If you have been following my blog for a while, you will know that I have been keen to try hydro-zorbing following my harnessed zorbing experience last summer. What can I say except that it was absolutely hilarious brilliant wet fun? My friend and I came away on an absolute endorphin high following this thrill ride!
After a disasterous experience with the awful Orb 360, many of you will remember that I said I would NEVER put money their way again. Well, the good news is they can no longer operate from Devil’s Dyke any more, in fact, it looks as though Paul Butler’s company website has disappeared. If you’re wondering what happened to Orb 360… I don’t honestly know, I heard a rumour that it was something to do with them being unable to re-lease the land, but to be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if I heard it was the result of personal differences between the former Orb 360 director and the land owner! …The bad news is he is still doing something on Brighton sea front from what I can gather (buyer beware)!
…Any way, after doing my homework, I found a very friendly staffed company who seem eager to please their customers and gladly booked our experience with Pod Zorbing London, which is actually on the outskirts of London in Surrey, and have to say that I couldn’t hae had a better, or more positive customer experience this time around! Hallelujah!
As an aside, the Zorb park is at Whyteleafe in Surrey (which is near Croydon, London). It was very easy to find, and walkable from the nearest train station in London Travel Card Zone 6.
The hill was shorter, but far steeper than the one I visited before too, which made for a much faster and more fun packed ride! In fact, Pod boasts the fastest downhill zorbing park in the UK, with harnessed zorbers reaching speeds of upto 55km per hour!
The prices were also more reasonable, and Pod even took pictures for you (at no additional cost) which are posted on their Facebook Page afterwards and video is only an additional £10, but they edit it for you and give it to you on a DVD there and then, which I thought was pretty darn good!
My friend Leila was a little nervous in the run upto the experience, but the staff and the atmosphere really put us in a fun mood, and the hill didn’t look terribly long… The video actually does the experience no justice at all, and I can only assume that some of the footage must have been cut out (although I can’t see where or how) because it felt like it lasted longer than the video you see!
It is set in beautiful woodland and is very professional and well-organised, with the entrance to the zorb being far more dignified and less embarrassing since there was no leap to reach the ball, zorbers simply had to dive in to the zorb from a platformed area (as opposed to leaping up into it from ground level), making it much more dignified than my previous harness-zorbing entrance (as you’ll see if you watch the video from my prior post).
We were very lucky with the weather, as it was a beautiful sunny day (back in May)… Sorry I was very lazy in posting this so late! I would not want to do this in the current UK weather conditions, but most good companies won’t run the zorbing in poor weather conditions any way (goodness knows how they are coping with the awful British ‘summer’ of 2012!?)
Any way, here is the video of our hydro-zorbing experience
I would definitely like to go back to Pod and try Harness Zorbing on their faster slope as it looked like a LOT OF FUN! If you are wondering how the two experiences compare, I would say that Harness Zorbing is more extreme, as you are harnessed in and tumble down head over heels in a fixed position in the Zorb, whereas in the hydro version, you sit in a complete bubble zorb and they throw several water in with you, then inflate the door after you enter to seal it shut; and push you down the hill where upon you slosh around in the ball in an upright position all the way down (for the most part)…
Though not extreme by comparison to other adrenaline experiences I have had. Both experiences had me in fits of laughter, but over all, but I loved the uncontrolled feeling of slipping and sliding around in the hydro-zorb. Children can do hydro-zorbing, but with the harness-zorbing you need to meet minimum height requirements. I would struggle to choose between both experiences, and would definitely recommend doing a bundle package to try both! Neither made me feel nauseous or uncomfortable.
If anyone would like to try this awesome experience in the UK, I would thoroughly recommend giving Pod a call and booking, as in my experience, not all Zorbing sites are equal!