Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5606 Elastic Cord Rowing Machine Review

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5606 Elastic Cord Rowing Machine is very affordable, entry level home rowing machine. Its resistance system is based on an elastic cord, providing very specific rowing experience.

Although it doesn't 'feel' as rowing on the water, 'bungee cord' resistance system acts both ways, helping the user to burn even more calories than other resistance systems. However, there are only 4 resistance levels, suitable for rowing beginners or those who prefer regular, but rather light cardio workout at the privacy of their homes.

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Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5606 - 'Bungee' Cord Resistance System

Rowers with 'bungee' cord resistance systems are not very common. Unlike rowers with other resistance systems like air, water, hydraulics etc, rowers with elastic cord 'resist' both ways, forcing the user to burn more calories:

- when pulling the handle, the user stretches the cord which requires force and thus energy,

- when returning, the user must control the movement, which again requires force and again energy.

Since more energy is burned, Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5606 at least in theory, allows the athlete to burn more energy in allocated time.

To adjust the resistance level, a user has to move a lever between the four available positions.

sunny sf rw5606 3Cons of such resistance system:

- rowing doesn't feel like rowing on the water,

- two-way resistance doesn't suit everyone,

- resistance is limited, just like resistance levels.

Pros of such resistance system:

- more energy burned, at least in theory,

- very smooth and quiet operation,

- simple design, etc.

To increase the required force during 'push' movement, seat rail is angled. This also increases the required force for controlled return in starting position.

 Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5606 Specifications

sunny sf rw5606 2Due to the very simple resistance system, unit is also very compact and lightweight.

Note: When it arrives, it must be assembled - be sure to thoroughly read the manual/instructions before assembly and the first use.

When assembled, unit's dimensions are (L x W x H): 68 x 14 x 21 inches (~173 x 35.6 x 53.3 cm).

In order to save space, unit can be folded - seat rail is folded upwards. Unit's folded dimensions are (L x W x H): 32 x 14 x 42 (~81.3 x 35.6 x 107 cm), greatly saving storage space.

When the unit is assembled and ready for workouts, it weighs only 35 pounds (slightly less than 16 kg).

Note: although Sunny SF-RW5606 is very lightweight unit, it doesn't feature transport wheels. If you decide to move it around, in order to avoid any damage to the floors, it should/must be carried around.

Maximum user weight is 220 pounds (~100 kg), which is quite modest for a rower.

However, this is very affordable home rowing machine, suitable for beginners and elderly people. Athletes wanting regular rowing cardio exercises with stronger resistance and more resistance levels should choose some stronger and more robust, but also more expensive model.

Control Panel Display

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5606 Elastic Cord Rowing Machine features very basic LCD monitor that tracks the following data:

- Time: total elapsed time of an exercise from start to
finish. Time ranges from 00:00 to 99:59 (min:sec).

- Count: number of rowing strokes for current exercise session. Number of strokes ranges from 0 to 9999.

- Total Count: number of strokes from the first exercise session. Number of total strokes ranges from 0 to 9999.

- Calories: amount of calories burned during current session. Total calories ranges from 0 to 9999 kcal.

- Count/Min: rowing strokes per minute, with the range from 0 to 1200(!) strokes per minute.

- Auto Scan: automatically rotate data every 6 seconds.

sunny sf rw5606 display

Note: monitor/control panel uses two AA batteries and they should be replaced occasionally.

Like with many similarly priced exercise machines, calorie counter is fairly inaccurate. For calorie counter to be more accurate, more data should be used, like age, weight, heart rate etc.

But, having a calorie counter is great plus, since it helps the athlete to compare current exercise with previous ones.

Other Features

sunny sf rw5606 features

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5606 rower comes with single piece rowing handle positioned above the control panel display.

Personally, I prefer to have display positioned much higher, preferably at the eyes level, when rowing.

Seat is curved and comfortable even for longer rowing exercises.

Seat rail is made out of steel and it is 44 inches (~112 cm) long. Rail is long enough to accommodate people up to 6'3" (~190 cm), however, don't forget that rower's weight capacity is 'only' 220 pounds (~100 kg).

Anti-slip large foot pedals come with adjustable foot straps - feet are securely strapped during the rowing.

But, don't forget that this is the elastic cord rower and that elastic cord, combined with the angled rail 'pull' the athlete to the starting position, so straps are almost not required. We emphasize 'almost' :)

Sunny SF-RW5606 is very stable rower, with very low center of gravity during rowing.


Long Story Short: as a rower, Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5606 has few cons like relatively weak resistance, low maximum user weight, not fit for advanced users, doesn't mimic actual rowing on the water and similar.

But, it is also lightweight and affordable rower, easy to fold, very quiet with dual direction resistance, easy to use and read control panel/display, large and comfortable seat etc.

Obviously Sunny RW5606 is not the best rower for everyday use by advanced users, but beginners, elderly people and people who just want to occasionally have cardio session at home should consider this rower.

For more reviews and recommendations, check Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5606 Elastic Cord Rowing Machine Amazon link (link opens in the new window).