Yesterday morning I flew from Salt Lake City to Dallas for Day 1 of my 2 day adventure to the Lone Star State. I’ve never been to Texas before but was quite excited to come here. My plan is to visit Luraco today and see how they do things in the place where the first US-made chair is assembled (remember from previous posts that the iRobotics 6S is 60% manufactured and 100% assembled here in Dallas). I will report on that visit first thing tomorrow morning.
But, yesterday I left the airport and drove directly to Osaki’s main offices on Beltwood Parkway in Farmers Branch. I spent the rest of the day with Michael, the owner, Jack, Chris, and Manuel. It was a fabulous time. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them. We began our day together by sitting down in their conference room to talk about my business, their business, and the massage industry as a whole.
Of course, we talked about all of their recent new models and the overall Osaki strategy, which was quite informative. These folks were very interested to know what they could do to make my experience as a retailer better, which impressed me. They genuinely wanted to make sure that I was happy representing their product line.
We talked about how they were in the process of moving from their 18,000 sq. foot offices/warehouse to their new 70,000 sq. foot facility just 5 minutes away. We actually drove over there after our conference room chit-chat to see the new facility. Oh, man, was it impressive. In my mind’s eye, it rivaled the size and volume of the Human Touch warehouse I visited last year. It was enormous. Michael and his father, Steven, the owners of Osaki, gave me a tour of the whole facility and one can’t help but be impressed by the grandeur of it all. Between the inventory they had already moved over to the new facility and the stock they still had at the older warehouse, it seemed like they had enough inventory to last a long, long time.
When we returned to the current offices, I finally got a chance to sit on the new massage chair models that have been released recently. I sat on the OS-Pro Marquis, the OS-3D Pro Intelligent, the OS-3D Pro Cyber, the OS-2000 Combo, and the OS-3000 Chiro. Chris, the resident expert on all the chair models, demonstrated and explained some things about the chairs as I sat on them to help me better understand their functionality. I suppose the thing that impressed me the most about the Pro-Series chairs is how powerful the 3D roller system appears to be. I noticed with our new OS-3D Pro Dreamer, that we just set up a couple of weeks ago at our showroom in Utah, that it seemed like the 3D setting could only move once forward and once backward to increase the roller intensity. Well, Chris demonstrated how to get the rollers to move forward and back, up to 5 different positions, when using the chair’s manual settings. Holy monkey, were they intense!! I couldn’t believe how intense the roller massage could get.
So, if you really want an intense roller massage, these new 3D Pro-Series chairs will give it to you like no other chairs that I’ve experienced before. And, although the roller intensity can be increased somewhat in the automatic programs, the real strength and versatility of the 3D rollers shines through in the manual settings. I’ve never felt anything like it.
A few other things I was impressed with when trying out these new models:
1. The new OS-3D Pro Cyber chair looks like a modernized OS-7075R. I really liked this model and will probably get one for the showroom quite soon. Nice styling and lines, great functionality, and, of course, the crazy intense 3D roller technology which will satisfy the most wanting of deep tissue massage chair customers. It also seemed as though the lateral thigh airbags massaged the ITB, ala Inada Sogno and Panasonic MA70. Great feature, by the way, for tender ITB’s, which most folks have, unbeknownst to them. Overall, a great chair. I will get this chair up on our website later this week.
2. All of these new models have mechanical foot rollers, which seems to be all the rage right now in the massage chair industry. These rollers can be quite intense to the uninitiated. Your feet don’t have the kind of soft tissue padding that your back and butt have, so rollers on your feet might seem a bit too much after after a few minutes of usage, and this applies to any massage chair with foot rollers from any company. Of course, you can turn off the rollers at any time on any model if it gets to be too much for you. But, if you love having your feet worked on…you will love any of these chairs.
3. How cool are the calf airbags of the OS-2000 Combo!? If you rotate the airbags up they will actually massage your knees. I sprained my Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) last week in a hockey game and these airbags hit the spot right on. I’ve not seen this innovative feature in any other massage chair before. Kinda cool!
4. The extended roller track on the OS-3000 Chiro seemed to go a lot further than the advertised 36 inches. When I sat on that model, it seemed as though at some points during the massage that the rollers went about as low as the rollers on the Iyashi. The roller system didn’t seem as sophisticated as the Iyashi rollers, but they did seem to go down quite low into the buttocks.
5. I was expecting the OS-3D Pro Intelligent to be a little flimsy, based on my experience with another prototype I had tested earlier this year from another company. But, this chair was solid throughout. The airbag mechanism popping up from within the arm rests was pretty cool and innovative although the arm massage itself was nothing out of the ordinary. The foot rollers, which doubled as calf rollers, were very strong on my foot bottoms.
After testing out the chairs, off we went to dinner and more massage chair chatter. It is so fun to hang around folks who are as passionate about massage chairs as I am. I learned so many great things from Michael, who is the ultimate insider in the massage chair industry. I learned about the factories from where they get most of their chairs, I learned about what other companies have their chairs made in the same factories, we discussed some of the challenges facing the industry, how the quality of the Chinese-made chairs is improving and why, how their chair failure rate is almost as low as Inada’s and Panasonic’s for most of their models, how the OS-7200H is pretty much the same chair as the new Cozzia EC618 (wink, wink, nudge, nudge!), Osaki’s customer support policy (much better than I had believed), and so much more. It was an absolute hoot hanging out with these guys, learning more about this industry with which I have been so intimately involved for the past 10 years and getting to know the Osaki way of doing business.
Thanks, Osaki, for a great day! It was wonderful to get to know you all. I will post a video on our YouTube channel later this week.
Dr. Alan Weidner