on February 2, 2011
We first saw Zorbing when it was featured as an activity on our favorite television show, The Amazing Race, a few years ago. So when we found out our New Zealand trip would take us to the home of Zorbing, we were really psyched up. Zorbing is a light-adventure activity where you get sealed inside a giant transparent beachball and roll down a big hill while inside.At the Zorb center just outside of Rotorua, they offer a dry or a wet ride. In dry Zorbing, you're strapped in on the inside of the ball and thus you'll tumble head over heels as the ball rolls down the hill. For wet Zorbing, you're sealed in with a bit of water for lubrication and you just sort of slide around the inside as you go, never really turning your body upside down. We opted for the wet Zorbing experience. After changing into swim gear and signing waivers saying that we recognized the Zorb company isn't responsible for our stupidity, they're nice enough to give you a lift up the steep hill in a truck. At the summit, they add some water into the Zorb ball to make the interior nice and slippery, and thankfully, they do use warm water when it is a cold day. You squeeze into the ball through the little loading chute, and the attendant zips you in. After a couple steps of a push to get started, you're off and rolling and the good times begin.My take on the experience: Just pure fun. I literally laughed the whole way down the hill as I was sloshing around inside my Zorb sphere. The course down has several zig-zags in it, and you bounce around a bit as you make each turn. Even though the Zorb is sort of transparent, you really can't see where you're going and you don't know when the next turn is going to be and that is part of the fun. Eventually you come to rest at the bottom of the hill, and you emerge out of the access chute with a big smile on your face. Your handlers are there with a camera to take a nice photo of you that you can purchase back at the registration desk if you want.Zorbing wasn't terribly scary or dangerous or adrenaline pumping, but I really had a great time.
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