Oakworks not suitable for lomi lomi massage: Hawaiian Spa

Woman receiving massage directly on massage table

Oakworks massage tables no longer used at Hawaiian Spa due to quality issues

After using Oakworks massage tables for the last eight years, Hawaiian Experience Spa says it will not be using them in its new Goodyear, Arizona spa due to a significant deterioration of quality and durability in the Oakworks Nova massage table line. The spa will also be replacing all existing Oakworks massage tables over the next six months.

Mike Ibach, President of Hawaiian Experience Spa, says the spa began using Oakworks tables in 2006 and continued to purchase them through the beginning of 2014. However, starting with orders placed in 2011 the spa has noticed a difference in the materials used in construction of the tables, especially the vinyl covering. Several tables purchased by the spa, which does more Hawaiian lomi lomi massages per year than any spa in the continental United States, began to degrade with oil penetrating and destroying the surface of the tables. According to Mr. Ibach, Oakworks initially covered the damaged tables under its warranty and replaced them at no cost. That all changed over the past year.

In July of 2014, Kelly Thomas, a “Quality Care Specialist” with Oakworks told the spa that their massage tables would no longer be covered under warranty for oil penetration. By this time the spa was experiencing issues with all of the tables it had purchased since 2011, while tables purchased prior to that year were still in use and were experiencing no issues.

Despite this, the CEO of Oakworks, Jeffrey Riach, said in an email that, “We have not changed our fabric since around 2003.” He also stated that “they (Hawaiian Experience Spa) have received good service from the tables for what they have paid” and that oil penetration is not a manufactures’ defect and would not be covered under the warranty.

The emails from Mr. Riach were forwarded to Mr. Ibach by the Western Regional Sales Manager for Oakworks, Chris Kofroth, because the Mr. Riach refused to speak directly to Mr. Ibach. Mr. Kofroth expressed his surprise and dismay at the remarks of his boss, and felt that it was a mistake for Oakworks not to stand behind its products.

However, Mr. Riach comments do not reflect reality, according to Mr. Ibach:

“Our newer Oakworks massage tables are clearly made from a different fabric then those purchased prior to 2011. We went as far as dissecting both an older and a newer Oakworks massage table and found the fabric to be completely different and at least 30% lighter in the newer tables. I have been told by a former executive of Oakworks that they did change its manufacturing in 2011 and Oakworks massage tables are now made in China and that Mr. Riach’s claims that the fabric has not changed are false. I think it is deplorable that a business would let its product deteriorate to such an extent while denying the fact and not standing behind its product. Therefore, Hawaiian Experience Spa will no longer use any Oakworks products and recommends all day spas and massage therapists consider using other products, especially if they provide Hawaiian lomi lomi massages.”

When asked what the spa will be using, Mr. Ibach said that spa is currently testing a variety of tables and will make a decision soon on a replacement for Oakworks.

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  1. I will give you a review of Oakworks massage tables: They get one star. I agree with the author that Oakwork’s has no quality control, and are not good massage tables in any way. They used to be great but that definitely changed over the last few years. I am a licensed massage therapist and own a small massage studio and I would say DO NOT USE OAKWORKS MASSAGE TABLES. I have had repeated problems and Oakworks does not stand behind its warranty.

  2. It seems to me that Oakworks has abandon the massage industry and is focusing on its medical line. Sure they still sell massage tables, but Oakworks tables are terrible. I have also found that Oakworks massage tables are no good for lomi lomi. The oil goes right through them, even though we wash them immediately. Oakworks used to sell a lomi lomi massage table but has withdrew that after complaints about oil damage to the cheap vinyl they now use.

  3. Why are you not using table coverings/sheets on your tables? Besides protecting the table from oil and eliminating the problem it would be far more comfortable for your clients. I’ve used Oakworks tables for years and never had a problem.

  4. Susan Stone says:

    I think it’s strange the photo shows a body on the table and it looks like there’s no sheet or towel under her. Is that how you do your massages?
    I haven’t owned Oakworks tables, but have had 3 Earthlite Avilla massage chairs, and saw a major deterioration in quality with number 3. Within a year, I had several repairs, including the bag handle ripping off. Several of my colleguges also reported needing repairs.
    It took me what I feel is a long time for their rep to reply to my emails, also, but they did send the parts. They said the company is still owned by same owners for years, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out the product is made out of the USA. Too bad.

  5. That what happens when your bottom line becomes more important than the customer satisfaction.

  6. Lomi lomi massage is always done directly on the table without sheets. That is necessary so the therapist can perform flowing under body strokes.

  7. Greetings
    I have just experienced issues with the nova line as well.
    I had a nova that I used for 17 plus years purchased in 1997 with no problem except the covering wore out. Summer of 2016 I invested in a new nova table and after about 8 months I started having problems with the table rocking and not being stable. They Replaced the table and now about 8 months later with the replacement having the same problem. Contacted office and today they said their was nothing they could do. I made all of the calls and contact and was told several different stories when I questioned the quality stating that it was inferior I was told I was the only person that had complained about the nova product . After researching I found this information which only confirmed what I had experienced I would not recommend the product and the customer service.

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