The Gentlemen's Ale Sampling Society

        1982-2017  35 YEARS OF BEERS





Tuesday 5th May








Suggested by Phil R, the opportunity to roll down a steep hill in Croydon, just minutes off the M25

Let them explain in their own words: 
"You are securely strapped inside the zorbing ball face to face with a friend…. or enemy of your choice, before being sent down the launch ramp.  The first rotations will ease you into this fantastic zorbing experience  propelling you forward as you  begin to hurtle head over heels downhill. Try to suppress the screams… and laughter at your fellow passenger’s look of fear as you gain speed down the 130 metre zorbing-run, before the grand finale of the splash pool to finish off your experience"
To me it sounded like yet another once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be grabbed with both hands, savoured, enjoyed, experienced - but that was before we did it!
What I think now is that being strapped into a smelly plastic ball with Alana Stranger eyeing me up from just 3' away, is altogether another thing!
Thank God that Nick choose to go down with him ...........and Al, just why did you strip naked??
But I am getting ahead of myself - first a cautionary tale involving Hew (who else) and a bog....
Imagine the scene, we draw up in the bus, Hew is bustin' and leaps off and sprints into the little green hut.
Ian arrives at that precise moment in his immaculate BMW - sees Hew squirreling off into the kharzie - and decides to block him in.
Predictably the next 30 seconds went something like this...........
To be fair I am not sure what Ian though Hew would do, but I am 100% certain he did not expect him to stand on the bonnet (dent 1 - cost to repair £400), then bash both hands down on the roof (dent 2 - cost to repair £500), an entertaining start to the evening to say the least!
The guys at the ZORB PARK were kind to us, they showed us the ropes, they instilled a little courage, and then they pushed us down a bloody steep hill!  Bastards!
The Zorb is humungous, you have to leap in through a small hole in the side and then perform convoluted acrobatics in order to strap yourself into a fetishist arrangement of straps and restraints, they then bounce you around a bit - and off you go.  It was kind of the staff to point out that it is more unpleasant facing downhill rather than with your back to the hill, apparently going down head over heels means the blood drains from the noodle and makes you feel far worse.  Sadly, they only mentioned it after I was already strapped in facing downhill.  They weren't kidding.
Here are a few pics to tell the tale.
And here is a video of what it looks like as it going down.  The runners and riders in this ball of fun are actually Eric Robin (guest) and Ron.  For the record it is Ron squealing like a girl (although to be honest, my partner Keith said I squealed worse).
We even had Phil who was brave enough (crazy enough?) to actually film while rolling down the hill.  I would hate to have been in there if he had dropped the camera, it would have been like being in a tumble drier with a brick!  Ian's face is a picture, obviously expecting to catch a camera in his gob any second.
Could not miss out a picture of our other guest - Dan 'Faliraki' Smith - and of course daddy Smith  -  Dan did three trips.

Fortunately it all ended happily (apart from Ian and his car of course) and we all trooped of to The Godstone Hotel for a really lovely dinner in a private room.




The moral of the meeting when Zorbing the first time is a surprise, the second is interesting, the third is testing, nobody tried it a fourth.


Well done to all of GASS (and Eric and Dan) for giving it a go.