MaxKare Water Rowing Machine Review

Are you on the lookout for a water rowing machine that provides an incredible total body workout, while at the same time sticking to a budget? Let us introduce to you the MaxKare water rowing machine, a highly rated, entry-level water rower that may just check off all of your boxes. Indoor water rowing machines are popular amongst rowing enthusiasts as they replicate the sound and feel of being in an actual boat on the water. The MaxKare isn’t made of wood though as the frame is constructed from a combination of solid steel and durable aluminum that can support even the most intense workouts. I’ll be honest with you from the start, the MaxKare has a very low maximum user weight capacity at just 264 lbs which is incredibly low for the home rower industry. As a comparison to its peers, the Marcy Pro NS-6023RW water rower can hold up to 300 lbs and Battife water resistance rower can hold an impressive 350 lbs. The cushioned seat is fine, but after a while you may be wishing that MaxKare installed a more padded seat, especially during longer workouts. Despite what the Amazon sales page says, the frame for the MaxKare water rowing machine is not foldable, and to store the machine you can stand it up vertically on its end. If you are looking for a foldable rowing machine, water-resistance rowers may not be your best bet, so consider the Marcy Foldable Turbine rower if storage space is an issue.

The MaxKare home water rower does take up a large floor space when in use, so find a space that is clear enough to store a seven foot machine. The precise dimensions of the MaxKare indoor water rower are 78” L x 17.3” W x 35.4” H, which is comparable to other water machines on the market. The assembled weight of the machine is 81 lbs but keep in mind that this weight is measured with an empty water tank. Once the tank is filled, the MaxKare water rower should tip the scales at around 100 lbs all together. If you are looking for something a little lighter, the Mr. Captain indoor water rower is an excellent option, as the frame only weighs a total of 58 lbs before adding water to the tank. While moving the MaxKare home water rower around is not too difficult, the task is made much easier by the convenient transport wheels that are installed on the end of the machine.

The MaxKare water rowing machine obviously uses a water resistance system which means there are fan blades attached to the flywheel inside the water tank. As the user rows, more resistance is created by the water. This type of resistance system is called variable resistance as there is no way for the user to manually adjust the resistance levels, compared to a magnetic resistance rower. Personally, I find this to be one downfall of most water resistance rowers, although the feel of the water does create the most realistic resistance sensation. I just think that having to add or remove water from the tank to change resistance levels is a lot of work each time. For a water rower, the MaxKare is fairly quiet as water rowers generally fall between magnetic rowers which are the quietest, and air rowers which are the loudest. Most of the sound comes from the splashing of water inside the tank, so users can expect the machine to get louder the harder they row. As with most water resistance rowers, maintenance is fairly minimal and only requires a water cleaning tablet every so often to keep the contents of the tank fresh.

When you pay an entry-level price, you can’t expect to get all of the bells and whistles that some of the higher end models have. This fits the MaxKare water rower to a tee. The only form of technology you get with this machine is the limited non-backlit LCD monitor which users can adjust the position of as they workout. The monitor is used only for tracking stats like distance, time, total strokes, calories burned, and strokes per minute. That means there is no way to integrate any connected devices via Bluetooth or WiFi, and there is no way to track your progress or workout history via a smartphone fitness app. The MaxKare monitor does come with an interesting man vs machine race mode, where you can pace yourself against a computer based rower. If you want a water rower with some more technology, try the Mr. Rudolf Bluetooth rowing machine or if you are not picky about resistance type, then the Women’s Health/Men’s Health Bluetooth rower provides an excellent value for a slightly higher price.

With minimal parts and features, it should come as no surprise that the assembly of the MaxKare home water rower is very easy and straightforward. MaxKare includes all of the parts, tools, and instructions needed to assemble the machine, although some customers did post reviews that the instructions were needlessly complicated. While it should only take you about 45 minutes to complete, you can anticipate that you may need a few extra minutes if the instructions are not as clear they should be. MaxKare does have a limited website, but the water rower is actually not currently listed on the product list, so purchasing it on a site like Amazon is probably your best bet no matter where you reside.

The most attractive thing about the MaxKare home water rower for many people is going to be the price. At under $500, the MaxKare water rowing machine is one of the most affordable rowers on the home fitness market. You obviously do not get the high-end technology that comes with premium connected fitness machines, but for those who want just a basic and bare bones home workout, the MaxKare water rower may be everything you need for a price you will love. Ordering the machine off of Amazon is simple as price and shipping times are determined by where you live. For being an entry-level machine, MaxKare is actually quite generous with their warranty with two-year coverage of the frame and parts and a full 90-day return policy for anything defective.

MaxKare Water Rowing Machine Pros

  • At an incredible price point for a solid water rower
  • Convenient transport wheels
  • Padded handles allow for a strong grip while rowing
  • Bottle holder helps to keep you hydrated during a workout
  • Non-slip, adjustable foot pedals
  • Stores well vertically with safety supports
  • Easy assembly and step by step manual
  • Man vs Machine race feature on the LCD monitor
  • Decent warranty for the parts and this price

MaxKare Water Rowing Machine Cons

  • The 264 lb weight capacity is very minimal
  • No Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity
  • No smartphone integration for connected fitness apps
  • LCD Monitor is not backlit so it may be difficult to read
  • The padded seat is uncomfortable after a while
  • The model is not listed on the MaxKare website
  • The frame is not foldable
  • No manual adjustment for resistance level
  • Water tank is hard to empty and refill

My Final Verdict

As with most things, the MaxKare water rowing machine falls under the category of ‘you get what you pay for’. At one of the lowest price points in the home rower industry, the MaxKare water rower will appeal to those who are seeking a home workout on a budget. For those who do not need technology or added features, the MaxKare value is hard to beat! As a tech fan, I am always drawn to the rowing machines with connected monitors and smartphone integration, but of course, to each their own. If you want another suggestion of a high-quality machine from a trusted home fitness brand, I would actually suggest the Sunny Home and Fitness SF-RW5713 Obsidian Surge water rower, as it comes with a better warranty, a higher user weight capacity, and a more robust water resistance system.

Sayed Hamed Hosseiny
Sayed Hamed Hosseiny

Hi, my name is Sayed Hamed Hosseiny. I am a professional health and fitness trainer with nearly 20 years of experience using ellipticals, rowing machines, and spin bikes. I also have my own EU-based Rock Fitness Pro fitness brand where I design, import and sell exercise equipment such as rowing machines and spin bikes. I and writers on my team also often receive fitness equipment to review and evaluate their functionalities and performance from tens of different exercise machines manufacturers. Fitness equipment tips, guides, reviews, and comparisons on this website are my opinion (and opinions of my fitness expert colleagues) based on tens of criteria. I never accept payment to write reviews of products or say positive things about fitness equipment products. If brands are interested to have me review their rowers, ellipticals, or spin bikes, they can get in touch with me via email provided on the contact page and send a sample of their product.