The difficulty of ordering water walking balls
A water walking ball is a big inflatable or hard plastic ball that allows a person inside it to walk across the surface of a pool or lake. The giant ball is usually six feet in diameter and has a zipper to allow for entry and exit. It sounds like a lot of fun, but be aware that the Consumer Products Safety Commission has issued a warning about water walking balls, stating “This has the danger of suffocation, drowning or becoming seriously injured inside the ball.”
With that in mind, the balls can be purchased in several locations including EBay.com which seemed to be the main retailer for the popular Zorb Water Walking Ball. I’m not sure if it is a red flag that eBay is their prime retailer or not but the price range seems to be $150 – $300 with free shipping and delivery within a week to ten days. There are several eBay retailers offering to sell these balls so it will pay to shop around and look at the seller’s individual reputation prices and shipping fees or lack thereof. Let the buyer beware.
Amazon.com does not seem to carry this item which is a little surprising and makes the ordering process all the more challenging. It seems like the major retail outlets stay away from water walking balls leaving the field open for outfits like alibaba.com which will import water walking balls directly from China and then sell them for $109 – $149 (prices vary daily apparently) and the will ship them to you within seven days.
Google Shopping is another option, one that is often overlooked. Although they do link to eBay for most of their offerings there are a few differing things, like the high end catalogue outlet Hammacher Schlemmer and other less notable digital outlets. At the end of the day the difficulty in purchasing one of these products comes from the seriousness of the government warning. The government is warning people that there is a combination of risks associated with water walking balls, including the possibility for suffocation, as well as the potential for drowning and impact injuries. Because the ball is airtight, there may not be enough air and dizziness and suffocating can result when oxygen is depleted and carbon dioxide accumulates inside the ball.
Such a dangerous and scary problem can occur in as little as a few minutes. Because the water walking balls have no padding, impact injuries can occur if the balls collide with each other, or fall out of the pool onto concrete or other hard surfaces, such as ice or tile. One can order water ball that is also being used on open water. Additionally, the balls present a high risk of drowning if there is a leak or a puncture, and someone falls out who cannot swim well or who is intoxicated.