Sportstech WRX700 Wooden Water Rower Review
There is just something so satisfying about hearing the sloshing of the water inside of the tank on an indoor water rowing machine. As far as indoor rowing machines go, there is no denying that water resistance rowers in the UK offer the most realistic sound and feel and a prime example of this is the Sportstech WRX700 Wooden Water Rower. Sportstech fitness machines are made of the highest quality in Berlin, Germany, and the beautiful wooden frame of the WRX700 is constructed from 100% real European Ash. You will immediately feel how sturdy the frame is, and it should come as no surprise that it can support a maximum weight capacity of up to 200 kg. That easily puts it ahead of its peers including its European Beech made counterpart the HouseFit water rower which can accommodate up to 350 lbs. My favorite feature of the Sportstech WRX700? The wooden frame is completely foldable, which is rare for water rowers, and even more rare for wooden framed rowers. At just 113 cm tall when folded, the Sportstech WRX700 is the ideal water rowing machine when space is at a premium.
With wooden rowing machines, my experience has been that they can be fairly heavy compared to magnetic rowers. This is based on two things: the solid wood is often much heavier than a steel alloy or aluminum, and second, the water tank generally adds an extra amount of weight when filled with water. The Sportstech WRX700 has a surprisingly reasonable weight at just 37 kgs with an empty tank, but with a full tank you should allow for an extra 10-12 kgs. In terms of size, the WRX700 is right about average for the industry, and personally I didn’t find the machine too cumbersome to move or operate. With dimensions of 208 cm x 55 cm x 56 cm, the Sportstech WRX700 won’t take up too much space, which is always a benefit when it comes to indoor rowers in the United Kingdom.
When I personally tried the Sportstech WRX700, I was impressed at how smooth the patented 3-blade rotor operated inside the 2-chamber water tank system. I could feel the resistance from the water with every stroke, and it genuinely reminded me of rowing an actual boat. Sportstech does advertise the WRX700 as being extra quiet, but to be honest I didn’t find it any quieter than other indoor water rowers. If you want a silent workout, I recommend considering a magnetic rower instead. Now my pet peeve with water resistance rowers: the variable resistance system means the only way you can actively change the resistance levels on the machine is to add or remove water from the tank. I love the feel of the water resistance machines, but I firmly believe that changing resistance levels in the middle of a workout is another advantage for magnetic rowers in the UK.
Sportstech has done an excellent job of modernizing its lineup of indoor rowers. The VRX700 comes equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, as well as integrated fitness apps, and even a tablet holder that you can use to follow along with trainers and classes. I wouldn’t say the technology is on the same level as a Peloton or even a NordicTrack, but the effort is nice and at a price that is several hundred dollars cheaper, the VRX700 is a nice balance of value and technology. The LCD display is nice, but it is rather limited considering you can add your own connected device to the machine. The minimal LCD display still provides you the ability to keep track of time, total distance, speed, stroke count, calories burned, and heart rate. The Kinomap fitness app allows you to follow along with trainers, compete in multiplayer challenges, and experience exclusive video events.
Assembly of the Sportstech VRX700 is surprisingly simple, as the wooden frame comes mostly intact. In fact, all you really need to do is add water to the tank and you’re basically ready to start rowing! Maintenance-wise, the Sportstech VRX700 offers the same upkeep as most other indoor water rowers: just change the water once in a while and add in a cleaning tablet to keep the tank from growing bacteria. As far as where to buy it, you can purchase it directly from the Sportstech site, or you can just head to Amazon, which usually has faster shipping times for a lower cost. Another feature I really liked about the Sportstech VRX700 is that it comes with a water rower starter kit which includes an electric water pump, cleaning tablets, and a heart rate belt!
You may have noticed that the Sportstech VRX700 sells on Amazon’s U.K. site, which means the model is made almost exclusively for European use. The price is definitely not outrageous, especially considering how much technology you get and the high quality of the machine’s parts. The sticker price of the Sportstech VRX700? A very reasonable £899. To get quality, you have to pay for it, and Sportstech ensures that its customers are satisfied with their products. Interestingly enough, Sportstech makes no mention of a warranty for the VRX700 on either Amazon or its website, which is definitely a negative against the company.
Sportstech WRX700 Wooden Water Rower Pros
- Beautifully crafted wooden frame
- Impressive maximum user weight capacity of 200 kg
- Includes a water resistance rower starter’s kit
- Connected technology and integrated fitness app is nice
- High quality parts crafted in Germany
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Tablet holder that allows you to use Kinomap fitness app
- Fully foldable frame saves space
- Transport wheels makes moving it around the house easy
- Smooth 3-blade resistance system
- Easy and quick assembly
Sportstech WRX700 Wooden Water Rower Cons
- The price can be a little high for some
- No warranty
- Limited LCD display
- Cannot change resistance levels on the fly
- Not as quiet as a magnetic resistance machine
To be perfectly honest, I would consider getting the Sportstech WRX700 Wooden Water Rower based on its looks alone. The elegant wooden frame can match any sort of home decor you may have, and the quality of the materials is second to none. On top of the beautiful wooden frame, you get a smooth and rowing experience with connected technology and an integrated fitness app as well. I have tried quite a few wooden water rowers, and the Sportstech WRX700 is definitely a cut above the competition in almost every way.