Nov 7, 2023
0 0

Hydrow Wave Review (2023): A Certified Personal Trainer’s Honest Thoughts

Written by

Through my years of personal training and coaching, I’ve trained clients using different rowers like the Hydrow Wave. I cannot begin to tell you how undervalued this type of machine can be. Using a rower provides a multitude of benefits, such as offering a full-body training stimulus and helping you expend more energy than walking on any of…
The post Hydrow Wave Review (2023): A Certified Personal Trainer’s Honest Thoughts appeared first on Breaking Muscle.


Through my years of personal training and coaching, I’ve trained clients using different rowers like the Hydrow Wave. I cannot begin to tell you how undervalued this type of machine can be. Using a rower provides a multitude of benefits, such as offering a full-body training stimulus and helping you expend more energy than walking on any of the best treadmills. Because this rowing machine closely resembles rowing on water, it shouldn’t be limited to use in the health and fitness industry — even athletes can benefit from training on it. 

The Breaking Muscle staff, which comprises certified personal trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, and health and fitness writers who have collectively reviewed hundreds of pieces of gym equipment, has completed dozens of workouts on the Hydrow Wave. In this Hydrow Wave review, we will discuss its top features and why it is one of the most uniquely built rowers currently offered. We will also compare it to other great rowing machines, including Hydrow’s original rower and the Concept2 rower. 

Key Takeaways

  • The Hydrow Wave rower is built with electromagnetic resistance to help it feel the closest to rowing on water. It has smooth mechanics and is quieter than other types of rowers, like the Concept2 rower, which runs on air resistance.
  • This compact rowing machine has great portability. You can transport and fit it into most workout spaces. This might make it one of the best rowing machines for at-home workouts. 
  • The Hydrow Wave provides a ton of technological opportunities to elevate your workout from simply rowing to tackling instructor-led workouts on or off the machine.

Hydrow Wave Rower

  • Dimensions: 80″ L x 19″ W x 43″ H
  • Storage: Stores upright
  • Resistance: Magnetic
  • Weight capacity: 375 pounds
  • Display: 16-inch HD touchscreen
  • Available programming: Live and on-demand workouts, scenic rows

Check Price

Hydrow Wave Pros

  • The Hydrow Wave is built with a more compact frame, and its dimensions are smaller than the original Hydrow rower by 30 percent. It is 80 inches long, 19 inches wide, and 43 inches tall and is lighter in weight to make it easier for portability.
  • The Hydro Wave has a high weight capacity of 375 pounds. Other rowers, like the Peloton, only hold up to 300 pounds, which puts the Hydro Wave ahead of the game. 
  • The Hydrow Wave is easy to store. You can collapse the screen and tilt the rower vertically, and then use a strap to anchor it to the wall using a wall mount you can purchase separately. This helps prevent the rower from tipping over and causing injury. 

Hydrow Wave Cons

  • The Hydrow Wave rowing machine starts at around $1,695, which could be a steep price point for some. Hydrow offers financing for as low as $36 a month, but you would have to finance it for about 48 months, which would be a big commitment. 
  • To get the most out of the 16-inch monitor, you need to buy the Hydrow subscription plan for around $44 a month. It is not required, but it does give you access to about 4,000 instructor-led workouts. If you don’t purchase this monthly membership, you can only use the rower in “just row” mode.  
  • The warranty is free for only the first year. A two-year warranty will cost $150, and a three-year warranty is $200. In comparison, the Concept2 rower includes a five-year warranty for the frame and a two-year warranty for all other components.

Hydrow Wave Rating

Breaking Muscle’s product testers, which include CrossFit coaches, strength and conditioning coaches, and certified personal trainers, have tested nearly 20 rowers. We analyzed their build quality, portability, warranties, ergonomics, programming options, resistance settings, and the overall rowing experience. After using each rower for several workouts, we rated it according to our proprietary scoring methodology. Below is how the Hydrow Wave scored.

Factor Rating (out of 5)
Price 3.5
Materials, build, and construction quality 4.5
Delivery and assembly 4
Subscription options 4.5
Included workouts 3
Ergonomics 4
Bluetooth connectivity 4
Heart rate monitoring 4
Display and stat tracking 4.5

Hydrow Wave Overview

The Hydrow Wave is built for those seeking an upgraded rowing experience. With its electromagnetic resistance system, this top-tier rowing machine provides a smooth ride and a low-impact workout, making it a suitable choice for those who prefer a noise-free exercise session. What sets the Hydrow Wave apart is its compact design, measuring at just 80 inches in length. This makes it an ideal option for individuals with limited workout space.

A young man working out on the Hydrow Wave
A Breaking Muscle team member working out on the Hydrow Wave

The Hydrow Wave offers access to a vast library of over 4,000 instructor-led workouts through a monthly subscription. These workouts provide engaging and dynamic fitness sessions tailored to your preferences. For example, if you’re short on time, you can take a quick but effective 10- or 20-minute rowing class.

If you’re looking to elevate your fitness routine with a quieter, space-efficient, and technologically advanced rowing machine, the Hydrow Wave could be the right rowing machine for you. In fact, after testing the Hydrow Wave, our product testers called it a true alternative to the Concept2 rower — but we’ll get more into that below.

Who Should Buy the Hydrow Wave

  • Our product testers noted that this rower is great for those who want a quiet rowing machine. This machine is built with electromagnetic resistance and is smoother and quieter than a fan wheel rower. 
  • This rower should work well for those who want the guidance of on-demand instructor-led workouts. With Hydrow’s monthly subscription, you have access to 4,000 workouts and counting.

Who Should Not Buy the Hydrow Wave

  • People who are on a smaller budget might not want this rower. This rower comes in at $1,695, which is cheaper than the original Hyrdrow but also more expensive than the Concept2 rower.
  • This rower might not be a great purchase for anyone who wants flexibility with where they work out. The Hydrow Wave has to be plugged into an outlet, which could limit where you place it in your home gym or workout space. 

Hydrow Wave In-Depth Review

Through our research and firsthand experience with the Hydrow Wave, the expert team at Breaking Muscle is here to provide you with all the insight you need to better understand this rowing device. The Hydrow Wave comes with some amazing features and a smaller footprint to help those with compact spaces keep up with their fitness routines. At a better price tag than its predecessor, the Hydrow Wave high-quality piece of cardio equipment that can cater to everybody, from beginners to advanced athletes. 


The Hydrow Wave rowing machine costs around $1,695. This could be a tough purchase to make, especially for those on a limited budget. However, this is a more budget-friendly option compared to the original Hyrdrow, which costs just under $2,500. The difference in price is due to the Hydrow Wave being a smaller machine and having a smaller monitor, which I’ll discuss below. Concept2 offers their rowing machine at a price point under $1,000, but you won’t get the same technological features you’ll find on the Hydrow Wave.  

Materials, Build, and Construction Quality

The Hydrow Wave rowing machine consists of an aluminum and stainless steel frame with a flat anthracite polymer (a type of plastic) body, as well as high-quality polyester webbing that provides a much quieter ride. It is 80 inches long, 19 inches wide, and 43 inches tall. The dimensions make it smaller and more compact than the original Hydrow, which is 86 inches long, 25 inches wide, and 47 inches tall. At 102 pounds, the Hydrow Wave is also lighter than the original Hydrow, which weighs 147 pounds. 

A close-up of the Hydrow Wave's belt strap and handlebar
A close-up of the handlebar and nylon belt strap of the Hydrow Wave

The Hydrow Wave has the same weight capacity as the original Hydrow: 375 pounds. Considering it is a smaller and lighter machine, the fact that it can withstand the same weight proves it is tough and durable. 

Delivery and Assembly

Delivery for the Hydrow Wave is free. Assembly is easy and straightforward and can be done in about nine steps. Based on our research, most people should be able to put it together within 30 minutes.

According to the Hydrow website, professional assembly is an option as well. The assembly fee is around $249, not including taxes. 

Subscription Options

Our staff at Breaking Muscle was impressed with Hydrow’s subscription offerings. With the subscription, you get an immersive rowing experience via a library of guided workouts. The instructors include Olympians and professional rowing coaches, who row through scenic locations like the Thames in London. Our product testers loved the scenic views and called them beautiful. The list of workouts is also growing, and we think it will be hard to get bored with the class selection anytime soon.

The monthly subscription is $44 a month that gets you access to:

  • A library of 4,000 live and on-demand rowing workouts that continues to grow
  • Yoga, Pilates, and strength workouts
  • Incentives through merchandise, badges, and certificates
  • Multiple user profiles so multiple household members can use this rowing machine

When you buy the Hydrow Wave, you get a 30-day free trial. If you don’t like it, Hydrow will pick up the rower for free and provide a full refund (minus the professional assembly service if you paid for it).

If you want some of the perks of the subscription but don’t want to pay for the rower, you can look into the Hydrow app that grants you access to their yoga, pilates, and strength training workouts. You just won’t get access to their rowing classes. This app costs around $20 a month.

Included Workouts

There are no included workouts with the Hydrow Wave. Anyone who purchases the Hydrow Wave rower would need to purchase the subscription as well for a better rowing experience.

An athlete using the Hydrow Wave with an instructor-led class on the monitor in the background
Taking a guided class on the Hydrow Wave

That said, without a subscription, you can use the “just row” mode. This mode gives you access to:

  • Adjustable drag and resistance settings
  • On-screen rowing metrics
  • Bluetooth connection for heart rate monitors
  • “Hydrow 101” videos to get you started


Our product testers noted that the seat is comfortable, which is a huge deal for a rower. The handles have a smooth texture that our testers also found comfortable, but they noted that it is tough to maintain your grip once you start sweating.

The pedals are 13 inches long, so they should accommodate most foot sizes. We also liked the slightly angled handlebar, which helped keep our wrists comfortable during our workouts.

A close-up of an athlete's foot strapped into the Hydrow Wave rower
A close-up of the Hydrow Wave’s foot pedals

Another important thing to discuss is the length. The Hydrow Wave is 80 inches long overall (six inches shorter than the original) with a 52-inch track length. The track is long enough to accommodate a 36-inch inseam, the equivalent of someone who is about 6’3.

Bluetooth Connectivity

For Bluetooth connection, Hydrow recommends WiFi. There is an option for an ethernet connection as well. Smart devices like the iPhone, Apple watch, speakers, headphones, and heart rate monitors can connect to the Hydrow.

To measure your progress on the Hydrow Wave, you can also use the Strava app. This app turns every iPhone and Android device into a sophisticated tracking tool that can also be linked to your smart device and Apple watch. 

Heart Rate Monitoring

The Hydrow Wave doesn’t provide a heart rate monitor, but you can link your own heart rate monitor through Bluetooth to track your metrics. This is a great way to measure your effort and monitor your heart rate effectively and accurately. 

Display and Stat Tracking

The 16-inch touchscreen provides a ton of stats for tracking your workout. This display will show your heart rate in beats per minute (if you link a heart rate monitor), calories burned, distance traveled, strokes per minute, and average strokes per 500 meters to help measure your power output. The harder you row, the higher this number becomes to give you some indication of your intensity. This will also help quantify your calories burned based on power output.

Hydrow Wave Rower Specs

Rower Type

The Hydrow Wave rower uses electromagnetic resistance, which makes it a much quieter option than a flywheel rowing machine like the Concept2 rower. This could be a massive benefit if you do not want a disruptive workout session, especially if you live with other people. I am a parent of three children and I must say, the idea of working out with minimal noise is appealing. My children won’t wake up, and I can continue to work on my own health and fitness. 

Overall Dimensions

The Hydrow Wave is 80 inches long, 19 inches wide, and 43 inches high. This is a smaller rower compared to the original Hydrow, which is 86 inches long, 25 inches wide, and 47 inches high. These dimensions help make it a great piece of home gym equipment for smaller spaces. 

Track Length

The track length, or the amount of space you have to extend your legs fully, of the Hydrow Wave is 52 inches. In comparison, the Concept2 rower’s track length is 54 inches. Both rowers are good options for tall athletes. However, the Concept2 rower may be a better choice for those over 6’4 or 6’5.

Weight Capacity

The weight capacity of this rowing machine is 375 pounds, which is the same weight capacity as the original Hydrow. Even though this rower is smaller than the original model Hydrow, the fact it has the same weight capacity speaks volumes about its strength and durability. 

Resistance Levels

The Hydrow Wave provides various intensities of computer-controlled resistance, from levels 50 to 300. It automatically adjusts based on how hard you’re working.

The Hydrow rowing machine offers a default drag setting of 104, aimed at simulating the experience of rowing on water, which is recommended for most users. It’s important to know that the drag setting is not a generic difficulty setting, and increasing resistance is not always an effective way to improve your rowing workout. Too much resistance could cause you to use non-ideal rowing form that could be detrimental to your workout. 

Electrical Requirements

The Hydrow Wave rower must be plugged into a 110v outlet. This may limit where you’re able to put it, as you must always ensure you have an outlet nearby. It doesn’t offer as much flexibility as battery-operated rowers, like the Concept2.

Noise Level

This rower is built with electromagnetic resistance, which provides a smoother and quieter rowing experience than air rowers like the Concept2. 


The Hydrow Wave has roller wheels at the front of the machine. It weighs just above 100 pounds, and rolling it on a carpet could be a lot harder than someone with wood floors.


Hydrow offers a one-year home use warranty on the Wave rower for free. If you want a two-year warranty, it will cost $150. If you want a three-year warranty, it will cost $200. 

Hydrow Wave vs. Concept2

One of the main differences between the Hydrow Wave and Concept2 rower is that the Hydrow Wave uses electromagnetic resistance while the Concept2 uses a fan wheel to provide air resistance. Another big difference is the price. The Concept2 costs just under $1,000, while the Hydrow Wave costs around $1,695.

The price difference can be largely attributed to the technological capabilities of each machine. The Concept2 has a smaller five-inch monitor that provides basic metrics and can’t provide on-demand workouts like the Hydrow Wave can. However, both rowers provide Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to connect to heart rate monitors and other devices seamlessly. 

Lastly, the Concept2 rower has a weight capacity of 500 pounds, whereas the Hydrow Wave has a weight capacity of 375 pounds.

Concept2 RowErg

  • Frame is made of heavy-duty aluminum
  • Ergonomic handlebar and seat
  • PM5 monitor comes with Bluetooth capabilities
  • Accomodates users up to 6’6 and 500 pounds
  • Comes with a limited five-year warranty

Check Price

Hydrow Wave vs. Peloton

The Hydrow Wave and Peloton rower have some similarities, one of them being their high-definition touch screens. The 23.8-inch Peloton screen is bigger than the Hydrow Wave’s 16-inch screen though. The Peloton screen can also swivel, whereas the Hydrow Wave is fixed. The swivel of the Peloton screen allows you to do workouts off the rower and be able to easily view the monitor. 

Both the Hydrow Wave and Peloton provide subscriptions for thousands of on-demand instructor-led workouts, and both have a similar price point between $42 to $44.  

While the Hydrow Wave has a weight capacity of 375 pounds, the Peloton rower has a lower weight capacity of 300 pounds. The Hydrow Wave is only 80 inches long while the Peloton rower is 94 inches in length. Depending on your body size, this could also indicate which of the rowers you would purchase. 

The Hydrow Wave comes in at about $1,695. The Peloton is just under $3,000, making the Hydrow Wave a much more budget-friendly choice.

Peloton Rower

  • Dimensions: 7’10” L x 24” W
  • Storage: Stores upright with the Upright Wall Anchor (included with purchase)
  • Resistance: Electronically controlled
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • Display: 23.8-inch 1080p HD touchscreen
  • Available programming: Live and on-demand workouts, scenic rows

Check Price

Hydrow Wave vs. Aviron

The Aviron is a unique rower compared to the Hydrow Wave. It is a dual air and electromagnetic resistance rower that can provide a better rowing experience. Both the Hydrow Wave and Aviron provide high-definition monitors through which you can follow guided workouts. However, the Aviron’s monitor is the bigger of the two, coming in at 22 inches. 

For guided on-demand workouts on the Aviron, an all-access membership costs either $24 a month if you pay annually (which adds up to $288 upfront), or $29 per month if you pay monthly. This membership gives you access to 500 workouts, which is less than Hydrow Wave’s 4,000 workouts. But Aviron also provides streaming services, games, and other incentives.

The Aviron is only four inches longer than the Hydrow Wave. It weighs 114 pounds, slightly heavier than the Hydrow Wave which is 102 pounds. The Aviron can hold up to 500 pounds, which is much more than Hydrow Wave’s 375-pound weight capacity. The Aviron is around $2,199, about $500 more expensive than the Hydrow Wave. 

Aviron Impact Series Rower

  • Dimensions: 97” L x 21” W x 43” H
  • Storage: Folds in half for storage
  • Resistance: Air and magnetic
  • Weight capacity: 397 pounds
  • Display: 22-inch HD touchscreen
  • Available programming: Coached workouts, scenic rows, games, virtual competitions

Check Price

Hydrow Wave Customer Reviews

On Amazon, the Hydrow Wave has a strong rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. Reviewers who left positive marks noted that the machine is smooth, perfectly engineered, and as quiet as described. However, many consumers felt the rower was too expensive. 

On TrustPilot, Hydrow had a higher rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. There weren’t many concerns about the rower itself. The only concern was with Hydrow’s customer service. The user noted that they couldn’t figure out a step and called customer service, but couldn’t get in touch with anyone. They had to reach out via email instead, so they couldn’t get the immediate assistance they were hoping for.

On Hydrow’s website, reviewers loved the size and portability of the Hydrow Wave. They loved how lightweight and easy it was to assemble. They were thrilled that Hydrow provided a cheaper and more compact version of the original Hydrow for customers with smaller workout spaces. 

Final Verdict: Is the Hydrow Wave Worth It?

After testing the Hydrow Wave, our product testers called it a true alternative to the Concept2 rower. The Hydrow Wave rowing machine offers a unique and immersive rowing experience, with electromagnetic resistance that closely replicates the feel of rowing on water. While the price point of about $1,695 may be steep for some, the investment is justified by the exceptional build quality, smooth mechanics, and the option to finance it at $36 per month. 

With a subscription plan at $44 per month, you gain access to a vast library of 4,000 workouts. The subscription makes it an attractive option if you seek on-demand instructor-led sessions. However, be aware of the additional cost of the anchor system required for vertical storage. Also, consider whether you want to invest in the subscription for the full range of features. The Hydrow Wave is an excellent choice for those who value a quiet, space-efficient, and technologically advanced rowing machine, particularly if they have a compact workout space and a budget that accommodates its price.


What is the difference between the original Hydrow and the Wave?

The differences between the original Hydrow and the Wave are the dimensions, weight, and monitor screen size. The original Hydrow has larger dimensions of 86″ x 25″ x 47″, while the Hydrow Wave is 80″ x 19″ x 43″. The original Hydrow has a 22-inch HD touchscreen while the Hydrow Wave has a smaller 16-inch screen. And finally, the weight of the original Hydrow is 145 pounds while the new Hydrow Wave is 102 pounds.

Has anyone lost weight with Hydrow?

Although we can’t confirm that anyone has lost weight with the Hydrow, it does have the characteristics and ability to help improve a stronger caloric expenditure that could promote weight loss. This is due to the fact the hydrow workouts are full-body exercises to help improve energy output. 

Can you use the Hydrow Wave without the subscription?

You can use the Hydrow Wave without a subscription in “just row” mode. This mode doesn’t provide a workout, but it tracks your metrics to give you feedback on how tough you are exercising during that exercise session. 

What is the cost of the Hydrow Wave?

The Hydrow Wave costs around $1,695. Financing is also available for as low as $36 a month. 

What is the Hydrow Wave’s warranty?

The Hydrow Wave comes with a one-year warranty. Upon purchase, you can opt into a two-year warranty for $150 or a three-year warranty for $200. 

The post Hydrow Wave Review (2023): A Certified Personal Trainer’s Honest Thoughts appeared first on Breaking Muscle.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The maximum upload file size: 32 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, text, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here