- Sports and Recreation
Zorbing Ball or Harness Sphereing for two - UK
I can’t tell you why is has several names, Harness Sphereing, Zorb, Zorbing ball and even Human Hamster Ball (although I can guess why people call it the last one), but I can tell you what it is like and that it is a lot of fun to do! If you’ve never been before, then I highly recommend you put it on your ‘things to do list’.
What is Harness Sphereing for two?
It’s known as an extreme sport. You climb into a giant inflatable ball (12 ft tall to be exact), you get all strapped in, then you roll do a hill at speeds of up to 30mph and you get to share the experience with a friend.
It’s very much like being on a ride at the fairground, except you worry more about who is controlling the ball and where you’re going to land! But don’t worry it’s all in a safely controlled environment.
Where did you go?
We went to a location in Ware, Hertfordshire. UK.
It was such a beautiful place that we couldn’t resist stopping off for a pub lunch after we had been Harness Sphereing.
Can anyone go?
Well, there are some reasons that would mean you can’t go, but other than that, yes. I’m very far from being into extreme fitness and I didn’t feel that it was particularly important.
You can’t go Sphereing if you are:
- Suffering from high blood pressure, any heart condition or epilepsy
- Suffering from, or have ever had any back or neck problems
- Undergoing medical treatment or have had an operation within the past twelve months
- Under 4 ft and less than 12 years old (Parental consent is required up to the age of 18)
- Under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Over 18 stone
What is it like when you get there?
I think it’s one of them jobs where you’ve got to love it to do it, so there’s a lovely atmosphere and all the staff seemed really happy to be there. They ask about any medical conditions you have and then send you off to get strapped into your harness.
You have to take off your shoes and step into the harness, then staff double check to make sure you’re all strapped up safely. The harness does feel a bit weird and if you’re overly worried about what you look like it in, then you’ll need to get over that!
What is it like inside the ball?
First we should talk about getting into the ball, because that was hilarious. I went with my best friend and we had absolutely no idea what to expect, we walked over to the ball and was told to stand in front of a fairly small hole in the side of the ball. Then we had to hold our arms and hands inside it like we was going to dive into a swimming pool, except you don’t quite dive. One of the guys that work there, just picked us up and threw us in! I landed inside the ball quite well, (wink wink) but my friend come flying in and landed into some big floppy heap and curled up in a foetus position that only she could manage.
One of the guys then got into the ball with us and clipped our harnesses to the ball. He gives us one last lot of instructions, like tuck our heads forwards a bit when the ball starts and he got back out of the ball. I recall him getting in and out of the ball a whole lot more gracefully then we did!
It was quite warm inside the ball but air does still get in. My friend and I were stood opposite each other in rather awkward looking positions and already in fits of laughter as we waited in suspense for someone to give us the ‘push off’.
What is it like going down the hill?
They count you down and you’re off!
There’s 3ft of air between you and the ball, so it doesn’t hurt but I could still feel the ball pushing against my neck and back a bit (hence the no previous or current neck and back injuries rule that they have). It takes a few seconds to get going and the speed picks up really fast, I couldn’t help but watch my friends expression on her face for most of the time (also quite funny).
When you’re at the top of the ball, your body just hangs almost lifelessly from the harness, then you are back round on the floor level again, whizzing around and around.
For me, the bottom of the hill was something that was almost of quite a magical feeling (not because I wanted it stop or because I was starting to feel a tad queasy by then) but to go from spinning down the hill at up to 30mph, to stopping almost instantly as the ball hits a pool of water, suddenly made the world feel like it had slipped into slow motion for a split few seconds. It’s really quite an indescribable moment.
What happens when the ball has stopped?
Two guys made their way down the hill in their trailer whilst we were rolling down it and they were there at the bottom of the hill to pull us out of the water. One guy climbed into the ball and unclipped us from the harness.
Thankfully getting out of the ball wasn’t quite so dramatic. You just put you arms through the hole in the side again and the other guy pulls you out of it and puts you safely back on the ground that still feels like it’s spinning beneath you, for another minute or two.
I loved it. I wanted to wait for the ground to stop spinning a bit and then beg my friend to go on it again. Please, please, please!!!
They load the ball onto the trailer while you’re getting out of the harness, then you can jump on the back of the trailer and hitch a ride back up to the top of the hill if you want to.
The whole thing only lasted for about 30 seconds, but it’s amazing. It was well worth the effort of travelling to the location and the money that it cost. And my friend and I now have a very happy memory that we can share and treasure for the rest of our lives.