Zorbing also known as orbing, sphering, or globe-riding is a sport or recreation activity to roll inside an orb down the hill. The orb is typically made of plastic material. Zorbing can be done on level surface and can be found in malls and recreational parks where the user has more control over ride, for more adventure it is also done on a gentle slope. These orbs are of two types: non-harnessed and harnessed. Up to three people can take the ride in non-harness orbs, while the harness orb has a restriction of one or two people.


These orbs are just over 40 years old when single layer spheres were made of hard plastic for small rodent pets. A giant sphere was constructed in 1980s by Dangerous Sports Club, with two deck chairs inside supported by a gimbal arrangement. This creation was, however, soon demolished only to be resurfaced in 1990s when Andrew Akers and Dwane van der Sluis from Aukland, New Zealand invention a type of sphere which was called “Zorb”.

A firm ZORB Limited was created with the help of two investors and the commercial production of these spheres started. The firm had a marketing plan to spread the activity throughout the world by way of franchise system. Van der Sluis, seems to lose his interest in the company and in 2000, he moved back to his previous work as a software engineer, Akers, however, run the company for another six year, when he too resigned in 2006. The commercial production of the orbs was taken over by two European merchants who used to work as franchise owners for ZORB Limited.


In a typical Zorb construction, there are two balls, one inside the other with air layer between them. This layer of air serves the purpose of shock absorber for the rider. Orbs are made of flexible plastic and are lightweight. Some orbs come with straps to keep the rider in his place, in other orbs, riders can walk freely inside it. The inner ball of the ball usually measures 2 meters in diameter and the outer ball measures 3 meters. The thickness of the plastic is nearly 0.8 millimeters.

Popular Culture of Zorbing

Alexander Belyayev, a Russian science fiction writer, describes about a transparent ball in his novel Hoity-Toity. The scientist who used this ball passed through the jungle without a scratch safely encased in that ball. You can see the same kind of sphere Apocalypse Snow – a film made by Regis Rollands in 1986. In the opening scene of Armour of God II, Jackie Chan can be seen using the same type of ball.

Two sphereing records have been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. Both the records were set in 2006 in two consecutive days. Steve Camp holds the record of longest sphereing ride, he travelled 570 meters. Keith Kolver holds the record for fastest sphereing ride, he reached a speed of 52 kilometers an hour. Andrew Flintoff holds the record for fastest 100 m in a Zorb, which was done in 25.29 seconds.

Anyone and everyone can enjoy the ride in a Zorb. This beautiful plastic ball is available at most commercial locations, where people can enjoy the ride after paying a fee. Even though, this ride is completely safe, as thousands of people have tried it already, but there have been certain uneventful cases in recent past. Every individual should, however, make sure that he or she is completely fit and is not under the influence of any drug before taking the ride.

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