Update Feb 2018: Not easy to find this model these days, so parts will probably be even harder.
The Stamina Avari Easy-Glide is another model in their wide range of budget rowing machines. Before you read on, we'll state the obvious here in that 'all machines are not made equal'. A model like this costing less than a sixth of some of the top rowers available is never going to compete for features, build-quality and function.
But it is still a few hundreds dollars that you're spending, and so you'll still want to get something that will work and get you fit. So does it?
Well yes it can, or no it can't... depending on you size of both your body and your ambitions.
First up - the resistance mechanism. All rowing machines have to have some way of resisting your movement so your muscles have something to work against. Most budget models use a hydraulic piston - you can read about the advantages and disadvantages here. The Easy Glide uses just one piston located under the rail.
One problem often experienced by users of hydraulic pistons is that the resistance can feel tight to start with, and then this slackens as the fluid in the piston heats up with use. Rowers that replicate sculling, such as the Kettler Outrigger use two which usually means there is a slight difference of resistance on each oar. So one benefit of the single piston on this machine means this isn't an issue. However, we found (as did some of our other reviewers) that even at the lowest level, the resistance is quite heavy for at least 10 to 15 minutes before it loosens off.
And when it does and you want to increase the setting, you have to stop rowing, get off, and the turn the collar on the piston beneath the rail. This is inconvenient if you're working up a head of steam and getting into your stride (or stroke!) There are 12 levels, but there doesn't seem to be a huge difference between settings 1 to 12.
The large set is quite comfortable, but we felt the roller wheels beneath are not up to the task of providing a smooth enough glide for long workouts. This also makes it noisier than some models but around the same as other budget models we've tried.
The rail is also a little on the short side so anyone taller than 5' 11" might not be able to straighten their legs fully to complete the stroke.
The padded handle is actually pretty good and fits nicely into most hand sizes and will prevent injuries such as hand blisters. The thick nylon cord connecting the handles to the resistance mechanism looks tough enough to last - probably longer than the piston!
The one year warranty on all parts is quite reasonable for a rower costing this much, and we do know a few users who had to replace the piston during this period.
When not in use, although this isn't a folding model it is light enough to tip onto its head and move out of the way. However, the machine's lightness does mean it can move if you're close the maximum user weight of 250 lbs and you're trying to raise your stroke rate.
As we've said many times before - budget rowers are fine if your fitness goals aren't too high. If you average height or less, and don't think you'll use it for more than 20 minutes at a time this one might just about fit the profile.
However, we do think the resistance issues (see above) may put off many from buying this model. But if you're budget is limited, Amazon may have a good deal for you.