Zorbing. First question: What is it?


ZorbingI was discussing what I had in store for summer vacation with my students today (a sanitized version for their benefit of course), when one of them said they were excited to be going zorbing out west.

Since I’d been embarassed the day before by asking them what Tumblr was, and just last week asked if dubstepping was simililar to “River Dance”, I figured I’d just keep shut, preserve the cool, and look up zorbing once the bell rang.

Zorbing, also known as globe-riding, sphereing, or orbing, is in the words of wikipedia, “recreation of rolling downhill in an orb, generally made of transparent plastic.”  It orginated (and is apparently biggest) in New Zealand and can be done either on a ramp or track, or freely rolling down a mountainside.  As many as four people climb inside these orbs for the ride, where they are either harnessed or “free floating.”  The ball is double layered: one within the other, with either air or water between the two to act as a shock protector for riders.

If you’re still having a hard time picturing what zorbing would be: think of a human hamster ball.

I was gung-ho about the idea until I watched a few videos of zorbing on youtube.  They balls roll much slower than I was picturing and it seems almost too vomit friendly.  Still, I did some research to see where in the United States offered the hamster experience.

There’s zorbing facilities in Wisconsin (where they amazingly refer to it as freeballing), Massachusetts (I was just there up in MA and missed this, but this place looks legit…it has it’s own pub), Tenessee (the only “official” zorbing location in the US), and right here in good old PA, a convenient forty minute drive from me at Ski Roundtop, so while the videos didn’t have me running out to go “zorb” (I think that’s the verb?), I’ll have to check it out now because of the close proximity.

Ski Roundtop is now offering “adventure courses” .  For $40.00 you can zorb, zipline, bumper boat, ride the chairlift (literally one of my greatest fears), and complete various climbing challenges.

2 comments on “Zorbing. First question: What is it?”

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