Man dies in Zorb mountain plunge

Denis Burakov, 27, broke his neck when the giant translucent sphere he was riding in headed the wrong way, sending him on a 1.5 kilometer-long plunge down a mountain slope. Another occupant of the ball escaped with minor injuries. [Mirror]


  1. Lots of things were badly planned leading up to that, but kudos to the guy at the bottom of the hill making a play for the Zorb.  Running in snow, at altitude, is no easy feat.  He almost had the thing.

  2. Eww.  Suffering through the spin cycle with a man getting crushed to death is not my idea of “minor injuries”.  Russia is a wild place.

  3. My favorite part:
    A man’s voice is heard saying “Oh f***, it’s gone in the wrong direction again

  4. when i first read this grim story, my first thought was “what could be the cause of death in such a thing? ..body mass getting twisted up to break his neck?” …i’m sorry i guess i guessed right (for once)

    1. What I don’t get is the other occupant…I though zorbing was a solo sport.  It looks like you’d end up just falling all over each other.

      1. Did this in NZ a couple years ago; the rider is harnessed into a sort of seat inside the unit (i.e. it isn’t Wayne Coyne’s human hamster ball). Didn’t try with a partner, assume the arrangement is similar though.

  5. It’s hard to believe they couldn’t (or didn’t think to) put up those makeshift barriers you see on ski slopes, when the consequences of an errant Zorb were so dire.

  6. According to the article, the guy who survived said to Denis, the guy who died, “Denis, you’ll be like Jackie Chan in the Armour of God movie!” just before boarding the Zorb.

    In filming Armour of God (which is my favorite Jackie Chan movie and worth seeking out), Jackie Chan nearly died – from wikipedia:

    During filming of the opening sequence, one scene called for Jackie Chan to jump from a wall to a tree branch. The first take went as planned, but Chan insisted on re-shooting the scene. On his second attempt, the branch broke and he fell 15 feet to the ground below. His head hit a rock, cracking his skull and shooting a piece of bone up into his brain. Chan was flown to the hospital and was in surgery eight hours later. As a result, he now has a permanent hole in his head filled with a plastic plug and slight hearing loss in one ear.[1][2] Footage of the accident is shown during the film’s ending credits.

    I am not sure which stunt from the film specifically Mr. Shcherbakov was referring to, but I’m guessing it was not the part where Chan nearly died. In that opening scene, though, Chan sleds down a large hill riding a wooden shield, so that might actually be what was being referred to.

      1. Ha… good catch. Not sure how I could forget that. Operation Condor is of course the sequel to Armour of God. Makes my narrative a little less interesting or ironic I guess :)

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