Is the WaterRower M1 HiRise Rowing Machine for users of all levels?

The WaterRower M1 HiRise Rowing Machine has an easy-to-mount seat height of 20″ as compared to the LoRise model which has a seat height of 12″. It offers infinitely variable resistance using water flywheel technology. The water tank uses drag paddles or impellers to provide resistance against the water.

There are no knobs to adjust tension; you control the amount of resistance by your stroke rate. You can feel the resistance increase as you row faster, or decrease as you row slowly. Additionally, you can also adjust the amount of water in the tank from 9 to 17 liters to alter the resistance.

A precision spring clutch is engaged instantly, so you don’t experience any dead spots or jarring at the start of each stroke. The smooth pull and constant fluid resistance of the blades against the water ideally simulate the natural dynamics of rowing a boat.

Other features on the WaterRower M1 HiRise include a contoured seat, a maintenance-free and nearly silent drive strap made of high-density polyester webbing, floating heel footplates with straps, and a fabricated tubular steel frame.

Learn more in my complete review below

WaterRower M1 HiRise
WaterRower M1 HiRise

Product: WaterRower M1 HiRise Rowing Machine

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

Warranty: Frame 5 years / Parts 3 years

My rating: 9.5/10

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: I may earn commissions on purchases made through links in this post.

M1 Frame

The structure of the M1 HiRise WaterRower is steel-made, offering an extremely sturdy construction, being able to support users up to 700 lbs. This is one of the aspects that puts this rower into the commercial-grade class. The frame’s metallic parts are double-coated with corrosion-resistant paint, for a sleek, rust-free finish.

There are several PVC parts within the construction of the structure, including the rear and front end pads, or the feet caps.

Like most rowing machines, the M1 HiRise model is not extremely large width-wise but does take some space when it comes to its length. At full setup, its footprint is 82.25″L x 22.25″W (209L x 57W cm), the water tank giving its widest point.

WaterRower M1 HiRise
WaterRower M1 HiRise

The frame doesn’t have a folding design; it’s meant to be stored resting on the water tank guard, which also features two small feet, and on its front end pad. In vertical position, its footprint is rather small, 20″L x 22.25″W x 82.25″H (51 x 57 x 209 cm).

Handling and storing the rower isn’t difficult, as you can easily lean it on its front wheels. Water can remain in the tank for storage when the machine is in a vertical position.

The rower’s bases aren’t adjustable, and the machine is pretty heavy and won’t wobble as you row. However, you will still need to place it on a plane surface, or a mat. The taller feet of the HiRise rower puts the user at about 20″ (51 cm) above floor level. Thus, offering much easier mounting/dismounting possibilities, making it a better choice for users who are physically impaired.

Seat and Footrests

The seat supplied with this water resistance rower features a contoured, synthetic leather top. It incorporates a thin layer of foam cushioning, which helps with the dispersion of the user’s weight for more comfortable seating. However, the cushioning is not extreme, and the seat is slightly firm.

The seat is equipped with four wheels, offering a lot of stability when using the rower. The wheels use high-grade stainless steel ball bearings. But their exterior coating is made of PVC material. The rail extrusions (the slides of the rails) are also an industrial-grade, tested plastic material.

This is a plus because this material is more tolerant of any small particles that may fall onto the glides. Also, the gliding of the seat is much smoother and emits much less noise. Both seat rollers and extrusions are quite durable, and won’t wear out so quickly.

WaterRower M1 HiRise
WaterRower M1 HiRise

The rower’s rails are long enough to accommodate users with an inseam of 40″ (102 cm). Therefore, users up to 6’7″ (201 cm) or even taller, should benefit from a full leg stretch while using this rower.

The footrests are not angle-adjustable, but they do adjustable feature straps. They’re wide enough to accommodate feet of all sizes.

M1 Water tank and resistance system

The WaterRower M1 HiRise comes with a water tank made from highly durable polycarbonate material. The walls of the tank have a gray hue. The water in the tank can be colored blue, or just about any color, by adding the required colorant.

The machine’s resistance system involves a 2-paddle water flywheel, connected to a network of heavy-duty bungee cords and pulleys. As you pull the handle, the wheel begins to spin into the water tank, generating resistance.

The tank’s maximum capacity is five gals (19 l), but the maximum amount of water within the tank is 4.5 gal (17 liters). There are markings on the tank which indicate the water level.

Since this rower uses a water-based resistance principle, the rowing feel is smooth and natural. The resistance level is generated by the strength you put behind each pull. In other words, the harder you pull, the more resistance you should obtain. Also, as opposed to rowing machines with air resistance, the resistance picks up right away after the catch.

The rower’s overall resistance is by the amount of water inside the tank. In other words, if you want the maximum total resistance, intended for professional use, fill up the tank at its maximum allowed capacity. If you want less resistance, reduce the water level in the tank. The water level inside the tank can’t be adjusted as you use the rower.

WaterRower M1 HiRise

S4 Console

The M1 HiRise rower comes with the S4 monitor, which is battery powered, requiring 4-AA batteries. This unit features nine built-in advanced rowing programs. Interval workout settings for distance and intensity are available as well.

But one of the best aspects about is that it’s PC interface capable, via a monitor cable. There are several apps, such as WaterCoach Fit, We-Row, and WebRacing. They offer you to join online rowing communities, compete with others, track your progress, or customize your workout.

The S4 monitor can indicate time, distance, intensity, strokes per minute, KCalories, watts, and heart rate. It can read energy in meters per second (m/s), miles per hour (mph), time per 500 meters (t/500m), and time per 2 km (t/2km). You can set up the distance to be in meters, kilometers, and miles.

The rower does not have any pulse sensors built in the handle. Therefore, the S4 monitor can only read pulse via an HR chest strap transmitter, such as ANT+ or Polar. This accessory is not (included) though.

M1 Assembly and Maintenance

This WaterRower model doesn’t come assembled. Its assembly is far from being complicated, but it may take up to an hour. You will need to connect the two rails with the rear end cap. Additionally, you’ll need to connect the water tank, add the seat, footrests, connect the bungee cord, console and finally add water in the tank. Tools and assembly manual are (supplied).

WaterRower M1 HiRise
WaterRower M1 HiRise

For maintenance, the frequent cleaning of the seat slides is required. Any dirt, sand, pebbles or other small particles can damage them, as well as the seat’s wheels. Also, a chlorine pill should be added into the tank every few months, to prevent the formation of algae.

Note: One important aspect to mention here regards the machine’s warranty. Initially, the rower comes with a full, 1-year warranty. But once you register your unit with WaterRower, your warranty should be extended to 5 years for the frame, and three years for parts.

Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 88L x 22.25W x 27.6H inches (223.5L x 56.5W x 70H cm)
  • Product weight: 120 lbs (54.4 kg) w/o water; 157 lb (71.5 kg) w/ water
  • Supported weight: 700 lbs (317 kg)
  • Frame: Steel
  • Footrests: Size-adjustable, with straps
  • Resistance type: Water
  • Performance monitor: S4
  • Warranty: Frame 5 years / Parts 3 years

Pros

  • Maximum user capacity up to 700 lbs;
  • Superior aesthetics, solid steel frame;
  • 20″ elevation from floor level, easy to mount and dismount;

    WaterRower M1 HiRise
  • Storable in an upright position;
  • Easy to handle and transport;
  • Water-resistance system, providing the most natural rowing feel that you can get;
  • Contoured, padded and ergonomically designed seat;
  • Advanced performance monitor, PC compatible and
    HR strap compatible;
  • Its operation is smooth and quiet;
  • Rowing machine for users of all levels;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Easy to put together;
  • Excellent warranty.

Cons

  • HR chest strap not included;
  • The Footpad angle is not adjustable.

WaterRower M1 HiRise Summary

The WaterRower M1 HiRise is a high-capacity rowing machine, with a solid construction, offering rowing feel as close as it gets to the rowing of a real boat. It’s an excellent choice for elderly users, physically impaired users, as it stands taller from the ground, making mounting and dismounting more convenient.

It’s a professional rower that supplies the training setting for users of all levels. Even though it’s not exactly a cheap rowing machine, its quality stands up to the price. Therefore, it’s safe to say that this particular fitness machine 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.

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4 thoughts on “Is the WaterRower M1 HiRise Rowing Machine for users of all levels?

  1. I have never heard of the water rowing machine buy I am intrigued. What makes this different from the typical rowing machines in the gyms we see so much of today? Do these give you a better sense and/or feel of rowing through water?

    I’m also wondering if a smaller person would be able to lift it and stand it against the wall so that it can be stored and not take up space. How often do you have to change out the water?

    1. Hi Rick, thanks for your questions. The rowers you see in gyms are air resistance rowers. They can be quite loud when in use. Also, as opposed to rowing machines with air resistance, the resistance of water rowers picks up right away after the catch. Yes, a water rower simulates the feel of rowing a boat through the water which you won’t get from an air resistance rower.

      The frame of this rower is steel and fully loaded with water its weight is 157 lbs and 120 lbs without water. However, most of the weight is at the water end so when tilting the rower up for storage a person would have to lift an approx. one-fourth of its total weight. I think most adults can store it easily.

      If you treat the water with chlorine pills every few months to prevent algae from forming the water should last a very long time. I think how often a person changed the water would be a personal preference.

  2. Hi 

    Thank you for sharing the post.

    What a great rowing machine! I also think the idea of a tank using water for resistance is great.

    The machine still allows you to adjust to your own needs by adjusting the water in the tank is a really good idea.

    The 5-year warranty length is great!

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