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Zorbing (English zorbing - "descent from a slope on a zorb") is a sport and extreme recreation, in which a round transparent ball (zorb) is used to move on a flat or inclined surface.
Zorb (from the English z-orbit - "unknown orbit") is a sphere of polyvinyl chloride about 13 cubic meters in volume. It weighs 70-80 kg, and consists of two spheres: inner (diameter - 1.8 m), and outer (diameter - 3.2 m), the distance between which is about 70 cm.In the inner sphere is a zorbonaut (a person, engaged in zorbing), either fixed in a special safety system ("harness"), or having complete freedom of action.
You can get into the zorb through the inlet, which connects the outer sphere with the inner one and has a diameter of 60 cm. In some cases, this hole is closed with a special valve.
Zorb was invented in 1973, but became widespread in the 90s of the last century. Varieties of zorbing.
• Descent from hills or "hill zorbing" (English hill zorbing, from hill - "hill"). Moreover, the passenger (or passengers) can either be fixed inside the zorb - then this is "harness hill zorbing" (from harness - "harness"), or stay in the ball without mounts (English free hill zorbing, from free - "free");
• Skating in a zorb on a flat surface, and the ball is set in motion by the passenger himself, who runs in the inner sphere (English run zorbing from run - "running"). Descending in the same way from hills is called hill run zorbing;
• "Hydrozorbing" (English hydro zorbing from the Greek hydor - "water") - the zorb is filled with water, which keeps a person in a certain position, so the zorb is not fixed. However, if bindings do occur, it is harness hydro zorbing. If an unsecured zorbonaut is running inside a sphere of water, this is called run hydro zorbing;
• Riding in a zorb on the surface of the water or "water zorbing" (English aqua (water) zorbing from Latin aqua (English water) - "water"), and in the ball you can practice not only walking or running, but also various exercises ... A kind of "water zorbing" is harness aqua zorbing (a zorb with a zorbon attached inside it is tied to a boat and moves along the water surface);
• "Snow zorbing" (English snow zorbing, from snow - "snow") - zorb descent from hills covered with snow and ice. If the passenger is secured, it is harness snow hill zorbing, if there are no fastenings, it is free snow hill zorbing. If a zorbonaut runs inside a ball moving through the snow, this activity is called run snow zorbing, and running off snow-covered elephants is called snow hill run zorbing;
• "Aerosorbing" (English aero zorbing from the Greek. Aer - "air") - riding in a zorb inside a wind tunnel (a device created for training parachutists and creating a powerful updraft of air, being in which a person experiences a feeling of free fall without risking this crash).
Zorbonauts have not been held yet. Misconception. In the countries of the post-Soviet space, today the zorb is just a means of entertainment. And in Europe and America, competitions for descent in zorbs (without any mounts) on the slopes of the hills have been held for a long time. Interestingly, this kind of competition began after a bet between Andrew Akers and one of his American friends. Akers offered a condition - if an American runs in a zorb from the top of the hill to its bottom and never falls - he will receive a Porsche car belonging to Andrew. He agreed and covered almost the entire distance, losing his balance only a couple of meters before the finish line. Since then, competitions have been regularly held in which the main task of an athlete is to run as much distance as possible inside the ball, and this is not so easy, since you have to fight the centrifugal force (the main enemy of the zorbonaut), which tends to press it against the wall of the ball.
Zorb was invented by Andrew Akers. No, the first ball of this kind was invented in 1973 by the engineer Gilles Ebersol (France) and called it “La Ballule.” First, Gilles created a small sphere, then he designed a larger ball (diameter - 6 m) and tested it himself. having rolled down first from a waterfall 10 m in height, and then - having made a descent along the slopes of Mount Fujiyama (Japan) .But this invention did not gain much popularity.
A similar design was created in the mid-90s of the last century by New Zealanders Andrew Akers (a former businessman) and Dwein van der Sluiz (one of the scientists of the defense research institute). The inventors claim that they used a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci's drawing "Vitruvian Man" to create the initial version of the ball. At first, zorbs resembled ordinary huge cans, and a person who dared to ride such a shell experienced a lot of unpleasant sensations. However, staying in the zorb became much more comfortable when Andrew came up with the idea to combine 2 spheres (a larger one, created by himself, and a slightly smaller one proposed by Dwayne) into a structure, between the walls of which there was an air layer, minimizing any overload. In a static state, the zorb was supported by special springs-slings stretched between the walls of the spheres and serving as a kind of spokes in a wheel.
In the late 80's, another sphere of this kind was created, called the "ultraball" (ultraball). Its creator, Josef Schweizer (Germany), used a triangular frame (instead of the current springs-slings). This strange vehicle also did not receive universal approval. Only a few years ago, Evento (New Zealand) designed a Buzzball ("noisy (ringing) ball"), which outwardly resembles the creation of Schweizer. However, the aforementioned design is much more complex and is a ball assembled from 12 impact resistant plastic elements, consisting of triangles with polycarbonate windows. Inside the ball, in a special shockproof design, there is a soft chair with attachments for a person who has decided to ride a "noisy ball". The chair is equipped with wheels that allow it to be in the same position, regardless of the direction of movement and the speed of the ball (however, sometimes the chair can still "tumble", especially during sharp turns or starts) and safety belts. A passenger who climbs into the Buzzball through a special hatch, which is then firmly closed, can control the movement using two handles. In addition, a person will not have to make efforts to move from place, since the ball is equipped with an accumulator that sets it in motion.
The zorb can burst at high speed, as a result of which the zorb is injured. First, the riding speed is usually about 15 km / h (the safe speed of this vehicle is 20-50 km / h, and the maximum possible speed is 113 km / h). Secondly, even if, for any reason, the outer shell of the ball is damaged, it will not burst, but will begin to deflate (since the pressure in the space between the spheres is low) and immediately slows down and stops. This is proved by the results of crash tests: a zorb, which was moving at a speed of 50 km / h, had to overcome obstacles of various kinds (sharp objects, walls, a car) and successfully completed the task. It bounced off the walls, rolled over the car, and sharp objects left only small scratches on the walls of the ball. At the same time, the mannequin fixed inside the zorb did not receive any damage. In addition, according to statistics, not a single accident has been recorded among zorbonauts over the past 10 years.
In a zorb, you can jump off a 100-meter cliff and remain unharmed. Unfortunately, this is not possible - the zorb is not designed for jumping from heights exceeding several meters. The ball itself will not suffer, but the person in it is likely to receive injuries incompatible with life. The shots of various kinds of films, when the main character remains alive after such a trick, are simply montage.
Water zorbing and hydro-zorbing are one and the same. Completely wrong opinion! Hydrozorbing - descending a slope (ramp) in a zorb, not equipped with mounts for a zorbonaut. In addition, a certain amount of water is poured into the inner sphere, sometimes with the addition of soapy foam. It is she who keeps a person in a certain position, regardless of how exactly the zorb moves. Water zorbing - movement on the surface of a reservoir either in a regular zorb, or in the so-called "water ball", which was invented by the engineer Hon Yung (Japan). Such a ball consists of one sphere (and not two, like the zorb used for descending the slopes), the diameter of which is about 2 m, the thickness of the walls is 0.8 m, and the weight is 17 kg. To use it, it is first slightly inflated, after a person enters, the ball is finally filled with air, and hermetically closed. You can stay in such a ball for about 25 minutes, after which you should renew the air inside the sphere with the help of some kind of air injection device. The advantage of the above-described ball is completely transparent walls, through which a person can not only admire the surrounding landscape and water surface, but also observe the bottom of the reservoir.
Being engaged in hydrozorbing, you can choke. No, as the designers say, this is completely impossible, although sometimes water spills over the Zorbonaut from head to toe. But it is very possible to get wet to the skin, therefore, when doing this type of zorbing, it is very advisable to stock up on a towel.
Zorb is designed for one passenger only. This is not the case - there are zorbs for two passengers, but in this case they are not round, but cylindrical.
All zorbs have one entrance. No, there are zorbs with both one and two entrances. Moreover, these entrances (with a diameter of 60 cm to 1 m) can either remain open or be closed with a special fastener.
In order to ride a zorb, you will either have to travel outside the city, where there are gentle hills, or visit the shore of the nearest reservoir. Not necessary. You can ride zorbs from a specially designed ramp (slide), either inflatable or assembled from metal. The ramp can be installed both on city streets or squares and in closed rooms. And to go down the stairs in the city center on a zorb is not a problem.
Zorbs are unstable to cold. This is not true. Zorbs are subdivided into summer and frost-resistant, withstanding temperatures of -20 ° C. And representatives of the Zorb Event Company claim that their product is able to withstand temperatures from -70 ° to + 60 ° C.
All zorbs are of the same size - about 3 meters. This is mostly true. However, there are also slightly smaller children's zorbs (the diameter of the outer sphere is 2.2 m, the inner one is 1.2 m) and huge balls, the diameter of which can be from 6 to 12 meters. The latter are not used for riding, but serve only as eye-stoppers (English eyestopper), i.e. a way to attract spectators (or potential buyers) during mass events of various kinds.
Zorb can drown. According to the designers, in order for the zorb to sink to the bottom, it will need to be loaded with a weight of at least 13 tons.
A spinning zorb can be dropped. No, It is Immpossible. The zorbonaut is securely fixed inside the ball, while gaining freedom of movement. And the centrifugal force presses it against the walls of the zorb, again preventing it from flying out. If the person inside the zorb is not fixed, the entrance is closed with a special membrane.
During the movement of the zorb, the person inside may experience bouts of nausea. The ball does not rotate so fast - it makes a full revolution in 10 meters. However, it is recommended for beginner Zorbonauts to ride from gentle slopes, and only then move on to steeper slopes. In addition, according to the rules, you cannot ride in a zorb while intoxicated or after a hearty dinner.
Zogbing is expensive. Indeed, if you intend to purchase your own zorb, you will have to fork out several thousand dollars. A domestic ball made using the technology of Russian engineers costs about $ 7,000, a New Zealand one - somewhat more expensive. But you can still ride the aforementioned vehicle. To do this, you should visit sports complexes or the banks of reservoirs, where anyone can ride a zorb for a very reasonable amount - from $ 11 to $ 16. Moving in a hydraulic fence costs a little more - $ 50-70.
The length of the zorbing track is no more than 300 meters. More often than not, this is true. However, Ireland has one of the longest slopes - a gentle hill, which is 750 meters long.
Zorb is an extremely bulky structure, so transporting it from place to place is difficult. And to inflate it will take a lot of time and effort. Yes, when inflated, the balloon takes up a lot of space, and moving it to the top of the hill will require the concerted efforts of at least two people. However, if all the air is released, the zorb can easily be placed in the trunk of a car. This design is inflated in just 7-10 minutes using a special pump.
If the zorb shell is damaged by a sharp object, it can only be restored at the factory. Completely erroneous opinion. Firstly, zorb riding takes place from hills, previously cleaned of various sharp objects that can damage the ball. Secondly, according to the crash tests, it is not so easy to damage the shell even with sharp objects. And, finally, if, nevertheless, the outer shell of the zorb was damaged, it is easy to restore it, simply by gluing it with a special glue. And after three minutes, the ball will be ready for use again.
Everyone can ride in a zorb, there are no restrictions. Since a person experiences some stress while moving in a zorb, restrictions still take place. Riding in the aforementioned ball is not recommended for pregnant women, people with diseases of the brain, heart, trauma to the musculoskeletal system, hypertensive or hypotensive patients, as well as those suffering from osteoporosis and epilepsy. In addition, the zorbonaut should not have with him any piercing and cutting objects, any things in his hands (telephone, photo or video equipment, etc.), the laces of his boots must be tied, belts fastened, pockets closed (and preferably empty). Riding in heavy boots (ski, mountain) is prohibited; for zorbing, shoes that clasp the heel and lower leg (moccasins, sandals, sneakers) are best suited. However, it is recommended to wear shoe covers on any shoes - this helps to easily keep the inner surface of the ball clean.
There are height and weight restrictions in zorbing. Restrictions of this kind occur only in rare cases - after all, for children, for example, a children's zorb is ideal, and overweight people may well ride in a balloon designed for two zorbonauts. In fact, citizens of any size can engage in zorbing, the only more or less serious limitation is the size of the entrance to the ball. It should also be taken into account that the greater the weight of the zorbonaut, the higher the ball jumps (inevitable when hitting the slightest unevenness of the ground) and the rolling speed.
You cannot ride on sand or asphalt in a zorb. It is possible, however, it is better not to do this, since particles of sand and dust settle on the surface of the zorb, it loses its transparency and, as a consequence, attractiveness. Therefore, if the track is created, for example, on a beach (asphalt site), it is recommended to cover it with a special coating to protect it from pollution.
In a zorb, you can move around the sea. No, for organizing zorbing, it is preferable to use small bodies of water (lakes or rivers with a slight current), since a sudden storm can turn the entertainment into a rather complicated rescue operation.
Zorb can only be pumped through a special valve. It really is. However, there is another way - pumping through a sealed lightning.They unfasten it slightly, push the pump nozzle inside, and pump the ball. After the pump is removed, and the zipper is quickly zipped. This method somewhat speeds up the pumping, but it is often not worth using it, since the sealed zipper will wear out faster in this case. By the way, pumping the zorb with air should be carried out in the absence of precipitation (snow, rain) and strong wind (more than 7 km / h).
During operation, the zorb will have to be constantly pumped up. No, the design of the zorb allows you to pump it up only once - before using it. Additional pumping is not required.
In a zorb, you can slide down any slope, just remove stones and sharp objects from it. Yes, but the best for zorbing is the slope of the surface from 15º to 25º, the length of the track is about 150 meters. You should really remove all objects from the slope that can damage the ball in one way or another, but this does not end the design of the track. To minimize the possibility of the ball rolling out of the track, a gutter with smooth walls and a bottom is dug along its entire length, the width of which is 3 m and the depth is 1 m. grass, or cover with something (strong cloth, artificial grass, etc.). At the beginning of the track, a convenient landing site should be organized (flat, clean surface at least 7x7 meters), at the end - a braking element (inflatable structure, strong braking network, earth embankment) with a horizontal roll-out at the end of the track should be installed. It will prevent the ball from hitting the set obstacle at full speed.
Rolling a zorb from the final point of the track to the starting point is not an easy task. Yes it is. After all, the ball does not roll up the slope, but is dragged by a drag, therefore such a thing is beyond the power of one person. On small ramps installed within the city, an electric winch or the concerted efforts of 2-3 people is used to return the zorb to the start. On the hillsides, ATVs or snowmobiles are used (depending on what time of year the zorbing takes place).
After use, the zorb can be pressed to speed up deflation. To deflate the zorb, you just need to open the valve and wait for the air to come out. And only the rest of the air can be squeezed out by hand, or you can use a special vacuum cleaner. After that, close the valve (this will prevent the formation of condensation inside the ball) and put the zorb in a special bag.
After skiing on snowy slopes, the zorb should be completely blown away and then dried. This is not entirely true. It is best to dry the zorb in an inflated state, but if this is not possible, you should open the valve, let the air out, but not squeeze out the remains, but transfer the partially deflated balloon to a room with a temperature of about 0 ° C and leave for a couple of hours ... Only after this can the zorb be finally blown off, the valves closed and packed. When storing the ball, overheating of the shell should be avoided - all heating and lighting devices should be at least 1 meter away from the zorb.
Zorb is just an interesting attraction. It all depends on the individual perception of the zorbonauts. For some, zorbing is an extreme sport, for others it is just a strange construction of an incomprehensible purpose, for others it is a type of recreation. And some people even see a deep philosophical meaning in it, arguing that the zorb is a conceptual symbol of four-dimensional thinking, tearing apart the rigid rationality of Malevich's square. According to some Zorbonauts, riding in this ball can lead to a certain change in the perception of the world and a shift in consciousness.