Knockerball, a popular new contact sport, has been catching on around the world. In the game, players run around inside inflatable bubbles and try to knock each other down. The game is also known as bubble soccer.
The balls are filled with air to protect players from injury. When people run into each other and fall down, the balls cushion the impact so they are not hurt. The inflatable bubbles have inner handles and shoulder straps. Large balls weigh 20 pounds, and medium-sized balls weigh 13 pounds. The size and weight of the balls make playing a game a challenging workout.
Several games can be played with Knockerballs:
• Knocker Sumo: A giant and several players are inside a circle. When the whistle blows, the players try to push each other out of the circle. The last player in the circle wins.
• Human Bowling: Six people serve as “pins.” One player at a time runs across a field and tries to knock down as many “pins” as possible.
• Bubble Soccer: Teams of three, four, five, or six players play a traditional game of soccer in their inflatable bubbles.
There are currently about 100 Knockerball affiliates across the United States. The trend is also growing in other parts of the world, such as Europe.
The game is open to members of the public, clubs, and groups. Knockerball affiliates rent their inflatable bubbles for children’s parties, fairs, and school and corporate events. The game is fun for children and adults of all ages.
Action Park in Mount Vernon, New Jersey earned itself a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s longest inflatable water slide, measuring 1,975 feet long. It was verified as the world’s longest water slide on July 10, shortly after work on it was completed.
Riders travel down the slide at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Rides last 60 to 90 seconds. It takes riders 30 to 60 seconds longer to reach the end of this water slide than it takes to go down other slides.
Trial runs have been successful. So far, only park employees have ridden down the water slide. It still needs to be approved by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs before it can be opened to the public. That can be a lengthy process, and park officials do not know when it will be completed. The water slide is expected to be open to the public in 2016.
The water slide is made of 10,000 feet of polyvinyl chloride, a synthetic plastic polymer that is used in bounce houses, and has six million stitches. Builders linked together 20 600-pound, 100-foot sections. Two generators and 15 blowers are needed to keep the water slide inflated. Mountain Creek ski resort provides the 1,000 gallons of water that are needed every hour.
The water slide was created by New Zealander Jim Hunt, the founder of Live More Awesome, who had no prior experience constructing water slides. He created his first water slide as part of a fundraiser to raise awareness of mental health issues. It took about four months to manufacture the water slide and cost about $100,000. The money was raised through crowd sourcing. The water slide was assembled in Auckland in March.
The record-setting water slide is one of over 30 slides, rides, and attractions at Action Park. It does not yet have a name. The Travel Channel will air an episode of “Xtreme Waterparks” about the slide on July 26.
People who love to pop Bubble Wrap took to Twitter to voice their displeasure when Sealed Air, the company that makes the inflatable packing material, announced that a new version will be harder to pop.
Bubble Wrap is popular around the world in large part because of the enjoyment people get from popping it. Doctors and sociologists have conducted studies and found that people experience joy from popping Bubble Wrap. Sealed Air sells Bubble Wrap stress relief boxes specifically for that purpose. The company, which is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been making the stress-relieving material for over 50 years.
Sealed Air is developing a new packaging material called iBubble Wrap that has chains of interlocked bubbles that let air flow through the plastic. That makes it more difficult to pop the bubbles.
Ken Aurichio, executive director of Sealed Air, said the company decided to create the new product because of the growth of shipping, especially in e-commerce. Companies have tried to reduce the cube sizes of boxes, improve productivity, and enhance their brands. iBubble Wrap inflates when it is ready to be used, which saves storage space for companies that ship products.
Sealed Air plans to create other innovative protective packing materials, especially for e-commerce, and to improve the strength and protective qualities of traditional Bubble Wrap, which will still be used in many applications for the foreseeable future. Aurichio believes that as long as companies want to ship products safely and sustainably, there will continue to be a market for both traditional Bubble Wrap and the new iBubble Wrap.
Life jackets can save lives, but many people don’t like to wear them because they can be bulky and uncomfortable. Most people who drown have a life jacket nearby but choose not to wear it. Tom Agapiades was inspired to create Kingii after a friend of his drowned three years ago.
Kingii is a much smaller and more convenient alternative to a life jacket. It is a wristband that can inflate if a person is unable to swim. Kingii is the smallest inflatable in the world. It is up to 78 times smaller than a standard life jacket.
The wristband contains an inflatable nylon balloon inside a small pouch next to a carbon dioxide cartridge. The wearer pulls a lever, and the carbon dioxide cartridge is punctured, which causes the wristband to inflate and pull the person to the surface. The inflatable bag is released from the pouch within one second after the wearer pulls the lever.
The inflatable bag has a hexagonal shape that is easy to hold onto. It is bright orange to make it easy to find the person, and an integrated whistle can help the person attract attention. It also comes with a compass to help if the person is lost at sea. The carbon dioxide cartridge can be replaced so the Kingii can be reused.
Kingii is designed to be used by people over the age of 6. It can be used on adults over 275 pounds, and the adjustable wristband can fit anyone. Kingii can be used in a variety of water-related activities, such as swimming, surfing, kayaking, sailing, and fishing. It can be useful in a case of exhaustion, if someone is caught in strong currents or has a cramp or poor circulation, or if a child is in the water without an adult nearby.