NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

January 19, 2013

Sports park: Zorb ball rides safe

Officials cite lack of safety protocols for death in Russian accident

(Continued)

“In many parts of the world, people buy similar products on the Internet and begin operating them with little to no training and licensing,” Fowler said. “This is an extreme sport, and it’s not something that any guy off the street should be operating without training and understanding of the necessary safety precautions.”

Typically, globe riding is conducted on steady grass slopes to control the globe’s speed. Most courses will also incorporate berms to keep the rider on a defined path.

Globe rides are typically a warm-weather activity at Amesbury Sports Park, which prefers to use its hill in the winter for snow tubing. Fowler said the park sometimes uses its Zorbs on flat terrain in the snow, but never on a hill because of how unpredictable the globes can behave in the snow.

“Under the right conditions, riders can see speeds from 25 to 45 miles per hour when snow tubing; that’s extreme enough for us,” Fowler said. “We leave our Zorb activities for the summer months when the globes ride in controlled, grassy tracks in the hill.”

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