The Hydrow Rower Won Me Over, And Now It’s $500 Cheaper In The Prime Day Sale

Hydrow rowing machine
(Image credit: Harry Bullmore / Future)

I’ve been a bit disappointed with the lack of deals on big-ticket fitness equipment this Amazon Prime Day, but there are a couple of offers that caught my eye. 

The Hydrow Rower is down $500, while it’s more compact and relatively affordable cousin the Hydrow Wave has had its price slashed from $1,895 to $1,695. 

Now, I’ll admit, both rowing machines still represent a considerable investment. But I genuinely believe the chance to save a decent chunk on these impressive at-home training tools is always worth flagging—here’s why.

As an avid CrossFitter, and consequently a Concept2 RowErg devotee, I approached both the Hydrow Rower and Hydrow Wave with a heavy hit of apprehension. Why did rowing machines need extra tech, and how would Peloton’s touchscreen-meet-exercise machine format play out on something other than a static bike?

Happily, after spending time testing each of them, these machines blew all my preconceptions out the water.

While the comparisons to Peloton (which is offering up to $350 off its bikes for Prime Day) are inevitable, Hydrow charts its own course with a new approach to smart fitness. Instead of bright lights, studio settings and enthusiastic instructors, Hydrow’s team comprises former Olympians, international athletes and elite coaches who lead you through immersive on-water workouts. 

You’re taken aboard the boat alongside your coach as they talk you through each session, providing tips, tricks and some entertaining patter to help you get more out of your time on the machine. The scenery doesn’t hurt either, with the chance to virtually visit some of the world’s most picturesque lakes and waterways. 

As a result, I found that committing to a consistent stroke rate and listening to the gentle swooshing of the water made it easy to forget I was in our testing center and not skimming across the surface of Loch Lomond, particularly after linking my Bluetooth workout headphones.

Hydrow wave screen showing workout

(Image credit: Michael Sawh / Future)

There’s a steady stream of new content to enjoy on the Hydrow platform too, including rowing sessions to suit a variety of fitness goals and some off-rower options such as yoga, Pilates, circuits and functional strength training. There’s an online community to compete against, tutorials on proper rowing technique and thousands of different classes to try. 

These aren’t free, unfortunately. You’ll have to pay a monthly subscription of $44/month to access the app, and without it the only thing available to you will be a basic “just row” option. It adds to the expense, but for the right person, I think it’s worth it. If you’ve tried conventional gyms or reluctant treadmill trudges, and both left you mind-numbingly bored, this fresh take on fitness might be the thing that gets you hooked. 

Harry Bullmore
Staff writer

Harry covers news, reviews and features for Coach, Fit&Well and Live Science. With over a decade of training experience, he has tried everything from powerlifting to gymnastics, cardio to CrossFit, all in a bid to find fun ways of building a healthy, functional body.