WaterRower Gronk M1 Rowing Machine Review
WaterRower Gronk M1 Overview
Water resistance rowing machines are often preferred by avid rowers as they provide a resistance that closely replicates rowing on real water, as well as being able to listen to the swish of the water in the rowing machine tank. The Gronk M1 is one of the premium and limited edition WaterRower rowing machines which is endorsed by NFL superstar and Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski. It is constructed with high-end and durable aluminum that provides stability and strength throughout the home rowing machine. This special edition Gronk M1 has a carbon black powder coat finish as well as Gronk’s official branding and logo. In fact, the frame is so strong, that it has an unprecedented maximum suggested weight capacity of over 700 lbs as well as accommodating users with a 38” in-seam. The one drawback of the frame is that the Gronk M1 WaterRower is not foldable, so storage may be an issue if you have a smaller living space.
As with many home rowing machines, the Gronk M1 WaterRower has a lengthy footprint as it measures out at 28.5” H x 22” W x 88” L, which means it will take up well over seven feet of space when in use. The weight of the Gronk M1 WaterRower will obviously depend on if the machine is wet with water in the tank, or dry. Without water, the Gronk M1 weighs in at about 79 lbs, while with a full tank of water, it weighs about 116 lbs altogether. While it is not the heaviest machine in the home rower industry, it does not come with any built in transport wheels, so moving the machine around your house could end up being quite a chore.
The Gronk M1 WaterRower has a patented WaterFlywheel that naturally simulates the sound and feel of rowing in actual water. Keep in mind that water rowing machines are never as silent as a magnetic flywheel, so users can expect some noise with the water sloshing around the tank. Unlike other flywheels, the water rowers do not have a set number of resistance levels, but instead have a unique self-regulating resistance depending on how much water you put into the tank. This allows any user to hop onto the Gronk M1 WaterRower and immediately begin a workout routine that fits their fitness goals.
Surprisingly, the Gronk M1 WaterRower has a very limited monitor and has pretty much zero technology built into the machine. This is one area where the Gronk M1 definitely trails behind other connected devices in the home fitness industry, especially given the elevated price tag. The LCD monitor provides the very basics of a home rowing machine including the time, stroke rate, intensity/speed, and distance. The Gronk M1 WaterRower does not come with any WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity, or any other form of connected entertainment or integrated fitness apps. The monitor does come with several pre-programmed workouts, but definitely lacks the variety of the programs on other home rowing machines. Part of this is because of the fact that a water home rower is fairly limited in the variety of workouts that can be accomplished.
Assembly of the Gronk M1 WaterRower is fairly standard for home fitness equipment, and will take the average user between one and two hours to put together. One thing to note is that the tank and the rower will be delivered in separate boxes, so much of the assembly is merely attaching the water tank to the frame. Once it is assembled, the Gronk M1 requires minimal maintenance aside from dropping a purification tablet into the water tank every six months, which are available from the company free of charge. Shipping rates depend on where you live, and from the Gronk Fitness site you can only have it shipped within the United States. You can purchase the Gronk M1 WaterRower on a third party site like Amazon, but check with the site you are buying from to determine what the shipping costs are.
Perhaps most importantly, the Gronk M1 WaterRower comes in at a premium price point that is sure to turn some users away. On the Gronk Fitness website, the M1 WaterRower will run you $1,905.00 USD, which seems on the high end considering the lack of connected technology and features. The Gronk Fitness site did not have an option for financing so users will have to foot the entire bill all at one time. For such an expensive home rowing machine, the Gronk M1 does not come with a very reassuring warranty either. The standard warranty is one year, which is upgraded to a three-year warranty for parts and a five-year warranty for the frame when the machine is registered online. Still, the warranty does not provide much reassurance for users who invested nearly $2,000 into a home fitness rower.
Gronk M1 WaterRower Pros
- Made from durable and high grade aluminum with a nice stylish finish
- Patented WaterFlywheel provides a relaxing and realistic rowing experience
- Users have unlimited self-regulating resistance that can challenge even the most advanced rower
- A maximum suggested user weight of 700 lbs ensures the machine fits users of all shapes and sizes
- Easy on your joints as it is a non-load bearing exercise
- Straightforward assembly and easy maintenance
- Light weight, especially when there is no water in the tank
- Easily stores in an upright position
Gronk M1 WaterRower Cons
- The sound of the water sloshing in the tank is not for everyone
- A high price tag compared to other home rowers
- A minimal monitor with no Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity
- Bluetooth Bridge Kit + phone and tablet holders are sold separately
- Not foldable, so storage can be an issue in smaller living spaces
Gronk M1 WaterRower Final Verdict
You would think for the price you pay, the Gronk M1 WaterRower would be a top-of-the-line home water rowing machine. Nobody is doubting the rowing experience or the quality of the workout you can have, but the complete lack of technology and features is concerning given the current landscape of connected fitness machines. There are those who swear by the water flywheel and tank as the truest representation of rowing on water, but unfortunately, the pros just do not overcome the cons for the Gronk M1. It is a well-constructed machine with an incredible rowing experience that is sure to satisfy the rowing purist among us. But the shortcomings include an out-of-date monitor that provides no connectivity or integration with smartphone apps, an unimaginative warranty, and a premium price tag. Although the online reviews are relatively strong, in our eyes the Gronk M1 WaterRower is simply not a touchdown. With that said, if water resistance is the must-have for you, don’t look further because currently in 2021, there is no water resistance rowing machine that comes with a better monitor.