MaxKare Water Rowing Machine Review

Cardio is arguably the most important type of exercise. Cardio is actually short for cardiovascular, which refers to your heart and lungs. As these are the organs responsible for transporting oxygen around your body, it’s clear to see why cardio exercise is so crucial.

When it comes to doing cardio at home, you’ve got lots of choices. Bikes and ellipticals are excellent options because they’re low-impact and easy on your joints. Treadmills can be useful because you can use them for walking or running.

However, all of these options have a disadvantage; they only really work your legs. For more efficient workouts, you really need to train your upper body AND your lower body. If you want an all-in-one workout that involves your upper and lower body, rowing is arguably your best choice.

Rowers burn more calories and burn more fat than most other types of cardio machines. As well as improving your fitness and burning calories, rowing is also a great way to strengthen and tone your major muscles, including your thighs, glutes, arms, and upper back.

In this article, we review the MaxKare Water Rowing Machine so you can decide if this is the right purchase for your home gym.

MaxKare Water Rowing Machine Review

MaxKare Water Rowing Machine Functions

Key Features

The MaxKare Water Rowing Machine is a budget-friendly rower meant mainly for home and light commercial use.

As such, it doesn’t have some of the functions that more expensive rowing machines have.

That said, it’s still got plenty of features to boast about. The key features of the MaxKare Water Rowing Machine are:

  • Water-filled drum for resistance
  • Steel tubing construction
  • LCD multi-function performance monitor
  • Adjustable foot pedals with straps
  • Padded handle with nylon drive strap
  • Corner levelers
  • Transport wheels
  • Water bottle holder

Dimensions and Specifications

Some rower machines are HUGE and HEAVY, making them hard to install or move. The tubular frame on the MaxKare Water Rowing Machine means it’s much lighter and more compact than almost every other water rower on the market. However, rowers have a larger footprint than spinning bikes, so make sure you’ve got enough space for a rower before buying.

The dimensions of the MaxKare Water Rowing Machine are:

  • Length – 78”
  • Width – 20”
  • Height – 30”
  • Seat height – 10”
  • Assembled weight – 86lbw
  • Maximum user weight – 265lbs (120kg)
  • Maximum user height – 6’ 6”

Rowing Machine Design

MaxKare Water Rowing Machine

Most rowers use fans for resistance. A few have hydraulics or electromagnetic braking systems. The MaxKare Water Rowing Machine has a small tank filled with water to provide a smooth and realistic rowing action. It even sounds like you are rowing through the water.

The handle is comfortably padded to prevent blisters and connected to the water tank via a flat nylon strap.

A lot of rowers have chain drives, which can be noisy. The strap on the MaxKare Water Rowing Machine means this workout machine is very quiet in use. The water tank (which is shipped empty) is supported on a robust tubular steel frame, and there are adjusters in each corner of the machine so you can get it level and avoid wobbling.

You’ll need to fill the tank with water before using this machine, but that’s an easy process. Once you start rowing, the LCD performance monitor will come to life and record your workout. For comfort, you can adjust the footplates and secure your feet in place using wide straps. The display monitor can also be adjusted to your preferred height and angle.

After you’ve finished your workout, you can stand this rower on its end for compact storage. This is a handy feature for home exercisers. All in all, the MaxKare Water Rowing Machine is very stylish and well-made. If you are looking for a rowing machine that makes you feel like you are out on the water, this could be the one you want.

Computer Features

LCD MaxKare Water Rowing Machine

The MaxKare Water Rowing Machine has a reasonably good LCD performance monitor. It’s not the most advanced console, but this IS a budget-friendly exercise machine, so that’s only to be expected. The features of the computer are:

  • Time
  • SPM (stroke per minute)
  • Strokes
  • 500m split time
  • Distance
  • Calories
  • Watts
  • Heart rate – with a compatible heart rate chest strap
  • Distance/time countdown
  • Race mode (race against a user-set pace boat)

Ease of Use

With its matt black industrial design, the MaxKare Water Rowing Machine may look a little intimidating, but it’s actually straightforward to use.

The performance monitor is very intuitive, and you should have no problem finding your way around the available functions after a few minutes of experimentation. In terms of setup, rowers are very easy to use. Just adjust the footplates so the strap sits across the broadest part of your foot.

Cinch the straps, grab the handle, and get to work. Of course, rowing properly IS a skill, but it’s one that most people should be able to pick up in a few minutes. Once you are rowing, the performance monitor clearly displays all the metrics relevant to your workout.

There is no need to try and push buttons to change the screen; everything you need is visible all the time. With very little to adjust and an easy-to-operate LCD console, the MaxKare Water Rowing Machine is a breeze to use. And, because it’s a low-impact workout, it’s easy on your joints, too.


The MaxKare Water Rowing Machine is a very budget-friendly home and light commercial rowing machine, but there are a few drawbacks to consider before you buy one:

Comfort: This rower does have a padded seat, but some users have reported that it’s not the most comfortable.

This problem is not unique to the MaxKare Water Rowing Machine; all rowing machines have the potential to give you a sore butt.

The good news is that this issue is easily fixed by using an aftermarket gel seat topper.

Not easy to adjust the resistance: With fan-powered rowers, the harder you pull, the harder they resist. There are also easy-to-adjust dampers to control airflow to further adjust the resistance.

With the MaxKare Water Rowing Machine, the only way to change the resistance is to add or subtract water from the tank. For all intents and purposes, this means the resistance cannot be altered mid-workout. Some users may view this as a disadvantage, especially if they share their rower with someone with a different fitness level.

Basic performance monitor: The MaxKare Water Rowing Machine’s computer lacks some of the bells and whistles of its competitors. However, and considering the price, it has most of the functions that the majority of exercisers need.


This rower requires self-assembly. Some users may find this off-putting, especially as it’s quite an involving task.

Reports suggest that assembly can take 1-2 hours and some people took longer. The instructions are clear enough; it’s just that there are a lot of parts to fit together. You’ll need about 3-4 gallons of water. If you want a bargain rower but don’t like the idea of wasting two hours putting together, it may be worth hiring someone to do it for you.

However, so long as you follow the instructions (which are very clear and concise), most people should be able to put this rower together in under an hour.


For a budget rower, the MaxKare Water Rowing Machine is backed by a reasonable warranty:

  • 2-year warranty on frame
  • 2-year warranty on parts
  • 30-day money-back refund/replace on any faulty parts

Some sellers also offer extended warranties, which may be worth considering.

Bottom Line

The MaxKare Water Rowing Machine is a great rower at a very attractive price. The Original Water Rowers cost well over $2000, but this product comes in at about a quarter of that price. For the money, this rowing machine delivers a smooth, effective workout, and it should provide many years of reliable service. The tubular steel frame is definitely built to last.

In operation, the MaxKare Water Rowing Machine is very quiet, except for the swishing of the water. The water tank provides a very lifelike rowing experience; it’s just like being out on the river.

Because this is a budget machine, it’s not especially high-tech, and the performance monitor is not the most advanced. However, it’s got all the basic functions most people need. For the price, this rowing machine is tough to beat.


Patrick Dale is an ex-British Royal Marine and owner and lecturer for a fitness qualifications company. In addition to training prospective personal trainers, Patrick has also authored three fitness and exercise books, dozens of e-books, thousands of articles, and several fitness videos.

Fitness Equipment Reviews