The gentle sound of lapping waves fills my living room, a friendly face smiles broadly at me, telling me they want to share their favourite classic rock playlist with me, it's bright and sunny, and the skies seem to open up in a limitless expanse. But rather than this being all I can remember from a particularly surreal and calming dream, this has been my lived - awake - experience of having a Hydrow Wave to test out at home.
Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing particularly serene about the workouts offered by the 'Peloton of rowing machines', despite the movement required for correct rowing (legs, core, arms, arms, core, legs) being a great thing to focus on for mindfulness. As someone who has only ever dabbled with a rowing machine at the gym, I have never really understood just what a thorough workout one can provide.
Thankfully for me, before I could start with the more intense rows - led by a series of chirpy US instructors who are masters in their
field lake - I was encouraged to take three, 15-minute long, introductory lessons to get me moving properly on the machine, and to familiarise me with the terminology used during the classes, and in the sport in general.
It was as I watched an instructor cruising along an idyllic river on the HD touch screen at the end of the machine, moving back and forth in tandem with them, and thousands of other faceless Hydrowers across the world, that I realised that everything I knew about rowing machines was about to change.
What is the difference between Hydrow vs Hydrow Wave?
Our Editor-in-Chief Claire Sanderson previously put the Hydrow through its paces, and she loved how it appealed to her competitive nature. The live leaderboards in every class allowed her to aim to be in the top 10% then 5% of each one. And she loved how the classes, filmed outdoors, had a glorious, rustic feel to them, a soothing change from many at home workouts which are filmed in a studio.
With the Hydrow Wave, little has changed in these aspects, with the live scoreboard still a main feature of the classes, and stunning scenery to lose yourself in.
The differences between the original and newer model are the size, weight and price of the machines. The screens are also different, with the Hydrow's coming in at 22", and the Hydrow Wave a compact but ample 16".
What sort of classes are on a Hydrow Wave? Are they the same as the ones on the Hydrow?
The world-class training plans are the same for both machines. There are Daily Live Workouts with Hydrow Athletes, including Olympians and World-Class rowers, plus a huge (thousands!!) library of On-Demand rowing workouts spanning a range of intensity and duration, meaning you can pick and choose what will work with your goals and lifestyle.
There are also complementary pilates, yoga, strengthening, and stretching workouts as part of the On the Mat offering. All the classes are also accessible through the Hydrow mobile app on iOS or Android.
One of the things that I liked most about the Hydrow membership was that you can have multiple user profiles under one account, so my flatmate was able to give it a go, too. The profiles allow everyone to keep track of their stats and progress separately, so if you have a competitive family or want to get your mates over a few times a week to hang out and row, this is ideal.
How does the at-home rowing machine work?
Hydrow was the brainchild of Bruce Smith. Hydrow claims that a workout on one of the machines activates 86% of your body’s major muscle groups and is twice as efficient as running or cycling. But unlike the rowing machines you'd find at the gym, there are no resistance settings nor an external water drum to row against. Hydrow uses electromagnetism to mimic the natural pull and push of the water.
How much is a Hydrow Wave? Does it need a subscription?
The price of a Hydrow Wave machine is £1,395. It's not a paltry amount, but for those with a serious passion for rowing, or who want to have the option for an intense cardio workout without having a treadmill or exercise bike at home, it's a brilliant piece of kit to invest in.
A subscription costs £38-a-month. Without this you do not get access to any of the training plans, or community elements. The Hydrow Wave can be used in 'Just Row' mode, but even just using it like this, the machine always needs an internet connection, and to be plugged in at the wall.
The Hydrow website states: 'We do not suggest purchasing Hydrow with the intent of using it in "Just Row" mode. If you are not interested in the streaming video or connected-fitness elements, you may want to consider carefully whether or not Hydrow is the right rower for you.'
What are the Hydrow Wave dimensions?
The machine is 80" long x 19" wide (204 cm long x 49 cm wide). The distance from the floor to the top of the touch screen is 43" (110 cm high). The original weighs 65kg, but the Hydrow Wave has a lesser bulk of 46kg.
Can the Hydrow Wave be stored away?
Living in a high rise flat, I am limited with space and storage. When the Hydrow Wave was first delivered I was taken aback by how large it looked in my kitchen/living room, but thankfully it can be propped up vertically to save floor space.
Will there be a Hydrow rower Black Friday sale?
When it comes to making big purchases (whether its an investment piece, Christmas gifts or just lovely new kit for yourself), Black Friday sales are the time to do it. We've had confirmation that there will be some Hydrow bargains coming our way in November.
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