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First Degree Fitness vs WaterRower

First Degree Fitness vs WaterRower

First Degree Fitness vs WaterRower, Who Makes The Better Rowing Machines?

When looking for a home exercise machine that offers a full-body workout, the indoor rowing machine is an excellent option. One of the most popular categories of indoor rowing machine is those which generate resistance with water. The major reason for this is the realistic stroke feel created by the water.

Unlike other types of rowers that tend to have a lag at the beginning of the stroke, water-resistance rowers provide a smooth stroke throughout the stroke cycle without any dead spots. This creates the closest “feel” to being on the water of any type of rower.

Two of the most highly rated and top-selling brands of water resistance indoor rowers are WaterRower and First Degree Fitness.

Both brands offer a large product line of great-looking, high-quality machines that are all designed and manufactured in the USA.

The following is a specs comparison between both First Degree Fitness and WaterRower’s best models.

First Degree Fitness vs WaterRower

1. First Degree Fitness Viking 2 AR Plus Reserve vs WaterRower Club

First Degree Fitness Viking 2 AR Plus Reserve WaterRower Club
First Degree Fitness Viking 2 AR Plus Reserve WaterRower Club
Solid American ash with metal fixtures creating a highly durable, long-lasting platform. Beautifully crafted from solid ash wood and features a black stain finished in Danish Oil.
Patented Twin Tank technology providing easy manual adjustment for 4 levels of resistance from feather-light to Olympic challenge. Multi-bladed impeller and internal baffles with the Twin Tanks provide for a natural catch which is instantaneous with the leg drive generating a smooth uniform stroke emulating the feel of on-water rowing. WaterRower's "WaterFlyWheel" produces resistance based upon the amount of water in the tank and the amount of work you apply. This Self Regulated Resistance allows you to dictate the speed at which you row from a gentle paddle to an all-out, high-intensity workout.
Height adjustable footplate and straps, and secure heel catches ensure a comfortable rowing position that easily adapts to different shoe sizes. User friendly, ergonomically designed features including adjustable footrests and straps, a comfortable seat, and an easy-grip handle.
Comfortable contoured seat for silent smooth action. Accessories can include Elevate Kit, Seat Back Kit, and Heart Rate Monitors. Premium ergonomic handle for optimal grip and minimal strain of hands and wrist. Huge selection of attachments to improve the comfort and use of your WaterRower
Bluetooth Multi-level computer (only available on V and XL Models) which displays data such as heart rate, distance, time per 500 meters, and stroke count. Interval training and basic preset workouts are supported. A USB connection allows for integration with First Degree Fitness apps. Bluetooth enabled heart rate monitor compatibility, IOS, and Android App connectivity The WaterRower Club is equipped with an S4 monitor that displays stroke intensity in m/s (meters per second), mph (miles per hour), /500m (time per 500 meters), /2km (time per 2 kilometers), watts, and Kcalories per hour. It can also show heart rate with an optional attachment. The S4 monitor also includes six preset workouts and the option to create your own workouts based on distance or duration. The S4 monitor is able to integrate with 3rd party software as well.
Large transport wheels allow for easy movement and vertical storage in a minimal amount of space. Built-in dolly wheels allow the machine to be easily moved and stored upright in a space no larger than that of a dining room chair.
This rower has a user weight capacity of 330lbs. This rower has a user weight capacity of 350lbs.
The overall size of this rower is 84” long, 22” wide, and 21” high. The overall size of this rower is 82” long, 22” wide, and 20” high.
Excellent warranty providing five years of protection on the frame, three years for the tank, two years for mechanical parts, and one for wear parts. The WaterRower Club is initially backed by a three-year warranty on the frame and a one-year warranty on the components. This can be extended to a five-year frame and three-year parts warranty.

Price: $1,299.00

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Price: $1,160.00

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2. First Degree Fitness Viking 2 AR Plus Select vs WaterRower Natural Ash

First Degree Fitness Viking 2 AR Plus Select WaterRower Natural Ash
First Degree Fitness Viking 2 AR Plus Select WaterRower Natural Ash
Manufactured from solid American Ash, metal fixtures, and high-quality components. Handcrafted from solid ash wood, featuring a Honey Oak stain and Danish oil finish.
Adjustable water resistance facilitated by a triple-blade propeller and baffled tank. Polycarbonate tank with dual-blade impeller that facilitates adjustable water resistance.
Height adjustable footpads and length adjustable foot straps. Adjustable footboard featuring molded pedals that provides optimal foot stability.
An ergonomically adjustable molded seat that fits athletes of all heights. Padded and contoured seat that reduces soreness and provides optimal athletic comfort.
Multi-level monitor displays distance splits times, strokes per minute, watts, heart rate, and burnt calories featuring a USB port. S4 performance monitor displaying intensity, stroke rate, heart rate, duration, and distance.
Large caster wheels facilitate ease of movement and convenient vertical storage. Built-in caster wheels allow the rower to be easily moved about as wheel as stored vertically.
330lbs (150kg) weight capacity. 330lbs (150kg) weight capacity.
L 84″ (2135mm) x W 22″ (550mm) x H 21″ (540mm) L 83″ (2100mm) x W 22″ (560mm) x H 21″ (530mm)
Frame - 5-year warranty
Tank and seals - 5-year warranty
Non-wearing mechanical components - 2-year warranty
Wearing components - 1-year warranty
Frame - 5-year warranty
All other components - 3-year warranty

Price: $1,299.00

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Price: $1,160.00

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3. First Degree Fitness Viking 2 Plus vs WaterRower Oxbridge

First Degree Fitness Viking 2 AR Plus WaterRower Oxbridge
First Degree Fitness Viking 2 AR Plus WaterRower Oxbridge
Built from solid American Ash, and finished with metal fixtures and high-quality components. Manufactured from solid Cherry premium hardwood. The frame is then finished with Danish oil and urethane for an added layer of protection.
The patented twin Tank Fluid Resistance system makes for an industry-leading indoor rowing experience. 5 gallon (19-litre) polycarbonate water tanks offer a smooth open-water rowing experience.
Foot placement and comfortability are assured with height adjustable footplates and straps. Footrests are size adjustable, accommodating to feet of all sizes.
Durable belt drive finished off with an ergonomically designed and comfortable handle Foam grip handle and seamless belt-drive make rowing super comfortable.
Multi-functional display monitor that tracks workout time, stroke count, and burnt calories. The monitor also integrates with USB devices. S4 performance monitor tracks distance, time, workout intensity, Kcalories, watts, strokes, and heart rate. Integratable with Polar and ANT+ heart rate chest straps.
Convenient caster wheels make moving around and shifting into a vertical stance super easy. Built-in caster wheels make movement and vertical storage a breeze.
330lbs (150kg) weight capacity. 330lbs (150kg) weight capacity.
L 84″ (2135mm) x W 22″ (550mm) x H 21″ (540mm) L 83″ (2100mm) x W 22″ (560mm) x H 21″ (530mm)
Frame - 5-year warranty
Tank and seals - 5-year warranty
Non-wearing mechanical components - 2-year warranty
Wearing components - 1-year warranty
Frame - 5-year warranty
All other components - 3-year warranty

Price: $1,299.00

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Price: $1,360.00

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4. First Degree Fitness Viking 3 Plus vs WaterRower Classic

First Degree Fitness Viking 3 AR Plus WaterRower Classic
First Degree Fitness Viking 3 AR Plus WaterRower Classic
Beautifully crafted from American Ash and hand Finished with double lacquer. Handcrafted from solid American Walnut frame finished with Danish oil.
4.5 gallon (17-liter) tough polycarbonate tanks fitted with triple-blade technology suit anybody’s fitness levels. Patented water flywheel coupled with 5.3 gallons (20-liter) polycarbonate tanks makes for a realistic and consistent rowing stroke.
Water resistance, belt-drive, and comfortably designed handle prevent strain on the arm, wrists, and hands. Low impact exercise to provide workouts that are easy on the hips, knees, ankles, and shoulders.
A super comfortable seat that fixed upon precision bearings makes for a smooth indoor rowing experience. Molded seat and footrests for optimal comfort and stability.
Screen display highlights distance, split times, strokes per minute, burnt calories, watts, and heart rate. S4 monitor stores up to 9 workouts for ease of access. Comes fitted with a convenient USB port.
Simple assembly and virtually maintenance-free. Maintenance-free operation.
330lbs (150kg) weight capacity. 330lbs (150kg) weight capacity.
L 84″ (2135mm) x W 21″ (533mm) x H 20″ (508mm) L 83″ (2100mm) x W 22″ (560mm) x H 21″ (530mm)
Frame - 5-year warranty
Tank and seals - 5-year warranty
Non-wearing mechanical components - 2-year warranty
Wearing components - 1-year warranty
Frame - 5-year warranty
All other components - 3-year warranty

Price: $1,699.00

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Price: $1,560.00

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5. First Degree Fitness Newport Reserve vs WaterRower A1 Home

First Degree Fitness Newport AR Plus Reserve WaterRower A1 Home
First Degree Fitness Newport AR Plus Reserve WaterRower A1 Home
Made using a durable powder-coated steel frame. American Ash frame sourced from sustainable forests.
Patented twin 4.5 gallons (17-liter) polycarbonate tanks featuring FDF’s Variable Fluid Resistance Technology. 20l polycarbonate tanks coupled with WaterRower’s patented dual-flywheel.
Height adjustable footplates and straps ensure feet of all sizes fit comfortably. Adjustable footpads and straps make finding a comfortable foot position a pleasure.
A cushioned seat that rests on high-quality bearings for a super smooth ride. Perfectly molded cushioned seat for ultimate comfort.
Data monitor provides insights into workout time, distance, split times, strokes per minute, calories, and watts. Wave monitor functionality displays a variety of metrics including time, speed, intensity, and distance.
Vertical storage is a breeze with built-in caster wheels. Vertical storage to save space. Built-in caster wheels make moving the rower easy and save home floors from scratches.
330lbs (150kg) weight capacity. 330lbs (150kg) weight capacity.
L 77″ (1956mm) x W 21″ (533mm) x H 20″ (508mm) L 85″ (2150mm) x W 22″ (560mm) x H 21″ (530mm)
Metal frame - 10-year warranty
Tank and seals - 3-year warranty
All other components - 2-year warranty
All components (excluding electronics) - 1-year warranty (structural upgrade available)
Electronics - 3-year warranty

Price: $1,099.00

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Price: $960.00

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6. First Degree Fitness Apollo Pro V vs WaterRower Xeno Muller

First Degree Fitness Apollo Pro V WaterRower Xeno Muller Signature Edition
First Degree Fitness Apollo Pro V WaterRower Xeno Muller Signature Edition
Hand lacquered American Ash wood grain finish. Handcrafted solid replenishable Appalachian wood, meaning this rower has a relatively small carbon footprint.
Dual horizontal tanks each have 4.5 gallons (17 liters) of Fluid Resistance. Water-resistance fitted with a water flywheel makes for a low-impact yet intense workout.
Active recoil belt-drive for ease-of-use and smooth, clean operation. The Xeno Muller has a wider handle, perfect for athletes with wide shoulders or wide grip.
Dead spot-free operation for that real-world feel. More than 50 hours of guided rowing workouts led by Xeno Müller.
Apollo Pro V monitor featuring Bluetooth connectivity and integrated workout metric tracking. S4 monitor packed full of features including heart rate monitoring, Kcalorie tracking, wattage output, and much more.
Super simple assembly and virtually zero maintenance design. The frame is designed to be easily flipped upright for vertical storage.
330lbs (150kg) weight capacity. 330lbs (150kg) weight capacity.
L 84″ (2135mm) x W 21″ (533mm) x H 20″ (508mm) L 83″ (2100mm) x W 22″ (560mm) x H 21″ (530mm)
Frame - 10-year warranty
Tank and seals - 5-year warranty
Non-wearing mechanical components - 2-year warranty
Wearing components - 1-year warranty
Frame - 5-year warranty
All other components - 3-year warranty

Price: $1,699.00

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Price: $1,260.00

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7. First Degree Fitness Apollo Pro V Reserve vs WaterRower All Black

First Degree Fitness Apollo Hybrid Pro V Reserve WaterRower All Black
First Degree Fitness Apollo Hybrid Pro V Reserve WaterRower All Black
Built using lacquered American Ash woodgrain and formed powder-coated aluminum head frame. High-tech black rails designed to reduce scuffing, marks, and scratches, hand-finished with Danish oil and durable urethane.
4.5 gallon (17-liter) FDF horizontal twin tanks. Handcrafted rowing water flywheel that replicates real open-water rowing.
5x Fluid Force resistance system featuring a Bluetooth auto-adjust monitor (BAM). The flywheel is housed in a durable polycarbonate tank for smooth, quiet, and dead-spot-free resistance.
Featuring a durable belt-drive with active recoil for convenient and maintenance-free operation. The handle and seamless belt-drive make rowing super comfortable and easy to use.
Apollo Prov V Reserve Monitor features Bluetooth capability and a display that measures time, split times, stroke per minute, Kcalories, watts, and heart rate. Series 4 performance monitor measures strokes per minute, heart rate, workout intensity, and much more.
Height adjustable footboards and straps. The adjustable footboard features molded pedals that provide optimal and secure foot stability.
330lbs (150kg) weight capacity. 330lbs (150kg) weight capacity.
L 84″ (2135mm) x W 21″ (533mm) x H 20″ (508mm) L 83″ (2100mm) x W 22″ (560mm) x H 21″ (530mm)
Frame - 10-year warranty
Tank and seals - 5-year warranty
Non-wearing mechanical components - 2-year warranty
Wearing components - 1-year warranty
Frame - 5-year warranty
All other components - 3-year warranty

Price: $1,599.00

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Price: $1,160.00

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8. First Degree Fitness E350 vs WaterRower M1 Hi-Rise

First Degree Fitness E350 Evolution AR WaterRower M1 HiRise
First Degree Fitness E350 Evolution AR WaterRower M1 HiRise
Robust steel and aluminum frame make for a durable yet lightweight design. Handmade powder-coated aluminum lightweight frame.
10-levels of patented Variable Fluid Resistance (VFR) Handcrafted water flywheel that provides a smooth, quiet, and self-regulated stroke resistance.
FDF’s famous adjustable footplates coupled with industry-leading Advance Heel Cradle for insanely secure footholds. Industry-leading footpads that are
Concealed Air Glide seat rollers offer a low friction and super smooth ride. True to its name, the HiRise’s seat has been positioned above the ground by 20-inches, 8-inches more than other models.
Multi-functional Interactive Performance Monitor (IPM) that tracks speed, time, distance, calories, watts, and much more. Eries 4 monitor that tracks a ton of different metrics including, strokes per minute, burnt calories, distance, split times, and many more.
Industrial nylon belt-drive for a smooth and super quiet stroke. A durable yet smooth-feeling handle and belt make strokes a pleasure.
330lbs (150kg) weight capacity. 330lbs (150kg) weight capacity.
L 84″ (2135mm) x W 21″ (533mm) x H 20″ (508mm) L 88″ (2230mm) x W 22″ (560mm) x H 27″ (690mm)
Frame - 10-year warranty
Tank and seals - 5-year warranty
Non-wearing mechanical components - 2-year warranty
Wearing components - 1-year warranty
Frame - 5-year warranty
All other components - 3-year warranty

Price: $2,299.00

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Price: $1,915.00

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First Degree Fitness FluidRower vs WaterRower Summary

Both WaterRower and First Degree Fitness Rowers make great-looking, high-quality, and virtually maintenance-free indoor rowing machines. Every model is sure to provide you with very effective full-body workouts for years to come.

The different monitors that are included with both machines have minor differences in the data displayed, pre-programmed workouts, and the ability to connect with supplementary apps. Both provide you with all the pertinent data you will need for a great workout and choosing one over the other is ultimately a matter of your specific preferences.

The primary difference between the WaterRower and First Degree Fitness rowing machines is in how the water resistance is generated.

WaterRower’s “WaterFlyWheel” produces resistance based upon the amount of water in the tank. To make changes in resistance to accommodate users of different fitness levels, water must be added or removed from the tank.

The First Degree Fitness rowers use patented “Twin Tank” technology which provides for variable water resistance at the turn of a dial which may be more convenient if the rower will be shared between users of different fitness levels.

The Bottom Line

The WaterRower and First Degree Fitness make some of the best indoor rowing machines available today and you will no doubt be happy with either brand. Both replicate the sight, sound, and feel of on-water rowing.

If you are a single user, both machines will work equally well. If there will be multiple users of different fitness levels a rower from First Degree Fitness may be a slightly better choice due to their manually adjustable resistance.




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