Wondering which is best for you?
Both machines give you a full body workout where you can work both your upper and lower body (albeit in different ways). They’re also both easy to move and not as heavy as a treadmill or elliptical trainer.
So they’re both great for apartments or condos.
So which is best for you?
This post will look at the main differences between the Nordictrack skier vs rowing machine to help you choose the best option for you.
So let’s dive in:
Nordictrack Skier vs Rowing Machine: Options
As of this writing, there’s only one model of the Nordictrack skier – the Classic Pro Skier. It’s been around for years and comes in at around $699 + Free Shipping here.
You have more options when it comes to rowing machines. Nordictrack has 3 models, the RW200, RW500 and the premium RW900.
Prices start around $799 and range up to $1599 with Free Shipping here.
So the skier is a bit more attractive price-wise starting around $100 less than the first Nordictrack rower. But you have more options with the rower.
Ski Machine or Rower: Console
The console is important because it’s what you’ll be looking at for most of your workout. The Nordictrack skier unfortunately has a very basic console as you can see below.
It’s not backlit and can be hard to read from certain angles. Also, there are no extras like music ports, fans, power-resistance buttons or built-in workouts.
The Nordictrack rower on the other hand, has a much better range of consoles. The RW200 console is bright and backlit:
The RW500 console is backlit. Plus it comes with a tablet holder and even a tablet included – so you can connect with iFit and row famous waterways all over the world:
And the RW900 rower tops them all. With a massive 22-inch, HD, touch-screen console, you can see your stats in large, living color. Or connect with iFit and take rowing classes or guided waterway tours all over the world.
Also, many of the rower consoles also have music ports and built-in workouts. So you have much better console options with the Nordictrack rowers vs the ski machine.
Ease of Movement
While both machines are fairly lightweight and easy to move, the Nordictrack skier has to be moved in parts (you have to move the loose skis separately from the frame as they easily slide out of the frame when trying to move the skier).
The Nordictrack rowing machine however can be easily folded up and moved using the wheels on the bottom of the unit (this applies to all models). So it’s a bit easier to move and store away than the ski machine.
Rowing Machine vs Skier – Resistance
Both the skier and the rowing machine come with multiple resistance levels to add some challenge to your workouts.
However there’s a difference.
With the ski machine, you have to change the resistance manually (and you usually have to get off the machine to do this, unless you’re super-coordinated).
With the Nordictrack rowers, you can change the resistance by pressing a simple button on the console. So it’s much more convenient to do this.
iFit Coach is a very cool new online streaming service that Nordictrack offers on some of their machines. You can use it to track your workouts over time and see how far you’ve come.
You can also stream high-energy fitness classes to your console or travel the world and watch the scenery pass you by for some virtual reality fun.
All Nordictrack rowers are iFit Coach compatible. So you can add iFit Coach to row famous waterways all over the world or take rowing classes right from your console.
The Nordictrack Ski machine is not iFit compatible.
Skier vs Rowing Machine: Coordination
While it does give you a great workout, the ski machine requires a fair amount of coordination and balance. This is especially true if you want to work the arm pulleys at the same time with the lower body ski motion.
This motion takes some getting used to. You do have the hip pad for balance. However, if you haven’t used a ski machine before you’ll find that it takes some effort before you feel stable and solid on this machine.
The rowing machine doesn’t have this problem as you’re seated. Plus you also have the foot pedal straps to anchor you in.
So what’s the bottom line when comparing the Nordictrack skier vs rowing machine?
Each has benefits. The ski machine is more affordable and has been around for years – a testament to it’s popularity.
It’s also fairly simple and lightweight – which many people like.
The rowing machine however offers you better consoles, more entertainment options and workout possibilities – like iFit Coach world workouts or music ports with speakers.
The rower also doesn’t require as much coordination to master – and you can move it around much easier.
So it depends on what you want at the end of the day.
Want to Learn More? Check out the links below for more on either machine.
Related: Nordictrack RW900 Rower Review