Saturday, 27 June 2015

Bucket List: Zorbing / Globe-Riding

Dear friends,

Do you like playing any game that involves balls? Be that football, cricket, baseball, tennis or whatever other games you have in mind... Did you enjoy watching the ball roll? Have you ever imagined what it would feel to be inside that ball, racing sometimes several hundred miles per hour? Well that is what Zorbing is all about! :) You may look at me strange now and ask yourself what Zorbing is... you may never have heard of it or you may have heard or seen it but under a different name - zorbing, orbing, globe-riding is all and the same! The idea is the same: you inside a rubber ball = magic! 
If you are fond of adventures and you love adrenaline pumping through your veins, than you will absolutely love Zorbing and you will place this on your Bucket List, just as I have! :) The sport involves either rolling downhill inside an orb, rolling around on water inside an floatable sphere, or playing a game on land while rolling around inside a metal sphere - hence the 3 types of zorbing arise: downhill Zorbing, flatland Zorbing and water Zorbing. When it comes to the safety measures it can be free or with the help of harnasses. The harnassed ones can be for one or 2 persons but the non-harnassed ones can take inside up to 3 people at one go. The harness gives you security and stability in your position while rolling and it allows you not to bump into the others inside the ball.
Zorbing was invented in New Zealand in 1994 by Andrew Akers and Dwane van der Sluis. It has become popular in many countries around the world, including England, Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States. The idea of the game is simple: pick the ball, climb inside and let the fun begin! The plastic ball is double walled, so the rider bounces around and gets the thrill of speed, but is protected from the full impact of hitting the ground repeatedly. It is more of a one-time challange, if you ask me. It brings the adrenaline and I can see myself doing this again one day but I would not mark it as a hobby. I think that in the end you would want more and more - a longer track, a faster ride... 
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It was lovely to read - while writing this post - all the articles on Zorbing. There is even one on the Sochi Olympics. Also, did you know that the Guinness Book of World Records recognizes two sphereing records. Steve Camp set the record for longest sphereing ride in 2006 at 1,870 feet. Keith Kolver set the world record for fastest sphereing ride in 2006 at 32 miles per hour! But on the other side I feel obliged to tell you that in June 2009 a teacher died and a pupil was seriously injured in the Czech Republic while trying zorbing. Also, in January 2013, at a ski resort in Dombay, Russia, a man died from a broken neck and another was seriously injured when a Zorb rolled out of control down a mountain, hitting rocks and eventually coming to a stop a kilometre away on a frozen lake. The incident was caught on camera and uploaded to the Internet. After the incident made international headlines, Russian authorities called for tougher safety laws.
Now all that I said above should not drive you away from chasing your dream and trying out Zorbing. But all I wanted is to make sure you know all sides of the story. Some will try to stop you and say that it is not safe & some will join you and hold your hand while doing it. I had Zorbing on my Bucket List - along with parachute jumping, though I am not sure yet if I have the courage to do that just yet! - and I was wondering when I will manage to cross it out. You know, having a Bucket List is both a lovely thing so you could remind yourself the things you have done, but also a constant reminder of the fact that you still have so many things you have not yet done! Crossing an item from the Bucket List is like sitting out in a field of sunflowers, basking in the afternoon light, and smelling the air - refreshing! :) I managed to Zorb downhill, in a 2 person ball, with a harness, for around 20 meters, down to the lake - it was magical! Sometime, at the very end when we finished rolling, we stopped and I was not sure where I was... it felt somehow that I was floating, I was up in the air, maybe on a cliff?! It took me a while to think straight and realize I was on the lake... One more Bucket List item checked!

P.S. I made the video of the location in Krakow, Poland, where I did the Zorbing. Maybe you would like to try that out as well, when you will visit this lovely city :) The Zorbing is done on one hill leading to the Kryspinow Lake.

Yours truly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug