FDF Viking II Black Reserve AR | Perfect for a Healthier You

Achieve a total body workout without leaving the comforts of your home with the FDF Viking II Black Reserve AR water rowing machine from First Degree Fitness. This exercise machine gives you one of the most effective low-impact, non-jarring, total-body cardio-respiratory workouts.

The Viking II has the best and most gorgeous wooden frames made from solid American Ash, metal fixtures, and precision components, guaranteeing lifetime service. In addition, the molded seat and adjustable resistance can accommodate users of different fitness levels.

A fitness monitor shows time, distance, 500-meter split time, strokes per minute, calories per hour, watts, interval training, and heart rate. An HR wireless chest strap is required to monitor your pulse. The USB port expands the options by letting people use apps for rowing races and rowing workout programs or showing workout data and video on the same screen.

With rowing being one of the best all-around activities for cardiovascular fitness and strength, the Viking II is the perfect partner for a healthier, leaner, and stronger you. The Viking II utilizes all major muscle groups, including the back, legs, arms, abdominals, and buttocks.

Learn more in my complete review below!

FDF Viking II Black Reserve AR Water Rower
FDF Viking II Black Reserve AR Water Rower

Product: FDF Viking II Black Reserve AR Water Rower

Price: For a great deal on this rower, merely go here on Amazon

Warranty: Frame 5 years / Parts 3 years / Wear parts two years

My rating: is 9/10

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Affiliate Program participant, I earn commissions on purchases made through links in this post. Full disclosure

Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 84L x 22W x 21H inches (213L x 56W x 54H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 54.5lbs (24.7 kg) w/o water; 71.5 lb (32.4 kg) w/ water
  • Supported weight: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Frame: Wood (American Ash)
  • Footrests: Adjustable, with straps
  • Resistance: Water, adjustable (4 levels)
  • Fitness Monitor: Time, distance, strokes per minute, watts, calories/hour, 500m split time, HR capable, USB port
  • Warranty: Frame 5 years / Parts 3 years / Wear parts two years

Viking II Frame Construction

The FDF Viking II Black Reserve fluid rower features an American Ash wood frame with a luxurious finish and metallic fixtures. The front section that hosts the water tank and the rear board connecting the two rails has a natural finish. The side rails have a black finish with the Viking 2 logo sticker.

The fully assembled machine is relatively large. It takes 84″L x 22″W (213 x 56 cm) of floor space. Adding at least two feet of clearance on each side and at the rear of the unit is advisable to have plenty of access and usage space. Moreover, the rower can be stored standing up. It can rest on its front rubber stabilizer and wheels. Also, the transport wheels attached to its front base facilitate its relocation.

The FDF Viking II Black Reserve rower isn’t extremely heavy. Its net weight is approximately 54.5 lbs (24.7 kg). However, considering that its tank has a maximum fill capacity of approx. 4.5 gallons (17 liters), with the tank filled to its top, the whole unit should weigh around 71.5 lbs (32.4 kg). If you’re wondering, the water can remain in the tank when the rower is stored vertically.

The machine’s rails are relatively long. However, they provide enough travel for the seat to accommodate users up to 6’7″ (201 cm). In addition, the tracks and the seat’s construction are durable enough to support users up to 300 lbs (136 kg).

FDF Viking II Black Reserve AR Water Rower

Seat and other parts

The First Degree Fitness Viking II Black Reserve rowing machine features a sturdy seat that combines wooden, steel, and ABS elements. Its side panels are the same Ashwood as the rest of the unit. The top has a contoured and textured surface, which prevents the user from sliding off during rowing.

However, it does not have any cushioning. The top part, the wooden side panels, and the wheels are held together by solid steel rods.

The seat comes with eight wheels. Four are at the top of the rails, while the other four are on the tracks’ inner section to add stability to the seat. The wheels integrate high-grade, sealed ball bearings and have a rubber outer shell to provide a smooth and quiet seat ride.

The rower’s footrests are adjustable. They accommodate athletic footwear of all sizes and have heel guards and velcro straps, offering all the required stability. Unfortunately, they do not allow you to pivot your feet during rowing. However, they have a fixed 45° angle, the optimal angle necessary for rowing.

The machine has an ergonomic, flattened handle with a slight curvature toward the user. Therefore, it provides a more natural hand positioning, reducing the stress on your wrists. In addition, it’s attached to a heavy-duty nylon strap designed to last many years of use.

It also does not require lubrication and generates less vibration than a chain drive, like the Concept2 Model E or D.

Viking II Water tank and resistance

This First Degree Fitness rowing machine includes the same patented, 4-level water tank as the Apollo Pro II or the Daytona Challenge. Its capacity is 4.5 gallons (17 liters), and to be functional, it requires holding a water quantity between 2.3 and 4.5 gals (9 – 17 liters).

FDF Viking II Black Reserve AR Water Rower
FDF Viking II Black Reserve AR Water Rower

The tank has two chambers. One is the “active chamber,” and the other is the “storage chamber.” The dial on top of the container offers the possibility to move water from one to another. For instance, this results in a higher overall resistance output and vice-versa.

The tank integrates a 3-blade metallic impeller, spins into the active chamber as you pull the handle, generating resistance.

The FDF Viking II Black Reserve offers a dynamic response like any other fluid rower. In other words, if you pull faster, the impeller will spin faster into the water tank, generating more resistance. Thus, the resistance output is strictly related to your stroke rate.

The rower generates a consistent resistance output with the tank filled and the water level dial set to “MAX,” the rower generates a consistent resistance output. Therefore, this is great for users who want to train at an Olympic level or achieve the high cardiovascular activity.

The tank does not have a drain installed, but the box includes a siphon pump, which allows you to fill or empty the tank quickly — several chlorine pills for water treatment also come with the rower.

Fitness monitor

The First Degree Fitness Viking II Black Reserve has an advanced fitness monitor with four resistance levels. You’ll benefit from more accurate readings by correlating them with the water tank’s resistance level.

It uses 2 AA batteries and has an 8-window display that tracks time, 500M, distance, strokes per minute, calories per hour, wattage, and pulse.

Unfortunately, the machine doesn’t have any integrated HR pulse sensors. Instead, you must opt for a wireless chest strap (sold separately) to benefit from a pulse reading.

The monitor can add 1000m for each large button press for distance. Also, this button covers the unit’s reset function. By holding it down for three sec., the metrics will reset.

FDF Viking II Black Reserve AR Water Rower

The monitor automatically shuts down five seconds after stopping the workout on the rower. It also automatically shuts down after 5 minutes of inactivity, with all the values resetting to zero.

Last but not least, the rower’s fitness monitor features a USB function. Thus, this allows it to connect to a PC via a USB cable to work with various First Degree Fitness apps, such as the Fluid Coach and NetAthlon 2 XF. These apps allow you to save and track your workout data online or compete with other rowers.

Viking II Assembly and Maintenance

The front frame section with the water tank and footrests comes pre-assembled. Therefore, the assembly only requires connecting the two rails, adding the seat and fitness monitor, and finally connecting the rail assembly to the tank’s front part.

Consequently, it shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes of your time. All the necessary tools come with the rower, and the manual provides precise assembly instructions.

For maintenance, the rail guides require cleaning to prevent damage to them. In addition, the water inside the tank requires a chlorine tablet periodically. Other than this, it is also advisable to regularly check for loose parts and re-tighten them if it’s the case.


  • Luxurious design, which can also be a motivation factor;
  • Durable frame – can support users up to 300 lbs (136 kg);
  • Can be stored in an upright position;
  • Easy to handle and transport;
  • Water-resistance system, providing the most natural rowing feel that you can get;

    FDF Viking II Black Reserve AR Water Rower
    FDF Viking II Black Reserve AR Water Rower
  • Dual-chamber water tank with four distinctive water resistance levels;
  • Contoured, ergonomically designed seat;
  • Advanced, 8-panel fitness monitor that tracks time, 500m time, pulse, distance, strokes per minute, calories per hour, and watts;
  • A USB connection for online workout data tracking or competing with other rowers;
  • Provides a smooth and quiet operation;
  • The rower is for users of all fitness levels;
  • Little maintenance is required;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Excellent warranty.


  • An HR chest strap is not included with the rower.

FDF Viking II Black Reserve Summary

The First Degree Fitness Viking II Black Reserve is a water-resistance rower featuring a 4.5 gal tank with four tension levels. It has a beautiful wooden frame design with long rails to accommodate tall users. In addition, it includes an advanced fitness monitor that is compatible with several rowing apps.

Moreover, it’s an excellent fitness machine for users of all levels, great for a full-body cardio workout, stamina and strength development, muscle toning, and weight loss.

I hope you found this article helpful and informative. Would you please speak up if you have anything you’d like to share on the topic or any opinions about my website? I look forward to your comments, questions, and the sharing of ideas.

Please remember that you should consult your physician to determine if you have any medical or physical conditions that could risk your health and safety or prevent you from using the equipment properly. In addition, your physician’s advice is essential if you are taking medication that affects your heart rate, blood pressure, or cholesterol level.

8 thoughts on “FDF Viking II Black Reserve AR | Perfect for a Healthier You”

  1. Thanks for this post on the FDF Viking black reserve on how to achieve a great body workout. This rower has everything I’ve been looking for to give myself a great workout. It’s very affordable, and it’s easy to move around, thanks for the post, and I’ll be getting mine soon. 

  2. Congratulations! I find this an excellent product review, and nothing is missing. All details are laid out, and the photos give a good impression of the looks of the product. The rowing machine can give you a full-body cardio workout at a reasonable price and in the safety of your own home at your own time. The potential customer will have all the information needed to go ahead and buy.

  3. A rowing machine with a wooden frame looks much more stylish and refined than the typical exercise machines that look far more clinical with their metal and aluminum parts. The fantastic 8-panel advanced fitness monitor tracks time, distance, pulse, strokes per minute, calories per hour, and watts.

    A USB connection for online workout data tracking or competing with other rowers puts FDF Viking II Black Reserve AR in a class of its own. Thank you for sharing a great rowing machine.

    • Hi there, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us. Would you please let me know if I may further assist you with exercise equipment? I’m always happy to help.

      Kind regards, Robert

  4. Great review. I didn’t know water-resistant rowers existed. I had used the one at the gyms ( that I found ugly), and the Viking II is beautiful. I love the design, and It looks compact compared with the ones I know. 

    Rowing is a great, full-body workout and can be so much fun. 

    I also look into your website at the different reviews you have there. Good Job! I found your site informative and helpful.  

    I went to amazon, and it says it is currently unavailable. I am wondering if because of my location. I added it to my wish list to follow it and see if I can purchase one shortly. 

    • Hi Nel, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us. I doubled checked for you, and it is currently out of stock. However, a Life Fitness rowing machine is just as nice as the FDF rower. 

      Would you please let me know if I may further assist you with the Life Fitness Row HX trainer or any other exercise equipment? I’m always happy to help.

      Kind regards, Robert

  5. FDF Viking 2 is precisely what I’m looking for. Thanks for the great review.

    I want to work out to stay fit and healthy, but I do it at home. I’m a homebody, so my routine involves work and home; that’s it.

    My friend has been urging me to enroll in a gym, but I said no. 😊

    So far, I like everything about the Viking 2 Rower. It’s straightforward to use and is suitable for anyone who wants to do cardio. Although it’s pretty large, it can be easily stored after exercising.

     By the way, is it necessary to empty the water tank immediately and clean it after use, even if I don’t plan to store it yet? Or is it okay to leave it for a couple of days? 

    • Hi Alice, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us. No, the water tank doesn’t need to be emptied after usage. There are chlorine tablets to put in the tank so the water will last a long time. I would change it every six months or so.

      Please let me know if I may further assist you with exercise equipment. I’m always happy to help.

      Kind regards, Robert


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