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The History of Zorbing!

05 May 2011

Hamster balls, hard plastic single layer spheres made for small rodent pets, have been manufactured and sold since at least the 1970s. In the early 1980s, the Dangerous Sports Club constructed a giant sphere (reportedly 23 metres or 75.5 feet across) with a gimbal arrangement supporting two deck chairs inside. This device was eventually cut up for scrap, with some of the plastic remnants used to cover a compost heap! Human spheres have been depicted in mass media since 1990 when the Gladiators TV show had an event called Atlaspheres, albeit with steel balls! Some say that this was where the idea first cam from!

In 1994, Dwane van der Sluis and Andrew Akers conceived the idea for a type of sphere in Auckland, New Zealand, calling their invention the "Zorb". With two other investors they created the firm ZORB Limited, and set to work commercializing zorbing. Their business model was to develop the activity world-wide via a franchise system. In 2000, van der Sluis exited from the company to return to his career as a software engineer; Akers continued to run the company as CEO until April 2006, when he resigned. Around this time, ZORB's European master franchise operator, Michael Stemp, and Hungarian master franchise operator, Attila Csató, ended their affiliation with ZORB and started a manufacturing and sphereing consultancy firm.

Incidentally Zorbing entered the Concise Oxford English Dictionary in 2001 where it was defined as: "a sport in which a participant is secured inside an inner capsule in a large, transparent ball which is then rolled along the ground or down hills".

Check out our exciting zorbing offers, including the popular Buy One Get One Free offer and our exciting group offers at Enfield. We also have the fantastic Harness and Aqua Zorbing Package available at Surrey.

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