JUMPGA Rebounding History
IN 1938, Ed Russell created the first small trampoline (rebounder). I started exercising on rebounders 25 years ago. In recent years I was a brand ambassador for the world's two most prominent brands, Bellicon and JumpSport, during the developmental stages of my JUMPGA program. I started exercising on rebounders 25 years ago. In recent years I was a brand ambassador for the world's two most prominent brands, Bellicon and JumpSport, during the developmental stages of my JUMPGA program.
When I wanted to produce my style of rebounder, I approached Joachim Heymans, the owner of Trimilin rebounders, because his rebounders are highly recognised in the German medical profession and used by numerous German football teams. Today, the Trimilin-made JUMPGA rebounder is unrivalled for quality and value.
Joachim Heymans, who revolutionised mini rebounders, was first introduced to them in 1979. His friend brought the Vitaliser mini rebounder to the UK from America. Heyman was in the UK from Germany, trying to work out what he wanted to do with his life. At first, he thought the rebounder was for kids, and his friend said he should incorporate it into his fitness routine as he was already into fitness. Heyman said, 'It was love at first sight. It had an immediate impact on my internal system'. His friend convinced him to buy not only a Vitaliser mini rebounder but also set up a company to sell them.
The wholesale costs were not cheap back then; he used half of my savings (£300 in today's money) to buy one. When he returned to Germany on the train, his then-new wife was unhappy that he spent half their savings on a rebounder. But he was undeterred; he was the family's black sheep because his parents wanted him to aim for corporate life, but he knew that the rebounder was his future.
He began buying the Vitaliser rebounders from America after taking pre-orders from friends because I believed in them. He ordered 20-30 rebounders at a time, and in his first year, he sold 280 units. Unfortunately, he kept getting negative feedback about the quality of the frame and springs. When he relayed the complaints to the manufacturer, they were not interested.
In 1983 he decided to do his research – which was not easy because there was no internet and no fax; just paper catalogues – if you were lucky! He travelled to Taiwan, at the time an under-developed country; to add to the pressure, he didn't speak a single word of Taiwanese.
He purchased a few components for 2 to 3 years, to begin with, then entire units. Unfortunately, he could not work with them long-term because their end products always had issues. Also, even when he supplied them with the American mats, they used poor-quality stitching because they were always trying to cut costs.
He moved production away from Taiwan to Germany, using the original American mats – made from a material originally used for road surfacing. The springs came from Australia – principally the same ones as Trimilin use today – and had a machine made to test the spring quality, durability, and tension. The new German-made rebounder used special threads manufactured in Germany. All this was a costly move, but it had to be done if he would stay in business.
The breakthrough moment
By 1988 he was producing his rebounders, made in Germany, but he still had the difficult task of selling the health concept to health professional retailers and traders. At that time, rebounding was unheard of as a tool for exercise or as part of a rehabilitation programme. His breakthrough happened when an elderly client – with several physical ailments – presented his rebounder on a TV show broadcast across Germany. The following day, he sold out; the rest is history, as they say.
How did the rebounder evolve?
In 1987 he incorporated bungee cords; in 1991, and also created rebounders with folding legs. He said, 'I wish I had copyrighted my idea back then because every folding leg rebounder uses my original design. But at least I copyrighted the bungee cord tension system used in the JUMPGA rebounder.'
Is there a Bellicon connection?
'Bellicon was formed 20-25 years ago by a former customer who tried to purchase my company under terms to which I could not agree. So, they went to China and tried to copy my rebounders, but they were unsuccessful because they could not match the quality and production. They later disbanded the idea of copying my spring rebounder, choosing instead to copy my bungee cord rebounder. It didn't matter to me because I was many steps ahead of them, with all my experience, knowledge and a top-quality product.
What makes JUMPGA a superior rebounder?
It is our overall quality without exception. Our bungee cord rebounders use a cord coated with multiple layers of highly elastic synthetic acetate fibres for unparalleled longevity. The competitor's bungee cords have a thin textile coating that wears through very quickly, but ours are much more durable.
Above all, when it comes to the suspension system, unlike brands like Bellicon and JumpSport, I use a 'Vario system' that .uses 12 individual cords. It allows the user to set the tension of the elastic mat to tighter or softer bounce depending on their weight and usage without having to swap or replace the cords.
Additionally – and most importantly – we have developed the only machine in the world that tests the tension of the cords. At Trimilin periodically test our competitors' cords and know that our cords last up to ten times longer.
Why don't you advertise more?
I told Heyman that Bellicon and JumpSport are widely advertised but not his Trimilin rebounder. Why is this?, No need – with over 35 years of experience in research and design, we are known in Germany as the most experienced and reputable European manufacturer. At first, trade buyers decided to go to the Far East to buy the cheaper rebounders but soon learned that it was a false economy when they kept breaking. When these buyers returned to Trimilin, they said, "Never again – we only want to buy your rebounders"! Because I am not a large company, I don't need to advertise like Bellicon and JumpSport to make huge turnovers, so I do not have to compromise the quality to make more money. When people find us, they never leave us.