GirlHacker's Random Log

almost daily since 1999



While looking up the 2011 Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling (held unofficially for the second year as the centuries-old “real” event was cancelled again for health and safety), I came across Zorbing. Much safer than racing down a steep hill after a cheese, ZORB globe riding places participants inside a giant inflated ball which rolls down a hill. There are two styles of ZORB: one where you’re strapped in and dry, and the other where you’re sloshing freely around with some water inside. Some models accomodate multiple riders. The first (and only) time I saw a ZORB was during Peter Gabriel’s “Growing Up” tour in 2003 when he sang the tour’s title song while traveling around the circular stage inside one (full video and an article on the tour set design for the Gabriel uber-geeks who I know are out there).

Direct competitor OGO was started by a ZORB co-founder after a disagreement about company direction and the two New Zealand companies are now in litigation. Both companies have locations in the United States along with other countries. ZORB is so concerned with counterfeit operations that they put up a ZORBScams site to list the offending operators who infringe on their trademark. Here’s the 2011 cheese rolling video if you want to watch the fun pain of men and women rather uncontrollably chasing a cheese down a hill. There’s an uphill race for the kids too (I don’t think the cheese wheel gets a chance in that one). Perhaps the safety issues can be solved by a ZORB shaped like a cheese wheel, though I’m sure the purists would complain.

Zorb (photo by Matt & Becky)

Written by ltao

August 8th, 2011 at 1:04 am

Posted in culture