You sign your customary waiver, choose a dry zorb (pictured above) or a wet zorb, if you'd prefer to be tossed around like a sock in a washing machine. Both made me ill, but then these things usually do. In Russia, the operators clearly had no idea what they were doing (this was their first Zorb run) violated just about safety measure they could, and promptly hightailed it when the police came calling. So what can we learn from all this?
- Did the operator have a safety record? (No)
- Did the operator follow course safety guidelines? (No)
- Did they know they were guinea pigs in a wheel? (No)
Therein lies that common sense we hear so much about when travelling, and yet need reminding of every once in a while. Accidents are accidents, but stupidity is dumb.
Zorbs, in the proper environment, are harmless fun. Odd, yes, dangerous no. A few weeks ago I did the public skeleton ride on the world's fastest bobsleigh track in Whistler. 100km/hr face first, inches above the ice. Harrowing stuff, but everyone emerged (mostly) unscathed. It is a tightly controlled, regulated and monitored thrill ride.
The next day I caught an edge on my snowboard, banged my neck on an icy traverse, and 6 weeks later am still paying for it with a pinched nerve. My legs were tired, it was the last run of the day, I should have taken it easy. There's no blaming the mountain, only myself. Likewise, there's no blaming the zorb. Just people who make stupid, deadly decisions.