JTX Surge Compact Rowing Machine

JTX Surge Compact Rowing Machine - main image

Introduction to the JTX Surge Compact rowing machine

JTX hit our markets again. This time, the company has released the JTX Surge Compact Rowing Machine, and we should all be happy it’s here. One of the reasons we should be happy is because of its compact nature. Compact gear packs a punch with very little footprint or space domination. This is brilliant for us home trainers.

Just imagine…

You wake up, you’re tired, your gym membership is due today, and you haven’t the motivation to go. We’ve all been there. It’s hard. Every one of us needs to do what we need to do, but it’s the stuff we know to be good, but hard that’s difficult. With compact gym gear, perfect for the home, you’re solving issues around motivation to leave, gym membership prices, and time spent on all of the above. It’s brilliant. So in a sea of brilliance, what waves should we be looking out for – if all compact gear is solving a lot of problems, what problems do certain compact designs give?

Thankfully, there are not as many faults to look for as you might think. With certain designs folding, meaning the frame integrity can be a tad lesser, and of course, less room for comfort features and size variation, you do get some negatives. Ultimately, however, it’s down to the brand, and if the brand makes quality gear, then compact gear’s going to be quality too.

With the JTX surge compact rowing machine, this is certainly true. It’s a brilliant release from JTX, and because it’s within the rowing machines world, you get power-efficient, quiet and infinite resistance-based qualities.

Let’s break down what makes this so good.

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  • 16 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Console – time, count, distance, calories, strokes/minutes, watts and pulse
  • 14 workout programmes
  • Heart rate training via polar chest strap (separately)
  • Monorail – 110cm (39″)
  • Seat travel distance 103cm
  • Dimensions – 152cm(l) x 77cm(w) x 55cm(h)
  • Storage method – upright
  • Max user weight – 90kg (14.1 stone) (198.4 lbs)
  • Max user height – 6ft2
  • Power supply – mains powered


Quiet digital resistance

Digital resistance adjustments means you’ll get quiet transitions with no clunky messing around or loud gear changes. Digital resistance is, of course, technological through electronic structure, meaning that when you change your level, it’ll be changed quietly, one of the best points of magnetic rowing machines, be it a home rowing machine or health club machine.

14 workout programmes

With a great variety of workout programmes, you get different routines to challenge you in different ways. These routines also result in a richer cultivating of value on the rowing machine, using these routines teaches you different ways of using the machine.

Upright storage and transport wheels

With compact designs comes easy storage, most of the time anyway. With this JTX rowing machine, you certainly do. You get a comfy rowing machine experience as well as a comfy storage experience, brilliant.

Heart rate training

Telemetry is brilliant. It’s great for monitoring your internal systems and helping you to understand your health in motion. Heart rate reading is great for both safety and tracking so make sure to factor this into your routines.

Easy to use digital console

Mid-workout or getting off the rowing machine, an easy-to-use console is brilliant. It’s easy, it’s safe, and it helps you to track data and develop your routines even further. Digital consoles are easy but do require power, usually, this isn’t a problem but it certainly helps a lot.

Water bottle holder

Convenient yet expected – a water bottle holder is of obvious value.



*Warranty may be subject to change without notice and may differ between retailers – please check carefully before making a purchase.

  • Great for space saving
  • Quiet operation
  • Affordable price
  • Long lasting build
  • Great rowing workout
  • Quieter than water rowers
  • Lack of aesthetic variety
  • Small gym equipment not for all

Overall Verdict:

To summarise, this machine is quality. With a focus on compact design balanced with build robustness and durability, I can honestly see why JTX made a lot of noise about this one. From interval training to slower-paced endurance tests, this machine lets you do a whole lot. Air resistance is great, water resistance even better, but digital resistance just gives you a smart and quiet operation, without having the extra noise and faff of light maintenance. Magnetic resistance levels are spot on for those wanting specific levels of resistance. No matter the rowing machine type, JTX is a brilliant manufacturer, meaning you get a durable and reliable machine for as long as you row.

JTX freedom air rowing machine is one thing, but this lasts in my mind as one of the best new releases I’ve experienced in a while. As a rower, it’s important to feel comfortable on a machine, and despite this compact design leaving out some comfort features it really didn’t feel any different than a less compact design with more space. With a great max user weight and nice monorail length, I’m certain that most users would feel comfy on this device too.

All in all, one of the best rowing machines on the market I can think of. For its size, its convenience, and ability to entertain most trainers I have this one marked as a great all-around easy-to-use rowing machine. No matter your fitness goals, this rowing machine is also a great middle ground between workout programmes and non-trainer-led routines, giving you a nice broad range of use cases.

What I Liked About This Rowing Machine

As you know, the word of the day with this JTX creation is convenience. Most of all, I love the power you can harness at the touch of a button, changing digital resistance levels with ease and operating the console with just as much fluidity. Speaking of fluids, you can stay hydrated during your workouts with the in-built water bottle holder that features on the JTX Surge: Compact Rowing Machine. Situated in between the footplates, the water bottle is easy to reach throughout the most intensive workouts. And I love that feature too.

With upright and stress-free storage, oh and transport wheels for extra ease, you’re really getting what most people would call an overall game-changing package – again, the power you have with this machine is inspiring, especially when considering that its main boastable design aspect is convenience. So what of the actual power? Well, as you may have briefly read, 16 levels of super quiet magnetic digital resistance on the JTX Surge: Compact Rowing Machine is brilliant, increase or reduce your resistance using the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons, which are clearly marked and easy to press whilst you’re rowing. The machine uses a magnetic braking system to create resistance throughout your workout. This shifts smoothly and quietly, ensuring that you don’t disturb your family when you exercise. This magnetic rowing machine is the perfect choice for a busy home with lots of people around.

Things That Could Have Been Better

One of the main things I’d have loved to have seen is comfort improvements. I loved how easy was to access and in fact, how comfy it is anyway, it’s just that when I have access to other rowers, even in a similar category, I want to choose the comfiest one. Simple. And while this JTX is comfy, it’s just not as comfortable other entries in its price range. The compact design is in part to blame for this, but in reality, it’s not a huge issue at all. It is still comfortable, and there’s an element of padded-ness and mid-ride accommodating, so I don’t think about it too much when I’m working out.


Why are air rowing machines so sought after?

The faster you row, the faster the flywheel spins, and the more air drag you experience. This design makes it infinitely resistant, meaning you’re only limitation is your own threshold for exertion. Essentially, you become the resistance. There are no levels or stages to be bound to, so you can work as hard as you want to.

How does maximum user weight affect rideability?

Max user weight is incredibly important. If you exceed the weight, do not buy the product. As it stands, and if you’re within the weight threshold, then there are no downsides per se. The higher the weight class, the bigger the build (generally speaking), which does result in heavier machinery, bigger frames, and less compact design features.

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