Hydrow Wave evaluation: The smoothest rowing machine for dwelling exercises

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  • The Hydrow Wave is as shut because it will get to feeling such as you’re rowing on water.
  • I like to recommend the Wave for brand spanking new and seasoned rowers, however for various causes.
  • There are a lot of options of the Wave I like, however my favourite is the subscription service.

As a former faculty rower, I miss being on the water. And the lonely rower machine tucked within the dusty nook of my native health club that feels like a sick cat after I use it is not fixing that.

So, after I heard about Hydrow’s newest mannequin, the Hydrow Wave, which guarantees to convey customers an on-water expertise, I needed to give it a shot.

About Hydrow Wave

A Hydrow Wave sitting in a living room.

The Hydrow Wave has about two-thirds the footprint of its predecessor.

Jessica Orwig/Insider

Hydrow’s authentic mannequin, the Hydrow Rowing Machine, was one in all Insider’s high picks for the very best rowers of 2022. However with a price ticket of $2,495, it was the costliest machine in our line-up. The Wave is considerably cheaper costing $1,695, or $36/mo with 0% APR by Klarna.

Whereas it is nonetheless not the most cost effective rower you should purchase, the Wave’s worth level makes it aggressive with different fashions just like the Concept2 Mannequin D or Nordic Observe RW900. 

It is also 43 kilos lighter, 6 inches shorter, and 6 inches narrower in comparison with its predecessor. So it takes up much less ground house than a treadmill. 

What units each Hydrow fashions other than conventional rowers is their interactive courses and streaming content material. That is why Hydrow was usually nicknamed the Peloton of rowers earlier than Peloton received its personal rower. 

As with all exercise tools, figuring out whether or not the Wave is best for you is dependent upon what you are searching for. So, listed below are seven notable options of the Hydrow Wave to think about.

One of the best factor in regards to the Wave is the health courses

A finger pressing the touchscreen of the Hydrow Wave selecting a 5-minute cool down exercise.

Rowing courses include exercises that final anyplace from 5 minutes to over an hour.

Jessica Orwig/Insider

In my view, the health courses are the very best function of the Wave and make it a greater possibility than different rowers at an identical worth level — particularly if you happen to’re new to rowing and do not know the right approach.

There is a very particular sequence of actions to rowing appropriately, and — I can communicate from expertise — studying that approach below the path of educated rowers is rather a lot simpler than attempting to show your self. It is not intuitive. 

The Wave’s courses include Hydrow’s subscription service, which prices $38/mo — cheaper than Peloton’s $44/mo all-access membership and lots of health club memberships. 

The subscription service gives dozens of expert-led, pre-recorded, and stay, exercises that vary anyplace from 5 minutes to over an hour. 

There’s even a sequence known as “Row with Hart” the place you row with celeb and Hydrow artistic director Kevin Hart. And Hydrow is continually including new exercises to the listing from areas across the globe.

“It is a beautiful method to get folks one other indoor health possibility the place you are feeling such as you’re part of one thing,” says Lisa Russell who’s a bodily therapist, rower, and founding father of PowerHousePhysio.com.

And if there’s one sort of individual you need motivating you throughout a exercise, it is a rower. Rowers use on-boat coaches known as coxswains, to encourage them and you’ll see the athletes convey that very same depth and encouragement to Hydrow’s courses. That is why I discovered it a lot simpler to push myself throughout these exercises than I sometimes do solo on a treadmill or bike

It is simple to assemble and maneuver

Front end of the Wave rower machine, showing the wheels for easy maneuvering.

The Wave comes with two wheel within the entrance that will help you simply maneuver it round.

Jessica Orwig/Insider

It takes about 15-20 minutes to first assemble the Hydrow Wave. After that, shifting it round to the place you need is comparatively straightforward because of the 2 wheels on the entrance; simply tip it upright and push.

I used to be in a position to maneuver it on each carpet and hardwood flooring on my own with out a drawback. Nevertheless, after I tried to take it down a set of stairs, that is after I wanted my associate’s assist.

The Wave is 43 kilos lighter than its predecessor however it’s nonetheless a heavy piece of apparatus, weighing in at 102 kilos. Plus, the machine’s weight is not evenly distributed. Most of it’s within the entrance the place the display screen is positioned. This makes it a tad awkward to raise since one individual will get the majority of the burden.

I like to recommend assembling the machine on the identical ground you intend to make use of it.

This machine is tremendous quiet

The Hydrow's Wave's wheel.

The wheel on the Hydrow Wave works through electromagnetic resistance, which helps make it extraordinarily quiet.

Jessica Orwig/Insider

In comparison with the Concept2 rowers I am used to, the Hydrow Wave sounds considerably softer. Once I measured the Wave’s decibel vary, the loudest it reached was 68 dB, or about as loud as a dishwasher. Concept2s can attain nicely over 70 dB, by comparability.

That softness may not attraction to you if you happen to like listening to the loud “WHOOSH” each time you are taking a stroke. I am going to admit, it may be hypnotic in an oddly motivating approach.

Nevertheless, in case you have roommates or neighbors shut by, the Wave is a greater possibility than louder machines. Personally, I actually loved how mushy the Wave sounded.

However the large query is: Does rowing on the Wave really feel such as you’re rowing on water? 

Think about a lake on a windless daybreak with water so calm it is an ideal mirror to the morning sky. Rowing on that’s what it feels wish to row on the Wave. The machine is ridiculously easy. 

The seat slides effortlessly alongside the beam however extra importantly, the deal with and nylon wire really feel easy as you row from the catch to the discharge and again. Some rowers I’ve used are jerky on the catch, which may make it tough to get right into a rhythm and strains the again.

It’s also possible to alter how onerous you wish to work out by growing or lowering the strain of the wheel. The Hydrow wheel’s stress is managed by electromagnetic resistance, so you possibly can entry it by the machine’s laptop. This function additionally comes with a formidable bonus:

“The purpose was to create a resistance mechanism that we may alter and alter over time,” says Hydrow founder Bruce Smith. “The analogy is that it’s just like a Tesla: As a result of the resistance is a pc program that maps to a selected feeling, we are able to change the resistance.” 

Smith provides that Hydrow “will even be including completely different feels to the machine over the following few years” that customers can entry by the subscription service.  

Truthfully, I do not know the way it may make the Wave really feel any smoother however am curious to see what Hydrow whips up.

Hydrow has a variety of refined security options that go a great distance

The six different types of classes you get with Hydrow’s subscription service.

Hydrow gives quite a lot of exercise courses moreover rowing.


Rowing is a low-impact train however that does not imply you possibly can’t injure your self. 

Low again ache is without doubt one of the commonest accidents rowers expertise. Nevertheless, the Wave has a number of options that will help you row injury-free.

1. Introductory sequence

The subscription service gives an introductory “Be taught to Row” sequence. Smith says this sequence is “particularly designed” for first-timers and that it “breaks down the basics of the rowing stroke” that will help you obtain correct type.

In case you have poor type, you are extra prone to damage your self, Russell says.

2. Various exercises

The subscription service additionally gives yoga, Pilates, and power coaching courses. Rowing is a full-body exercise, so it is essential to stretch and strengthen your physique as you row longer distances.

Furthermore, Smith says “we hear from tons of customers who’ve integrated these exercises into their marathon or triathlon coaching program. Or have used them whereas recovering from any harm, or to forestall additional aggravating an present one.”

3. Wheel resistance 

With the ability to alter the resistance of the wheel might help cut back how a lot the machine pulls in your again. So, in case your again is sore, strive reducing the strain.

Nevertheless, one factor Hydrow — and all different rower producers — may enhance on is to make the machine extra customizable, says Russell. 

“Anybody with hip ache or vary of movement points want to have the ability to alter the seat-to-heal angle, the place your butt is in comparison with the place your heels

find yourself,” Russell says. As a result of this “appears to contribute to somebody’s consolation or discomfort on completely different fashions and machines.”

It takes up minimal house 

Graphic of Hydrow Wave's height, width and length measurements

Hydrow has a smaller footprint than most treadmills and solely takes up 10.5 sq. ft.


The Wave’s small measurement is what a variety of on-line reviewers rave about — and it is simple to see why.

The machine measures 80 inches (6.6 ft) lengthy by 19 inches (1.6 ft) broad, which implies it takes up about 10.5 sq. ft of ground house. For comparability, the unique Hydrow mannequin covers 15 sq. ft.

For extra perspective, 10.5 sq. ft is smaller than hottest treadmills together with:

The one distinction is that many treadmills permit you to simply fold them up and stash them in opposition to your wall, opening extra ground house. 

You are able to do one thing related with the Wave however you may must buy Hydrow’s upright storage package for $80. I did not have an opportunity to check this out however judging from Hydrow’s on-line tutorial, it seems to be extra difficult than a folding treadmill however is doable if you happen to’re strapped for ground house. 

The display screen measurement is smaller and never adjustable

A rowing class playing on Hydrow Wave’s screen.

Hydrow Wave’s display screen is small than the unique Hydrow mannequin.

Jessica Orwig/insider

The Wave comes with a 16-inch display screen in comparison with the unique Hydrow mannequin’s 22-inch display screen. Personally, the Wave’s monitor was massive sufficient for me to see every part as I labored out.

However the largest distinction between the 2 is that the unique Hydrow’s display screen swivels and the Wave’s doesn’t. For me, this made it barely awkward to observe the opposite exercises like yoga or Pilates since I needed to watch them at an angle. 

Nevertheless, the expertise wasn’t so dangerous that I might pay an additional $800 for the unique mannequin, only for a swiveling display screen. 

Must you purchase the Hydrow Wave?

Stock image of the Hydrow Wave rower machine.

On-line reviewers are giving the Hydrow Wave 5 out of 5 stars.


The Hydrow Wave is the smoothest rower I’ve ever used and it exceeded my expectations of getting an on-water expertise at dwelling.

So, if you happen to’re out there for a rower between $1,000-$2,000, then I extremely suggest the Wave as a result of it suits virtually each health degree and life-style. It is good for brand spanking new rowers because it teaches the fundamentals and may please seasoned rowers with its aggressive races and efficient exercises. 

Plus, the subscription service is well worth the $38/mo, contemplating it gives Pilates, yoga, and power coaching courses along with the rowing routines. 

And whether or not you reside in an house or mansion, it is sufficiently small to suit virtually anyplace and quiet sufficient that it will not annoy your roommate or neighbors. 

I am not the one one who loved the Wave, both as the vast majority of reviewers on each Amazon and BestBuy give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Though $1,695 is rather a lot for a bit of exercise tools, the Wave is nicely well worth the funding if you realize you are going to use it a number of occasions per week.