Primal Pro Series HIIT Skier review: A stylish and well-built ski machine that will complement any home gym setup – if it fits…

Primal Pro Series HIIT Skier


£915, (not yet available in the US)


  • Well built
  • Smooth operation 
  • Display console offers plenty of feedback
  • Realistic skiing experience


  • Large space required
  • Tricky to get through a standard doorframe
  • Stand is an extra expense
  • Limited workout choice

Design: 5/5
Features: 3/5
Home-gym friendly: 3/5

The popularity of Ski Ergs has gained momentum in recent years not only because of the intense, sweat-inducing workouts they offer, but their unique cardio focus. They’re one of the best exercise machines around. Instead of relying on lower body power to get your heart rate pumping, they target the upper body while letting you exercise in a standing position. It’s a machine that ensures an intense yet low-impact workout.

Primal Pro Series HIIT Skier first impressions

While it’s not the kind of equipment you’d usually associate with a home gym, the Pro Series HIIT Skier by Primal Strength is ideal for those who want to replicate their gym or CrossFit experience at home. Particularly those who want top-quality kit. But does the HIIT Skier perform as well as its rivals?

The first thing you’ll notice about the Primal Pro Series HIIT Skier is its size. In your regular gym setting, a ski machine like this doesn’t seem to take up much space. But when a lorry dumps one on your driveway – perched on a chunky wooden pallet – you get a whole new perspective. That’s when I realised getting it inside and upstairs to my modest home gym would be just as challenging as the workout it offers.

Primal Pro Series HIIT Skier design

Measuring 7ft / 214cm high by 2ft 5in / 74cm wide and 4ft 1in / 126cm deep, size will be the biggest obstacle for anyone buying this HIIT Skier. Thankfully, my review period was during a month-long dry spell of weather. So, to save my walls from a battering, I decided to review it outside in my back garden. (This obviously is not a viable permanent solution.)

On the plus side, it’s lighter than you’d expect, weighing just under 42lb / 19kg, so it’s fairly easy to wheel or carry around. My review model came with the stand included (you’ll need to purchase this separately at £169.99) so this made it trickier to manoeuvre than for those having it wall-mounted.

Find out how to use a SkiErg

In terms of materials and build quality, the Pro Series HIIT Skier lives up to its ‘pro’ billing. Every inch of it feels reassuringly robust and well put-together, which is what you want from expensive gym equipment like this. The built-in mobile device bracket is a nice touch, and with an all-black matt finish splashed with bold white branding, it looks the part too. 

A man in a gym using a Primal Pre Series HIIT Skier cardio machine

The Primal Pro Series HIIT Skier is a stylish and well-built cardio machine

Primal Pro Series HIIT Skier performance

One major positive about the Pro Series HIIT Skier is that, during workouts, it remains extremely sturdy. It can take a good beating without flinching. Even when you’re really going for it, grasping and tugging on the cords like your life depends on it, the skier remains planted in place without so much as a wobble.

During use, the skier’s drive action feels incredibly smooth. There’s also a built-in adjustable air damper, which allows you to vary the stroke resistance when you feel the need. This worked well and proved intuitive to use.

The machine’s cord drive system and adjustable air damper work in tandem, replicating the motions of cross-country skiing. Its display console offers a host of feedback options and essential workout metrics. These include workout time, watts, distance and calories per hour, allowing you track your progress and stay motivated.

Alternative ski machines

The Primal HIIT SKIER is up against the likes of the Concept 2 SkiErg, which uses the same flywheel resistance as its market-leading rowing machines. Its PM5 Performance Monitor tracks a wide range of stats, and its price is similar. Again you need to buy the stand separately, but this is more expensive at £235.

Other alternatives include the Silverback Ski Machine (priced at £695). This is competitively priced but with very few reviews available its a bit of an outlier.

How could the Primal Pro Series HIIT Skier be better?

Aside from its somewhat mighty proportions, one of the few things that marks the Pro Series HIIT Skier down is the price. With a retail price of £915, the Primal Pro Series HIIT Skier certainly doesn’t come cheap. However, it’s often available at discounted prices. It’s exceptionally well made, but for the best part of £1,000 you don’t feel like you’re getting all that much equipment for your money. 

Work out in comfort with the best exercise mats

Still, it’s a far cry from the likes of the £1500-plus Peloton Bike or the Hydrow Wave rower, which, in fairness, are smarter and more versatile. The great thing about Primal’s ski machine is – unlike the aforementioned connected devices – it doesn’t require a monthly membership. What you can do on it is quite limited, though. If you’re not a fan of skiing as an exercise, then it goes without saying that this won’t be for you.

It’s also worth noting that, if you don’t want to bolt this thing to a wall, you’ll need to buy the official stand. That will cost you £170 extra, bumping the total cost into four figures. That’s a significant outlay considering the limited workout the HIIT Skier offers. 

Should you buy a Primal Pro Series HIIT Skier?

If you’re a big fan of ski machine-based exercises and believe you’d benefit from having your own machine at home, then the Pro Series HIIT Skier is a compelling option. Not only does it offer a reliably challenging low-impact workout, but it’s exceptionally well made. It would certainly prove a great addition to any home gym and will last for years. 

However, if you’re limited on space or have an awkward or tight entrance to your home, you might need to rethink this one. Similarly, if you’re looking for a more versatile cardio workout machine for a similar price, there are definitely other options to consider. There’s only so much skiing one person can do.