Water based resistance rowers are a good, low impact cardio option but often come with a high price tag. But, the Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge 500 Water Rowing Machine, makes it possible to buy a quality water water rower at an affordable price. Resistance is dynamic and linked to the amount of water used. The more water in the machine, the greater the resistance. The water-based flywheel features 16 hydro blades designed to mimic competitive swimming. It may be a good choice for those who love the feel of rowing on open water.
The sturdy frame, constructed from alloy steel, feels durable and supports weights up to 300 pounds. The molded padded seat and sweat resistant handlebar are both ergonomic and efficient. While the fitness meter display is minimal, it provides the basic fitness metrics you would want to monitor while working out. The Surge 500 boasts a 42 inch slide rail making it a solid option for taller individuals which is not typically seen at this price point. Users appreciate the smooth slide and quiet flywheel.
Where this machine falls short is in its footplate design. These footplates swivel which can interfere not only with the feeling of being stable or secure but also with overall form. Several reviewers felt it encouraged poor mechanics so created their own fix by bolting the plates to prevent movement. The Surge 500 can easily be stored upright when not in use.