Nothing really sounds preppier than rowing. Skiing, tennis, and polo may come close, but nothing smells quite like money as a sport that takes place on the water or with the help of an expensive, deadly silent machine.

Which could be why there is a renewed interest in rowing here in New York City. On the heels on the recent growth of both predictable (spinning, barre classes, Crossfit) and unpredictable (Surfset, Aqua Spinning) activity-specific studios, it's no surprise that Manhattanites are flocking to recently opened rowing studios.


In the second episode, first season of Netflix' hit House of Cards, the main character Frank Underwood is given a rowing machine by his wife, Claire. Installed in the basement, Frank Underwood is not happy about the recent addition to his man cave.

"It looks positively medieval, doesn't it? To turn my only sanctuary into a fitness dungeon, I won't have it."

As the story goes, Frank keeps (and often uses) the WaterRower Classic, as the machine becomes as reliable to the plot as backstabbing and betrayal.


There is no denying the influence of Claire Underwood's athletic habits, google her name and suggested terms "style", "running", and "workout" are the first to pop up. We wouldn't be surprised to see more rowing-inspired classes, apparel and events pop up this summer. Stay tuned!


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