Sunny Hydro+ SF-RW5809 Rowing Machine | Dual Resistance

The Sunny Hydro+ SF-RW5809 Rowing Machine turns your living room into your personalized regatta. The 16 hydro blades paddle through the water to produce hydrodynamic resistance that adjusts to the intensity of your strokes.

You can add more resistance to a dynamic and challenging workout with magnetic resistance. This 16-level magnetic and water resistance combination produces a unique rowing experience that will push your performance to the next level.

The feature-packed Sunny Hydro+ SF-RW5809 rowing machine makes your workout more comfortable and your sessions more productive. The cushioned, oversized seat gives users a comfortable rowing experience. While the pedals pivot for absolute stability and comfort, the Hydro+ uses velcro straps so that you can adjust to the width of your feet.

The SF-RW5809 has an advanced fitness monitor featuring a swivel design that tracks Time, Time/500M, SPM, Distance, Strokes, Total Strokes, Calories Burned, and Pulse. In addition, it also includes a Racing function. Place your mobile device on the device holder and follow along to your favorite Sunny Health & Fitness training videos or stream your favorite TV show.

Learn more in my complete review below!

Sunny Hydro+ SF-RW5809 Rowing Machine
Sunny Hydro+ SF-RW5809 Rowing Machine

Product: Sunny Hydro+ SF-RW5809 Rowing Machine

Price: For a great deal on this rower, merely go here to Sunny Health &

Warranty: Frame 3 years / Parts 180 days

My rating: is 8/10

Affiliate Disclosure: As a Sunny Health & Fitness Affiliate Program participant, I earn commissions on purchases made through links in the post. Full disclosure

Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 77.2L x 18.9W x 44.1H inches (196L x 48W x 112H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 73.6 lbs (33.3 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 275 lbs (125 kg)
  • Frame: Steel
  • Footrests: Pivoting, with straps
  • Resistance: Water & magnetic (16 levels)
  • Fitness Monitor: Time, time/500m, SPM, distance, strokes, total strokes, calories, HRC/pulse (optional), calendar, temperature, clock, race program
  • Extras: Device holder
  • Warranty: Frame 3 years / Parts 180 days

    Sunny Hydro+ SF-RW5809 Rowing Machine

SF-RW5809 Frame Construction

The Sunny Hydro+ SF-RW5809 rowing machine features a steel frame combining rectangular and oval tubing in its construction. All the steel bars come coated with a corrosion-resistant gray paint finish. The front section of the structure has two large guards of thermoplastic material. The two footrests are also plastic-made.

The rower is not too large compared with some other models. With all the parts assembled, it is approximately 77.2″ (196 cm) long and 18.9″ (48 cm) wide, while the top of the fitness monitor reaches approximately 44″ (112 cm) above floor level.

It is also necessary to leave at least two feet of clearance at the rear of the machine and on each side for easy access and correct safe usage.

This Sunny Health & Fitness rower does not have a folding frame like the SF-RW5866 model. However, it can store vertically, resting on its front stabilizers. When held vertically, its footprint becomes 44″L x 18.9″W (112 x 48 cm), while its height reaches 77.2″ (196 cm).

The unit is not heavy, weighing 73.6 lbs (33.3 kg). Thus, one person can carry and assemble the rower. In addition, with water inside the tank, it weighs close to 100 lbs (45 kg). Once completed, transporting the machine is easy as its front base integrates a set of small wheels. Also, its rear stabilizer features adjustable levelers.

Seat and other parts

The Sunny Hydro+ SF-RW5809 rower has a large, contoured seat for optimal comfort. Its top is high-density foam to reduce the impact on your tailbone. It is also textured to prevent slippage.

Sunny Hydro+ SF-RW5809 Rowing Machine
Sunny Hydro+ SF-RW5809 Rowing Machine

The base frame of the seat is steel-made. It integrates three sets of wheels—two slides on top of the rail and the third under the rail for improved stability. The wheels come equipped with sealed ball bearings for smooth seat movement. They also have a silicone rubber layer on the outside for reduced noise.

The machine’s rail is not perfectly horizontal. It is about 0.5° inclined forward and has a maximum user weight capacity of up to 275 lbs (125 kg). Furthermore, it is relatively long, so this Sunny rower’s applicable inseam length is approximate—41″ (104 cm). Therefore, the rower comfortably accommodates users up to 6’6″ (198 cm) with no problem.

The unit’s seat is reasonably high above the floor, and its height is approximately 15.5″ (39 cm) when extended to the back. Therefore, it is a plus for users with disabilities as it facilitates easy entry and exit.

The rower comes equipped with a set of pivoting footrests. They are made of durable thermoplastic materials and have heel guards and adjustable straps for superior foot stability. In addition, they are large enough to accommodate athletic shoes of all sizes.

Last but not least, the rower pulling handle consists of a short straight bar. It does not have any sensors or resistance controls. However, it has thick PVC foam sleeves for an improved grip. It is attached to a heavy-duty nylon strap that’s highly resistant to abrasion. Furthermore, its drive system does not require lubrication.

SF-RW5809 Resistance system

The Sunny Hydro+ combines water and magnetic resistance. To begin with, the rower comes equipped with a durable polycarbonate water tank. Its exact capacity is not specified. However, by considering its size, it is approx. 3 – 3.5 gallons (11 – 13 liters).

The tank integrates a 16-blade impeller attached to the machine’s pulley system. Thus, the impeller spins inside the tank through the water when you pull the handle, generating resistance.

Sunny Hydro+ SF-RW5809 Rowing Machine

The tank does not have any mechanical adjustment elements for the water level. So, if you want to add or remove the water, you must use the provided pump. The tank has a maximum water level marked, which you should not exceed to avoid overflowing or internal part damage.

The magnetic resistance system is pretty similar to standard upright bikes. However, it offers 16 distinct levels. It consists of a small magnetic brake and a flywheel at the tank’s base. The brake connects to the tension knob on the front part of the rower. Thus, when you turn the knob, the brake moves closer or apart from the flywheel to increase or decrease the workout resistance.

Of course, since the primary resistance system of the machine uses water, the rower provides a dynamic response. Therefore, the hydro blade will spin more quickly inside the tank and provide more resistance if you stroke faster.

This effect is pretty close to rowing a real boat through water which is a plus, especially for users who are training for professional competitions.

Fitness monitor

The Sunny SF-RW5809 rower comes equipped with a mid-range fitness monitor. It features an LCD that tracks time, time/500 m, strokes, strokes per minute (SPM), total strokes, calories burned, distance, and Pulse.

The distance displays in meters only; there is no option for changing it to yards or miles. The pulse reading function requires a 5 kHz wireless HR chest strap (not included), as the machine does not have integrated contact pulse sensors. A pulse recovery function is also available.

The fitness monitor has two workout modes which are Manual and Race. The Manual mode offers two options. For the first one, you can row, and the monitor will record your completed strokes, strokes per minute, distance traveled, etc.

Sunny Hydro+ SF-RW5809 Rowing Machine
Sunny Hydro+ SF-RW5809 Rowing Machine

You can select time, distance, strokes, calories, and pulse goals for the second option. After choosing a goal for any of these metrics, the monitor will indicate the remaining value from your goal and notify you when you have completed your goal.

The Race mode has 15 levels of difficulty. For level 1 (L1), the Time/500m is set at 8:00, while level 15 (L15) is 1:00. Thus, if the Race mode is on, you will race with the computer for the set time/distance.

The center display will indicate the user and the PC on two separate lanes. Each virtual boat advances towards the set goal, and the race will end when either your boat or the PC boat reaches the goal.

The battery-powered fitness monitor requires two AA batteries. In addition, it begins counting your data when you start rowing and automatically turns off after four minutes of inactivity on the machine. In sleep (or idle) mode, the LCD indicates the current date (year, month, day), room temperature, and clock.

SF-RW5809 Assembly and Maintenance

The front section of the rower with the magnetic resistance elements comes pre-assembled. However, the other parts do require user assembly.

You must insert the seat onto the rail, connect the rail to the front frame section, connect the rear stabilizer, and attach the water tank, the footrests, and the fitness monitor. Therefore, it shouldn’t take more than an hour of your time. All the necessary tools come with the machine, and the manual provides precise assembly instructions.

Sunny Hydro+ SF-RW5809 Rowing Machine

For maintenance, it is advisable to keep the machine clean and periodically inspect it for loose or damaged parts to ensure it still functions properly. The water inside the tank requires chlorine purification every six months; a pack of chlorine pills comes with the machine. The internal parts do not require any lubrication.


  • Sturdy frame – can support users up to 275 lbs (125 kg);
  • Aesthetic design;
  • It can store vertically;
  • Transport wheels on the front base;
  • Adjustable stabilizers on the rear base;
  • Ergonomic, contoured seat;
  • Pivoting footrests with heel guards and straps;
  • Long rail for users with an inseam up to 41″ (104 cm);
  • Water-resistance system, providing the most natural rowing feel that you can get;
  • Magnetic resistance for improved adjustability (16 levels);
  • Fitness monitor with a multi-window LCD that tracks time, 500m/time, Pulse, distance, strokes, strokes per minute (SPM), total strokes, calories;
  • Two workout programs – Manual and Race;
  • Recovery function;
  • Angle-adjustable mount for the monitor;
  • Device holder included;
  • Smooth and quiet operation;
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Chlorine pills for water purification come with the machine;
  • Little maintenance is required;
  • Excellent warranty.


  • The fitness monitor LCD does not have a backlight;
  • An HR chest strap does not come with the machine.

Sunny Hydro+ SF-RW5809 Rowing Machine Summary

The Sunny Hydro+ SF-RW5809 is a water and magnetic resistance rower for home use. It features a  water tank with 16 hydro blades, a 16-level magnetic resistance system, a large comfortable seat, pivoting footrests, and a fitness monitor with two workout modes (manual and race).

Moreover, it’s a great fitness machine for a full-body cardio workout, muscle toning, weight loss, stamina, and strength development. It’s also considerably more affordable than a commercial-grade water rower and offers excellent value.

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 to 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 “Sunny Hydro+ SF-RW5809 Rowing Machine | Dual Resistance”

  1. I am currently visiting my son, who has a rowing machine, so I have started using the machine while I am here. Although it is not the same Sunny model, I am seriously considering getting a rowing machine for when I am back at my home again. 

    I am delighted to see that the Sunny Hydro SF-RW5809 rowing machine can be stored vertically and is not too heavy for one person to move around. However, I am just slightly concerned that when the tank is full of water, I won’t be able to lift it into the vertical position on my own. 

    This review has given me an excellent start looking for a rowing machine, and I will look at your other suggestions.  

    • Hi there, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us. Would you please let me know if I can assist you with the Sunny Hydro+ SF-RW5809 or any other exercise equipment? I’m always happy to help.

      Kind regards, Robert

  2. My teenage daughter has recently started a sports routine at home after understanding her body nature with her gym coach. One essential workout for her is similar to rowing as it strengthens muscles in the arms, legs, and core. So it was good for us to check one of the machines we can bring home, and I wonder if Sunny Hydro+ is easy to assemble and dismantle and how practical it is in a small-sized room?

    • Hi Jeeda, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us. The assembly is not that difficult, but maybe you can find someone to help you. To store the rower, all you need to do is stand it up vertically, and when you’re ready to use it, just let it down again.

      Would you please let me know if I may further assist you with the Sunny Hydro+ or any other exercise equipment? I’m always happy to help.

      Kind regards, Robert

  3. I love this article’s concept because it incorporates pictures and facts about the Sunny hydro+ rowing machine. Furthermore, the pros and cons summarized all of the rower’s specifics and a fantastic benefit in helping me to make a decision. I will purchase the Sunny Hydro+ rowing machine as soon as I build up my home gym. 

    • 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. Oh, I like how detailed this article is on Sunny hydro. You clearly state the pros and cons of this specific rower. Though I have tried a few rowers, I have never encountered Sunny hydro before. However, a rower is an excellent help for lower-impact cardio; I highly recommend anyone who wants to look for alternative cardio. 

    • Hi Katt, 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


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