IF ALL goes to plan, adrenaline junkies will soon be having a ball.
A pair of extreme sports enthusiasts have unveiled proposals to build the “fastest” and one of the biggest zorbing runs in the country.
Zorbing company Rolling Haggis, based in Edinburgh, hopes to build the 150-metre ramp on a hill next to Hillend ski centre. The plastic orbs allow up to two people to play hamsters in the bouncy globes, which zoom down a steep slope at speeds of up to 40mph.
They have already proved a big crowd-pleaser when the company took part in a Royal Mile display involving Boyzone member Keith Duffy.
Developer James Clayton-Jones, 34, from the New Town explained that the device, similar to a human hamster ball, is “terrifying but thrilling”.
He said: “You’re strapped into a ball on top of a launch platform and roll down about 150 metres. It’s the fastest zorbing experience in Scotland because of the gradient of the hill.
“It’s a thrilling ride designed to get adrenaline pumping and is basically a great leisure activity for anyone interested in the adventure niche. Although we already have a mobile zorbing business [that travels around Edinburgh and the Lothians], we’re trying to build a dedicated run.
“You can control the ball but it gets faster and faster – up to between 35 and 40mph, but you’re strapped in so it’s very safe and you’re stopped when you bang into an inflatable wall.”
Altogether the company, which currently owns three zorbs that can be experienced by two people at a time, is hoping to erect a timber platform and a reception cabin at the bottom of the hill.
Mr Clayton-Jones added that their designs are environmentally friendly and complement the surroundings, east of Midlothian Snow Sports Centre, on Biggar Road.
He said: “There is a great view but we’re being very environmentally friendly. There will be a little platform at the top and a reception cabin, which will blend in with the surroundings.
“We’re hoping to face the planning committee at the end of August and plan to open next Easter if we’re successful. It’s great fun. You can watch your boss or friends rolling around in terror, and while it is quite nerve-wracking, it gives you the ride of your lifetime and you’re buzzing for ages afterwards.
“Anyone who is an adrenaline junkie or is in to adventure sports would have a good time.”