Extreme sports A to Z guide: Zorbing

Friday, May 21st, 2010No Comments

What better place to start this regular A – Z guide than with zorbing? The zorbing season got into motion at the end of April and won’t stop until October.

Invented in Rotorua, New Zealand by Van Der Sluis and Andrew Akers, the word zorbing entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 2001.But it is also known as snowballing, globe-riding, sphereing, orbing or even hamstering. The last name gives the biggest clue for those who haven’t had the head-spinning pleasure of taking part. The zorb is approximately a three-metre wide transparent plastic ball, in which participants – known as zorbernauts – tumble around. The sport has two main offshoots: dry or harness zorbing or wet zorbing.

Dry Zorbing
With dry zorbing the person is strapped inside and rolled down a hill. The steepness of the courses varies, as do the distances travelled, which are anything from 200 to 500 meters. Speeds of up to 35 miles per hour have been reported but that is a rarity. Dry zorbing can either be done with two people strapped inside or one lone tumbler. But be warned, it is for those with a strong stomach and a head for the floor. Normally, better to wait until the fish and chips have been digested. Some zorbing centres are introducing Velcro-covered zorbs, which slow the zorb down for a gentler ride.

Wet or hydro zorbing
. This is less of a spin and more of a frolic. Unlike dry zorbing, zorbernauts are not harnessed. Instead they attempt to stand up inside a plastic bubble. Water can either be poured inside the zorb or the zorb itself can be placed on the water. ‘Hysterical’ is the word most people use for the experience. ‘Wet’ is another one.

Zorbing courses normally have a minimum five-foot height requirement. If you want to roll up for zorbing, click here

Paintball slide:

Thursday, May 20th, 2010No Comments

Watchers of US Baseball – is there any other kind? – will know that sliding is as much a part of the game as tackling is in British football. Therefore, when it comes to heading for ground at speed paintballers could do worse than study the down-and-dirty sliding techniques perfected in over a century of US baseball competition.

The knee slide, shown in the video, is particularly handy for paintballers because it leaves the protagonist free to fire while heading for ground. Who said men couldn’t do two things at once? As so often in sport, attack is the best form of defence, so in paintball firing at an opponent’s head is a mighty good way of protecting your own pretty mug. Study the video, it may just save your bacon and make sure the egg is splattered on someone else’s face.

If you’re interested in booking paintball with the biggest and best paintball operators in the UK, click here

Extreme Sports Manifesto:

Wednesday, May 19th, 20101 Comment

Sport has risen up the political agenda over recent years. Indeed, the three main parties all acknowledged the health and social benefits of sport in their manifestos. But, as you might expect from politicians, there’s not much detail. So, here are a few ideas for the new coalition government to get people healthier, happier and, who knows, wealthier. Or does that sound too much like a politician speaking?

Let farmers host extreme sports. Cotswold District Council recently bounced the idea of more zorbing on a site near Bourton-on-the-Water. They believed it would be blight on the landscape. Local business people and tourist bodies such as the Bourton Visitor Centre believed it would boost the local economy. BBC2’s Countryfile programme picks out extreme sports activities such as zorbing, as a way farmers can diversify to survive in tough times. If the countryside is to flourish councillors need to relax their approach to new activities. Local politicians must wake up to the fact that the type of sports people want are changing, and they either go with it or risk being passed by. No doubt by people in large plastic bubbles.

Adrenalin is the future for tourism. There’s currently a debate whether Jersey should be a so-called adrenalin island. Some local residents are fearful it may ruin the environment and the atmosphere of the island. But is this fundamentally misunderstanding extreme sports and extreme sports enthusiasts? Extreme sports such as kite surfing, bungee jumping, zorbing and paragliding, to name a few, are using the power of the environment for excitement. Not fighting against it. Sure, the nature of tourist destinations such as Jersey may change. But if they are to flourish, is the status quo an option?

Put Extreme Sports on the government agenda. Sport England is the government agency responsible for promoting and developing sport in the UK. Its aim is to have one million people taking part in sport in the UK and children doing more than five hours of sport and PE per week. Yet the range of sports they recognise includes sports such as American Football but not paintball or other extreme sports. Clearly, there are more people participating in paintball than in American Football. Increasing the range of sports supported can openly increase participation in sport.

Put Extreme Sports on the school curriculum. One of Sport England’s aims is to reduce the number of 16-year-olds who drop out of sport and it has a number of designated sports such as netball, athletics, and gymnastics. Of course, the government wants the UK to be competitive in these sports. However, if they want young people to be involved in sport for health and social benefits, then surely it needs to offer school sports which young people want to do. Karting is an example of a sport which is massively popular with young people. Is a sport like go-karting a way of engaging with young people, who otherwise would be lost to sport? No doubt cost will be mentioned, but we all know the cost of young people who are not involved in society and in worthwhile sporting pursuits, which keep them, fit, occupied and part of society.

    Roy Johnson – Schoolboy Karting Enthusiast

Accentuate the positive. The new government may have a lot on its plate, such as cutting the UK deficit, but too often positive, enterprising, UK success stories such as the extreme sports industry, which create jobs, health and activity for thousands of citizens every day, are ignored.

If you want to vote with your feet for an extreme sport, click here.

Extreme customer days:

Monday, May 17th, 2010No Comments

A day’s extreme sporting activity is a popular way to entertain customers. But how do you pick the right extreme sport for the right customer? Here’s a checklist that may help. Or not.
driving experience
Loyal customer: Nothing is too good for those customers who’ve stayed with your business through good times and bad, championed your work to new customers and given you honest feedback, which helps you improve your business. So how do you treat them for a day? If they like driving getting behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car, a Ferrari or an Aston Martin will be a winner. If driving is not their thing, try a country pursuit like clay pigeon shooting. And because they’re such top people, you won’t even have to let them win. Click here for driving experiences and if you want to try a day’s clay shooting, fire away right here

Demanding customers: Every business has them – customers whose expectations can never quite be met.  Nothing is ever quite right, so why not take the angst out of the decision-making and let them choose their perfect day? Tell them how much you value their business and ask them what they’d like to do most: quad biking, hot air ballooning, rally driving, 4X4 driving etc? They will feel uncomfortable, after all complaining is easier than positive suggestions, but deep down they will appreciate it. Just don’t expect them to say so. For a range of activities, click here

New customers: You are in the honeymoon period. You’ve just won their business, and you want to get to know them better. How about a shared activity? Something like white water rafting, monster truck driving or tank driving. Something where you get time to talk to them and understand what makes them tick.For a range of motorsport activities, click here.

Late-paying customers: Why not take these cheque-is-in-the-post guys zorbing? Not only will you put them in a spin, but you’ll get a chance to mention how your cash flow is a rollercoaster ride. If you want to try zorbing, click here.

Ex-customers: By showing how generous you are to your lapsed customers, you’ll have the upper hand all day. And if they come it means they’re still thinking of doing business with you. Try paintballing, take a couple of shots for them and they’ll soon realise what they have been missing. They’ll be back. If you want to try paintballing, click here.

High spending customers: You can’t afford to loose these guys, so one day out a year may not be enough. So how about taking them karting? If they like competing, you could make it a regular monthly event. Put your best driving foot forward, click here.

Low-spending customer: How about mini-moto racing for these mini-spenders? It’s a motor bike that’s only a foot off the ground but goes at 45 mph. It packs a punch and it’s economical. They’ll love it. And if they don’t you could get into talks about how to increase the size of budgets. If you want to try mini-moto racing, click here

Prospective customers: They are ready to buy, but they remain uncommitted.  Whatever you do, don’t talk business. Have a blast. Try off-road karting or dune karting – click here

Angry customers: You need to say sorry and give them time to think it over. Send them up in a hot air balloon. No one can be angry for long with their head in the clouds. If you want to let your customers try it, click here

Another month to win £249 of extreme eyes

Saturday, April 24th, 2010No Comments

Sky divers have been sending in some rocking videos in our challenge to win a
new pair of sunglasses with in-built miniature video camera and microphone. The below video is an entry from a Nottinghamshire sky diver. You have until June 30 to send in your extreme sports videos and win a pair of Immortal World’s glasses which allow sports enthusiasts to capture their adventures exactly as they see the action and then download the video to share with friends and post on-line. The glasses, which have a simple two-button record and download process, come with alternative lenses for all weather conditions and retail at £249.

With two hours’ recording time, a 4GB memory and 736×480 resolution, the camera offers video quality for emailing to friends or downloading onto social media sites. The glasses are available online from www.immortal.co.uk at a launch price of £249. However, Adrenamag has two pairs to be given away to readers. Free.

Simply send us video footage of your extreme sports activities to share on our site with a brief explanation of who you are and where the activity took place. And the two best videos judged by our panel of experts, will get a pair of glasses worth £249 each for free.

Send your video link to info@adrenamag.com You need to get your videos to us by the end of June to be in with a chance of winning.