Zorbing : an impulse to filmmakers

Hundreds of bright-coloured strings in a giant, transparent ball and you can roll down a hill in it protected by thick air cushion. No wonder that the Zorbing globe has inspired numerous film makers and creative minds.

The ball first appeared in a movie in 1983. Apocalypse Snow is a series of short films by Didier Lafond. The Zorbing ball scene starts at 5.30 – the sphere used for the filming is bigger than standard balls, its diameter is at least 4 metres. It is hard to tell if there is a stunt or a dummy inside the globe when it runs down very fast on a steep and rocky winter Alpine mountain. If it was a flesh and blood person, it must have hurt . . .

A very similar ball appears in Jackie Chan’s Armour of God – Operation Condor filmed in 1991. Funny when the movie star pulls out the deflated ball from his backpack – a ball of that size weighs around 150 kilos and it is more than 1,5 cubic metres in volume, even before inflation. The ball scene is really extreme – after hitting a number of native tribesmen, Jackie Chan (or supposedly a dummy) rides down an almost vertical decline and arrives feeling quite dizzy.

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Around 2010 Zorbing showed up again in commercials and music videos. A ball features in “Halfway Gone” by Lifehouse. Nivea chose to promote their new deo series by giant balls rolling in urban environment.

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The same theme appears in Lipton Ice Tea’s commercial, while US cereal manufacturer, Bear Naked introduced winter Zorbing bowling in their recent viral promotional video.

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