WalkingPad WR1 Folding Rower Review – 2024

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Last Updated: September 14, 2023

We’ve been enjoying testing pretty much every tiny, folding treadmill from WalkingPad. One of the latest additions to their lineup is the WalkingPad Folding Rower. It’s a wooden water rower that’s compact. What makes it unique is that it folds at 3 points to take up a very small amount of space in your home. It’s also a fraction of the cost of typical water rowers. But how does it perform and is it worth it? We put the WalkingPad WR1 Folding Rower to the test in this review. Keep reading to see what it’s all about.

WalkingPad WR1 Folding Rower Review 2024

The WalkingPad Folding Rower is small but can handle a good range of users.

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Why You Should Trust Our Review Of The WalkingPad WR1 Folding Rower

Our goal is to help you find the perfect machine for you. Not only do we test the most popular rowers on the market, but we also work to test affordable and compact rowers that might align better with your home and budget. Exercise is for everyone and with all the different sizes and price points rowers come in, rowing is becoming more accessible to more people.

To compile this review of the WalkingPad Folding Rower, we tried it next to the Ergatta Water Rower, the Concept2 RowErg, the ProForm Pro R10, and the ProForm Pro 750R, as well as a few others we have on hand. This way we could assess how the WalkingPad compares to these other popular rowing machines.

Our WalkingPad WR1 Foldable Rowing Machine Review Video


Pros
  • This compact rower folds at 3 points to only be 26” long when stored.
  • This is a budget-friendly water rower.
  • It is good for beginners with limited space and budget.
  • There is a place to put your device to stream your own content and track your workouts.
  • The water makes a calming sloshing noise while rowing.
Cons
  • It isn’t best for intermediate and experienced rowers.
  • It isn’t best for large users and only handles up to 265 lbs.

FeaturesSpecs
  • LCD Display
  • Metrics Displayed: speed, calories, time, distance, number of strokes, and SPMs
  • Connects to KS Fit App through Bluetooth
  • Device Rack for phone or tablet
  • Comes with a water pump
  • Patented 3-Fold Technology
  • Takes up just 26” of space when folded
  • Transportation Wheels
  • Footprint: 76.3” L x 19.6” W x 22” H
  • Folded Footprint: 26.7” L x 19.6” W x 22.8” H
  • Construction: Wood
  • Weight Capacity: 264.5 lbs
  • Rower Weight: 64 lbs
  • Glass Fiber Paddles
  • Ergonomic Seat
  • Anti-Slip Handle
  • Adjustable Foot Strap
  • Belt Drive
  • Water Resistance
  • Warranty: 1-Year
WalkingPad Folding Rower


In-depth Review of WalkingPad WR1 Folding Rower


Console

The console on the WalkingPad Folding Rower is very minimal. In fact, at first glance, it’s even a little hard to find. Directly above the pedals, it’s built into the footboard at the top. It’s an LCD display that reads your time, distance, speed, calories, strokes per minute, and number of strokes.

WalkingPad Folding Rower Console

The display is pretty easy to read, even though it’s small.

With how inexpensive this rower is, we didn’t expect it to be very high-tech. It does pair with the KS Fit App, like other equipment from WalkingPad. This app is simple but it tracks your current and previous workouts. This is a good way to keep track of your current workout and previous workout history.

WalkingPad Folding Rower Device Rack

A really nice feature is the device holder above the LCD screen.

This is a small rack to place your phone or a larger tablet. This is great if you want to keep yourself occupied while rowing. I like seeing this feature on fitness equipment because it lets you stream and view the content of your choosing. So, if you want to watch a show, or stream guided rowing content, you can on the WalkingPad Rower.

Construction Quality/Durability

The WalkingPad Folding Rower is also referred to as the KingSmith WR1 Foldable Water Rowing Machine. As I mentioned, it’s an affordable rower that folds. Compared to other water rowers like the WaterRower and Ergatta, it is very affordable. It is even more affordable than the WaterRower A1 Studio Rowing Machine, as well as many other home rowers on the market.

We definitely kept the WalkingPad’s price tag in mind when evaluating this rowing machine. Considering also its size, we didn’t expect it to have a very large weight limit, which it doesn’t. It is rated to handle up to 265 lbs, which is more than ProForm Rowers’ weight limits which cap out at 250 lbs. Even so, 400-500 lbs are typically the highest weight limits we see on rowers, so the WalkingPad is on the lower end. So, larger users might feel a little limited on this model.

Frame

WalkingPad Folding Rower Sydney Rowing

Being that the WalkingPad is a water rower, it stays true to most water rower designs in that it has a wood frame.

The wood frame looks nice and feels similar to other water rowers, although it is more compact. The benefit of the wood is that it fits better in most homes because it looks similar to furniture. So, the WalkingPad should look nice in your home.

Also like other water rowers, the WalkingPad Folding Rower has a dual rail system that sits very low to the floor. The only aspect that keeps the frame from being entirely on the floor is the 12 small feet that the rower sits on.

If you have limited mobility, this rower might be harder for you to use because it is so low to the ground. The rail is only 6” high and the seat is 12” high so it can be harder to sit down and stand up. If you have mobility issues that limit you from sitting low on the floor, you might want to check out other rowers with higher rails and seats.

Geometry/Dimensions

  • Footprint: 76.3” L x 19.6” W x 22” H
  • Folded Footprint: 26.7” L x 19.6” W x 22.8” H
  • Pedal Length: 12” L
  • DualRail: 44” L x 6” H
  • Seat: 14” W x 10” D x 12” H
  • Belt Drive: 21” (from where the belt appears from the flywheel)

Footboard & Pedals

Like other wood water rowers, the WalkingPad has a singular footboard and pedals that are close together. With this placement of the pedals, users, especially larger users, might feel a little constricted. We prefer the pedals on the Hydrow Wave and Concept2, I especially like the Aviron Strong Series Rower pedals which allow you to adjust the width of the pedals.

WalkingPad Folding Rower Pedals

The pedals are adjustable depending on your shoe size and the straps can be pulled snugly to keep your feet secure.

The straps are velcro, which I really like. They make strapping in and out of the pedals really quick and easy. They also allow you to get a good custom fit to the tops of your feet.

The footboard is long enough to provide enough of a surface to push off from in the drive, too. When you adjust the pedals to the two largest notches though, we noticed that the heels of the pedals hang off the bottom of the footboard. So, if you are a larger user or if you have larger feet, your heels will, unfortunately, hang off the bottom of the board when pushing off through the drive position.

Handle

WalkingPad Folding Rower Handle

The handle is round and lightly padded.

It is a little small. If you have broader shoulders or are larger, you might find the handle to be a little narrow. With the small design of this rower, I wasn’t expecting a large handle. On a future updated model though, I’d like to see a longer handle. The padding in the handle is also firm and can feel a little hard on your hands after rowing for a while.

Seat

The seat has nice contouring and padding. It is similar to the Ergatta’s seat. It has four wheels that glide it over the dual rail smoothly. This seat isn’t very large, but most rower seats aren’t very large and they’re definitely not as comfortable as a Lazy Boy recliner. For how affordable the WalkingPad Rower is, I like this seat and it provides enough comfort while rowing.

WalkingPad Folding Rower Seat

This seat should work just fine for most.

FlyWheel

The WalkingPad uses a belt drive system. A nylon belt connects the handle to the flywheel. This makes each stroke feel smooth and quiet. I definitely prefer belt drives on rowers especially those made for home use because they generate a lot less sound than chain drive systems. Chains add a gritty feeling to the stroke and can require some maintenance, whereas belt drives require little to no maintenance and feel really smooth.

The belt not only makes each stroke feel smooth, but it feels nice and tight to pull against. Some lower-end belt drive rowers can provide some slack in the belt during certain parts of the stroke. Usually, the slack is felt in the finish and recovery. The WalkingPad Rower’s belt maintains tension throughout the entire stroke. It even helps to encourage your body into the recovery from the finish more naturally.

WalkingPad Folding Rower Belt Drive

I was really surprised and pleased with the belt.

Resistance

WalkingPad Folding Rower Flywheel

The WalkingPad Folding Rower is a water rower, so the flywheel is a water tank.

This tank is probably the smallest I’ve seen on water rowers. It’s easy to fill with water by using the included pump. Since is so small and the pedals inside pushing against the water are small, the resistance this flywheel provides is less than other water rowers.

Usually, the more water that is put into the tank creates more resistance for the paddles to move against, thus giving you more tension to pull against, but unfortunately, the WalkingPad Rower doesn’t give the same amount of resistance as other water rowers with larger tanks. The resistance is enough for beginners though. More intermediate and experienced rowers will want to look into a larger water rower or an air rower like the Concept2. The water is also hard to adjust because it depends on how full the tank is. We filled it up to the top fill line for our testing.

If you like to adjust the resistance more, a magnetic rower is probably for you. You can change the resistance of each stroke by varying the amount of intensity you use while rowing on the WalkingPad Rower.

Performance & Functionality

Because of its size and the amount of tension it provides, we definitely consider the WalkingPad Folding Rower to be a starter rowing machine. If you’re new to rowing and need a compact rower, the WalkingPad is great. If you’re a seasoned rower, we recommend checking out other options.

That said, we were really surprised by how well the WalkingPad Folding Rower performed for us. With how tight the belt is, it really helps to keep a great amount of tension and it is helpful for better positioning on the rower. This rower isn’t best for large users, but for those around 6’ and under should be comfortable using it.

There are two handles that lock the rail in place when you’re using it. They are just behind the pedals towards the ground. It is important to twist these until the pins lock into the holes because otherwise if you pull too hard during each stroke, the backend of the rower behind the flywheel will lift off the ground a little bit. Locking these prevents this and keeps the rower from folding if you were to lift up the end of it behind the seat. You’ll want to unlock them to fold up the rower.

WalkingPad Folding Rower Folded

With how small the WalkingPad is when it’s folded up, it really is a great option if you’re short on space.

WalkingPad Folding Rower Folding

It folds at three different points in the railing so it kind of folds up like an accordion.

With how lightweight this rower is, most people will be able to fold and unfold it themselves. The front transportation wheels make it easy to move, too. You can move it when it’s unfolded and when it’s folded to store and use it wherever you need to.

Warranty

WalkingPad includes their standard 1-year warranty with the WalkingPad Folding Rower. It comes fully assembled out of the box so it’s ready to go when it’s delivered.

WalkingPad Folding Rower

Bottom Line Review: WalkingPad WR1 Folding Rower

Rowers come in all different types and sizes. The WalkingPad Folding Rower is a water rower that’s very compact. We consider this rower to be best for beginners and those who have a small amount of space in their homes. Because the water tank is small, this rower doesn’t provide as much resistance as other rowers on the market, but it’s available for a fraction of the price of most wood water rowers. The fact that this rower folds up to be just 26” long is great for the low-impact workout it provides.

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