Have you heard of Smoky Mountain Zorb? It’s got to be one of the craziest, wackiest things to do in the Pigeon Forge area.
Basically, you ride down a hill in a giant plastic ball. It looks like SO MUCH FUN!
However, there’s been some bad press about Zorb balls recently. Last week, one man died and another was badly injured at an unofficial Zorb location in Russia, according to FoxNews. The accident happened when the Zorb bounced off of the intended path and popped over a rocky ledge. However, a Zorb executive said that the Zorbing run was conducted in violation of all safety rules.
Zorb Smokies is all about safety. Online, you can find tons of safety information and do’s and don’t's here.
So what, exactly, is Zorbing?
I’m so glad you asked.
Here’s a description from the Zorb.com website: a description: “Using this truly innovative and unique device (a huge plastic ball), the crazy kiwi’s took it a step further and decided it was a good idea to roll down a hill inside the ZORB® globe. And what an idea it was – the sport of globe riding was born!”
Yes, that’s right. You dive into a large plastic ball and Zorb right down the mountainside! Wow, I’m definitely gonna try this one of these days!
Let’s see if I can explain this better … there is a large clear plastic ball. Connected to it by lots of little plastic-looking strings is another, smaller ball (on the inside). There is a tunnel that goes between the two to the outside that you dive into. Sound crazy yet?
If you want to Zorb, you first have to decide which kind you want to do. There are two: Zydro and Zorbit. Zydro is when you hop in the small ball, along with up to two friends, if you desire, and then they dump a bunch of water in the hole with you. According to the web site, Zydro has been described as “a cross between a water slide and a roller coaster.” The water keeps you from flipping, but that doesn’t mean a tame ride! I think Zydro really sounds like a lot of fun! Zorbit is the one you won’t see me doing, ever! In this ride, they strap you into a harness and roll you head over heels down the mountain. Even though they say no one has ever thrown up on the ride, I could definitely see myself being the first!
Just so I’m clear, you don’t free roll down the mountain. There are tracks — you can choose straight or zigzag (only for Zydro). Then there’s a ramp mechanism to help you stop at the bottom. And a really neat-looking conveyor belt takes the huge balls back to the top for the next adventurer. The Zorb employees drive you to the top in a truck. On the day we were there, it had been raining a lot, and it looked like that ride to the top was almost as big of a thrill as the actual Zorbing!
Another really neat thing — Zorbing (I think they actually call it “globe riding,” but I like Zorbing!) started in New Zealand 14 years ago and has spread rapidly, but Pigeon Forge is the ONLY United States location. If you’re looking for something unique to do while in the area, this fits the bill!
It’s not a cheap thrill — it costs $35 for Zydro and $40 for Zorbit. There are various other pricing schemes and discounts — check here for more. The place is open every day (excluding major holidays) from 10-5 and 9-5 on certain days.
To find the Zorb, turn left at Stoplight 1 (Sugar Hollow Road) in Pigeon Forge. Follow until you see Zorb! The actual address is 203 Sugar Hollow Rd.
A few last thoughts. One, if you are younger than 18, you need a consent form. Download one from the website before you leave. Second, you have to be at least 8 to ride.