Having debuted in the years leading to 1980, zorbing is among the youngest sporting disciplines in the world. As such, it would understandably fall under the category of sports which are still in their formative stages. Typically, sports in this age of development do not have specific standards of engagement or a defined set of rules.
Still, some people feel that as the sport nears half a century of existence, it is about time a standard set of rules for safety equipment was set. Wait, we may be getting ahead of ourselves here. If a sport is in its formative stages, shouldn’t we begin by introducing it for the benefit of those who may be in the dark?
What is Zorbing?
This is a sport of rolling down a hill while inside a giant ball known as an orb. To date, the world has actually not found common ground as to whether it is actually a sport or just a recreational activity. Whichever, way, zorbing, also referred to as orbing, globe riding or sphering, is a fantastic fun activity which is quickly gaining popularity.
People get into this orb, which usually is made of see-through plastic, then roll down a gentle slope using the advantage of the gradient. In more advanced models of the game, it can be played on a flat surface where a ramp is built. It may also be done in water, where the orb is sealed and let free. Orb rides last around an hour and stretch for about half a mile.
Calls for Regulation
We can get back to this one now, can we? As the sport of zorbing grows across the world, there have been calls to set safety standards for its equipment. It is even surprising that such calls took so long for a sport which was introduced by a group known as the ‘Dangerous Sports Club!’ People want to have a fixed level of quality for the orb itself and equipment such as shoes and clothing. That means outlets like footway would thus have a zorbing shoe category on their portfolio.
The delay in such calls may have stemmed from the fact that Zorb Limited, the largest company involved in the sale of orbs, has remained credible by offering quality equipment. Now, however, consumer bodies feel that such standards may be compromised as zorbing companies increase.
This, they say, would expose zorbers to the risk of suffocating or, in the case of water zorbing, drowning. Well, you have to agree that they do have a point. It may also be a sign that the game has grown and is now earning recognition from more quarters.
We wait to see how things go.