Monday, 30 April 2012

Z is for ... Zorbing

Wikipedia defines zorbing as 'the recreation or sport of rolling downhill in an orb, generally made of transparent plastic.'

I would define it simply as 'bloody terrifying.'

Back in my final year at university one of my house-mates bought a joint zorbing experience for myself and another house-mate whose birthday was (and still is: it hasn't moved) close to mine.
So our birthdays were in February. In August, after six months of stalling (I won't lie: I was pretty nervous about it all), we eventually got round to Zorbing Day.
When we arrived at the field the weather was pretty good: cloudy but dry. (Curses, no rain - we were actually going to have to go ahead with it.) We made ourselves known to the people in charge and were quickly given a harness each.

So we're now waddling around in our harnesses and next up is the small task of actually getting into the zorb. For anyone who doesn't know, this involves taking a run up and hurling yourself (superman stylie) through a little hole on the side of the zorb. I wasn't very good at this: I got stuck halfway with my legs waggling around outside. I'm sure it looked hilarious but I don't think anyone has a picture of this moment, so here is an artist's interpretation.

Once we're both inside (a combination of shoving and tipping ensured that I got in) someone comes along and attaches our harnesses to hooks inside the zorb. We're now in a sort of star-jump position facing each other and all that's left to do is to be pushed down the hill.

I distinctly remember thinking a few things on our way down:
1. Wow, we really do scream pretty loudly.
2. Gee, this hill didn't look as steep as it now feels.
3. If my harness undoes itself I'm going to fall on her and squish her.
4. I might actually die in this thing. Has anyone ever died zorbing?
5. The hill didn't look this long. Clearly we have veered off course.
6. If one of us vomits now, the car journey home will be really awkward.
7. Seriously how have we not stopped yet?

Despite being a completely terrifying experience, zorbing was an excellent birthday present. I would probably never do it again, but I'm weirdly proud of myself for doing it once. Plus, my friend's face as we hurled down the hill was utterly priceless (as I'm sure mine was too).


  1. Zorbing sounds awesome. I had no idea that's what it's called. Very cool. I would like to try it.

    1. It's also called sphereing but that doesn't start with z and I was panicking about coming up with a topic for today ;)

    2. I have never heard of zorbing, but I would probably sign up for it. I like wild rides.

      Congratulations on making it to the A to Z finish line! Hooray!


    3. What a great it! Your face was priceless as was the other housemates x ps the artists impression is perfect! x

  2. Your post had me laughing aloud with tears. And that diagram is awesome.
    Personally I'd love to try zorbing. It looks like HEAPS of fun!

    1. What a compliment, thank you! I think everyone should try it at least once :)

  3. Oh my! You are definitely tough, brave, and have a very strong stomach! Just thinking about that makes me motion sick! Very cool Z post, though. :-)

    1. There was also the option of not being harnessed to the ball and having a load of water chucked in there with you. I imagine it would be as close as humans could get to experiencing being inside a washing machine.

  4. Never heard of it but it sounds super cool! We made it through the challenge - congrats!! :)

  5. Brill post! I had the same 'vomit-thought' as we were hurtling down that hill... Plus I think we were told off for screaming while they were just moving us into position...

  6. I had never heard of zorbing. Thanks for enlightening me!

    It's cool that you were brave enough to give it a try. I can't decide if it would be a blast, or if it would make me throw up. I guess there's only one way I could find out.

  7. Have seen this rolling many times (on the telly) but did not know it was Zorbing !!
    All your seven points are valid (especially when one is inside)