If the idea of being strapped into a large, clear plastic inflatable ball and rolled down a hillside appeals to you, then perhaps you should give zorbing a go. Originally developed by two guys in New Zealand, zorbing has become a popular outdoor activity here in the UK and it’s really fun for groups of friends, families and colleagues on corporate away days. Although it’s fair to say that most zorbing centres ensure you have a safe, enjoyable time, as with any outdoor activity there is still the risk of accidents occurring. If you need zorbing injury advice after being hurt in a zorbing accident, you can get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline within three years of your accident, to find out if you could make a personal injury claim.
What happens when you go zorbing?
Zorbs were traditionally designed for use on water, but you can go zorbing on water or on land. In the UK, land zorbing seems to be the more popular of the two, with centres and courses springing up across the country. You’re strapped into a large, inflatable, see-through plastic ball and usually rolled down a hill and across a field/course. It’s up to you whether you rely on gravity to move or use your legs. There are also zorbing games such as bubble football, which can be fun to play in teams. In this game, your legs stick out the bottom of the zorb, giving you a bit more control and making the game a little less risky than zorbing itself. There are two different types of zorb, one with harnesses and one without, and different centres may have different types of zorb available.
What are the risks of zorbing?
You’ll usually sign a disclaimer form when you arrive to go zorbing, and as with any outdoor activity there’s the risk of accidents happening. However, just because you have signed a disclaimer does not mean that the company organising the zorbing takes no responsibility for your safety. It’s up to them to ensure that you stay safe whilst taking part in the activity. Because zorbing can take place in a range of different environments, from grass to at the beach or even on water, it’s important to consider weather conditions when taking part. Different types of weather can increase the risks you face – for example, a zorbing company shouldn’t allow anybody to zorb in high winds as this can increase the risk of your zorb blowing off course and causing serious injuries.
Companies should carry out risk assessments before zorbing activities take place, to ensure that they are doing all they can to minimise the risks to participants. Harnesses can also pose a risk when zorbing and if they are not attached properly to the zorb or you are not strapped in properly, you could be injured.
How can you stay safe whilst zorbing?
When you’re zorbing, the company you are zorbing with should give you some advice as to how to stay safe, and things you should make sure you do (and avoid). Here are a few tips that can help you to stay safe, but remember that if you have been injured, you can always get zorbing injury advice from Accident Advice Helpline:
- Remove any jewellery and avoid wearing loose clothing as this could become tangled up and cause injury
- Ensure the zorb’s harnesses are properly attached to the ball
- Make sure you are securely strapped in and don’t be afraid to ask staff to check
- Ensure the ball looks to be inflated properly and free from damage
- Don’t eat right before zorbing as this could cause injuries or increase your risk of motion sickness
Although some people do suffer from motion sickness when strapped into a zorb, one of the zorb’s inventors, claims that nobody has ever thrown up in over 100,000 rides. Of course, your safety whilst zorbing is reliant on a large part on the operators at the centre or course you choose. They will be responsible for checking the zorbs and equipment to make sure it is safe to use, and there will be staff at the top and bottom of the hill or course to start you off and help the zorb to stop. If staff are negligent, then you could be left injured and in need of zorbing injury advice.
Do you need zorbing injury advice?
You might need zorbing injury advice if you have been injured whilst zorbing with friends or work colleagues. Perhaps you were on a family holiday and your children have been injured whilst taking part in zorbing, or maybe a relative has suffered serious, life-changing injuries after a zorbing accident. Whilst the majority of zorbing accidents result in relatively minor injuries such as cuts and bruises, there is the opportunity for serious injuries to occur such as head injuries, back and neck injuries or even spinal injuries. These types of injuries are most likely if the zorb travels off course, if the straps are not properly secured or if the ball deflates and you are no longer cushioned against the environment.
However you’ve been injured, you can get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline for zorbing injury advice within three years of your accident. We’ll be able to tell you whether or not you have a viable claim, and you could take the 30-second test on our website for an idea of how much compensation you could get, if your claim is successful. Why not call us today on 0800 689 0500 (or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile) to get advice? With over 16 years’ industry experience, our expert advisors are on hand to offer no-obligation advice, so it’s completely up to you whether or not you make a claim.
Date Published: October 19, 2014
Author: David Brown