Zorbing: The Sport You’ve Never Heard Of

“You spin me right round (Like a Record)”

Audrey White, Opinions Section Editor

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be in a hamster wheel? Well, zorbing is a little something like it. 

Zorbing is a recreational sport where people go into inflatable plastic balls called Zorbs. Essentially, the sport is simple- people roll down hills while inside the Zorb. 

Originating in New Zealand in the 1990s, zorbing was invented by Dwane van der Sluis and Andrew Akers. By 1994, the friends launched a commercial for Zorb Ball ride where people could run downhill inside the Zorb ball in Rotorua, New Zealand. From then, zorbing exploded and became popular worldwide.

There are also different variations of zorbing. Hydro zorbing is a sect of the sport where people inside a plastic orb can float on the surface of the water. The most common form of zorbing, however, is harness zorbing, which people usually refer to when speaking about zorbing.  Another water-based zorbing is water bubble zorbing, which is the same thing as hydro zorbing, except for people’s race. Maybe you don’t want to zorb alone. You’re in luck! There is also Zorb football where people are in an inflatable ball from the torso up, leaving their legs free and people run around, trying to throw the football into their opponent’s goals.

I know at this point you are all dying to go Zorb, but where can you even go? The Ball Hive located in Fort Wayne, IN, offers an indoor zorbing experience. Chicagoland also provides zorbing with Knockerball Chicago in Naperville, IL. Perhaps you want to vacation south of Indiana. In that case, consider visiting Outdoor Gravity Park in Pigeon Forge, TN. Of course, there are many other zorbing venues in the United States, as well as other opportunities abroad. If you are unable to travel any sort of distance, there are inflatable zorb balls available for renting or purchasing online that do not come at great expenses.

Personally, I love the unique aspects of zorbing and how it is fit for people of various ages. Similarly, while zorbing is a straightforward sport, it can be “dressed up” in a sense that players can put a spin on beloved childhood games such as capture the flag, tag, or even walking!

Although it doesn’t seem that zorbing will be added to the slew of Olympic games anytime soon, we can rest assured that zorbing is a fun, and quite random sport that will hopefully catch on and rise in popularity.