The only portable rower on earth
Say goodby to bulky machines. No matter what other companies may say, a rower is not a piece of furniture.
Multi purpose base unit
To build a base unit versatile enough to move between activities like kayaking and rowing while having enough adjustable resistance for both, our engineers had to think out of the box.
Our solution is to use a proprietary 'doubler' pulley which runs the cord from the base unit, through a wheel on the handle, and back to the rowing frame.
The result is enough resistance for distance rowing but a base unit that can also be used for multiple activities.
Onboard ERG Computer
Provides real-time performance feedback, logging & tracking including:
Strokes per minute
500m split time
Timer / time to complete
The whipr app is available for iOS and Android devices & is compatible with popular apps like Strava.
10 LEVELS OF
The primary resistance mechanism is the internal planetary gearbox which drives a weighted flywheel. It's been specifically designed to replicate the feel of water.
Variable resistance is provided by extremely powerful magnets that can be selected at up to 10 resistance levels. At level 10 on our rower whipr can generate over 850N, equivalent to around 70-85% of a full sized rower depending on the model.
I just received my unit and have to say that it’s amazing and well worth the wait! I got a great workout in 15 with minimal setup time. I especially love how compact it is, perfect for getting a low impact cardio fix.
Overall, this was the best option for my situation - living in a small 2-bedroom apartment. It was easy to put together, and it's easy to disassemble into two pieces when I'm not using it so it doesn't take up storage space. However, the one issue is that the cable isn't long enough. I'm 5'6" and when my legs are straight and I lean back, the handle doesn't make it to my chest. It's fine enough for my height but it would make a difference for anyone taller than me.
Lots of wow!
WHY THE WHIPR?
My standard workout was mostly cardio and weight lifting, but given some recent knee problems, plyo, squats, and jumps were no longer the best way to go. I needed another mode of exercise. Rowing seemed the way to go and I needed a home solution.
To be honest, after some research and gym tryouts, I was actually looking for a Concept2, but had a lot of sticker shock. Some more research, from low end to high end and I didn't see what I wanted. Enter Whipr. Full service rower, yet ultimately portable, and less than half the cost of some of the major competitors. I was a little skeptical--after all, it was a new start up and there wasn't much information--but I took the plunge.
Given supply chain issues, it took nearly 3 months to arrive, but it was well worth the wait. Just opening the box, I was truly impressed. The parts are incredibly well machined--this is the best engineered piece of fitness equipment I have ever bought. Whatever factory they are using in China, the results are stunning. It took a little time to figure out how the parts went together, but now that I know how to do it, I can dissassemble and put it together again in under 5 minutes. The machine is simple, straightforward, and even esthetically pleasing.
And what a row. I don't have a Concept2 handy to do a direct comparison, but this is about as close as you are going to get in a more compact machine. This has an excellent pull and it compares more than fairly if you set it on level 4 or above. I was tempted by some lower end machines, but after some testing the sub $400 rowers just didn't make the grade. There were some $700 plus machines but they were not at all portable and the Whipr, in use, feels a lot more like a Concept 2. (Sure, the sky's the limit if you want to buy a super-high-end rower, but my wallet, unfortunately, has limits.) Noise is comparable to a Concept2. Whipr is by no means silent, but is not particularly loud.
And as a plus, it is lightweight and you can break down the Whipr and easily move it room to room. Try that with any other rower. To boot, the whole thing is modular. At some point in the future they could add different pedal designs, a different style seat, or different pull bar and you'd just be able to swap the parts out. And speaking about swapping parts out, the Erg Base Unit can be detached and combined with other accessories for different exercises. I stuck with the rower, but there are different package options if you are interested and probably other things in the Whipr pipeline that have yet to be released
INCLUDED FITNESS COMPUTER/CONNECTIVITY
The base unit has a fitness computer included--you don't have to buy any add ons. This is easy to see with the backlight turned on and has all the important stats for an ERG machine. When it comes to Bluetooth, Whipr is the easiest Bluetooth connection of any device I own (fitness or otherwise).
The Whipr delivers an excellent workout, but there are some things you may want to consider. If you are a power user and/or participate in online 'races,' the Concept2 may be the machine you really want. Additionally, at this point, Whipr only has connectivity to HoloFit virtual workouts. Over time, they will probably partner with virtual workout resources, although you may be able to get unofficial connectivity to other services. That would add value.
The ERG unit jitters a bit when you pull. This is not specifically a problem and probably reflects the fact that the equipment is so light weight. I did note that although the connectors to the base unit are metal, the receiving end on the base unit is plastic and this could potentially wear over time. The pull appears to be a nylon coated wire and this might wear out over time as well. There is no obvious way to replace it. The kit would benefit from an Ikea-like instruction manual or maybe just a schematic showing how all the parts go together. They do include written instructions but there are no pictures. Sure, you can figure it out from the video, as I did, but it would be much beter if there was just a single piece of paper with a how-to. Again, once you figure it out, it is incredibly easy. That and you can add a machined a bracket to hold a tablet while you exercise to my wishlist.
I have only been using the Whipr for a couple of weeks but I am totally sold. This is just an excellent rower that is giving me an incredible gym-like rowing experience at home with a rower that is totally capable, lightweight, and incredibly portable. There is amazing value here: I am extremely happy with my purchase and feel like I hit the motherload. I would purchase the Whipr again in a heartbeat. Simply fantastic. Highly Recommended.
Jonathan, thanks so much for the thoughtful review!!
First things first, I am very impressed with the unit I received. The engineering tolerances were clearly tight, and the quality of the construction is top notch. There is a slight "bump" in the middle when rowing, but it is hardly noticeable when you are in the groove. Resistance is the only thing I'm even slightly disappointed in; with the doubler on, I'd say max resistance is around a 4 on a Concept 2 rower (I'm used to 5-6). Not a huge deal, and I knew going in the resistance wouldn't be the same.
Overall: It's great! Does what it says, and does store/travel compactly. I'm excited for my first road trip with this thing!
This was exactly what I hoped it would be! Love it so much, I bought shares on Start Engine. Thanks, all of you, for a great product!
And My name is NOT Kristin!
Thanks so much Kristin!