It takes me about an hour to assemble the WaterRower. Using my garden hose I fill the water tank to the highest of the three recommended levels.
My WaterRower comes with a rich, dark hardwood frame, and is an attractive piece of furniture, which is lucky as that is its primary role for the first week. However, once I finally get rowing, the experience is wholly positive. There is a noticeably smoother action than with other rowing machines I have used in the gym, the water offering a pleasantly uniform resistance against the paddle that spins around the water drum. Inspired by the authenticity of the experience, I open the garden doors, and am instantly transported to the Thames, the birds singing, the bees buzzing, the water whispering, all without the damp feet and the imminent threat of drowning.
As with a crew on a river, if you want a more intense workout you simply row harder and faster - you can't adjust the resistance mechanically. You do, however, get an electronic performance monitor offering a plethora of functions, and enough performance data to keep the most empirically minded sportsperson happy. I do three 15-minute sessions the first week, at a slowish pace. In the second week, I increase intensity, and during the third, I do four 20-minute rows. Although it's too early to see any great change to my shape, I feel more sprightly.
The WaterRower provides an effective all-round, low-impact exercise option, and looks damn fine in the conservatory.