A Regular Guy’s Thoughts and Opinions on the Maxi Pro & Equine Thu…

After doing a fair amount of online research I purchased the Maxi Pro Thumper Massager for my wife’s birthday earlier this year. Thumper makes the claim that many of their massagers (including this one) are used by loads of industry professionals (physical therapists, chiropractors, sports teams, etc.). I am a former collegiate athlete now turned as a hobby athlete, but I work out (hard) every day or every other day, so I the idea that this was a “specialized” form instead of something you’d find at Walmart or Target appealed to me. We already had a Homedics hand-held/wand massager, but it just wasn’t powerful enough to get thorough into large sore muscles like the quadriceps and hamstrings.

I did some shopping and searching online and ultimately found the Comfort Store Direct in Lewis Center, Ohio, USA had the best price (and free shipping at the time), so I bought it from them.

The unit arrived a week later in a specially designed box, so it was undamaged and ready to go right out of the box. The Maxi Pro is chiefly designed for 2 person use, so I patiently waited for my wife to come home to give it a shot. My wife loved the Maxi Pro closest but I wasn’t quite sold on it. Don’t get me wrong, I did like it and it was MUCH easier to use than hand-held/wand massagers, but I quickly noted that the only real setting on the unit that was having much of an effect on me was level 5, the highest setting. As far as I was concerned, the other 4 lower settings really didn’t do much at all.

Since we were using the Maxi Pro on its highest setting I consulted their web site for answers and found that Thumper has a more powerful an Equine version of this unit, which was especially designed for elite athletes and of course horses. This unit looks the same as the Maxi Pro but seemingly has a stronger motor in it.

Over the time of the next few days I wrested with the idea of going by the bother of sending the Maxi Pro back and getting the Equine form. After 3 days I cracked and gave in. I contacted the Comfort Store Direct and requested a return authorization number, which they gladly gave me – by the way, both my wife and I dealt with these folks and they were always pleasant. I shipped the Maxi Pro back at a cost of about $15 (not bad) and came to the conclusion that the additional $40 for the Equine more powerful motor would be worth it.

When the Equine unit arrived I gave it a shot on my quadriceps (don’t need 2 people for this), and I have to say that I was initially disappointed with it. I really expected a notable difference in strength between the two units but I just didn’t feel it. Later that night my wife tried the unit and while she agreed with me that it might not be considerably more powerful, she felt it might be slightly better.

I sent Thumper an email asking if perhaps I got an underpowered unit and indicated that I was a little disappointed with this new form. To their credit, a Thumper representative responded to me within 24 business hours, she kindly explained that, “The thoroughness of the stroke on the Equine Thumper is 15% higher than with the Maxi Pro. The excursion assembly which is the mechanism responsible for the “punch” has a different tolerance than the one on the Maxi Pro consequently the impact is greater.

The Thumper rep indicated that I could return the product for a refund if I would like, which I appreciated. I emailed her back and indicated that my wife really did like the unit (and I didn’t think it was too bad) so a refund would not be necessary.

PROS:

  • The unit is heavy (8 lbs), but it truly works to its advantage. You don’t need to press down on the massager to feel pressure; the weight of the unit does it for you.
  • The two handles on the unit make it easy to move manipulate/move/adjust.
  • If you are flexible and a little creative, you can truly use the Maxi Pro/Equine form without someone else assisting
  • Quiet. In fact, it’s much quieter than the hand-held/wand unit we have that’s less powerful. It’s not difficult to watch television and use the unit at the same time.
  • Very easy to use on someone. In fact, you can often place the unit on someone (like the lumbar part of the back) and the unit will work without you having to keep up it at all. You may have to balance it with just a associate of fingers just so it stays in place – either way it’s easy.
  • Instead of a vibrating motion most massagers have, this one truly pounds up and down like a piston (you can truly see it doing this). I found this approach was much more effective in giving/receiving massages.
  • Fast, friendly customer service – the rep I emailed at Thumper was very nice.
  • Feels pretty strong and lasting…although I’ve only had it for a few weeks.
  • Don’t get that fatigued feeling in your hands, wrists and forearms that you do from vibrating hand-held/wand massagers. It really doesn’t require a lot of effort to give someone a massage.
  • Unit does not heat up during or after use.

CONS:

  • Not portable if you’re traveling, but that wasn’t really a concern of ours.
  • For the most part, this is a 2-person effort, using the massager by yourself is doable but tricky.
  • nevertheless would like it to have a higher, more powerful setting for both units.
  • The instructional DVD they send you is worthless. In fact, there was a thoroughness adjustment dial at the bottom of both units that I didn’t already know until the Thumper rep let me know via email.

BOTTOM LINE:

I’d recommend this unit to anyone in the market for a personal massager that’s tried other vibrating models that don’t quite get into the muscles enough. It’s easy to use, but I’d suggest purchasing the unit if you have a partner that’s willing and able to work with you. At around $300 it’s not the cheapest form out there. Personally I’d go with the Maxi Pro since it’s less expensive and I didn’t feel a tremendous difference between it and the Equine form.

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