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Hedstrom moves aggressively into fitness products

By: Bill Bregar

April 13, 2012

ASHLAND, OHIO (April 13, 11:40 a.m. ET) — Hedstrom, the rotational molding division of Ball, Bounce and Sport Inc., is moving more aggressively into the “sport” part of its name, becoming a distributor and marketer of Bosu fitness products.

Ball, Bounce and Sport’s Hedstrom Plastics has been rotomolding PVC exercise balls for the Bosu Balance Trainer and Bosu Ballast Ball, and doing assembly at its factory in Ashland, Ohio. The plastics processor had been supplying the products to Fitness Quest Inc., a distributor of exercise products in Canton, Ohio.

Now Hedstrom has acquired exclusive worldwide distribution of the BOSU line from Fitness Quest.

It’s a big move, said Hedstrom President and CEO Jim Braeunig. The company is a major rotomolder of exercise balls, but Bosu is a complete exercise system, he said. It combines a ball with an injection molded platform to improve balance.

“We have formed a new division called Hedstrom Fitness that will house the Bosu product line,” Braeunig said.

Hedstrom has hired four key employees from Fitness Quest. Braeunig said the company plans to hire four more people.

Hedstrom also will work with David Weck, who invented the Bosu in 1999. The Bosu Balance Trainer helped introduce balance training to athletes and coaches, fitness professionals, medical and rehabilitation specialists and schools. Braeunig said Weck is eager to create new products.

“Our goals are to develop product line extensions, acquire other key fitness products and become a more viable player in this market segment,” Braeunig said.

“Bosu” stands for “both sides up,” meaning the product can be used with either the dome of the platform side up. Hedstrom currently manufacturers commercial and retail versions of the Bosu Balance Trainer and Bosu Ballast Ball, a weighted stability ball.

The Bosu is U.S. made. Hedstrom does rotomolding and assembly. Premere Enterprises Inc. in Bolivar, Ohio, injection molds the platform parts.

Braeunig said Hedstrom plans to open a Bosu showroom next to its Ashland factory, that will include a gym for employees.