HFB 2012: Show has good vibe, cool stuff

Day 1 of the Health & Fitness Business was filled with good vibes and new interesting equipment.
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One could feel the energy as soon as they walked into the Health & Fitness Business Expo taking place in Las Vegas this week. Most exhibitors and attendees told SNEWS the show had a more postive and bigger vibe than previous years.

The first day on Wednesday had a few superstars, including new exhibitor FitWet’s eye-catching booth and equipment, which incorporated stationary cycles and water resistance training. The gorgeous staff, some of whom were half naked, seemed to be attracting a lot of attention as well.

Richard Vance, sales representative for Jet Fitness, which manufacturers FitWet’s products, said the company decided to attend HFB to gauge what types of businesses were interested in its products.

The products deliver a new concept to the United States, Vance said. Though equipment that’s combined stationary cycling, water resistance and jets, among other things, has been used in Europe for many years, Vance said this is its first foray into the United States.

At the show, FitWet brought only the company’s stationary cycles in pods that filled with water (which could be as hot or cold as you want it, up to 104 degrees and down to 40 degrees), but Vance said the brand also makes stair steppers and treadmills.

“It helps blood flow being suspended in water,” Vance explained. “There is less pressure on your joints.”

For more on FitWet’s products, check out our cardio wrap up on SNEWS to run next week. Also in that story will be Vision’s brand new look and completely revamped cardio line, Octane’s Lateral-X trainer and a rehabilitation elliptical from Landice, among others.

Newcomers to the show, 3G Cardio (owned by Arizona-based retailer AtHome Fitness), took the folding treadmill to a whole other level with its 80i (MSRP $2,099, MAP $1,499). Most folding treadmills are geared toward walkers who don’t weigh more than 150 pounds, but 3G sleek and sturdy treadmill can hold up to 350 pounds and folds down to be only 9 inches high, making it easy to slide under a bed.

When upright and in use, the console can fold down and hold a laptop, making it so people can work while walking.

Our cardio, strength and accessories wrap-up stories on SNEWS will go into more detail about the products mentioned and the many others we saw.

Most people seemed to be enjoying this year’s show and suspected it might be a little bigger than last year though Brian McKavic of Nielsen Expositions and HFB said final numbers wouldn’t be ready for another week or two. Many said they are still enjoying the show being connected with Interbike.

“I do like having them at the same time,” said Mark Burns of Power Systems.

Though Matt Gigliotti of PowerVibe said, “I would love it if they put is in the middle of the Interbike,"

Next year the show moves to a two-day format at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

--Ana Trujillo

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