Carla’s Travel Titbit – Zorbing
Category : Travel NEWS
It seems that Zorbing is the new ‘in’ activity for travellers. Make sure you know what it is all about!
What is zorbing?
“Zorbing (globe-riding, sphereing, orbing) is the recreation or sport of rolling downhill in an orb, generally made of transparent plastic. Zorbing is generally performed on a gentle slope, but can also be done on a level surface, permitting more rider control. In the absence of hills some operators have constructed inflatable, wooden or metal ramps. There are two types of orbs, harnessed and non-harnessed. Non-harness orbs carry up to three riders, while the harness orbs are constructed for one to two riders. Double-harness spheres have different slope requirements, and must only be operated in specific locations. The longer runs are approximately half a mile. The first zorbing site was established in Rotorua, New Zealand, by David and Andrew Akers.”
“The zorb is double-sectioned, with one ball inside the other with an air layer between. This acts as a shock absorber for the rider, damping bumps while traveling. Orbs are lightweight and made of flexible plastic, as opposed to the rigid plastic, for example, of a hamster ball. Many orbs have straps to hold the rider in place, while others leave the rider free to walk the orb around or be tossed about freely by the rolling motion. A typical orb is about 3 metres (10 ft) in diameter, with an inner orb size of about 2 metres (6 ft 7 in), leaving a 50–60 centimetre (20–24 in) air cushion around the riders. The plastic is approximately 0.8 millimetres (0.03 in) thick. The inner and outer orb are connected by numerous (often hundreds of) small ropes. Orbs have one or two tunnel-like entrances.”
“Zorbing is performed at commercial locations, where prospective riders pay a fee for each ride or for a whole day’s activity. ‘Hill-Rolling’ (the generic name for this activity) is practiced in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, the middle of Sweden, Estonia, the Gold Coast in Australia, North Pole, Canada, the Czech Republic, Poland, the Slovak Republic, Switzerland, Japan, Kochi in India, Phuket in Thailand and Slovenia. In the United States, there are facilities in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (near Great Smoky Mountains National Park), Amesbury, Massachusetts, and Ski Roundtop, Pennsylvania. Several franchise-based companies (SphereMania, Orb 360) as well as OGO Inc, Downhill Revolution which do not sell franchises but do offer consultancy services and products to suitable operators) have entered the market.”
Would like to hear your comments if you have experienced this new fun activity.