Tuesday, April 7, 2009
When my second daughter Gdid the Zorb in 2000, Zorb was new and less sophisticated. The Zorb ball was basically the same, someone pushed the Zorb ball uphill, and she went inside and rolled down.
Now, it is state of the art. There is a conveyor belt to transport the balls, there are more balls, and all the bookings are computerised. Sam was all ready to go, until he found that he wasn't tall enough to go on the dry ride, and he didn't bring a change of clothing to go on the wet one. He didn't want to go in his underpants. he decided he would go next time we went to Rotorua.
Here’s a burgeoning adventure thrill sport that’s on a roll.
Zorbing is a unique Kiwi invention that is not only ‘off the wall’ but seems to also be off an alien planet.
Zorbing originated in New Zealand in the 1990’s as a novel invention by two Kiwis looking for a new adventure challenge. It is now a worldwide business with franchise agents in many countries. In excess of 200 Zorbs have been rolled out from the Rotorua factory and the future for aspiring zorbonauts looks bright.
The sport can be enjoyed by people of all ages who don’t mind being strapped inside an enormous clear plastic, air-cushioned ball. You are actually quite secure inside the inner capsule. All the violent bouncing is absorbed by the bigger outer transparent ball. As the ball rolls down a long grass-covered slope, you spin around in a virtual anti-gravity form of weightlessness like an intoxicated space traveller. As you tumble head over heels, the build up of centrifugal force keeps you pressed hard against the plastic wall, so it’s easy to ‘go with the flow’ and enjoy the revolving view outside.
Liquid-zorbing is a more recent development of this zany downhill roller coaster ride. Two or three buckets of water are added to the mix and you remain unattached to the inner ball like a loose cannon tumbling out of control.