Originally two friends came up with the idea of building a balance product. However Dominic actually had the design and construction inspiration for the Yogaboard itself while he was living in South Africa. In 2016, while residing in Cape Town, South Africa, Dominic developed the first prototype. He also had the idea for the effect (multi-axis deflection) over the length thanks to his interest in surfing. Dominic knew he had come up with something special and wanted to create a business model that promoted German quality, innovation, healthy living, sustainable products, and ethical business practices. Working with his friend Patrick seemed a natural fit.
First Dominic and Patrick tested out the project – originally named ‘My YogaBoard” or MYB – with a Kickstarter campaign. Soon the Yogaboard project was gaining recognition for its innovative design. After the prototype from South Africa was presented for the first time in January 2017 at the Yogaworld in Munich festival, Jelena Lieberberg of Kick Ass Yoga commented on the functionality “my verdict: works like a charm!” If the ground gets too boring, get on the Yogaboard!”
Very quickly the product, as well as the company itself, was gaining a fan following in the yoga, health, and wellness industry. The Yogaboard won the ISPO GOLD WINNER AWARD 2017/2018 for the health and fitness segment. According to Max Barth, editor-in-chief of Health and Beauty Publishing House the Yogaboard was a “a highly exciting innovation with the potential to quickly enforce in the masses. Beginners as [well as] advanced Yogis benefit from them equally.”
In February of 2017, the global multi-platform media company MASHABLE noticed the Yogaboard Kickstarter campaign and shared the product video on its website as well as its Facebook page. (As of December 2017, the video has been viewed over 1.6 million times on its Facebook page alone.) By April of 2017, the successful Crowdfunding campaign led to production of the Yogaboard, with tons of positive feedback as a result. (The very first Yogaboards were shipped shortly after in May 2017.)
At the same time, the Yogaboard team made its first appearance at FIBO – the largest fitness fair in the world. Set in the Cologne Exhibition Center, over 150,000 trade and private visitors attended the event. Shortly after this groundbreaking appearance, Women’s Health magazine touted the Yogaboard as a major highlight of the event which “strengthens the sense of balance and makes the flow much more intense”.
Picking up an Adidas sponsorship, the Yogaboard team began touring with Wanderlust 108 making stops at the events in Cologne, Vienna, Zurich, Berlin, and Frankfurt. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Yogis and fitness enthusiasts were all drawn to this innovative balance board, and class demonstrations filled quickly as word spread. At later events like the Experience Festival, YogaWorld Düsseldorf, and even the Medica Convention in Düsseldorf, Germany, attendees mentioned that they had heard and seen pictures of the Yogaboard long before trying it out in person.
The popularity of the Yogaboard was so widespread that Strobel & Walter began shipping worldwide, and working with carefully selected distributors to expand the networking and clientele base. After less than a year in the market, and having a diverse clientele base of individuals, studios, gyms, and physiotherapists the Yogaboard is a highly sought after product in the yoga, health, and wellness industry. The company also developed a line of accessories for attractive storage of the Yogaboard when not in use.
In the fall of 2018, Strobel & Walter succeeds in persuading the creators of the popular german TV show “Die Höhle der Löwen” as one of a few start-up teams to be selected and allowed to present their flagship product, the yoga board, on the show. The enthusiastic feedback from the “Lions” motivated the two Würzburgers to boost production of Yogaboard even further around the globe. Resting on the success – that’s out of the question for the founders. At the Würzburg headquarters, people are already working on further, exciting fitness trends for the future of Strobel & Walter.