Review of dynamic rowing machines

The Rational Fitness blog has written a detailed review of Oartec Slider, Rowperfect Indoor Sculler, Concept 2 Slides and the Concept 2 Dyanmic ergo.

The Author writes in the comments below the article

In-so-far as technique goes, I think the Rowperfect is the best machine. There are a lot of good programs now using the C2 dynamic with their rowers. I would think that if technique was a huge shortcoming with that machine they wouldn’t be using it. I just think it feels a little different than the other offerings. Xeno Muller is an olympic gold medal winner, he likes the C2 dynamic. For a contrasting view search Carlos Dinares on youtube. He talks a lot about the C2 dynamic and compares it to the Rowperfect RP3. Keep in mind he sells the RP3 so take it with a grain of salt.

To summarise his findings:

Oartec Slider

  • Solidly built and has a good flow when you get it going
  • If you get out of synch with it you will bounce back and forwards
  • Requires 10 feet space to use and does not dismantle for storage
  • Monitor – just decent, stores 1 workout, no log card, no pace boat, had software glitches, does not measure up to C2 monitor.
  • Can only display 1 of optional data points (drag factor, hr, stroke length, drive ratio, strokes)
  • Extra heart rate pickup for Polar HR sensor
  • User swapped out seat and handle for preferred alternatives
  • Price USD $1295

Rowperfect Indoor Sculler

  • Feels like being in a single scull
  • Limited tilt seat forces core balance
  • Easiest of them all to put together and easiest to transport
  • Design is pretty simple and quite brilliant
  • Monitor is easy to use and allows boat class selection, results are weight based
  • Display options include watts, stroke length, meters per stroke, total strokes, and also a cool function showing watts per heartbeat.
  • You can’t set the monitor up for intervals, software updates involve sending monitor back to Canada or Australia
  • It’s the loudest of all the ergs
  • Requires 7 feet of space and is a lot smaller than the C2 or Oartec
  • There’s nothing holding the seat in place like a bungee and if you get sloppy with your technique it tells you
  • If I was going to do a long session it would be a no-brainer, I’d do it on this machine.   Both the C2 on slides and the Oartec feel heavy and slower by comparison.
  • Price USD $3000+ expensive

Concept 2 on Slides

  • Been around for a long time – add slides to a regular C2
  • They require a lot of space – 11.5 feet
  • Using them they feel like an Oartec
  • If you already have C2 this is an inexpensive add on
  • I put a coreperform seat on my erg to get the tilting seat feature that I have on the RP
  • Feels like a heavier boat compared to RP
  • Not even remotely portable
  • Price USD $1,340

Concept 2 Dynamic

  • I worried about location of the flywheel under the rower with sweat dripping in but this is a non-issue as fan blows it away
  • Has a cord instead of a chain attached to handle. There is a potential for wear over time and C2 includes an extra cord just in case.
  • I think the dynamic movement of this machine is ok.
  • It feels more similar to rowing a single after I put on the coreperform seat.  (I still like the RP seat better than the coreperform though).
  • I feel the connection between the footplate and the handle and I initially felt that I had no problem suspending my bodyweight.
  • However, the way I think i make this happen is by opening my back too early.  I figured this out because my back would bother me after rowing on this and I couldn’t figure out why.  I think there may be a bit of slop in the foot to handle connection based on the design.
  • Didn’t like
    -relationship between seat and stretchers, I can’t find a happy catch position
    -bothers my back a little
    -tiny bit sloppy at the catch (all of the above could just be me)
  • The machine is fairly quiet and the familiar C2 PM4 is as reliable as ever.
  • There is no shock cord retracting the handle on the recovery on the C2 dynamic.
  • As far as actual technique, you can get away with a lot of bullshit on this machine since the seat travel is limited by a strong bungee so if you get out of kilter you won’t hit the frontstops or anything.
  • I don’t sense a lot of punishment for poor technique.
  • Size just over 6 feet; it is pretty heavy and can’t easily be taken apart for storage.
  • Price USD $1,400 with PM4 monitor
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One thought on “Review of dynamic rowing machines

  1. Julie says:

    Thank you for summarizing the information. Rowing machine reviews and reviews in general are so important to read over when you’re figuring out what product you want to buy. It can also be time consuming so thanks again for making the process easier for everyone. You’re right about the Concept2 on slides, you can’t move it anywhere!

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