Zorbing: A Great Bucket List Activity
What Is Zorbing?
If you’re looking for a fun bucket-list experience, zorbing may be right up your alley. Zorbing is an activity where a person is placed in a clear transparent sphere or “zorb“ that is filled with water and rolled either down a hill or on flat ground.
The sphere has two layers. The outer layer is rigid while the inner layer is flexible. Between the layers is the water that acts as a shock absorber. When the zorb is rolling, the person inside shifts back and forth but the zorbs do not roll fast enough to create significant tumbling or movement. A zorb can hold up to three people.
Zorbing was created in Rortorua, New Zealand, in 1994. To this day New Zealand remains the hotbed of zorbing.
My Experience with Zorbing
Zorbing is a unique experience. Its a blast to get inside the ball and roll down a hill while sliding around the inside. Anyone from a young child to a senior adult can participate in this exciting and unique activity.
My family took a vacation to Dollywood in Pidgeon Forge, TN. I’d always wanted to try zorbing since seeing it featured on an Amazing Race episode.
When we arrived, I saw the three different hills that I could ride down. The inside of the main operations center was very neat and orderly and the staff was very courteous and professional. After changing into my bathing suit and signing the waiver it was time to get in the zorb.
I was driven to the top of the hill in a truck with the zorbing ball in the back. The staff got the ball in place, gave me some final instructions, and told me to get inside. After getting inside I was instantly wet from the lukewarm water. I looked around the inside getting excited with anticipation. They closed the zorb‘s door and I felt "theres no going back now." I was provided a GoPro camera to hold to record my experience.
The zorb started slowly but quickly accelerated. With every revolution I shifted a few feet inside but nothing too significant. The gentle bouncing and movement was an amazing feeling. I made sure to keep a tight grip on my camera. After a few minutes I reached the bottom of the hill and got out of the zorb. My wife and daughter greeted me at the patio specifically set up for spectators.
I only paid for one ride but I had so much fun I booked two more. When we were getting set up for the third ride, the staff told me that if I could make it all the down the hill standing up, than I could get some free rides. I tried but fell over in about three seconds. After all the rides my family and I headed back to our hotel with another bucket list item checked off.
My zorb roll at the Outdoor Gravity Park
Where Can You Go for Zorbing?
If you can't fly all the way down to New Zealand, the home of zorbing, there are several places in the United States where you can partake in this exciting, one of a kind activity.
I went zorbing at the Outdoor Gravity Park in Pidgeon Forge, TN. There are also zorbing courses in Amesbury, MA at the Amesbury Sports Park, in Spring Grove, IL at the Richardson Farm, and in Lewisbury, PA at the Roundtop Mountain Resort. The price and age requirements vary by facility. The Outdoor Gravity Park charges $17-20 per ride depending on the number of rides purchased. They allow 5 year olds to ride with an adult and 6 year olds to ride solo. The Outdoor Gravity Park is unique from the other locations since it does nothing but zorbing. The other locations require you to purchase tickets to enter their facility and an additional fee for the zorbing.
What's great about any zorbing facility is that they are all co-located with other cool activities. The Outdoor Gravity Park is in Pidgeon Forge, home to the Dollywood Amusement and Water Park. The Richardson Farm houses the world's largest corn maze. Amesbury and Roundtop have tubing, hiking, and other fun things to do.