With the FDF Newport AR Water Rower, you will be able to benefit from a challenging cardiovascular training session. This will help you avoid several types of medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, elevated blood pressure, and other such issues.
The Newport AR employs water resistance- a feature that is one of the most efficient types of resistance on the market. Users can very easily adjust the tension level by adding or decreasing the water level: therefore, the fuller the tank is, the more effort you’ll need to pull the handle.
The FDF Newport AR rower comes with a fully programmable computer display that will help you keep track of critical fitness-related data to keep an eye on your long-term progress easily. Therefore, you will be able to benefit from information about tempo signal, time, strokes count per minute, distance, calories count per hour, interval training, and 500m split time, among others.
The ergonomically-shaped seat is quite padded to guarantee your comfort while enabling you to train for more extended periods with very little or no discomfort at all. The seat rail is a high-quality anodized aluminum that can resist rust and wear-and-tear.
Learn more in my complete review below
Product: FDF Newport AR Water Rower
Warranty: Frame 5 years / Tank and seals three years / Mechanical 2 years / Wear parts one year
My rating: 8.5/10
Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: I may earn commissions on purchases made through links in this post.
Newport AR Frame
The most crucial piece of the structure, the seat’s gliding rail, is made of anodized aluminum, like in most rowers with a metallic frame. It’s quite durable and enables the rower to withstand users up to 300 lbs (136 kg). It’s also long enough to accommodate users up to 6’8″ (203 cm), with an inseam up to 39″ (99 cm).
However, the other metallic parts of the frame, such as the water tank’s support, the base of the footrests, and of course, the bases of the machine, are steel-made. These are the heavy elements within the frame, which add consistency and sturdiness to the overall build of the machine, rendering quite stable during workouts.
The frame features three main bases; all of them finished with round caps, which add stability to the frame. The front base also features transit wheels, to provide more comfortable relocation or storage of the machine.
This rower does not have a foldable frame, but it can, however, store in a vertical position. When in an upright position, it only takes 20″L x 21″W of floor space.
And in case you’re wondering, the water can remain in the tank when the machine is in the upright, storage position, when fully assembled and regular, training position, the FDF Newport rower has a 78″L x 21″W footprint.
Seat, Pulling Handle, and Footrest
The seat is a highly-durable acrylic material, featuring a molded design, for maximum ergonomics. It glides on low friction, Delrin® rollers with precision bearings, along a concealed track for safe and smooth operation.
The rowing handle also has an ergonomic design, slightly curved towards the user, to prevent any strain on arms, hands, and wrists. It also comes with rubber foam material for a solid grip and to prevent blistering or any damage to your hands.
The handlebar is attached to a highly-durable nylon strap, 1″ (2.5 cm) wide, but the pulling mechanism also features a bungee cord for return.
Last but not least, the First Degree Fitness Newport rower features size-adjustable footplates, which can accommodate feet of just about any size. They’re also made of acrylic material, also featuring straps and heel guards, to ensure the maximum stability of your feet during workouts.
Newport AR Water tank and resistance system
The water tank on the Newport rower is a solid polycarbonate material, with a maximum capacity of 17 liters (4.5 gals). For the rower to be functional, it requires to hold a quantity of water between 9 liters and 17 liters (2.3 – 4.5 gal). However, it’s advisable to fill the tank up to its 17-liter maximum capacity, so that you can benefit from the maximum resistance setting.
The water tank is equipped with a triple-bladed impeller, offering instant catch, and no dead spots. It supplies consistency with each rowing motion, and the all-natural rowing feel.
When it comes to the resistance of this rowing machine, since it’s a water-based model, the resistance varies with each stroke, depending on how hard you pull. In other words, the resistance is pretty similar to rowing an actual boat. However, the water tank comes with a dial, and the average resistance can be adjusted.
The adjustable resistance (AR) tank features two chambers: the “storage” chamber and the “active” chamber. Water moves between these chambers, depending on the resistance setting.
For example, if you set the resistance to “MIN” on the tank adjuster, it will take about ten strokes to fill the central (storage) tank, leaving only a minimum amount of water in the main (active) tank, resulting in less demanding strokes.
As opposed to that, if you set the resistance to “MAX,” the water will pass into the active tank, providing the user with higher resistance.
The rower comes with a small pump for filling the tank with water. The box also contains water treatment conditioners, for preventing algae growth inside the container. The water treatment conditioners supplied with the rower should last for several years of use.
The console equipped on the First Degree Fitness Newport Challenge AR rower is quite an advanced unit. First of all, it displays all the values that a console should track, such as distance, calories per hour, strokes per minute, wattage, time and 500M time, and pulse.
Distance goals can be set via a specific key on the console. Also, it features two LEVEL buttons (“UP” and “DOWN”), which enable the console to synchronize to the resistance level of the water tank. The scale on the console (1-4) should always be set the same as the current resistance level on the water tank.
The console is powered on as you commence rowing. It automatically pauses 5 seconds after ceasing any activity on the rower, and it will automatically shut down after 5 minutes. Within the pause time, the SPM, 500 Meter, Watt will return to zero. The Distance/Time is saved, and Cal per Hour will default to Total Cal. Once the computer shuts down, all values will revert to zero.
The console can track your pulse, but it requires a compatible heart rate chest strap. This accessory is not (included) with the rower, it must be purchased separately.
One of the neat capabilities of the console system supplied with the FDF Newport rowing machine is its online, USB connectivity. You can connect it to your PC or laptop, and compete with other rowers or use Virtual Reality 3D environments via the NetAthlon 2XF for Fluid Rowers.
Last but not least, the console is battery operated and uses 2x AA batteries.
Newport AR Assembly and Maintenance
In terms of maintenance, this rowing machine does not require much. You’ll need to keep the gliding rail of the seat free of any dirt or debris that may cause dents in it. Also, you must apply water treatment from the supplied packs from time to time, to prevent the formation of algae in the water tank.
Assembly doesn’t require much either. The water tank is already attached to the front part of the frame. All you have to do is connect the seat rail to the mainframe, install the seat and the rear base. Additionally, add the supplied batteries into the console, and fill up the water tank.
Details and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 77.8L x 20.9W x 20.1H inches (197L x 53W x 51H cm)
- Product weight: 60 lbs (27 kg)
- Supported weight: 300 lbs (136 kg)
- Frame: Aluminum / steel / acrylic combo
- Footrests: Adjustable, with straps
- Resistance type: Water
- Console: Yes
- Warranty: Frame 5 years / Tank and seals three years / Mechanical 2 years / Wear parts one year
- Solid frame construction, and excellent balance;
- Appealing, professional design;
- Rower for users of all levels, including pro athletes;
- Can be stored vertically to save space;
- Transit wheels for ease of storage and transport;
- Comfortable, contoured seat;
- Hidden track for the seat rollers, for cleaner and smoother operation;
- Ergonomically designed handle;
- Adjustable footrests;
- Water-resistance system, which offers the most natural rowing feel;
- Adjustable resistance levels;
- Console, covering all the necessary values an athlete requires to know during their workout;
- PC connectivity via USB, and the possibility to compete online with other users;
- Easy to assemble;
- Low maintenance.
- It’s not designed to support users more than 300 lbs (136 kg).
FDF Newport AR Summary
The First Degree Fitness Newport AR Water Rower is one of the best fluid rowers. It’s an excellent rowing machine for users of all levels, including professional rowers. The Newport AR is great for cardio training, stamina building, weight loss, or merely a tool that can diversify your daily workout by a lot.
On top of that, it’s much easier on the joints than other fitness machines and involves multiple muscle groups. And finally, the Newport rower also comes with an excellent price/quality ratio.
I hope you found this article helpful and informative. If you have anything that you’d like to share or any opinions about my website, please do speak up. I look forward to your comments, questions, and the sharing of ideas.