Over the past few months, the recovery field has turned into a billion-dollar industry, and every healthcare technology wants to be a part of it. It does not surprise me that recovery-based companies are coming out of stealth at an intense rate. Percussion guns are being seen on all sports channels and even sponsored by professional athletes for all-all-things wellness and fitness. As an Austin, Texas native, you will know that it is dynamic city individuals who spend a considerable amount of time on their bodies that require consistent warmups and recovery methods not to strain their bodies. But, what about the little guy? I am not a professional athlete or even the athlete I once was. I don't need a percussion device that goes 1750 - 2400 ppm (percussions per minute) like the Theragun or Hypervolt. Those unfamiliar with vibration technology massagers have become a "must-have" and all the rage for both the regular consumer and professional athlete when it comes to recovery. These devices help relieve muscle strains and aches, relieve knots, and improve your body's motion and range, promoting blood circulation and an overall endless amount of health benefits. The company, known as Pure Wave, has launched its flagship second generation of vibration technology device, the Pure Wave Generation II.
A couple of weeks ago, I was given a chance to speak with PureWave CEO Steve Lee and use the innovative vibration and percussion technology device. The California-based percussion creator has released multiple well-known and excellent products, including all new PureWave Gen II, PureWave CM-7, and the PureWave CM-05. PureWave is the first vibration technology brand to patent two motors for percussion and vibration in one recovery device, and this will give the company an edge up and hold its own against its other competitors.
"Back in 2015, there wasn't a whole lot of percussion devices. The amount of amplitude in your hips and lower body is great with some of these other devices, but it causes a nauseating feeling in your upper body. There is a sweet spot for everybody. There is not just one massage gun that fits everyone. We decided to find something that would work for the general population for most people, and that is our goal to have something that works for real people with real bodies." Said PureWave CEO Steve Lee
Is the Gen II worth it? Let's find out.
The PureWave Gen II comes in a straightforward, durable polyester fabric travel case. It weighs only 2 lbs. featuring a hard-plastic exterior with an ergonomic handle. You will find the primary device with an unattachable rechargeable 7.2v lithium-ion battery. Also included in the box:
- an AC-DC wall charger
- the user manual
- a quick start guides
- details about each of the 7-interchangeable head attachments
Uncomplicated and straightforward - is how I would describe the packaging. Other than the travel case, there was nothing to shout out about. The Hypervolt doesn't even come with a carrying case, and that price point cost over double of the PureWave Gen II. For something that is meant to be mobile, it makes all the difference in the convenience of the product.
Once I unpacked the PureWave Gen II, I could tell right away that it was a durable device, sleek and minimalistic modern design similar in style to its predecessors. I did wish that it were more eye-popping, however. The design is brilliant, but the exterior is lacking a pizazz to it. The CM-7 comes in a black and red exterior, and I would have liked the latest flagship technology from PureWave to come in different assortments or give me options. I could not locate the device's PureWave amplitude, which means the distance the head moves away from the device, but I would estimate between 3-5 millimeters. This device's stall force seemed to be challenging to find, but from what I could tell, it took around 30-40 pounds of pressure until it stopped. This device is unique, and I will tell you why. It is technically a massage device, but with the amplitude added, I feel its primary competitors are related to massage guns and companies in that district. It has a variable speed, unlike other massage devices like the Hypervolt or Theragun that gives multiple set speeds with no customizability. The variable rate allows you to work on a scale using the front dial with speeds at low as 1,500 ppm (percussions per minute) and the highest speed of up to 3,700 ppm, which is more than enough for me.
Additionally, what makes this device unique is that there are two motors. One end is the primary massager, and the other end is meant for facial and scalp massages. The ergonomic handle does not allow the attachments to percuss away from the device, but it works off the hold's vibrations, but you will get around 10,000 to 11,000 percuss per minute at full speed. This is more than enough to have a gentle face massage on your nasal cavities or side of your head, which I did to rid of my one too many tension headaches.
The battery lasts around two hours, give, or take the speed you use and a one-hour charge time. I know some may not like the fact that you can only use it for two hours and charge it for an hour, but this device has two motors. Additionally, the machine is quiet and terrific, given my tension headaches and needing noise to practically cease. From what I tested, the decibel levels are only about 45 on the low end and 75-80 on the high end, so this device would not interrupt anyone in a public setting.
Each PureWave Gen II attachment, or as PureWave calls them, 'sticks,' oscillates back and forth except for the handle motor to target different parts of your body, providing pressure and stimulation to relieve areas for those hard to reach areas. There is an attachment suited for every muscle group.
3D Pivot Top: Swiveling complete arch design that glides over joints and difficult angles.
Six-Head Tip: Deep tissue massage for the larger muscle groups to help loosen you, tight muscle groups, improve circulation, and speed up muscle recovery time.
Air-Cushion Tip: A soft silicone tip for a general massage used for more delicate massage pressure for sensitive joints like knees, ankles, shoulder joints.
Point Tip: An Acupressure stick for targeted tensions and scar tissue. If you suffer from a stiff neck or have other stubborn knots, using this tip in the trapezius area will help relieve the stiffness.
3D Stainless Applicator Tip: A metal disc that targets the softer tissues on the body.
On the other end of the device located on the ergonomic handle is the 'Micro-Vibration Mode' that targets delicate tissue and pinpoints pressure areas. It comes with two custom attachments that were developed for the more sensitive parts of your body.
Scalp Tip: This unique silicone scalp massage tip is a great way to relieve tension and headache. It can be used with both the percussion and vibration motor modes/sides.
Migraine Tip: This metal disc with a bottom silicon massage stick will promote a soothing massage around your temples and other areas of your head.
Changing the attachments are simple. Each attachment screws quickly off and on and locks-in. No button to press, screw-on – simple. If you were to lose one of these head attachments, you can purchase individual sticks or replace all seven on the PureWave website.
The device is intuitive and straightforward. Press and hold the 'power' button dial until the blue luminescent ring glows around the device's middle base. You can repeatedly press down the button to choose between the primary motor or the handle motor. Once you get an overall feel of the device, you can begin playing around with the sticks on your tense body areas.
This percussion device is meant for the average joe consumer. "I think many other devices like the Hypervolt and Theragun are great for some, but for a lot, it is too much, too strong. We tend to cater more for the more regular everyday people," said CEO PureWave Steve Lee. What sold me was the migraine massager. I get tension headaches daily, and they are sometimes unbearable, so having a device to help me makes all the difference. This device covers all grounds that a percussion device should, and that is all thanks to its patent two motors and is a true jack-of-all-trades. I would like to see different would be to apply more weight onto the device, so it does not stall out as quickly, but it is hard to beat for the device's price.
A significant aspect that I have loved about the PureWave was that it is not as intense as Hyperice and Therabody's percussion device. Those are meant for a particular type of person, and they are not suited for the elderly. This device's setting can help soothe most elderly brittle bodies without bruising. The target audience that PureWave is trying to hit is expanding, where many other percussion devices are daring to go. The reasons why I have yet to understand, especially with gaming being a billion-dollar industry. Lee says, "We do much marketing on social media, and we target many audiences, but gamers have been one of the best performing audiences. I think many other devices like the Hypervolt and Theragun are great for some, but for a lot, it is too much; they are too strong. We tend to cater more to the more regular everyday people, not so much bulked up or CrossFit individuals.”
The average consumer and many of the e-sport players that I have come to meet could benefit from a device like PureWave Gen II, as much as I have. The gaming industry's revenue is even being brought on various streaming platforms like Twitch. Having the gamers use their own devices and considering sponsoring some of the teams grossing hundreds too millions per year. It is only a matter of time before a company like WHOOP or Amazon will reach out to these gamers to have their overall health monitored, which means it is time for a recovery company to step in. The gaming industry makes over revenue of 1.1 billion dollars a year now, so it can only get better, especially during COVID.
"I think it is good to have that delicate balance of reach and power is the part that needs to be worked out. I do not think anyone has fulfilled that niche. I think the PureWave is about to hit those spots with power," said Lee. The thing is that these sponsored gamers and streamers train or play for 8 hours a day because they get paid thousands to do so; it is their job. If they cannot play games because they cannot move a mouse or press the buttons on the keyboard directly, they will lose it all. It would be nice to see a company like PureWave develop a type of wrist massager, a stick-on or suction cup massage pad, or a massage gaming chair that rolls on the shoulder blades, too, not just a pullover massage pad.
I think PureWave would be an excellent company to try it. "You know, that gives me such a great idea to start understanding the gamer's daily lifestyle and how much time they have spent gaming on their computers. They do not want to get away from that computer, so they need something they can do in front of the computer to negate that repetitive moments and repetition like your shoulder, hands, etc. So, yeah, I am going to work with our team to try different moments and exercise that it can do to counter the effects and moments throughout the day." Said Lee.
Finally, let us move on to Bluetooth. I have mentioned this before in my Hypervolt review that nowadays, if something does not have Bluetooth, most people will find it inferior and consider it lousy technology - even if it adds little to no value. Despite the product not having Bluetooth, I would not kick it to the curb just yet. Plus, I doubt you would even use the Bluetooth capabilities all that much. Do not get me wrong, the possibilities with the technology in a device could be a revelation if innovated correctly, but all great things take time. Every company wants to get inside that inner circle. Hyperice and Theragun built Bluetooth technology into its devices, which has caused a disruption in the industry for the better, but others are trying to get into the playing field. I asked Steve if PureWave was trying to get into that playing field of integrating Bluetooth technology into its devices and turn it into a smart device to make it more competitive in the market. "That is in the works. But you know, you have something that makes you excited. We have many cool things we are working on, and like Hypervolt, they are an industry disruptor; I think the things we are coming out with will disrupt the industry, and it will be completely different from just Bluetooth that the industry hasn't done yet. I wish I could tell you, but I just can't right now," said Lee as he laughs.
The PureWave Gen II is a lightweight, durable percussion massage device that relieves all those tight spots and headaches that arise. Lee told me, “We don't just want to sell and provide a device but to teach you the right movements, stretching, and therapist advice of how to selfheal while using the device or not so you don't have to have live with a disability injury so we can offer it that to our consumers.”. Every piece of the PureWave Gen II is engineered for two purposes: providing you a better massage after a recovery or for a warmup after a workout. This is where percussion and vibration therapy can help relieve knots, strain, and muscle aches that provide many health benefits, and PureWave has got it down to the stick. The seven multiple head attachments give the user plenty of options for warming up or recovering a broad area or pinpoint locations. Plus, the lightweight and ergonomic design make it easy to hold and angle around your body stress-free without help. The PureWave Gen II is on sale now for $149.95, and you can find it here on PureWave's website.
Given the stall force is not great on the device, it still reaches enough to help relieve pain but at times didn’t quite satisfy those deep aches. I do hope to see the stall force be improved and integrating Bluetooth technology being integrated in the next device or Pure Wave will not be able to compete or stand out in the recovery industry. “That is part of our big goal. I think anyone could come out with the latest and greatest device but what we want to do is teach people how to be healthier and heal." Said Lee. Steve seems to be focusing on different audiences and is brilliant but hidden ideas in the works. I am looking forward to seeing where PureWave goes with great interest.
Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.