Zorbing: Fun and Adventurous Game
Have you ever seen a person getting inside a giant plastic ball and rolling down a hill? It sounds strange, right? This bizarre game is called Zorbing. Actually, Zorbing is a pretty simple and adventurous game. In Zorbing, a trained operator helps to ensure the passenger’s safety. The rider has no control over the steering or stopping the ball. The operator releases the ball, and at the bottom of the hill, the zorb ball gradually slows to stop where your operator is waiting to secure it. It is also known as Globe-riding and is much larger than the beach ball.
There are a lot of things to know about Zorbing that will make you excited. So, let’s start with the origin of this game.
Origin of Zorbing
Like Bungee Jumping, Zorbing originated in New Zealand by scientist Andrew Akers and Dwayne van der Sluis in 1990. The pair called this invention a Zorb. They invented a giant plastic ball that humans could stand-in. This game went commercial in 1998 and now is famous all over the world. The idea for Zorbing is taken from Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomy of man drawings. Zorbing is much like a human hamstring ball. If the ball is sealed correctly, people can engage in water walking inside a zorb ball.
What is Zorb Ball?
Zorb ball is also known as a giant glass ball. This ball is widely available in the aquatic parks, tourist spots, children’s amusing parks, and skiing parks. You can use the ball on land as well as on water pools. It has an outer diameter of 3 meters and 0.8 millimeters thick. Made from polymeric materials, a flexible plastic such as PVC or TPU which is transparent.
The ball is made of two layers of plastic, out and inside layer with air in between them. The space between the two balls is needed for the airflow. The security of the zorb ball is very high. The company that makes these balls has strict guidelines on the areas of use. You may ride on a flat surface or down a gentle slope.
In the zorb balls, the inner and outer balls are connected by various rope pieces that keep the balls turning together. A zorb has one or two openings through which the rider enters and exits. The ball is 2 feet wide, and they not only provide entrances and ensure that the rider has enough oxygen for breathing.
Some zorb balls have straps to tie the rider, and many don’t have harnesses inside. In unharnessed zorb, the rider is free to walk. The price of the zorb ball in online stores is reasonable than the local vendors. Zorb ball is large in size, so you have to pay the transportation charge to buy this ball from local vendors.
Zorb may look like a human hamster ball or giant hamster ball. The idea of the zorb ball came from the hamster ball. Hamster balls are made of rigid plastic. The only difference between the zorb and hamster ball is; the human hamster ball runs along the inside of the ball to move the ball forward, but the zorb ball rolls on its own.
Human Hamster Ball
A human hamster ball or giant hamster ball is a hollow spherical ball that has air holes and is made of clear plastic. These balls have been manufactured and sold since the 1970s. The ball is used for rodent pets like hamsters and gerbils. These pets were put inside the hamster ball, allowing them to walk outside the cage without risking them to run away. It is a beautiful idea for the owners to keep track of their pets.
Things to know about Zorbing
There are two kinds of Zorbing: dry and wet, also known as hydro zorb and harness zorb. You are fully enclosed inside a ball in a dry zorb and traveling on parks or tourist spots. But in the wet zorb, you are fully enclosed inside a bubble and floating on water.
Did you know the US government warns the consumers not to use zorb or giant hamster balls because there is less oxygen and too much carbon dioxide in the wet zorb balls? The ball doesn’t have an emergency exit and can only be opened by the person outside of the ball.
The zorb ball is made of two different spheres, and the inner sphere is specially designed to be bouncy that reduces the chances of injuries. The material used in the ball is non-toxic and has no effects on your body.
It is entertaining and unforgettable. Aqua Zorbing allows you to slide around inside while rolling down the hill and prevents you from going upside down. The aqua zorbing balls are quite different from the regular zorb balls. They have no harness inside, and the ball’s entrance is relatively small in diameter so that the rider or water does not fall out of the ball.
Accidents and Deaths
Zorbing looks like an easy game, but do you know this game is a really hazardous one?
It is an exciting game but also an unsafe one. Many people lost their lives in this game. In June 2009, a teacher died in the Czech Republic while trying Zorbing.
In 2013, a man died, and another was severely injured when the zorb they were in rolled out of control and hit the rocks. The incident was caught on camera and uploaded to the internet. It was the most horrific zorbing accident.
As you know, Zorbing is an exciting and adventurous sport. It is a dangerous activity, and are little bit risks. But all the risks are directly related to the choices you make for yourself. No matter what type of Zorbing you want to do, you’ll have to be up to date with all the safety and precautions related to this game.
Zorbing is designed for two people at the same time. The zorbing balls come equipped with two passenger seats facing each other.
If you are going to a zorbing amusement park, then don’t be shy to ask the park operators if everything is in order or not. And don’t forget to double-check yourself if you are riding your own personal zorbing ball.
Safety for Aqua Zorbing
This type of Zorbing is done during the summer. It involves filling the zorbing ball with water that will allow the riders to slide on the bottom of the inner ball and the human ball travels downhill.
You have to remove all the jewelry before the ride.
Always wear summer clothes or swimsuits.
The total weight of the passengers should be under 180 kg.
Safety for Dry Zorbing
The sphere used in this activity is entirely harnessed for your chest and feet. So, before going for the ride, check the harness is attached correctly to the ball. If the harness is not correctly fastened, then you may suffer from injuries.
Do not try dry Zorbing if you have motion sickness.
In both types of Zorbing, make sure that the ball has been inflated or not. Always Use the electric pump to fill the ball with the proper amount of air.
Safety for Water Zorbing
Safety precaution for water zorbing is quite different. If you are going for water zorbing with the regular zorb ball, there is not much to worry about it. But if you decide to go water zorbing inside the single-layer water ball, then keep in mind these things:
- Zorb balls are filled with air and sealed tight with a zipper. So, you must be aware of the fact that the air supply inside the ball is limited.
- If you buy your own zorb balls, then don’t forget to read the manufacturer’s specifications.
- You should not stay inside the zorb ball for more than five minutes because you could deplete the air supply, which will be risky.
Pick a safe location.
Most of the parks have well-built tracks that are specially designed for the Zorbing. Remember that the slope should be well covered in grass for Zorbing, and there should not be any bumps.
The ground should be dug/built so that the ball is forced to come to a natural stop by itself.
If the park doesn’t have the proper equipment, then don’t go for the ride.
Steve Camp, a South African who covered the longest distance in a single day- 570 meters (1,870 ft) (source).
Rebecca Mazonson: In the sphereing ride, she covered the speed of 52 kilometers per hour (32 mph). She spent 3:49:06.
Every sport has its own difficulty level, and some are extreme, while others are just for fun. Zorbing is such a game that can be performed for fun as well as for adventure. You can spend a great evening with your family and friends and can guide your kids to enjoy this beautiful game. Always keep in mind the safety guidelines and instructions for Zorbing. There are various fun water sports except this zorbing such as water polo. Now you know about Zorbing and its advantages and disadvantages so that you can try it for yourself.