First Degree E216 Fluid Rower Review

Price: £999
Buy From: Fitness Superstore

Overall Rating: 4
Ease of use: 5
Console Features: 3
Comfort: 5
Value for Money: 4

The E216 fluid rower from First Degree Fitness is the entry level model from the Fluid rower range. Unlike the models below it (Neptune and Pacific rowers) the 216 has a vertical water drum to form part of the resistance system instead of the typical flat drum found on all other water based rowing machines.

The drum incorporates a Direct Drive System which puts you in direct contact with the water where a clever gate system allows you to drastically alter how much water you are physically pulling round the chamber when you row. This is adjusted by the simple turning of a lever on the front of the drum and provides 16 levels of resistance from feather light to an Olympic sprint for the even the fittest of users.

The E216 feels well made with a weight capacity of 136kg and is also pretty compact. The foot print is just 190cm long x 56cm wide which is considerably shorter than an equivalent air based rower. It can also be stored or moved very easily by lifting the rail at the back and simply standing it on its end or pushing it along on the transportation wheels at the front. The seat is ergonomically designed and very comfortable and the foot plate system is fixed instead of pivoting, with an adjustment for foot size very easy to do.  I should mention that the webbed straps for your heel didn’t appear to be particularly robust and I suspect heavy use of the rower would see you replacing them in time. This is something which has been improved on the higher spec model E316.

The console has all the basic requirements displaying time, distance, stroke rate and calorie counter and the option of adding a heart rate receiver kit is available for an additional £39.95 which will then work with any Polar non coded chest strap.

There is no doubt that water based resistance rowers in general are the most natural type of rowing machine in terms of feel and from an efficiency perspective they will work you harder than the alternatives. The sound of the water sloshing around is therapeutic which is bound to provide some motivational appeal.


  • Natural, continuous resistance
  • Motivational appeal
  • Compact and easily stored


  • Foot straps a bit flimsy
  • Basic console features for the price.

In summary then, if price isn’t the major factor when choosing your rowing machine then a fluid rower is certainly the way to go. The E216 has the edge over the water rower range with its impressive range of variable resistance and its easy to use storage and transportation design will appeal to those with space restrictions.

Price: £999
Buy From: Fitness Superstore

Leave a Reply