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If you’re on the search for the best rowing machine for your home gym, look no further. In this comparison, we’re going to take a deep dive into two machines that will give you a sense of pride just looking at them. 

This Ergatta vs WaterRower comparison will compare and contrast two brands that are constructed from high-quality wood, made in the United States, and are altogether pleasing to the eye. 

Ergatta Rower

Ergatta Rower

GGR Score: 3.9 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Water resistance rower
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Crafted from cherry wood
  • Unique programming
  • Can be stored vertically

Pros & Cons


  • Smooth rowing experience
  • Lots of useful data
  • Aesthetic style
  • Gamified programming


  • Water has to be replaced every so often
  • Resistance cannot be changed
  • Although the gamification is fantastic, I know many people would love the option of trainer-led workouts.

Bottom Line

This machine is aesthetically-pleasing (which is an often overlooked attribute for equipment that lives in peoples homes) and the programming is interesting and engaging. If you’re looking for a water-powered rowing machine and want programming that’s different from what’s typically offered, you'll be a fan of the Ergatta.



GGR Score: 3.8 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Water resistance simulates outdoor experience
  • Handcrafted wood for beautiful aesthetic
  • One of the quietest water rowing machines

Made in USA Made in USA

Pros & Cons


  • Water resistance simulates outdoor experience
  • The body is made of handcrafted wood
  • One of the quietest water rowing machines
  • Very aesthetically pleasing
  • 700-pound weight capacity
  • Optional expert assembly


  • Prices start around $1,100
  • Wood can dent and chip
  • Weighs 117 lbs
  • Monitor location isn’t convenient

Bottom Line

The WaterRower Natural is an excellent rower that uses (drumroll) water instead of air as its main mode of resistance. This closely simulates the resistance you would receive in real-life rowing, and it sounds pretty amazing, too.

Ergatta vs WaterRower Comparison Chart

ErgattaWaterRower Original 
Footprint86” L x 23” W x 40” H82″ L x 22″ W x 20″ H 
Resistance typeWaterWater
Resistance levelUnlimited Unlimited 
Weight limit500 lbs700 lbs
Max inseam length40”38”
Product weight103 lbs (with water)103.5 bs (with water)
Display17.3” HD touchscreenPerformance Monitor
ProgrammingGamified Ergatta workoutsNo
Warranty The warranty covers 5 years on the structural frame, 3 years on component parts, and 1 year on the digital tablet.1-year limited warranty

Quick Look: Ergatta vs WaterRower

You may have noticed that the Ergatta and WaterRower look remarkably similar—and you’re not wrong. Both row ergs are built by WaterRower, the Rhode Island-based manufacturer. 

While there are differences between the WaterRower and the Ergatta, the main difference is the technology (and the price). We’ll get into that soon, though.

For now, I think it’s worth mentioning that for the purposes of this comparison we’re going to look at the Original WaterRower made from oak wood. I say this because the brand offers different wood types, hybrid options (like the CityRow GO Max), and other cardio equipment.

ergatta rower water tank

The Ergatta on the other hand only offers one machine made from one material, which is the signature Appalachian cherrywood. If you are curious about our hands-on experience with this smart rower, be sure to check out our Ergatta Rower review for all the details. 

Overall, both pieces of fitness equipment are going to deliver similar workout experiences with a water flywheel, unlimited levels of resistance, and a beautiful and sturdy solid wood frame.  

RELATED: Water Rower vs Magnetic Rower

Who Should Buy The Ergatta Rower

  • Anyone in the market for a smart rower with a touchscreen 
  • Folks who want a gamified rowing experience
  • People who like to track metrics and performance on-the-go with the Ergatta mobile app
  • Individuals who plan to connect to the machine with the best fitness trackers or heart rate monitors
  • Rowers who enjoy the cherry wood frame
  • Anyone who wants a Bluetooth-enabled machine for wireless headphone listening

Who Should Buy WaterRower

  • Folks who don’t want or need a touchscreen rower
  • People who want a good-looking rower that can match overall aesthetic 
  • Exercisers who don’t want a subscription-based membership for workouts and programs
  • Rowers who want to choose the type of wood frame they buy
  • People who would rather shop through Amazon

Key Similarities Between Ergatta and WaterRower

  • Indoor rowing that mimics open water with water resistance 
  • Patented water flywheel technology 
  • Full-body workouts
  • Low-impact cardio equipment
  • Constructed from natural wood
  • Made in the USA
  • Sourced from American timber
  • Low-maintenance water tank
  • Upright storage

Important Differences Between Ergatta and WaterRower

  • WaterRower features a simple S4 monitor for tracking basic metrics
  • WaterRower does not require a membership
  • Ergatta offers game-based workout programs with a monthly subscription
  • WaterRower has a user weight capacity 200 pounds more than Ergatta 
  • The footprint of the Ergatta is slightly bigger than the WaterRower
  • The Ergatta only comes in one wood option: American cherry wood
  • Ergatta is priced over $1,000 more than the WaterRower
  • Ergatta offers community challenges, competitions, and workout options

Technology Comparison

Both of these are among the best water rowing machines on the market, largely due to their interactive programming. The Ergatta rowing machine is the tech-heavy option of the two rowers. That said, you will have to pay monthly membership fees to receive all the benefits of the high-tech touchscreen and programming. 

The monthly subscription fee is $29, which is less than competitors like Hydrow and Peloton. However, if you’re used to instructor-led workouts and fitness classes, be warned that Ergatta is different. 

REATED: Best Rowing Apps

The rowing workouts on the Ergatta are more like a video game. You’ll be able compete in race workouts, push programs, interval workouts, and even technique-based games. 

If you’re new to rowing and feeling a little intimidated by the gamified-tech, I want to point out that the Ergatta website has a section dedicated to beginners with form tutorials and access to rowing workouts for beginners. In addition to those resources, the programs evolve as you do, which means that more challenges are added to the games you play as your performance improves.

For full functionality of this gamified programming, you’ll want to budget for the Ergatta membership. Without the subscription, you’ll only have the ability to hop on for open row workouts or connect to third-party apps (like Strava) with WiFi, but that’s about it. 

As for the WaterRower, things are a little more simple. The S4 Performance Monitor on the WaterRower can track stroke rate, speed, time, and distance. Basically, all the essentials for an endurance session or a HIIT rowing workout

Although the WaterRower comes standard with S4 Performance Monitor, you do have the option to purchase an Ergatta Upgrade Package on the Ergatta website to get the touchscreen and mounting arm that matches your wood finish. This upgrade can essentially make a WaterRower function just like an Ergatta. 

Company Policies

Let’s take a look at how the company policies differ on the Ergatta vs WaterRower: 

Warranty Policy

WaterRower offers a one-year warranty for any defects on the frame, material, or workmanship. However, if you take a moment to register your rowing machine on the WaterRower website (during the first year of ownership) you can automatically upgrade your warranty that will cover five years on the structural frame and three years on components (not including electronics).

Ergatta has a similar warranty policy that covers five years on the structural frame, three years on component parts, and one year on the touchscreen.

Return Policy

WaterRower offers returns, but you will need to call customer service to receive return authorization of your return. You will be responsible for shipping fees and you will need to include your personal information and all relevant purchase information on or within the box to process your return.

Ergatta has a 30-day window to make returns. The website states that returns have to be made in the original packaging in order to be eligible for a refund. Also, depending on the condition of you machine when you make the return, you could be charged an additional restocking fee.

Ergatta rowing machine in the middle of the gym by itself.

However, if you decide to make a return you will need to contact Ergatta via email to start the return process because the company picks up returns directly from your home at no charge. 

Financing Options

WaterRower offers financing through Bread Pay, a third-party lender. You will have to apply for this option, but you can get rates as low as 0% APR with regular rates up to 29.99% APR. 

WaterRower also offers rental options in the brand’s popular wood models: Natural, Club, Oxbridge, and Classic. This means you can rent a machine (for a minimum of three months) and not be tied down to a long-term investment. It’s worth noting that paying for a monthly rental fee does not go to the purchase of a WaterRower machine. The rental service requires a $200 deposit and a $10 return fee when you decide to stop renting.

a man strapping into foot cradles on a rowing machine

Ergatta offers financing at checkout through Klarna. You will have the option to apply right at checkout for soft credit check. Depending on your credit history, you can receive financing for as low as 0% APR for 36 months. 

RELATED: The Best Budget Rowing Machines

Final Thoughts: Ergatta vs WaterRower

The Ergatta and the WaterRower are both made and manufactured by WaterRower and are super similar. Other than the footprint of the Ergatta being slightly larger than the WaterRower, the Ergatta is essentially the same machine with a touchscreen and Bluetooth connectivity. The WaterRower also has a higher weight capacity (coming in at a whopping 700 pounds). 

If the connectivity and programming is important to you and will help you stay more regimented on a fitness routine, then don’t discount the value in that type of built-in motivation.

However, if you’re someone who just wants to hop on and row, I’d suggest going with the WaterRower and skipping the fancy touchscreen. It’s also worth noting that the WaterRower can be upgraded with a touchscreen and mounting arm from the Ergatta website at a later date for under $600. 

Ergatta vs WaterRower FAQs

Is WaterRower the same as Ergatta?

Both the Egratta and WaterRower machines are manufactured by WaterRower, which is a Rhode Island-based company.

Which WaterRower does Ergatta use?

The Ergatta is modeled off the Original WaterRower with dual tracks. The footprint of the Ergatta is slightly larger, but the S4 models of the WaterRower can be upgraded with a touchscreen and mounting arm to pretty much function just like the Ergatta.

Why is Concept2 better than WaterRower?

If you’re debating between the Concept2 and the WaterRower, the best machine for you will depend on your preference on resistance type: air rower vs water rower. Both offer unlimited resistance but the workout feel is different.
Luckily for you, we’ve unpacked the major differences between the WaterRower vs Concept2 and the types of resistance used in each machine.

Does Ergatta rower work without membership?

Without a membership, you will be able to hop on and perform open rowing workouts and connect your heart monitor or third-party apps to the touchscreen display, but you will not have any functionality of games or Ergatta community.

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