The WaterRower was invented in 1988 by John Duke, a Yale University engineer and USA Rowing National Team candidate. Mr Duke had two principles leading his design:
Duke’s goal was to create a rowing machine with which the user has a welcoming emotional connection, as they would with a favoured piece of art or furniture. Central to this was manufacturing from wood.
Inspiration for the design came from the sparse elegance of Shaker furniture, renowned for being beautiful, well-made objects that could be used in everyday life. The WaterRower, as with Shaker furniture, does not have any superfluous design elements. Every component of the WaterRower has a precise role to play in the rowing machines function.
With his design finalised, Mr Duke set up the WaterRower factory in the New England state of Rhode Island. A hub for skilled manufacturing labour and just a few hours north of the Appalachian Mountain Range from which the WaterRower wood is sourced, Rhode Island remains the home of our manufacturing operation to this day.
Duke’s philosophy when he founded WaterRower was to manufacture high-quality products from ethically sourced materials and this mission remains a core value to this day. An antidote to disposable manufacturing culture, all WaterRower rowing machine are made by hand and designed to last a lifetime. From humble beginnings, WaterRower has expanded to become a global fitness brand. What was once a small woodshop making one rowing machine a month is now a state-of-the-art manufacturing operation. Success has been built on Duke’s founding principle of high quality and sustainable manufacturing.
Following in John Duke’s footsteps, the WaterRower team today is comprised of many keen rowers. We remain dedicated to sharing a passion for the WaterRower and the exercise benefits of rowing with our customers. UK operations are run from our facility in West London, just a stone throw away from the famous Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race course on the River Thames.
The sister brand to WaterRower, NOHrD (pronounced nord) is the brainchild of Dominik Kuprecht, the founder, and Managing Director of WaterRower Germany. Deriving its name from the town of Nohrdhorn in which WaterRower Germany is based, Herr Kuprecht created the brand to meet growing demand from WaterRower customers for fitness equipment with the same space saving, functional design as their much-loved rowing machines.