In a Nutshell:
A fantastic massage chair, offering tremendous therapeutic value for the money. The Kahuna Spirit Massage Chair is recommended for chronic pain sufferers.
Overall Massage Quality
Ease of Use
Do you suffer from chronic pain?
Are you looking for a massage chair that doesn’t take up much space, is reasonably attractive and loaded with features that deliver powerful therapeutic benefits?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the Kahuna Spirit Massage Chair may just be what you’ve been looking for.
In the sections that follow, we’ll take a close look at every feature this chair has to offer to help you decide if it’s a good fit for you.
Kahuna Spirit Massage Chair Overview
Before we jump into the features of the Kahuna Spirit zero gravity chair, let’s talk for a moment about aesthetics.
The “look” of a massage chair may not be important to everyone, but it does matter to some people. After all, if you’re going to have the chair in your home, you surely wouldn’t want it to be an eyesore.
So, there are companies that have built their entire reputation around designing massage chairs that blend in seamlessly with home décors. There are times you can’t even tell whether their products are massage chairs or stylish recliners.
Kahuna doesn’t make chairs like those. Nevertheless, the design is such that its appearance isn’t off-putting, either. You can obviously tell that it’s not an ordinary piece of living room furniture, but they manage to make their products look sleek and stylish. So, once you have it in your home, the chair doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.
In other words, some companies do an excellent job of hiding the actual function of their products, while other companies don’t even try. Kahuna falls somewhere in the middle. If you’re fine with that, then the Kahuna Spirit has a lot of features you’re going to love.
Kahuna Spirit Massage Chair Models
Kahuna Spirit Zero Gravity Massage Chair Features
Hybrid SL-Track Design
Starting with the basics, the Kahuna Spirit massage chair utilizes a hybrid SL-Track design, which not only guides the quad rollers to run along the natural curvature of your spine and ensure an optimal massage, but it also allows the rollers to travel further down to massage the glutes and thighs.
Most massage chairs these days are designed around an S-Track only. While it delivers an excellent back massage, it does nothing for the glutes and thighs, simply because the track doesn’t extend that far. The Kahuna Spirit comes much closer to rendering a roller-based, whole-body massage, which feels divine.
3D Body Scanning Technology
Kahuna refers to this as “Smart Body Scanning,” but based on their description, this is simply their term for the 3D body scanning technology offered in many other massage chairs. The purpose and function are identical.
Before the massage begins, the chair scans your body to locate your pressure points and makes subtle adjustments to the rollers to ensure you get a massage where you need it the most.
Even better, in cases where the technology goes wrong and misidentifies your pressure points, you can use the remote to make manual adjustments to fine-tune the position of the rollers and adjust the width of the massage field.
Most companies offer one or the other. The fact that the Kahuna Spirit offers both roller adjustment methods gives you an unprecedented level of control over your massage experience.
The Kahuna Spirit massage chair was clearly designed with home use in mind. One of the biggest drawbacks massage chairs have is that to recline fully and use them, it requires an enormous amount of space. That’s problematic for many people whom space is at a premium.
In the case of the Kahuna Spirit, since it pivots on its base as it reclines, it only requires 5 to 6 inches of clearance between the back of the chair and the wall you set it near. A remarkable feat of engineering, and an excellent feature addition!
Originally inspired by NASA, Zero-G seating has been a hallmark feature of premium massage chairs for some time now. Most chairs that offer the feature offer two different Zero-G seating positions. A few offer just one, but only a small minority offer three.
The Kahuna Spirit zero gravity chair is in that small minority, offering three zero-G positions at the touch of a button. Touch the Zero-G button once to access the first position. Touch it again to shift to the second. A third touch brings you to the third position, and a fourth touch returns the chair to its upright position.
What makes Zero-G seating so great is that it provides an enormous amount of massage synergy. By placing the knees above the heart, most of the body’s weight is pressing down and against the rollers, which allows them to perform a deeper, more penetrating, and ultimately more therapeutic massage.
Combining this technology with the Hybrid SL-Track and quad rollers gives you the best possible massage experience.
Loaded With Options
This is another area where the Kahuna Spirit zero gravity massage chair excels at; it has an incredible number of options. We were impressed.
All of these is on top of the Spirit’s Air Massage Mode and Hip Massage Option which we’ll describe a bit later in this review. Most chairs stop there, but the Kahuna goes a step beyond these, also offering five different massages that focus on specific areas of the body:
In all cases, the massage techniques and auto-programs can be adjusted through five intensity levels and three speed levels, which allows for a high degree of personalization and customization.
The Kahuna Spirit also features a “Spot Massage” button. If during a massage the rollers hit a particularly tender spot, you can press the “Spot Massage” button to cause the rollers to focus on the area spanning a six-inch diameter from that spot. A great feature that provides tremendous therapeutic value.
Heat (Almost!) Everywhere
According to the company’s website, the chair has heat in the lumbar region, heat for the arms, and heat for the calves, but they’re selling themselves short in this regard. The back heat covers much more than just the lower back, extending well into the mid-back.
This matters because even if the back heat were all this chair offered, it would still be superior to most other chairs that provide heat in a small region confined to the lumbar area. As it stands, the Kahuna Spirit’s heat function is one of the better heating systems on the market.
There are a few other chairs that offer more comprehensive heat systems, but they’re either more expensive or not as feature-rich, making this an excellent value for money with fabulous therapeutic benefits.
If the heating function had a drawback, it is simply that there’s no way to control the heat precisely. You can only turn it off or turn it on. You can’t adjust the temperature or selectively switch on and off certain regions. You just either get heat or don’t get heat at all.
That’s not awful, but it is a little surprising and disappointing given how many other aspects of the massage experience you can control via the remote. The absence of heat control isn’t what we’d classify as a deal breaker, though.
Air Massage Mode
The company doesn’t provide much in the way of information about the precise number of airbags the Kahuna Spirit offers for their air massage mode. All they say directly is that the chair provides a full body air massage with a “minimal number of airbags.”
On digging deeper into the matter, it appears that the number is twelve. These are Second Generation Airbags, and having twelve airbags is certainly sufficient to deliver a world-class air massage.
Just like the roller massage, the air massage can be customized by adjusting through five intensity levels.
Three Different Hip Massage Options
There aren’t many massage chairs on the market that offer a hip massage other than via Air Massage Mode. The ones that do typically offer a standard vibration massage. Some people like it, while others say it feels as though the chair is trying to shake the teeth right out of their heads.
The Kahuna Spirit massage chair offers a hip air massage as part of the whole-body air massage mode; provides a vibration massage; and includes rollers in the hip region to render the same type of massage your back gets.
This is virtually unheard of in the industry and is especially welcome if you have chronic hip pain. It’s an outstanding feature addition.
Two Different Full Body Stretches
If we had to pick a single feature that sets the Kahuna Spirit massage chair apart from the competition, this would be it.
It seems apparent that the Kahuna design team loves blazing new trails, and they’ve certainly done so here. Body Stretching is a somewhat rare feature, even in top-end chairs, and when offered, only a single type of stretch is available.
That’s not the case with the Spirit, which offers two different body stretches. In fact, the company has pioneered what they call a “Yoga Stretch,” which this chair includes. It also includes an “Active Refreshing” stretch which is subtly different in form but has similar results.
In both cases, the goal of the body stretch is two-fold: to help improve your flexibility and offer immediate pain relief by taking pressure off the discs in your spine. Compressed discs are, after all, one of the leading causes of chronic back pain. The fact that this chair offers two variations to help deal with that issue is remarkable.
Calf & Foot Massage
It may be the case that there’s a bit of a language barrier when the company describes their features, because sometimes, they sell themselves short.
The company describes their foot massage system as a “dual roller” system, but the illustration of their product clearly shows two dual rollers per foot, which, in most people’s minds, is actually a quad roller system.
In any event, the foot massage offered by the chair is top-notch, and far above what you’d expect from a chair that only offered dual rollers.
The calf massage is rendered via airbags, as part of the chair’s Air Massage mode, and as mentioned earlier, the chair offers calf heat for added therapeutic benefit.
The ottoman of the Kahuna Spirit massage chair has an extension module built into it that allows the chair to accommodate users up to 6’3” tall. Chairs lacking this feature can be used by people taller than 6’, but often, they will not get an optimal calf massage.
The timer’s default setting is fifteen minutes, but you can add time to this in five-minute increments, up to a maximum of thirty minutes. This is about standard in chairs that come with timer controls. It’s worth mentioning, though, because a surprising number of products don’t offer much control on this front.
MP3 support can’t be considered a critical feature, by any stretch, and its absence in a given model is almost never an outright deal breaker, but it’s such an attractive addition that it’s always good to see it included.
The Kahuna Spirit not only offers MP3 support, but the chair has a pair of Bluetooth speakers built into the headrest. You can sync your phone to the speakers, and play all your favorite music from your device, without having to copy files to a flash drive or jump through similar hoops.
Surprisingly Simple Remote
For all the features the Kahuna Spirit zero gravity massage chair has, the remote is surprisingly easy to use. It’s laid out a bit like the remote for your television, but with a small LCD at the top.
The controls are quite intuitive, and while there is a slight learning curve, you should be able to master this chair and access all of its features within a couple of hours of learning the remote.
Long before that (in a matter of just minutes, really), you can be enjoying your first massage. A remarkable design job on that front!
The folks at Kahuna Massage have tried to think of everything, and it’s the little details that will make you fall in love with the chair, as much as the impressive therapeutic benefits.
Things like having not just one but two head pillows, so you can adjust the headrest, plus the ability to take the cover off by simply unzipping it, allowing you to replace it when it starts to wear out.
These features seem obvious when you see them on the Spirit, and it makes you wonder why everyone doesn’t offer them, but that’s the kind of company Kahuna is. Their eye for detail is unmatched in the industry.
Pros & Cons of the Kahuna Spirit Massage Chair
As you can see from our comprehensive Kahuna Spirit massage chair review, this is unquestionably a great massage chair to have at home. It offers a tremendous number of powerful therapeutic benefits but more importantly, delivers exceptional value for the money.
Having said that, there are always a few things we feel could be improved upon, and the Kahuna Spirit is no exception.
One thing we’d like to have seen is some means of controlling the temperature on the heat function. Even better would be a means of activating/deactivating heat in specific regions. For instance, why have calf heat if you don’t want or need it, after all?
There’s certainly nothing wrong with the air massage that the Kahuna delivers, but you can find comparably priced chairs that offer more Second Generation Airbags which are ought to deliver a slightly better air massage.
These really aren’t deal-breakers, but they do detract slightly from what is otherwise an extraordinary massage chair.
Kahuna Spirit Massage Chair Review Conclusion
Any way you look at it, the Kahuna Spirit massage chair is a study in excellence. It’s well-designed, feature rich, and offers plenty of therapeutic benefits for the money.
While it’s probably too pricey for many hobbyist users, those who can afford it will certainly get a lot of enjoyment out of it. Having said that, however, it’s clear that the Kahuna Spirit Zero Gravity chair was primarily designed with chronic pain sufferers in mind.
Whether you suffer from chronic pain in your back, arms, or lower extremities, this massage chair will make you feel better. It’s as simple as that.
References & Resources
- Kahuna Massage Chairs, Official Brand Website.
- Massaging Back Pain Away, Center for Spirituality & Healing, University of Minnesota.
- Massage Therapy Can be Effective for Low Back Pain, American Massage Therapy Association.
- Foot Health and Massage Therapy – It’s Not Just About Reflexology, Institute for Integrative Healthcare.