What’s not to love about being flung downhill inside a giant inflatable ball?
Zorbing is the sport of rolling downhill inside an orb, generally made of transparent plastic. It is usually performed on a gentle slope, but in some places it is done on a level surface. As zorbs are buoyant in nature, this sport can also be carried out on water, given that the orb is properly inflated and sealed once the rider is inside. Orbs are of two types, they can be harnessed, which are constructed for one or two riders or non-harnessed which can carry up to three riders.
WHEN DID ZORBING BEGIN?
David and Andrew Akers established the first zorbing site in Rotorua, New Zealand. Human spheres have been depicted in mass media since 1990 when the Gladiators event “Atlaspheres” first aired, albeit with steel balls. In 1994, Dwane van der Sluis and Andrew Akers conceived the idea for a type of sphere in Auckland, New Zealand, calling their invention the “Zorb”. With two other investors they created the firm ZORB Limited, and set to work commercializing sphereing. This business model was to develop the activity world-wide via a franchise system. Sphereing is also referred to as Orbing or Zorbing, and Zorbing entered the Concise Oxford English Dictionary in the year 2001 where it was defined as “a sport in which a participant is secured inside an inner capsule in a large, transparent ball which is then rolled along the ground or down hills”.
Records in Zorbing
The Guinness Book of World Records recognizes two records, set over two consecutive days in 2006:
• Longest sphereing ride held by Steve Camp who travelled 570 metres.
• Fastest 100m in a Zorb – 26.59 seconds. Held by Andrew Flintoff who broke the record as part of his attempt to break 12 world records in 12 hours for BBC Sport Relief.
WHERE CAN YOU ZORB IN INDIA?
Della Adventure Park , located at Kunegaon near Lonavala offers three categories – Water Zorbing, Aqua Zorbing and Roller Zorbing. Water Zorbing is not harnessed; instead you are placed inside a plastic ball, just one this time, and have to manually roll yourself across the 100ft long swimming pool. You can run or walk your way across, but whatever you choose, it’s going to be a bit tiring. Aqua Zorbing and Roller Zorbing are similar with the only difference being the medium, i.e., the kind of orb you zorb in. Instead of a round plastic ball, a cylindrical one is used with both ends open, and again one has to manually make their way across the pool or land.
Manali is perhaps one of the most famous and prettiest hill stations in India. Known for its scenic views and majestic beauty, this is probably one of the best zorbing destinations.
One can enjoy water or aqua zorbing at a reasonable rate at the famous India Gate. The Purana Qila is another famous zorbing spot in Delhi.
Situated at the junction of Aru and Sheshnag rivers, Pahalgam is the most beautiful place in Kashmir after Srinagar. Surrounded by snow, zorbing through the streets and slopes of Pahalgam is almost like rolling though the streets of heaven.
Once you get over the fact that you feel and look a bit like a hamster in an exercise toy, this sport does pan out to be a lot of fun.
Volume 5 Issue 11