Zorb Ride in Russia’s Caucasius Mountain Takes Fatal Turn Over Rocky Cliff at Dombay Ski Resort

What was supposed to be a thrilling ride down a ski slope in a giant inflatable ball ended in tragedy for the 2 Russian men inside.

Two men were inside a Zorb when it veered off course and fell down a rocky cliff and into a creek. One of the men broke his neck when the Zorb rolled out of control down a mountain, hitting rocks and eventually coming to a stop more than one-half mile away on a frozen lake.

Denis Burakov, 27, and Vladimir Shcherbov, 33, each paid less than $10 to get inside the Zorb, and travel a short course at the Dombay ski resort in southern Russia. Burakov and Shcherbov were alive when rescue crews arrived, but Burakov died en route to hospital. Shcherbov suffered a concussion and other minor injuries, and is expected to survive.

Zorbing, also known as globe-riding, sphereing, and orbing, is the recreation or sport of rolling downhill in an orb, generally made of transparent plastic. Zorbing is generally performed on a gentle slope, but can also be done on a level surface, permitting more rider control.

In the United States, there are facilities in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (near Great Smoky Mountains National Park), Amesbury, Massachusetts, and Ski Roundtop, Pennsylvania.