House of Cards’ Breakout Star Might Be A Rowing Machine

While it’s probably not a great idea to emulate Kevin Spacey’s character Frank Underwood from the Netflix hit House of Cards, some fans are interested in copying one trait of the antagonist’s personality: his habit of rowing with a WaterRower brand rowing machine.


The Machiavellian Underwood is capable of lying, deceit, and even murder, but fans are looking past that at his work habits and becoming inspired.


The Wall Street Journal reports that the WaterRower has been a hit with fans and that popularity has only grown as the show approaches its 4th season.  Each season of the Netflix original series sees an increase in the Google search “House of Cards rowing machine”, and that reached its highest point yet as the show nears its release of season 4 next month.


Part of the attraction for the WaterRower comes from its design. With its wooden frame and donut-like water tank at the front of the machine, the WaterRower is the only piece of exercise equipment sold at the Museum of Modern Art. The WaterRower machine, designed by John Duke, ex-US national team rower, in 1987, has been a MoMA best selling item since 2014, selling for $1,500, or $1,350 for Members, on the online MoMA store.


Thanks to the consistent appearance of the WaterRower machine in House of Cards, the company has gained access to a whole new demographic. David Jones, the company’s director of sales and marketing considers the promotional partnership a smashing success saying that “We exceeded what we ever thought we would have got from this relationship.” Kevin Spacey, who portray Frank Underwood, the dirty politician and star of House of Cards is now considered to be the world’s most famous ‘rower’.


The WaterRower is available online through and comes in various designs, not just the famous wooden one made so popular thanks to the show. And, while the machine is popular thanks to Kevin Spacey, it also gets great reviews. Main selling points include the aesthetic, the wooden paneling is nice to look at and the machine is easy to store. Another popular feature is that the machine is quiet with the only noise coming from the water tank on the front, which simulates being on the water.


The water tank isn’t just for show (or sound) though. The water in the tank creates realistic water resistance, so the faster you row, the more resistance you’ll create, as opposed to air rowers. You can adjust the resistance by adjusting the amount of water in the tank. WaterRower is the only indoor rower manufacturer that uses water as a dampening mechanism and the popular wooden design from House of Cards is just one of a number of different models that the company produces. Not only is the machine popular thanks to the Netflix original series, but it turns out it’s a quality product as well.

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