Ease of Use
Overall Massage Quality
Value for the Money
The Kahuna Spirit massage chair has a unique combination of features — SL-Track, extensive heating system, seat vibration and full-body stretch programs — that separate it from others on the market. However, it’s missing features that you’d expect to find for the price like a 3D massage. If you’re interested in its unique offerings, it’s a solid option. But, for the price, other models will deliver more bang for the buck.
- 1 Features of the Kahuna Spirit Massage Chair
- 2 Massage Programs and Techniques on the Kahuna Spirit Zero Gravity Massage Chair
- 3 Customization and Manual Mode Options on the Kahuna Spirit Zero Gravity Massage Chair
- 4 What’s Missing on the Kahuna Spirit Massage Chair
- 5 Additional Considerations
- 6 Final Thoughts on Kahuna Spirit Massage Chair Review
The Kahuna Spirit massage chair is a relatively new model introduced at the end of 2016. The chair retails for $6,299 — although you can find it deeply discounted on sites like Amazon. It’s packed with top-of-the-line features like body scan, SL-Track, and full-body stretch programs. Even so, is it worth the price? In this Kahuna Spirit massage chair review, we’re diving in to see. Let’s go!
Features of the Kahuna Spirit Massage Chair
Smart Body Scan
Massage chairs — especially those in the mid- to high-level price range — should have some sort of body scanning technology.
Without it, the movement of the rollers is based on a “standard” height and body shape, which means if you don’t fall within the standard, the rollers hit too high or too low.
The Kahuna Spirit features a smart body scan system that measures your height and shape in the chair before automatically adjusting its rollers to give you a custom-fit massage.
SL Massage Track
On a massage chair, the rollers move along a track. Typically, there are two track types: S-Track and L-Track. An S-Track is an “S” shaped track that extends from the neck to the tailbone.
It’s designed to mimic the natural curve of the back and ensures the rollers keep consistent pressure across curvy areas like the neck and lower back.
An L-Track extends from the end of the S-Track at the tailbone and goes into the seat forming a sort of “L.” L-Tracks extend the massage roller range an additional 20 or so inches — treating the glutes and the thighs.
The Kahuna Spirit massage chair combines the two tracks with its SL-Track to create an ultra long unified massage track that extends from the neck to the buttocks. Dual rollers (two sets of two) move along the track and mimic the feeling of two thumbs and two hands.
In addition to roller massage, the Kahuna Spirit features full-body air massage. Airbags are the go-to component for most massage chair companies because they can go where rollers can’t — the arms, outside of the shoulders, etc. As such, airbags operate differently than rollers.
While rollers knead, tap, and apply penetrating pressure, airbags compress — squeeze and release. During compression, pressure is applied and released, moving the blood in and out of the area to increase circulation, the removal of stagnant fluid, and the flow of new nutrient-rich blood.
Let’s take a closer look at the air massage areas on the Kahuna Spirit.
- Shoulder airbags inflate and deflate to compress the sides of the shoulders. They also help to hold the body in place against the backrest and during the stretch programs which we’ll cover in more detail later in the article.
- Arm and hand airbags are located next to the side seat on both sides of the chair. The arm massagers treat the top and bottoms of the forearms and hands and are adjustable.
- Hip airbags located in the back and side of the seat inflate and deflate to help twist and stretch the pelvic area.
- Calf and Feet airbags line the ottoman to compress and squeeze the legs and feet. They also hold the legs in place for the stretch programs and push the feet onto the foot massage rollers.
Calf and Foot Massage
Foot rollers have become a popular massage chair feature in recent years, and many companies have been updating their chairs to meet the demand. The Kahuna Spirit is no exception. Besides airbags, the calf and foot massager on the Kahuna Spirit features dual mechanical foot rollers that provide a powerful and stimulating massage to the bottoms of the feet.
The ottoman is extendable up to 6 inches for users who need extra leg length room. And for when the ottoman gets a little dirty, removable and machine washable covers allow you to remove the fabric for quick and easy cleaning.
One defining feature of the Kahuna Spirit massage chair is seat vibration. The seat vibration uses a high-frequency plate to stimulate circulation to the buttocks and thighs while helping the muscles in the area to relax. Users who have sciatic nerve pain have reported the benefits of the vibration and L-Track combination to ease symptoms.
Vibration massage is also beneficial for those who sit in a chair all day. However, it can benefit anyone. There are three levels of vibration to choose from, which make it easy to find an ideal setting.
Another standout feature on the Kahuna Spirit massage chair is heat therapy. Although a common feature, the Kahuna Spirit offers one of the most extensive heating systems available.
While most massage chairs that feature heat therapy have heating pads in the lower back or the shoulders, the Kahuna Spirit has heating pads in the back, legs, and arms.
Traditionally, heat is used to stimulate circulation by dilating blood vessels, which increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, repairing damaged tissues.
It’s also relaxing and produces a distinctly massage-friendly benefit: relaxed muscles allow the massage head rollers to provide a more penetrating and effective massage.
3 Stages of Zero Gravity
Another massage enhancing feature is Zero Gravity. As popular as it is misunderstood, Zero Gravity doesn’t actually make you weightless. It does, however, position your body such that its weight is evenly distributed and held by the backrest giving you a sense of “weightlessness.”
In this position, the vertical pressure is removed from the spine, and the lower body and legs are slightly elevated above the heart. The spine decompresses, and circulation increases. Furthermore, since the backrest and gravity hold your weight, pushing you down onto the back of the chair, the massage head rollers can provide a more intense massage.
There are three stages of Zero Gravity on the Kahuna Spirit, with each stage offering more recline.
Built-In Speakers with Bluetooth Connectivity
Next to the shoulders on the Kahuna Spirit are built-in speakers. The speakers connect with Bluetooth to any compatible music device such as an iPhone or iPad. Once connected, you can select your favorite music from your device and enjoy the sounds through the speakers.
Space Saving Design
Although big and heavy — 247 pounds — the Kahuna Spirit massage chair only needs 5 to 6 inches of space to fully recline thanks to its space saving design. The space saving feature moves the chair forward as it reclines, so the chair still needs space in front to accommodate the recline. However, it's much less space than massage chairs without the space saving feature.
Handheld LCD Remote
All of the chair’s programs are controlled using a handheld remote. A bright LCD screen shows which programs and settings are currently active. The remote is simple and easy-to-use, but it might take some time to memorize what each button icon means.
Massage Programs and Techniques on the Kahuna Spirit Zero Gravity Massage Chair
The Kahuna Spirit massage chair features four auto programs. Considering the price point, four is on the small side. However, two of the programs are full-body stretch programs — a feature not always found on massage chairs. The four programs are:
Yoga stretching and active yoga are the full-body stretch programs. During these programs, the airbags inflate to twist and hold the body in place while the chair reclines and inclines to pull and stretch the body.
Although not technically massage programs, the Kahuna Spirit features five massage areas that allow you target your massage to a particular range, which we’ll cover in more detail in the customization section.
Or, if you’d rather skip the auto massage programs and dial-in your own, the Kahuna Spirit has five techniques to choose from:
Let’s take a closer look at the customization options on the Kahuna Spirit Massage chair.
Customization and Manual Mode Options on the Kahuna Spirit Zero Gravity Massage Chair
Although the Kahuna does have quite a few customization options, it’s not as robust as you’d expect for the price. Here’s what’s available:
Five Area Adjustments
Select from one of five areas to focus your massage: neck to waist, lower back to waist, lower back to buttock, neck to buttock, and mid back to buttock.
Air Massage Intensity
You can adjust the air massage intensity up to five levels.
Massage Roller Speed.
You can change the speed of the massage roller heads up to three settings.
Massage Width Settings.
You can customize the width of the rollers up to four settings.
You can focus your massage on a particular spot.
A set of up and down arrows allow you to adjust the position of the rollers.
Seat Vibration Speed
There are three levels of vibration speed.
You can turn the foot rollers, off, on, or add them to any program.
An adjustable timer lets you add time to any 15-minute massage program in increments of 5 up to a 30-minute maximum.
There are two removable pads located behind the head and upper back that increase the intensity of massage when removed.
What’s Missing on the Kahuna Spirit Massage Chair
Even though the Kahuna Spirit massage chair has a lot of standout features, for the price point, there are a few you’d expect, but won’t find, including:
NO 3D MASSAGE
On the Kahuna Spirit, there are speed adjustments for the rollers, but there are no intensity adjustments, which means it’s not a 3D massage chair.
With 3D massage, the rollers move in 3 ways: up and down, side to side, and inward (into the muscles). Since the Kahuna Spirit doesn’t apply the same level of penetrating pressure as a 3D massage chair, its deep tissue capabilities are limited as well as your ability to customize your massage.
No Calf Rollers
To be fair, calf rollers are not a very common massage chair feature. Even so, other massage chairs in the same price range — the Apex Ultra and Human Touch Navitas sleep chair — both feature them.
The Spirit massage chair is the widest model made by Kahuna and can easily fit average to wider-build users comfortably. On the other hand, if you’re petite and have a narrow frame, the shoulder airbags might not fit as snug against your sides.
Three Year Warranty
While many massage chair companies offer a one-year full warranty on all parts and labor, the Kahuna Spirit comes with a three-year warranty that covers all parts and labor. This includes the springs, frames, reclining, inclining, heating, vibrating mechanisms, and motors.
And Kahuna states, “should the internal metal framework of the chair become damaged from normal use, we will repair it at no cost to the owner.”
Kahuna Spirit Zero Gravity Massage Chair Specifications and Dimensions
65.4"L X 29.5"W X 34.3"H
Recommended maximum user weight
Recommended user height
5'0" to 6'0"
Required Recline Clearance
Final Thoughts on Kahuna Spirit Massage Chair Review
The most compelling features of the Kahuna Spirit massage chair are the stretch programs, seat vibration, extensive heating system, built-in speakers, and L-Track. Together, those features separate the Kahuna Spirit from other similarly priced massage chairs. However, unless you’re interested in those specific features, there are other massage chairs like the Human Touch Navitas Sleep chair that will give you more bang — 36 massage programs, 60 techniques, 4D massage — for your buck.
Sources and Official Brand Websites
- Kahuna, Official Brand Website.
- Kneadful Things: The Benefits of Massage, The Whole U.
- Benefits of Whole Body Vibration machines, Evolution Health.
- How Can Massage Help My Health and Wellbeing?, Taking Charge.
- The Benefits of Massage for Lower Back and Neck Pain, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine.
- Stretching: Focus on flexibility, Mayo Clinic.