Concept2 WaterRower
Mechanism This machine uses air blown through a fan as its mechanism. When needed, it produces powerful strokes. This machine elects for water as its mechanism. It’s why the machine produces lesser sound. If one needs a rowing machine at home, this is a perfect choice.
Comfort This isn’t the strength of Concept2 because you might have to purchase a seat cushion alongside the machine. The WaterRower was designed with home users in mind. It’s very comfortable to use and the seat offers some warmth. You might want to purchase a seat cushion if you’ll use the machine for long.
Flexibility Concept2 is perfectly suited for any height. There’s the drag and foot height mechanism added to it to make it seamless for anyone to use. It isn’t an easy task to adjust resistance in the water tank. Also, moving the foot straps can be herculean.
Appearance Concept2 sports the appearance of a basic rowing machine. It doesn’t appear too attractive to purchase just for its looks. It is more concerned about performance. With the wooden design all over the machine, WaterRower is aesthetically pleasing to behold.
Capacity Concept2 can conveniently handle weight up to 500 pounds WaterRower can handle about 770 pounds in weight.
Pricing Concept2 is more affordable This machine is more expensive.


Water rower vs Concept 2 – Conclusion And Recommendation

Both machines are winners in different categories and choosing the one to purchase really boils down to you. Both of them are beasts and are fantastic additions to any home. If you’re concerned about aesthetics, WaterRower is your top choice.

On the other hand, if performance and actual fitness is your top priority, Concept2 is no doubt the winner. Also, if you’re on a budget, then you should opt for Concept2.

Personally, Concept2 is the real deal for me.

Tyler Read Bio

Tyler Read is the owner of which is a website dedicated to helping people get started in the personal training industry. He helps people discover, study and pass their fitness exams.

Concept 2