Are you like me and always on the lookout for exciting and unforgettable experiences? Look no further than zorbing — a thrilling and unique activity that is gaining popularity worldwide. If you want to try something truly extraordinary, try zorbing.
I’m always on the lookout for unique things to see and do. When I heard about zorbing at the Outdoor Gravity Park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, I knew I wanted to try it. I tell people I like a touch of luxury and adventure in every place I visit. I have to admit, zorbing is more than a touch of adventure; some may call it extreme adventure. But it was great fun, and at 63 and 76, my husband and I had a blast, and I wanted to share the experience with you.
My zorbing experience was hosted, but all opinions are my own.
What Is Zorbing?
Have you ever thought about rolling around inside a bubble? Zorbing is an exhilarating activity involving rolling down a hill inside a transparent thermoplastic polyurethane ball that can withstand high pressure and impact. The durable water- and UV-radiation-resistant material makes it perfect for outdoor adventures.
Inside the zorb ball, there’s a smaller ball suspended by thousands of nylon strings. This inner ball moves independently, cushioning the participant as they tumble down the hill, protecting them from bumps and bruises. With enough space inside for two people, the zorb ball picks up speed as it bounces and rolls down the hill, providing an unparalleled and unforgettable experience.
Zorbing is the perfect choice if you’re seeking an adrenaline-pumping adventure that promises fun and excitement.
Where Can You Zorb?
Zorbing originated in New Zealand and has become the latest craze in extreme sports, captivating thrill-seekers in many countries, including the U.S.
While some places in the U.S. may offer a single track and seasonal zorbing activities, there is only one zorbing park in the country, located in Tennessee.
Outdoor Gravity Park in Pigeon Forge has a full zorbing park with four zorbing lanes offering different speeds and bounces. The owners visited zorbing parks in New Zealand before setting up this park.
You won’t need additional equipment when visiting a zorbing park like Outdoor Gravity Park in Pigeon Forge. They provide everything you need for a fantastic experience.
My Zorbing Experience
Imagine the thrill of racing down a hill inside a giant bubble. It is similar to experiencing a heart-pumping roller coaster ride like no other. It is great fun, but I will be honest, it is not for the faint of heart.
When we arrived early in the morning for our zorb, I was excited and anxious to try this unique adventure. They go over safety instructions and provide a wristband indicating how many zorb rides you have purchased. (Trust me when I say you want more than one ride down the hill.)
We spent time outside on the deck watching other zorbers for a while, and then we got on the shuttle to the top of the hill.
Once at the top, you select which run you desire to try. Gravity Park offers four runs to suit different preferences. Take your pick from beginner runs with fewer bumps to those with plenty of bounce spots along the way.
Once you’ve chosen your desired run, you wait in line. As balls arrive at the top of the hill via a conveyor belt, an attendant rolls them over to the run and adds water to the interior bubble. On sunny and warm days, the water added is cool. On cooler days, they add warm water. This water layer adds an extra thrill to your ride, causing you to slide, spin, and slosh around as the ball rolls down the hill.
After the water is added, it’s time to crawl inside. The attendant rolls the ball towards you so you can crawl through the entrance. Once you’re situated inside the ball, the attendant provides the video camera — if you purchased this extra perk — for you to hold during your trip down the hill. (The camera is a small, square waterproof one that fits in the palm of your hand.) Then, they zipper both layers shut and you are off.
The attendant gives you a little push to get you started on your exhilarating adventure and down the hill you go for some slippery fun. Bouncing from side to side, the sloshing water around you adds to the excitement, making every moment unforgettable.
As your zorb ride ends, the ball is rolled around to help you exit. The opening is unzipped and most of the water is drained before you slide out.
Zorbing is a unique and thrilling adventure you won’t forget!
Tips For A Successful Zorbing Experience
Zorb With A Reputable Company
Zorbing with a company dedicated to safety and the sport of zorbing takes a lot of guesswork out of the experience. They handle all the safety precautions — checking the zorb balls for punctures, ensuring they are correctly inflated, providing warm and cool water inside, and providing an attendant to assist you in getting in and out of the zorb. They also offer a shuttle bus to the top of the hill to start your adventure and they have a conveyor system that returns the zorb balls to the top of the hill for the next rider.
When zorbing with a reputable company like Outdoor Gravity Park, they have ensured there is nothing dangerous to bounce into. The area is free from obstacles such as rocks, tree roots, or other sharp objects that could puncture the zorb or harm you. The site is set up so it ends in a controlled location and the zorbs do not roll away.
If You Have Injuries, Don’t Zorb
I don’t recommend zorbing if you have major back problems or other injuries. You get bounced and rolled around quite a bit, which could aggravate other injuries.
Prepare To Get Wet
You will get soaked and possibly dirty. Wear a swimsuit or shorts and a t-shirt. Opt for comfortable clothes that slide easily on plastic.
I recommend thin water shorts and a t-shirt. I wore a swimsuit, which didn’t slide well on the plastic as I entered and exited the ball. I spent a lot of time pulling at my suit. Remember, this isn’t the time to worry about fancy outfits or showing off your best bathing suit. The goal is to feel comfortable and have a worry-free experience.
Avoid wearing anything with belts or straps that could harm you or the zorb as you slide around inside.
Remove All Jewelry
You will be asked to remove all jewelry that could harm the zorb ball.
Skip Fancy Scandals
Whatever shoes you wear, you will be leaving them on the ground or deck at the bottom of the hill. You are required to be barefoot in the zorb ball at the gravity park.
If you’re zorbing in sunny weather, be sure to apply sunscreen. You will be in and out of the zorb ball and in direct sunlight.
Listen To Your Body
If, at any point during your zorbing experience, you start to feel dizzy, nauseous, or otherwise unwell, take a break from zorbing before your next roll down the hill.
Follow Safety Instructions
Be sure to read and follow all safety instructions provided by staff. These instructions will include information on properly getting into and out of the zorb.
Video Inside The Zorb
You will be offered the opportunity to hold a GoPro-type camera during your ride to capture your adventure from inside the zorb. I recommend capturing this incredible experience on video for at least one ride. I suggest waiting until after your first ride to carry the video. Get a feel for what it is like and how to keep yourself situated in the zorb before you add holding a video camera into the mix. I had difficulty staying in a seated position while holding the camera.
Take A Towel
You will want to dry off after your zorbing experience. If the Sun is out, you dry quickly, but a towel is handy to wipe your face, etc.
Most importantly, remember to have fun! Have a great time and make fun memories. This is an experience you will always remember.