Thursday, June 26, 2014

Zorbing - Great Smoky Mountain Tennessee

What is zorbing, you ask? This is a “sport” in which you roll downhill whilst inside a clear plastic ball, either strapped inside or completely unharnessed with the addition of some water. First invented in one of the adrenaline capitals of the world, New Zealand, Zorb and Zorb impostors have started popping up all over the world in recent years. 
zorbing in tennessee
If you look really closely, you can see me feet first inside

When I first heard about the New Zealand one, I immediately put this on my bucket list, but didn’t know if I would ever make it to the other side of the world to check it off. To my delight, I discovered that the Great Smoky Mountains had opened up a Zorb franchise, and we just so happened to be taking a road trip to see Graceland that summer! 

I added this stop to our Tennessee Itinerary and as luck would have it, a Groupon appeared for it that same week! The $40 ticket price was now only $20, which I took as a sign from the universe that this ride was meant to be. I showed up thinking I was going to do the dry ride and go about my day... Wrong! For the first time in my life, my height (i’m only 5 feet, maybe almost 5’1 on a good day) was an issue. I was informed that the height requirement to ride the dry Zorb was 5’2 and they couldn’t make an exception.

After trying to argue the point that with my sneakers on I was only missing the cutoff by 1/2 inch (and possibly even trying to bribe the guy with $10 haha) , I could not get them to budge on this safety requirement. How dare they try to keep me safe! So, I settled for the only option available for me, which was the unharnessed ride with the addition of water in the Zorb. Since I had planned on doing the dry ride, I didn’t have the proper clothing for this event. I was forced to dress in what was available in the car, which luckily was a bathing suit, and a not so hot cover up of a gray tank and shorts.

I then piled into a van with a few other people and we were driven to the top of the hill for our ride. They filled the Zorb part of the way with hose water, which was exactly as cold as it sounds, and then motioned for me to jump into this narrow opening in the side of the orb. Once inside, they closed this opening, gave me a good push, and off I went down the hill. 

The water inside kept me from flipping upside down, and made the whole thing more like a water ride. I slid up and down the walls of the Zorb, getting water in my eyes and making it hard to see. Even so, it was a good time. Once at the bottom, the hardest part of the ride started, trying to get out of that same narrow opening i jumped into. Now inside the Zorb and slipping, I got on all four’s and crawled out with the help of one of the employees. I then did an obligatory jumping shot for the Zorb photographer, which was a free pic for your Facebook page!

zorbing tennessee
Would be an awesome pic if not for the unflattering outfit!
Here is the video of my Zorb Ride: 

This was one of the most unique things I have ever done, and felt completely safe. If you ever find yourself in the Pigeon Forge Tennessee area, give this a try!

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