XTERRA ERG650W Rowing Machine | Authentic Feel and Sound

The XTERRA ERG650W Rowing Machine will help you get the most out of your training. I was also impressed by the build quality. The heavy-duty dual aluminum covered rails provide a quiet, smooth, and efficient workout while withstanding a lifetime of regular use. This machine has a maximum user weight capacity of up to 350 pounds (159 kg).

Its core is a water tank and a durable, multi-bladed impeller to give you the most effective workout possible. With this in mind, XTERRA took that idea a step further and angled the tank at 45-degrees for an increased range of resistance. As a result, the ERG650W water tank provides an authentic rowing feel and soothing sound.

The XTERRA ERG650W comes equipped with a large 5.5″ fitness console that tracks the usual workout data you would expect, including time, distance, stroke rate, and pulse. No matter what your goals are, the ERG650W rower includes 15 workout programs to keep you engaged. In addition, there are programs to track your strokes, target calories, distance, and more. Once you get your training going, you can even race against the computer to see who wins.

The seat is very comfortable, and it slides smoothly and quietly up and down the angled rails. The seat is also 15″ off the floor, which gives it the feel of a commercial machine, plus it makes it easy to get on and off. Your feet are held securely in place with wide footrests and thick bands. And lastly, the handle has a suitable diameter, is well-padded, and sits nicely in the hands.

Learn more in my complete review below

XTERRA ERG650W Rowing Machine
XTERRA ERG650W Rowing Machine

Product: XTERRA ERG650W Rowing Machine

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

Warranty: Frame lifetime / Parts 2 years / Labor 1 year

My rating: 8/10

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: 79.5L x 20.7W x 33.9H inches (202L x 52W x 86H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 76 lbs (34.4 kg)
  • Supported weight: 350 lbs (159 kg)
  • Frame: Steel & aluminum
  • Footrests: Adjustable, with straps

    XTERRA ERG650W Rowing Machine
  • Resistance type: Water
  • Console: Time, distance, strokes per minute, total strokes, calories, time/500m, pulse, drag force, watts, 15 programs
  • Warranty: Frame lifetime / Parts 2 years / Labor 1 year

ERG650W Frame construction

The XTERRA Fitness ERG650W combines steel and aluminum elements in its frame construction. For example, in the front frame section that holds the water-resistance tank, both base bars and the two rail bars are steel. However, the two rail bars feature aluminum covers for a smoother seat motion.

All the steel parts in the machine’s construction feature a heavy-duty paint finish highly resistant to corrosion and abrasion.

The fully assembled rower is relatively large, especially lengthwise. It is approx 79.5″ (202 cm) long and 20.7″ (52 cm) wide. Plus, it is advisable to leave at least two feet of clearance on each side of it and at its rear to ease access and unhindered usage. Thus, the machine may not fit too well in a small room.

Unlike other water resistance rowers, the XTERRA ERG650W does not have a folding frame. However, it can store vertically.

XTERRA ERG650W Rowing Machine
XTERRA ERG650W Rowing Machine

When it’s stored vertically, its footprint becomes approx. 26.5″W x 20.7″ D (67 x 52 cm), as the mount of the console, is flexible. Also, when stored vertically, the water can remain in the tank.

The fully assembled machine weighs 76 lbs (34.4 kg), and a maximum tank water level weighs a few extra pounds. Nonetheless, the unit is easily handled and relocated as its front base features a set of large wheels. Also, the rear stabilizer comes equipped with two rubberized adjustable levelers.

Two last aspects to note here regard the length of the rails and their angle. The XTERRA ERG650W offers approx. 40″ (101 cm) of travel for the seat, which means it accommodates users up to 6’4″ (193 cm).

Also, the machine’s rails system is not horizontal. Instead, they are slightly inclined forward, which results in a bit of extra workout for the legs during the push phase and a somewhat faster recovery motion.

Seat and other parts

The XTERRA ERG650W comes equipped with a reasonably large seat. It is approx. 14″ (36 cm) wide, so it offers plenty of contact surfaces. Its top features a thick contoured layer of polyurethane material for extra comfort.

It stands at approx. 15″ (38 cm) above floor level can be a plus for users with specific disabilities, as a lower seat may make it harder to mount or dismount.

The seat frame is steel, similar to the rest of the structure. Both the seat and the rail system are very sturdy and have a maximum user weight capacity of up to 350 lbs (159 kg), which is excellent for a home-use machine.

The seat comes with three sets of wheels. Two of the sets slide on top of the rails, the other slides on the lower rail section for extra stability. All wheels integrate heavy-duty ball bearings, while the top ones have a rubberized outer layer to minimize noise.

XTERRA ERG650W Rowing Machine

The XTERRA ERG650W rower comes equipped with two large footrests. They adjust, offering multiple positions, so they can comfortably accommodate athletic shoes of all sizes. In addition, they feature heel guards and adjustable straps to secure your feet on them during rowing correctly.

The machine’s footrests do not pivot. Instead, they connect directly to a metallic plate. Their angle is approx. 45°, so they provide optimal and firm positioning of the feet during rowing.

The machine’s pulling handle is a simple straight bar. A layer of rubber foam material fully covers it for extra comfort. It doesn’t have pulse sensors, but the unit’s console can track pulse.

The handle is attached to a heavy-duty, abrasion-resistant nylon strap. Therefore, you don’t have to lubricate it, as is the case for a chain-drive rower. It also results in a smoother rowing motion.

ERG650W Water tank and resistance system

The XTERRA ERG650W rowing machine features a water resistance system similar to other rowers. Its water tank is durable polycarbonate material and integrates a multi-blade impeller.

The impeller connects to a pulley system, enabling it to move in reverse during the recovery motion and recuperate the strap to which the handle is attached, preparing it for the next pull.

The tank’s exact capacity is not specified, but it should be approximately 4 gallons (15 l), considering its size. The First Degree Fitness rowers have a simple (one chamber) construction, so it does not have a mechanical resistance adjustment system.

However, there are six levels marked on it. Therefore, you can adjust the overall resistance by adding or removing water from the tank using the provided pump. However, do not fill the tank over the 6th level.

Similar to other water resistance rowers, the XTERRA ERG650W provides a dynamic response during rowing. The resistance depends on the speed of the impeller. Therefore, if you pull the handle faster, the impeller will spin faster and generate more resistance. This leads to a sensation similar to the rowing of a real boat.

XTERRA ERG650W Rowing Machine
XTERRA ERG650W Rowing Machine


The XTERRA Fitness ERG650W rower comes equipped with a multi-function console that uses two AA batteries as its power source (so, no adapter needed). In addition, it has a sizeable 5.5″ LCD divided into multiple sub-sections to show as many workout metrics as possible.

It tracks time, time/500m, strokes per minute, total strokes, calories, pulse, drag force, and watts. Distance is in meters. And for the pulse rating, the console is telemetric. Thus, it requires a wireless HR chest strap transmitter. However, this accessory does not come included with the rower.

The console doesn’t have online connectivity and is not compatible with any online fitness apps. However, it does offer several programs to keep you motivated.

First, it has the Quick Start mode, which requires you to row at your own pace, and the console will monitor your data. Next, there is the Standard mode; once selected, you can choose 2000m, 5000m, 30:00, 500m/1:00.

The next programs are Target Single and Target Intervals. If you choose Target Single, you can select a goal value for time, distance, calories, or heart rate. When a time, distance, or calories goal is determined, the console counts down from the selected value until it reaches zero, basically until you reach your goal.

If a goal is selected for heart rate (between 90 and 200 BPM), the console will beep, prompting you to slow down or speed up if you exceed or drop below that value. In addition, the Target Intervals mode offers interval programs for time, distance, and a variable one.

The console offers a Custom program and a Race program. The Custom program offers four interval workouts as well. The first one is a 30/30 seconds interval workout; the second one is 60/60 seconds interval workout with seven repetitions; the third requires you to complete a 2000m distance, rest for 3 min, and repeat for three more times.

XTERRA ERG650W Rowing Machine

The fourth custom mode is for a work interval of 1 minute and 40 seconds, with a rest phase of 20 seconds and nine repetitions. Finally, the Race program has 15 levels of difficulty, and if selected, you will compete with the computer for a certain distance during a specified time interval.

Finally, the machine’s console’s two other notable features are the device holder and the foldable mount. The device holder is under the unit’s display and can accommodate a phone or a tablet; however, the console does not have an AUX or USB port to connect your device to it.

The foldable mount consists of a long metallic arm with a tilt feature that allows you to adjust the console’s angle or fold it when the machine is in storage.

ERG650W Assembly and Maintenance

The front section of the machine, with the water-resistance tank, drive system, and footrests, comes pre-assembled. However, the rest of the parts still require user assembly. You will have to attach the two rail bars to the front unit, add the seat, the rear stabilizer, and connect the console.

The task shouldn’t take more than 30-40 minutes, and the manual covers all the necessary instructions. An essential toolkit also comes included with the machine.

For maintenance, there are two essential aspects to consider. First of all, a pack of chlorine tablets comes included with the machine.  It’s advisable to add one tablet to the tank every six months. This will keep the water clear and prevent the formation of algae,

XTERRA ERG650W Rowing Machine
XTERRA ERG650W Rowing Machine

Second, the machine’s rails require cleaning to prevent debris or dirt from damaging the seat wheels or ding the rails. Other than this, you have to keep the machine clean and check for loose parts and retighten them if necessary.


  • Sturdy frame – can support users up to 350 lbs;
  • Aesthetic design;
  • Dual rail system for improved seat stability;
  • Can be stored vertically to save space;
  • Transport wheels on the front base;
  • Adjustable stabilizers on the rear base;

    XTERRA ERG650W Rowing Machine
  • Ergonomic, contoured designed seat;
  • Adjustable footrests with heel guards and straps;
  • Water-resistance system, providing the most natural rowing feel that you can get;
  • Multi-function console that tracks time, 500m/time, pulse, distance, strokes per minute, total strokes, calories, drag force, and watts;
  • 15 workout programs;
  • Recovery function;
  • Tablet holder integrated into the console;
  • Angle-adjustable arm for the console;
  • Smooth and quiet operation;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Excellent warranty.


  • HR chest strap does not come included;
  • A tablet placed on the tablet holder will cover the LCD.

XTERRA ERG650W Rowing Machine Summary

The XTERRA ERG600W is a heavy-duty rowing machine made for home use. It features a water resistance system, a durable dual-rail steel frame, a multi-function console with 15 workout programs, and a comfortable seat.

Moreover, it’s an excellent machine for a full-body cardio workout, muscle toning, stamina development, and weight loss. It’s not exactly one of the most affordable water resistance rowers but does offer light-commercial quality, even if it’s for home use.

I hope you found this article helpful and informative. If you have anything you would like to share or any opinions about my website, please speak up. I look forward to your comments, questions, and the sharing of ideas.

4 thoughts on “XTERRA ERG650W Rowing Machine | Authentic Feel and Sound”

  1. Wow-what an excellent and comprehensive review of this rowing machine. I have been looking for something alternative to walking or running as I am having trouble with my knees. I think a machine like this could be the go.

    I especially like the way you have covered all aspects of this machine. You have also provided some good alternatives, so it is possible to compare the different machines, well done.

    • Hi Dave, thanks for stopping by. If I can be of any assistance, please let me know. I’m always happy to help.

      Kind regards, Robert 

  2. This was interesting stumbling upon your article here as I was saying to my girlfriend a moment ago that we should be getting something like this as I never seem to get enough exercise these days due to the lockdowns and so on. So maybe it’s a sign I should get one, eh.

    • Hi, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us. It makes perfect sense to exercise from home, especially since COVID. Maybe this was a sign for you to start exercising more from home. If you’d like any suggestions of equipment, please let me know. I’m always happy to help.

      Kind regards, Robert


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