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What Is Zorbing?

Lisa Bigelow
By
Updated May 23, 2024
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Zorbing is an unusual sport where a person climbs inside a large inflatable ball called a “zorb” and rolled down a slope or across a body of water. Invented in New Zealand, the zorb ball is typically made from a clear plastic like PVC or TPU. Players are called “zorbonauts.” Zorbonauts may be strapped inside or left loose. Zorbing is sometimes called globe-riding, sphereing, or orbing.

Zorb balls are also called orbs, hamster balls, globes, or big spheres, and zorbing is considered an extreme sport. According to the MacMillan Dictionary, the zorb’s inventors found inspiration in Leonardo DaVinci’s anatomy drawings of man.

Zorbs are about the size of a small car and some can fit as many as two or three people inside. Once strapped inside the zorbonaut or zorbonauts cannot control the speed or direction of the zorb. Zorbs can reach speeds of about 25 mph.

Is zorbing dangerous?

Yes, although not because of the zorbonaut’s inability to control the zorb’s speed or direction. There have been incidents where zorbonauts were suffocated inside zorbs, thanks to rising carbon dioxide levels. Other zorbonauts have drowned when an accident occurs over water.

What is the objective of zorbing?

The objective of zorbing is the adrenaline rush experienced when the zorb reaches its top speed.

What is bubble ball?

A bubble ball looks similar to a zorb, except that the player’s legs are outside the sphere. This allows the player to control the speed and direction of movement.

With a bubble ball, players can run and crash into each other safely because they can bounce off without being hurt. There are official BubbleBall leagues and teams where players wear bubble balls and play games similar to kickball and soccer. Games are held indoors and outside.

Where can I go zorbing?

New Zealand, considered by many the home of extreme sports, is where zorbing is most popular. In the United States, zorbonauts can get their adrenaline fix in Tennessee at Zorb Smoky Mountains.

Who invented zorbing?

David Akers, Andrew Akers, and Dwayne van der Sluis invented zorbing in New Zealand. In 1994, Akers, Akers, and van der Sluis opened the first zorbing test track in Rotorua.

The partners franchised zorbing in 1998 and dedicated zorbonauts can now zorb worldwide.

Can I rent a zorbing ball?

Yes, but keep in mind that zorbing is safest when done in a protected area, such as a track built specifically for zorbing.

Sports n' Hobbies is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Lisa Bigelow
By Lisa Bigelow
Lisa Bigelow writes for Bold and is an award-winning content creator, personal finance expert, and mom of three fantastic almost-adults. Lisa has contributed to MagnifyMoney, FinanceBuzz, Life and Money by Citi, Well + Good, Smarter With Gartner, and Popular Science. She lives with her family in Connecticut.
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Lisa Bigelow
Lisa Bigelow
Lisa Bigelow writes for Bold and is an award-winning content creator, personal finance expert, and mom of three fantastic almost-adults. Lisa has contributed to MagnifyMoney, FinanceBuzz, Life and Money by Citi, Well + Good, Smarter With Gartner, and Popular Science. She lives with her family in Connecticut.
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