The thing that attracted me to Knoxville was the idea of going zorbing. I figured Tennessee was a lot closer then New Zealand so I would go there, and I Knoxville is a city so I could spend time there, done!
Zorbing is a fun activity created by the Kiwi’s, like many other fun activities. They put you in a giant plastic ball and roll you down a hill. There are 2 ways to do this, wet or dry. For the dry version you get harnessed into the ball and your body does whatever the ball is doing, upside down, sideways, etc. When doing it wet, which is what I did, you are put inside the ball with a bucket of water and when you are rolled down the hill so you slide around in the ball, primarily laying down on the bottom of the ball. I found that your head tends to point downhill most of the time. The website says it takes about a minute to roll down the hill, and it was plenty of time for the thrill. The closest thing I can think of to compare it to is that it is like going down one of those giant water slides, for a minute. It’s a lot of fun. The wet version has two different tracks, a straight hill and a zig zaggy hill. I did both, the zig zaggy hill does send the ball back and forth a lot more so your body shifts around a lot more as you’re going down the hill. I have tight muscles in my neck and shoulders, mom didn’t want me to do this convinced I was going to get hurt. However, I had no problems. If you have a similar minor problem you should probably stick with the straight hill wet zorb at least the first time, the zig zag does put a little more stress on the body. If you have more serious neck or back problems you should probably avoid this activity. You can also try and run in the ball as it goes down hill, but you’ll need socks for that.
Getting into the ball was interesting. The first time I did it the guy put the hole to the ball in front of me, shoulder height. He told me to take a step back and do a superman jump into. I thought he was joking, but that’s actually a good way to get in. To get out they point the hole towards the ground and you go out feet first, it’s not graceful, but it gets the job done. Then you have a photo session with the ball. It’s clean old good fun and safer then trying to do this on your own…
Zorbing is pricey though. Each roll down the hill is about $40 with tax, there are discounts if you buy packages of rolls though. You can also buy an outfit to wear, the outfit wasn’t as nice as I thought it would be, but I have a Zorb t-shirt now. Whether you buy the outfit or not, it’s not a bad idea to wear a bathing suit as you will get wet! They also take photos as you go down the hill and after with the ball, the disc for each roll is $20, a rip off, but since I was by myself I didn’t have much other choice. $20 seemed particularly harsh when on my first roll the camera wasn’t working when I was coming down the hill, I only got pictures of me with the hill and the ball.