The first version of the Zorb ball was invented by Gilles Ebersolt in 1975, he called his invention the „Ballule”. It has the concept of an enormous hamster ball for humans, made out of very strong, but lightweight plastic material. Eventually this orb became so famous, it even appeared in Jackie Chan’s film Armour of God II in 1991!
A few years later in the ’90s, Jochen Schweizer made „Ultraball” which was a Ballule rethink and it was very similar to the original Zorb ball introduced in 1995. The first Zorbing ground was created in Rotorua, New Zealand: after introducing the latest version of the Zorb ball there, it became truly popular on the island. This orb was made by Dwane van der Sluis, David Akers and Andrew Akers. At first it was all transparent, nowadays there are coloured balls – even completely black, non-transparent ones, also known as Black Hole, or Pitch Black.
The big, inflatable ball has another, smaller ball inside connected to the outer one with hundreds of threads. While the bigger orb dilates, it strains all the threads and so it secures the inner ball with them as well. Inflated like this, there’s a thick and safe air layer between the two balls, which works perfectly as a shock absorber. Some type of balls even have straps inside to secure the user – so you absolutely don’t have to worry about bigger bumps!
– but how on earth was this connected with football? The first match was all a joke, invented by Henrik Elvestad and Johan Golden for a norwegian TV show in 2011. Three years later in 2014, a hilarious bubble football gameplay video was released on Youtube, and it became so popular, it nearly blew up the whole internet! Bubble football started to spread all over the world... and, you know as they say, the rest is history.