For those bored with the norm or in need of burning off some weekly rage, the Jeolla area has something new to try: bubble ball. Whatever images this term might evoke, the reality is no doubt much better. In bubble ball, groups of up to ten people wear giant air-filled balls (similar to inflatable sumo suits) and bash into each other on the field. On a typical adult, these giant, transparent 10 kg suits cover the head down to mid-thigh, giving even smaller people the gratifying power to smash and bash competitors.
Recently-founded venture Bubble Ball Korea offers the suits for packaged sports parties around the Jeolla region. Co-founder Nathan Weatherholt, an American and long-time Jeonju resident, says he ran with the bubble ball idea after constant questions among friends of “What can we do this weekend that’s not normal?”
And how to play? The most typical format for bubble ball is to play 5-on-5 soccer: full contact, no fouls. For those not into footie, the bubble suits can also be used for capture the flag or a last-man-standing style game akin to the WWE’s “Royal Rumble.”
Though participants do sign waivers, the balls have been tested for safety, and participants are required to take water breaks every ten minutes to offset the intense heat of bashing around in a giant inflatable.
Prices for Bubble Ball parties start at W300,000/hour (including 10 wearable balls), but the rates drop considerably for additional hours. Discounts are also available for schools, churches, and businesses.
Currently, Bubble Ball Korea will travel to any location within the North Jeolla region (participants must choose an ideal playing space on their own) or will go further outside the region for an added fee. For more details, visit bubbleballkorea.com or their Facebook page here.