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Kettler Kadett Outrigger Style Rower Review

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The Kettler Kadett Outrigger Style Rower Rowing Machine has been dubbed as the best hydraulic rower on the market, by many users and publications (the HCI Fitness Sprint Outrigger Scull Rowing Machine may also be worth checking out).

But does it really deserve all the praise it has been getting? It undoubtedly offers the most lifelike rowing experience, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its faults – particularly with the assembly process.

Before you go ahead and buy this machine, there are a couple of things you need to be aware of which may influence your decision.

Lifelike Rowing Experience

This is where the Kadett and Kettler rowing machines in general, such as the Kettler Favorit Rowing Machine excels.  It is hands down the best rower on the market in terms of versatility and providing an incredibly lifelike rowing experience. This is primarily down to the two hydraulic cylinders which give the user the ability to choose a resistance level from 1-12, but also thanks to the way the unit has been designed (see picture). One reviewer puts it best: “When I close my eyes I can actually believe I’m on a boat on the water.”

The hydraulic cylinders are also responsible for providing a very smooth and quiet rowing experience, which means that there is less impact on the joints – particularly beneficial for the older rowers out there.


An ergonomically designed seat coupled with smooth running rollers mounted on the rails ensures a comfortable workout. The foot plates and folding oars are adjustable so you can get into a comfortable position, whatever your height may be. An anti-slip base protects the floor and provides a high level of stability as you row. Overall, this rowing machine screams I’m a product of German engineering, which, of course, is a good thing.


The vibrant LCD display on the Kettler Kadett Rowing Machine monitors time, speed of strokes, number of strokes, distance covered during the session, total distance, pulse rate and energy consumption. The audio-visual signals are a nice touch, which report when the desired stroke speed and distance has been covered.


A few users have complained about the assembly process. The machine comes disassembled and is not too complicated to set up, but the instruction manual could be much better – See below for more details.


The Kettler Kadett is backed by a lifetime frame and 3 year parts warranty.


45 x 24 x 18 inches

66 pounds

User Reviews

Users have had good things to say about the rower’s lifelike rowing motion, construction quality and comfort of the seat.

Click here to read more pros and cons >>> Kettler Kadett Outrigger Style Rower Rowing Machine Reviews

Any Complaints?

It seems somewhat strange that the instruction manual is in German, particularly as this seems to be quite a popular rowing machine in the USA. You would have thought that Kettler would have updated the manual by now. However, this is a minor problem and assembling the unit should’t take you any longer than 60 minutes, even if the only German you understand is the word Nein.

Anything Else You Should Know?

There isn’t much to add. All you need to know is that Kettler have hit a home run with the Kettler Kadett Rowing Machine. While there may be better rowers out there, none of them come close to offering such a lifelike rowing experience, even the $1,000 + models. One reviewer sums it up best: “Just like rowing on a smooth lake.”

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Kettler Kadett Outrigger Style Rower Review
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