- Sphereing |
- Zorb riding |
- Orbing |
- Hill riding |
- Globe riding |
Often referred to as ‘orbing’, ‘hill riding’ or even ‘globe-riding’, zorbing is a relatively new sport on the extreme activities scene and has certainly proved to be popular with kids of all ages!
A zorb is a large, inflatable sphere made of transparent plastic which rolled along the ground, down hills or on inflatable, wooden or metal ramps, with you strapped securely inside!
The sphere is double-sectioned, with one ball inside the other and with an air layer between which acts as a shock absorber for the rider. The inner and outer spheres are connected by hundreds of small ropes.
To give you an idea of what it looks like, a zorb is made up of two separate balls, both of which are made of extremely durable and flexible plastic. Whilst the outer ball is around 9 feet in diameter, the inner ball is slightly smaller (typically around 6 feet in diameter) which then leaves around 2 feet of air specifically designed to absorb the shock as passengers roll their way around their chosen venue!
Many Zorbs have straps to hold the rider in place, while others leave the rider free to walk the sphere around or be tossed about by the rolling motion a.k.a. dry zorbing (sometimes referred to as ‘hill riding’). Water can be added inside, to enjoy a ‘water ride’ a.k.a wet zorbing.
Either way, the general principle of the activity remains the same since the passenger travels in a large transparent and double-sectioned ball, which certainly isn’t dissimilar to a hamster ball! However, whilst a hamster runs along the inside of the ball to move it forward, the zorb rolls on its own since it’s pulled by gravity when travelling downhill.
Zorbs accommodating more than one passenger tend to be equipped with harnesses and in some cases can carry up to three people at any one time – either way, it’s certainly a challenge to try and remain upright as a rolling zorb gathers speed! Of course, how fast you go will depend on the gradient of the slope but most venue providers will be able to give you some idea of what to expect, then it’s simply a question of bracing yourself ready (quite literally!) to roll!
Dry zorbing usually takes place on slopes of various gradients, although for beginners or younger passengers, can also be performed on a flat surface thus enabling greater control of the zorb. In fact, rather than hill rolling, some venues will instead set up a course of ramps and other obstacles for the passenger to negotiate but ultimately, the ball can be stopped at anytime.
Expect fun, expect bruises and expect an experience you’ll never forget! Welcome to the wonderful world of zorbing!
For further details of approved zorbing venues across the UK please see our list below.