Topsy Turvy: Is Zorbing Worth a Go?

Zorbing, among many other semi-extreme pastimes, has taken the country by storm. But is it truly worth trying or should you save your pennies for a different activity? Let’s investigate!

Zorbing was invented in New Zealand in 1994, although the concept had been kicked around for far longer and a few ill-

fated attempts were made to translate the concept of a hamster ball, a small hard-plastic ball for hamsters and other small rodents to explore the wider world in, to a human commodity. During the activity of Zorbing, you roll down a slope or hillside whilst suspended inside this ball, which contains a smaller ball with a layer of air in between the two. This layer cushions the blows sustained by uneven ground or bumps.

A variety of Zorbs exist, including some without harnesses and some with water added to the layer of air, which is known as aqua sphereing.

The main issue with Zorbing as perceived by people reluctant to give the activity a try lies in the fact that the actual Zorbing experience lasts a very short time. The fastest Zorb ever travelled at 52 kph, and the longest distance Zorbed was 570 metres. As such, your actual time spent Zorbing tends to be measured in seconds, and can be really brief compared to the amount of time spent getting to the venue and getting ready to Zorb.

That is of course a valid concern, but one thing to take into account is the level of exhilaration you’ll experience during those seconds; the excitement and thrill of rolling down a hill at huge speeds and bouncing around. Many people find that, through the lack of control they have during Zorbing, they are able at last to let go of the stresses of daily life and experience the event without constantly being mentally pre-occupied. This makes Zorbing both very exciting and very relaxing, and makes it very successful as an extreme sport.

The cost of Zorbing can be off-putting as well. It is often perceived to be quite an expensive sport, although this is again caused by the relative brevity of the actual Zorbing experience. You can expect to pay between thirty and forty pounds for a Zorbing experience, and that does seem a bit steep for what amounts to less than a minute of actual Zorbing.

If you think Zorbing may be for you, but are unwilling to make the commitment to it in terms of either time or money, you might ask for a Zorbing gift voucher or just spring for a single Zorbing session. Remember that you are not becoming involved with the sport for the rest of your life; a single Zorbing experience will help you to figure out whether or not it is an activity you fancy carrying on with. Further decisions can then be made based on your first Zorbing experience. Enjoy!

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