Zorbing is a hilarious outdoor activity where you roll down a hill inside a gigantic inflatable human hamster ball. You can be strapped inside a harness Zorb® to go head over heels, or go aqua Zorbing to experience what it’s like to be inside a washing machine. For the extreme Zorbing thrill seeker, you could try eclipse sphereing in total darkness.
Skills – Strength: 1, Balance: 1, Flexibility: 1, Agility: 1, Coordination: 1
Time needed: travelling time + 1 hour, Cost to try Zorbing: £49
What is Zorbing?
Originally from New Zealand Zorbing® is the experience of rolling down a hill in a large inflatable globe at a dedicated ZORB® site. The Zorb is a gigantic inflatable pvc ball standing about three metres in height, which contains another smaller ball that is suspended into position by thousand nylon strands of varying colours. You go inside a ZORB® globe and roll you down a hill, wet or dry (which ever tickles your fancy!). There are two types of ZORB® globes available – the harness, or ZORBIT (dry) variety; and the non-harness, or ZYDRO (wet) variety. What’s more, you can choose to roll down one of the track variations for a completely unique experience.
The Different Types of Zorbing Tracks
The Straight Grassy Half Pipe Zorbing Track
The most common Zorbing track is the grassy half pipe. The Zorb is held in place at the top of a hill while you climb inside. Once you are safely strapped into your harness, or sliding free in a puddle of water, the Zorb is pushed down the hill.
The big grass banks on either side of the track keep the Zorb rolling in a straight line until it stops at the bottom. Some tracks have bumps in them, which makes the Zorb bounce up and down like you are inside a gigantic bouncy ball. In fact you are inside a gigantic inflatable ball.
The S Curve Zorbing Track
To make your Zorbing experience a whole lot more interesting, some tracks are curved like the S bends in a river. This makes you twist and turn as you roll down the hill, rather than just rolling head over heels. Totally disorientating, but great fun. Not to be tried straight after lunch.
Open Space Zorbing
There are some places that use wide open countryside for Zorbing. The advantage is that you get a much much longer ride and go faster. It is not quite the extreme Zorbing where Jackie Chan used a gigantic inflatable ball in the film Operation Condor to roll down a mountain to escape the enemy.
Zorbing on Water
You can go in a large inflatable ball and walk on water. Similar to Waterwalkerz, the inflatable ball or tube floats on the water in a swimming pool or lake. Center Parks often have this available.
Zorbing on the Flat
Zorbing on flat ground is often done at outdoor events. You can hire Zorbs for public or corporate events. The ball is moved around by people pushing them around. A bit of fun, but nothing compared to Zorbing down a big hill.
Zorb Bowling Alley
For some extreme Zorbing fun, Zorb have created gigantic human bowling alleys. The Zorb is used to roll down a hill and knock over enormous inflatable skittles. Absolutely hilarious fun.
Crazy Youtube Zorbing Video of human bowling alley
So What is Sphering?
SphereMania® was established in 1998 by Robert Price. SphereMania® was the first company in the UK to offer ‘Hill-Rolling’ to customers, and today offers Sphereing® across the UK through 14 franchisees.
SphereMania® offers 3 different activities: Harness Sphereing®; Aqua Sphereing® and Eclipse Sphereing®. Harness Sphereing® was the original, and remains the main activity offered. Two riders are harnessed into the Sphere and roll down the hill at speeds of up to 30mph.
Air Sphereing can be experienced where Spheremania use their spheres in vertical indoor skydiving wind tunnels. This works in the same way that you can get a ping pong ball to hover above a hair dryer, trapped in the column of air. A weird sensation, but not as exhilarating as rolling down a hill.
Eclipse Sphereing® is the newest and most extreme ride to emerge from SphereMania®. It is derived from the Harness Sphere, but the inside of the ball can be closed off; so customers hurtle down the hill in total pitch black darkness.
Official Zorb and Sphereing have strict safety regimes to ensure your safety whilst you are zorbing or sphereing. There are other places to go if you want to go hill rolling, such as the Devil’s Dyke near Brighton in Sussex.
A variation on zorbing is bubble football. You wear a smaller version of a zorb as a protective bubble around your entire body and bash into each other playing football. It makes tackling a whole lot more fun.
Where can I go Zorbing, Sphering or Hill Rolling
If you want to go zorbing or sphering in the UK, Zorbing with Red Letter Days offers aqua zorbing, harness zorbing and eclipse zorbing.