ergatta vs waterrower

Ergatta vs WaterRower: Which Rower Is Best?

Hi friends! It’s your favorite blogger Kathleen with some pretty exciting news.

In today’s article, I want to talk about two water rowing machines that look so alike that deciding between them can turn into a really tough job, especially if you’re a rowing newbie!

We’ll talk about Ergatta and WaterRower Club, aka WaterRower, find out how they are both alike and different so that you can make a more informed buying decision.

The Ergatta & WaterRower Club At A Glance:

If you are in a hurry don’t have time to read the whole article? Click on the links below to find out which rower is the best for you:

1. The Ergatta Rowing Machine

2. WaterRower Club Rowing Machine

To be honest, however, whether you’re a newbie or an old-timer, shopping for a new rowing machine can be pretty confusing.

Should you get a water rower or a magnetic resistance machine? Should you get one of the connected rowing machines or go with a budget option? Calm down, my friend, Old Kathleen here isn’t going to let you down! No way!

For now, let’s forget the rest and focus on two of the best water rowing machines the fitness industry has ever created!

Oh, my exciting news? I’ll reveal that little secret later on in the article.

Keep reading, you will definitely want to know what I’m about to tell you.


Let’s Talk Water Rowing Machines

First, let me explain just a bit about what a water rowing machine is.

All rowing machines need to use something for resistance, right? The same way that you use resistance bands or dumbbells for resistance, you need to push or pull against something to improve your physical fitness.

Rowing machines use several different types of resistance, including air, water, hydraulics, and magnets. There are pros and cons to all of these, and other than noise, most of the difference is a matter of preference.

Water rowers have a round tank that holds water, with something similar to fan blades or paddles inside the tank. As you row, you push against the water by moving the paddles or blades.

This type of rowing machine is pretty quiet, the only sound being the gentle swooshing sound that the water in the tank makes. Imagine rowing on a beautiful lake. The noise of the paddles in the water is just about the only thing you will hear.

Many people love water rowers because of this relaxing sound and the super smooth rowing action that the water creates. It’s pretty close to the real thing, especially when speaking about rowing machines made from wood. That is very similar to sitting in a boat, and many people find this really soothing and authentic.

See How Ergatta Compares to the Concept 2!

So Are Water Rowers Really Loud?

No, not at all.

While water rowers aren’t silent like magnetic rowing machines are, they are nowhere near as noisy as air rowers.

If you have ever used or been near a Concept 2 rowing machine when it’s in use, then you know how noisy an air rower is.

Water-resistance rowing machines do make a noise like the sound of a rushing brook or water lapping on canoe paddles. You can talk to someone in the room, the sound is that muted.

If you live in an apartment, condo, or if you share your living space with others, I can’t imagine anyone even noticing the sound, let alone complaining about it.

Short on Space? Click Here for Rower Options!

The Two Most Popular Water Rowers: Ergatta and WaterRower

Let’s talk about these two very popular rowing machines.

First, both these rowing machines will give you a full-body, low-impact workout with the zen-like bonus that people get from the sound of water.

These two water rowers have consoles that will track your basic metrics, such as overall time, strokes per minute, the number of meters you have rowed, calories burned, and so much more.

They’re also both made from wood, with that unmistakable American artisanship and quality that you’ll only find in a WaterRower or an Ergatta.

While Ergatta is made from cherry wood, WaterRower uses several different types of hardwoods, such as ash or oak, the choice is yours.

Last, both rowing machines offer stellar rowing workouts, weigh almost the same, and can be stored on one end.

This is where the similarities end, however. Check out the following table which has more information regarding weight capacity limits and overall dimensions.

Rowing Machine Model Ergatta WaterRower Club
Machine Weight (Pounds) 76.5 – without water
103 – with water in the tank
76 – without water
103 – with water in the tank
Assembled Dimensions
(Inches, L x W x H)
86 x 23 x 40 82 x 22 x 20
Stored / Upright Dimensions
(Inches, L x W x H)
23 x 22.5 x 86 20 x 22 x 82
Height Capacity / Inseam
40 37
User Weight Capacity
500 700
Size of Monitor 17.3” HD touchscreen tablet S4 monitor 5” (approx.)

Indoor rowing machines, especially water rowers that you can’t fold, do require some space, but otherwise, these can be stored in an upright position so they don’t take up much room when you aren’t using them.

Now I want to tell you about the differences between these two machines.

See Our Top Rowing Machines for Heavy People!

WaterRower Club Rowing Machine

Whether you choose the ash or oak wood version, you can tell right away that this is a good-looking rowing machine. WaterRower is made in the USA, and the top-notch quality really shows.

Key Points about the WaterRower

1. Wood Construction

I like wood-based rowing machines because they seem to absorb shock better than steel ones, but this is just my personal observation.

Wood-framed rowing machines can also support more weight than other types of material. The flywheel in the water tank gives you a very smooth rowing experience, and sitting on the nicely padded seat does give you the feeling of being in a boat.

2. Variable Resistance

With water and air resistance rowing machines, the harder you row, the more resistance you create. So with WaterRower, you get an infinitely variable resistance.

You can also change how much resistance there is by adding or removing water from the tank, which might seem like a pain, but in all honesty, I think most people rarely do this. I know that I have never added or removed water from the recommended 17 liters in the tank. When I’m not feeling like doing an intense workout, I simply reduce my strokes per minute.

Hydrow vs Concept – Click Here to See Who Won!

3. Traditional, Low-Tech Workouts

If you’re the type of person who likes to do things from the basics and live life off-grid, you’d like the traditional way of working out with WaterRower, which means there are no workout programs. However, if you place the rowing machine where you can see your TV, you can always stream online fitness classes or watch YouTube videos on your phone or tablet.


If you like things low-tech and are simply shopping for a water rower that will give you a great full-body workout, the WaterRower Club rowing machine is exactly what you want.

4. Warranty

There is a 5-year warranty on the frame and a 3-year warranty on everything else if you complete the online registration form. Otherwise, there is a 1-year warranty.

WaterRower has been making these rowing machines since the 1980s and has remained a best seller for many years.

5. Upright Storage

Stored upright, this rowing machine doesn’t take up any more space than your average parson’s chair, although it is taller. Move that Kliban Cat picture, and you’ve got the perfect space to store your rowing machine.

Ask anyone who has ever used a WaterRower Club rowing machine, and I’m sure, you’ll hear only the best reviews.

Is WaterRower a Good Brand?

It absolutely is! WaterRower designed and created the first home indoor water rowing machine, so they know water rowers inside and out.

As inventors of water rowers, they offer the absolute best water rowing experience, hands down.

WaterRower Club Rowing Machine side view

View on Amazon

Also, the warranty is very good, which shows that the company has faith in its products.

I think the only thing that WaterRower is missing is that it isn’t a connected rower and that the monitor is not in the most convenient place. Well, at least for me. It’s located near the footrest, and I need to look down at it. That’s not a deal breaker, though, because it’s not like I’m looking at the monitor during my entire 30-minute rowing workout.

The Ergatta Rowing Machine

Isn’t the Ergatta a beauty?

Did it ever cross your mind that the Ergatta rowing machine looks almost identical to the WaterRower Club rowing machine?

Ergatta Rowing Machine at home

Purchase Direct at Ergatta

Compare on Amazon

My readers are so smart! That’s because WaterRower builds the Ergatta rowing machine for Ergatta! They make it according to Ergatta’s specifications, so it is the same but different.

Ergatta Vs WaterRower: Spot the Diff

First, Ergatta has a custom cherry wood frame that is so beautiful, you might want to place it right there in your dining room or living room.

Touchscreen 17.3″ Monitor

Perhaps the biggest difference that you can see right away is that Ergatta rowers have an arm that holds a 17.3-inch HD touchscreen tablet. This is where everything changes, because this monitor is also your gateway to a connected, animated workout!

Gamified Workout Program

The New-York-based Ergatta team uses their own software that, rather than use the same old instructor-led classes, is designed to make you sweat doing workouts disguised as video games and racing competitions.

Imagine Mario Kart, but instead of the steering wheel or game controller, you row to keep up and beat your opponent!

You still get the same smooth rowing experience as you would with the WaterRower Club, and you still have the gentle sound of water, but rather than sweating away to instructor-led workouts in a classroom, you get to race against others, race against yourself, or just play games.

I have to admit that when I first tried Ergatta, I wasn’t ready for how addicting the games would be. I found myself working out harder and longer than I had intended because I was so caught up in the game!

Check out our hands on video of the Ergatta Water Rower:


Ergatta Membership

Unlike the off-the-grid WaterRower, the Ergatta is a connected rowing machine, which means that it uses electricity and the internet to access the platform. That will require a monthly subscription, but that is true with all connected rowers, including the Hydrow rowing machine.

Ergatta membership costs $348 a year or $29 a month, which is less than most gym subscriptions because the Ergatta allows you to create as many profiles as you like. This means that you and everyone in your household can use the Ergatta, have their own profile, enjoy personalized workouts, and hopefully, share in the cost of the subscription.

There are rowing machines and there are rowing machines, but Ergatta is in a class by itself when it comes to water machines.

It’s the software that really makes this connected fitness machine different from the rest. You can access Ergatta workouts such as the Push Programs which allow you to reach certain goals, or you can use the interval workouts, race workouts, and one of my favorites for off days, scenic row. This is where you just row and look at the scenery. With so many workout options, you’re sure to find something that appeals to you!

Ergatta is both Bluetooth- and Wifi-enabled, so you can use your Bluetooth-enabled headphones, fitness monitors or watches, and your third-party heart rate monitor.

Is Ergatta Good for Beginners?

The Ergatta rower (read more) is the perfect machine for those who are new to rowing. There is a basic program that will explain how to do rowing strokes correctly.

After that, when you first sit down to row, the Ergatta rower will have you do a 1,000-meter row, which is designed to measure your current fitness level. The workout platform will then adjust the rower to suit your current fitness level so you aren’t left huffing and puffing and sore.


Every time you complete 10-15 rows, the machine will recalibrate itself and adjust your workouts accordingly. If your fitness level has improved, the rower will give you more advanced workouts. You may also opt out of automatic recalibration if you don’t want a particular session included in the recalibration.

For anyone who thinks they might miss the camaraderie of the gym, there is a large Ergatta community on social media platforms, Reddit, and more. You can get advice, talk about your rowing workouts, or invite others to race against you. Just like in a real rowing community, you can add friends to your circle or issue private challenges to rivals.

With all these features, especially the awesome workout programs, it’s no wonder that Ergatta is increasing in popularity every week!

One Little-Known Secret

You know old Kathleen always lets you in on some really great deals or secrets that not too many people know about.

Did you buy a WaterRower but now wish you had purchased an Ergatta? Don’t worry about it, friends, all you need is the Ergatta Upgrade package!

What Is Ergatta Upgrade?

Ergatta offers an upgrade that will include the arm and the tablet so that you can easily turn your WaterRower into a connected rower!

You can enjoy all the features of the Ergatta platform, play games, connect to the Ergatta community, and more!

The Ergatta upgrade works with any WaterRower that uses the new S4 monitor. If your S4 monitor has a mini-USB port in the back, then your WaterRower will accept the upgrade!

Once you use a connected rower, you will never want to use anything else!

Got a WaterRower? Check out the Ergatta Upgrade and enjoy the full Ergatta experience!

Can I Use Ergatta Without the Membership?

The short answer here is yes, you can.

The part I’m leaving out is, “But why would you?!”

If you don’t use the membership, you won’t be able to access everything that the workout platform offers. You can still use a limited version of the Open Row, but that’s all.

With so many fantastic workout options and fun games to play, why would you want to use your Ergatta without a subscription?

I understand, you might be worried that while you love your Ergatta rower, you may not be able to pay the monthly subscription.

If that should happen, your Ergatta won’t become a big paperweight. You can still use it, although your access will be greatly limited.

That’s why I highly recommend sharing and splitting the monthly ongoing cost with others in your household! That’s what your friend Kathleeen does, and it makes the expenses less burdensome!

The Final Takeaway

When it comes to Ergatta vs WaterRower, the choice is clear.

There is nothing wrong with WaterRower, but I’ve been spoiled by having connected rowers. It’s almost like your cell phone, would you want to go back to the old-style flip phones that can only make phone calls and send text messages? Of course not! You want the whole enchilada, right?

That’s where the Ergatta rowing experience comes into play. If you really don’t care much for instructor-led classes and working out while playing games and racing against others sounds so much more fun to you, then you should check out Ergatta.

Nothing in the fitness industry comes close, and while there are other connected rowing machines like Hydrow and Aviron (FYI Read More –Hydrow vs Aviron), they are very different in terms of the rowing workout experience and the actual rowing machine.

Stay healthy and happy, friends, because life is too short for anything else.