Can the updated Ski Trainer go toe to toe with the Concept2 SkiErg or are they poles apart? PT Nolan Sunnassee put it to the test.

The Wolverson Ski Trainer Mk2 is a robust cardio machine designed to simulate cross-country skiing, similar in design to the Concept2 SkiErg. Like its rival it provides a good full-body aerobic workout (though with a focus on the upper body).

That’s because the force required to pull is relatively low so you can do a large amount of reps, clocking up significant ‘distances’. Of course, it’s easy to add an anaerobic challenge by doing short, intense sprints.

Men’s Fitness verdict

Offers versatile, challenging workouts with simple operation and mobility. Its basic console lacks interactivity, though, and the optional stand adds to the cost.
  • Excellent workout for all abilities
  • Mimics cross-country skiing well
  • Can be wall mounted or used on a stand
  • Stand is an additional expense
  • Basic display features

Wolverson Ski Trainer benefits

Operation is simple: just pull the handles as you would ski poles when skiing cross-country. The harder you pull down, the more resistance you create, as it uses a flywheel that traps the air and slows you down. You can use both hands to pull simultaneously or do alternate hands.

The Wolverson Ski Trainer can be mounted on the wall or attached to a stand, giving you flexibility in terms of where you can use and store it. Weighing only 37kg, it’s easy to move with two wheels at the rear, and the width of only 60cm means it doesn’t take up too much space – although you’ll need more than 225cm in ceiling height.

Because of its open design it’s wheelchair accessible so is a useful option for people with leg injuries or adaptive athletes. Using the Wolverson seated still gives you as much of a workout as it does standing.

The Wolverton Ski Trainer can pair up with heart rate monitors, so you can monitor your work rate. Its display provides all the important information for monitoring progress such as speed, distance, time, calories, stroke rate and pulse. However, you can’t work out against a ski pacemaker like you can on the Concept2 SkiErg.

Assembly is fairly easy, as only large pieces need to be connected via bolts and screws. It’s easier to have two people to connect the skier to the base, but it is manageable with one. Construction is simple but robust and reinforced the impression that the Ski Trainer will be a long-lasting investment.

Wolverson Ski Trainer disadvantages

The machine has a basic console, unlike most modern cardio equipment which tends to have touchscreens and visual programmes. You can select a few different options on the console, but the design is fairly simple. There’s no interactivity here for those who like a more immersive workout.

The stand is an optional extra, but is necessary if you don’t want to bolt the machine permanently to the wall. Given its simple design it’s fairly expensive at £179.99 and if bought together with the Ski Trainer that’s the best part of £1,000. Still, with similar design and performance to the Concept2 SkiErg (the stand for which is also an optional extra), it’s a slightly cheaper option.

Should you buy a Wolverton Ski Trainer?

The Wolverson Ski Trainer provides challenging exercise for all levels and is very simple to use. It’s ideal for a home gym, as it can be stored away in the corner then wheeled out to use (if you have the stand). If you want to track your workouts and heart rate without diving too deep into data, it’s a solid choice.

It comes with a five-year frame warranty and one-year protection for parts or extra peace of mind.