In 1996, Andrew R. Laudenslager, a graduate of Lehigh University in Mechanical Engineering, had been searching for a birthday present for his girlfriend. A fitness boxer, she wanted an 80 lb. punching bag she could use at home. After doing some research, Laudenslager found that no boxing stands on the market were strong, stable or within his budget, so he designed and built one himself.
The gift was a hit, and soon, friends saw the stand and wanted one for themselves. Although Laudenslager’s original stand was designed for a 100-pound fitness boxer, it was sturdy enough to be used by heavy-weight professionals and serious commercial gyms.
Andrew, and his cousin Peter Balazs Pecsvaradi then began working on two projects together: high quality boxing equipment that didn’t rattle, bend or break, and — get this — a new thing called a Web-Site with a Shopping Cart!!
Things took off from there and individuals and fitness centers around the nation were demanding Balazs equipment to be put in their facilities. In 1997, Andrew officially partnered with his cousin, Peter, and founded Balazs inc. A couple years later, Patrick Gormley joined the team and moved Balazs into the marketing lime-light, further making a name for the company as good people making good equipment and offering good service.
All three men, to this day, still offer guidance to Balazs, although in 2007 they had new aspirations along with growing families and decided to sell the business. Brian DeMaris took over and moved it from Allentown PA, to just outside of Lancaster PA, continuing the tradition of top-shelf products, and top-shelf service. The product line now has 109 line items — all built in the bullet proof style of Balazs.
In addition to thousands of people who enjoy a strenuous boxing workout at home, boxing gyms, health clubs, universities and military bases in 100 countries use Balazs products.
Balazs equipment has been featured in many movies, including “Play it to the Bone,” starring Woody Harrelson and Antonio Banderes. Their products have been published in magazines such as GQ, Men’s Health, Worth, Muscular Development and many others.