As part of our Living Life on the Edge series, we’re offering guests at our Cricket St. Thomas hotel in Somerset the chance to experience the exhilarating fun of zorbing. Never heard of it? Don’t worry, we’ve got all the details below.
What is zorbing? Created in New Zealand, zorbing involves climbing inside a giant inflatable ball and being rolled, reaching speeds of up to 30mph. It can be done on a range of inclines but we opt for flat ground to steer clear of the large river at the bottom of the hill.
What’s it made of? The zorb itself is around three metres and is made of flexible plastic. There’s an inner ball, in which you’ll stand. Then there’s an air gap of about 60cm which provides comfortable cushioning during this bumpy ride, while the outer layer is made of tough plastic. Zorbs are transparent and let air in through a 60cm hole (the entrance and exit to the ball), giving you a sense of freedom during the roll.
Does it travel fast enough to leave the ground? Although zorbs can reach up to 30mph, you’ll not be moving fast enough to become airborne – you will bounce along a bit though. The exact speed is determined by various factors: the overall weight of the rider, and how windy it is during the zorbing experience. It all sounds quite scary.
Is zorbing dangerous? Zorbing is perfectly safe. The air between each plastic ball will absorb most of the shock as the zorb bounces along. There’s no training required to ride in a zorb – think of it as a theme park ride; the whole experience is designed for thrill seekers.
It’s only made of plastic – what if it pops during the ride? Zorbs contain a lot of air, so it’s unlikely you’ll notice the difference if yours does become damaged during the roll. If something does pierce it however, it won’t just pop like a balloon. Instead, the air will slowly leak out, causing the zorb to roll more slowly until it gradually stops.