First Degree Fitness’s Newport Difficulty AR Indoor Rower is one of the brand name’s most budget friendly water rowing machines. At about $800, this powerful rower includes plenty of specs as well as attributes that give the more expensive models a run for their money.

Emphasizes for the Newport Challenge include a double water container resistance system, a heart rate compatible screen, and an outstanding guarantee.

Add this completely and you have the makings for a best in course rowing machine.

However with numerous versions to select from these days, you shouldn’t take my word for it. That’s why this testimonial will certainly reveal you every little thing this rowing device does and also doesn’t have going all out.

After reading, you’ll know every little thing you require to in order to choose whether this is the best rower for your home gym.

I had not been very accustomed to the First Degree Health and fitness brand prior to researching their AR Newport rower. The physical fitness brand name concentrates on a pretty fascinating specific niche- every one of their exercise equipments utilize fluid resistance.

It makes sense when you consider it- water works great for rowing devices, so why couldn’t you make use of the exact same innovation to produce cycles, upper body ergometers, and also strength training equipment?

Well, turns out you can.

First Degree Physical fitness has developed an instead enormous schedule of property as well as business grade devices that uses water resistance.

They provide a ton of rowing equipments that differ in the class degree of their screens and the strength of their structures. They even took a page out of the WaterRower playbook, using wood versions also.

The Newport Difficulty becomes part of their “AR” schedule as well as is among their most affordable (and most prominent) designs.


  • Large screen on monitor
  • Good warranty
  • Easy assembly
  • Well priced
  • Adjustable resistance, dual tank system
  • Can accommodate any fitness level
  • Smooth rowing action
  • 300 lb weight capacity


  • No workout programs
  • Only compatible with First Degree Fitness heart rate monitor


As a water rower, the Newport Obstacle utilizes a water storage tank and also a flywheel with attached paddles (3 to be exact) to create the resistance for you to row against.

Water rowers are fantastic for individuals aiming to recreate the feel of rowing a boat on the water. And that’s due to all the indoor rowing equipments readily available, water rowers most carefully appear like the mechanism of driving with water (because you’re actually drawing paddles through water).

They’re additionally wonderful due to the fact that, just like rowing a real boat, the more difficult you pull, the more resistance you really feel. And also the other way around.

This means that technically talking, there’s no limitation for resistance they can supply. The only restriction is exactly how difficult you can pull.

The Newport Obstacle includes a fascinating twist to their resistance system- you can change the total resistance degree by transforming a dial on the top of the water container.

This is where the “AR” part of the name comes from- “flexible resistance”.

You can include or get rid of water from any kind of water rower to play with the feel as well as general resistance supplied. However the Newport Obstacle has a dual storage tank system that permits you to play with the water level without having to grab a tube.

There’s a dial on the top of the storage tank that can be changed from level 1 to 4 (1 being the most convenient). The water is kept in an interior chamber and also is after that transferred to the energetic chamber based upon your resistance setup.

For instance- relocating from level 1 to level 2 would include more water from the storage space chamber to the active chamber, therefore raising your resistance.

Lowering from level 3 to degree 2 would get rid of water from the active chamber.

It’s truly a brilliant design concept. It makes it a lot more convenient to adjust the water level on your rower.

A lot of customers agree that the rowing activity on the Newport Obstacle is smooth and also fluid. Overall, this rower scores very for their ingenious dual storage tank system that makes water changes easier than ever.


Structure stamina is an important attribute to take into consideration when looking at rowers. The last point you want is a flimsy frame that totters as well as drinks throughout use.

It can be challenging to find out exactly how hard a frame is before purchasing. The best way in my opinion is to look at the weight capability- higher limits suggest a more powerful structure (I suggest going for a minimum of a 300 lb capability).

The Newport Difficulty includes a 300 lb weight limit, which is rather common for a rower in this rate range. If a rower in this price array didn’t have at the very least a 300 pound limitation, that would be a large warning.

The red color scheme makes this rowing machine recognizable from a mile away. Personally, I assume it looks respectable- sharp as well as energetic.

This rower makes use of a belt drive, which will help maintain the sound down a little. Chain drives tend to last longer, yet they do make a little more noise with their rattling.

The seat is contoured and also most users discover it rather comfortable to paddle on. Nothing as well interesting to say about the handle, yet it’s cushioned and also angled a little for added convenience.

The frame isn’t collapsible, however it can be kept up and down, which offers the exact same area conserving function.

One of the few problems some individuals have had regarding this rower concern the foot pedals. Some find them too little as well as tough to change.

They contain a thin plastic and do look a bit sexy. Otherwise, the frame of the Newport Challenge rower ratings rather highly. You shouldn’t have to fret about this rower shaking or really feeling lightweight during your exercises.


A great deal of house rowers include little LCD “screens” that simply track your strokes, time, and distance. Others have advanced monitors that come loaded with workout programs as well as competitive auto racing video games (like the Concept2’s PM5).

The monitor on the Newport Obstacle falls somewhere in between.

The screen is fairly big, making it simple to read during workouts. It likewise tracks all the metrics you want to see on a rower, consisting of time, range, strokes per min, and watts.

Yet it also measures 500m split time and has an input for the water resistance level that corresponds to your water tank degree. This behaves because it will certainly offer you much more accurate analyses based upon just how much water you are rowing against (a great deal of water rowers do not do this).

Yet there aren’t any workout programs or pacing alternatives.

There is a USB port you can use to link the rowing maker to your computer system if you desire, but some individuals have actually grumbled that the software application is truly antiquated

The display can track heart prices, yet you need to get one independently with First Degree Fitness (one isn’t included).

Generally, the display might make use of some upgrades, yet it’s better than a lot of the ones you see on house rowers. It would additionally behave if First Degree Fitness included the heart rate display with acquisition.


Many customers find putting together the Newport Obstacle relatively straightforward. The assembly manual is pretty simple to comply with, with huge pictures and created cues for every step.

The water container comes connected to the structure, which behaves due to the fact that you do not need to worry about doing it yourself.

Setting up truly contains just attaching the seat to the rail and the rail to the water tank section of the framework. You likewise have to affix the pedals and do a little fine tuning.

All the essential tools are included.

On the whole, many people should be able to place this rower together on their own in a hr or so.


The First Degree Fitness Newport Challenge AR Indoor Rower comes with the adhering to guarantee:

  • 5 year framework
  • 3 year container and also seals
  • 2 year parts
  • 1 year wear components

I assume this is a pretty charitable assurance for a rower in this cost array. Even the a lot more expensive rowing devices hardly ever offer longer than 5 years on the framework.

Two years on parts is also rather solid, thinking about rowers that set you back north of a thousand dollars generally max out at 3 years on components.

In general, I applaud First Degree Fitness for using a reasonable warranty on the Newport Obstacle.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a true water rower that takes it quite easy on the pocketbook, the Newport Difficulty AR is a great selection. I believe the flexible resistance system is smart. It definitely makes it less complicated to adjust the strength of your workouts based on your health and fitness degree.

The frame is well developed and the rowing action is smooth as well as consistent. I likewise think the guarantee is generous for this cost variety.

The most significant downside I see is that the display could make use of a couple of upgrades (a couple of workout programs would go a long way). It would likewise behave if it was compatible with other heart rate screens.

Otherwise, this is a great water rower for the cost. I would certainly even go as much to claim that it is just one of the very best water rowers available.

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