The 7 Best Human Bumperballs
This wiki has been updated 32 times since it was first published in February of 2016. If you want to have some reckless outdoor fun with your friends or family members, while cutting down on the risk of bumps and bruises, then try one of these human bumperballs for some outrageous entertainment. They provide inflatable see-through padding so that users can bounce and collide safely, while adding an element of clumsy silliness to games like soccer and tag. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 13, 2020:
Sorting through the various bumper balls on the market can be confusing, since there are a large number of options with different titles but functionally identical designs. We removed several entries that we felt were redundant, like the Amazingsports Bubble and the Garybank Ball, and placed more emphasis on selections that offer a distinct play experience or notably superior quality.
We've added the Lexibook PA100, which lets users climb inside and roll around or be pushed by friends, and the Jilong Giant Inflatable, which is easy on the wallet but can still provide a lot of entertainment for kids. And we were impressed by the durability of the Ludosport Human Hamster Knocker, which is constructed from thicker material than most items in its class. We also replaced the Holleyweb Inflatable with the Shaofu Inflatable, a similar model that's better-reviewed and available in a wider range of sizes and designs.
You'll most likely need an electric air pump if you want to inflate your bumper ball quickly. If you're interested in other fun outdoor activities, take a look at our reviews of tetherball equipment, yard games, or disc golf sets.
Bubbleball Business Association If you're interested in using inflatable bumpers for high-energy competitive sports, you may want to check out the BBA, which has developed rules for a unique game known as Bubbleball. This organization offers a range of high-quality equipment, including a Premium ball featuring a front window for better visibility and airflow, as well as pumps, repair kits, and even customizable jerseys designed to fit over a bubble. bubbleball.us
The Ludicrous, Laughable, Beloved Human Bumper Ball
There are few ways to add more humor and levity to a situation than by breaking out the human bumper balls.
There are few ways to add more humor and levity to a situation than by breaking out the human bumper balls. As the name suggests, these odd devices are inflatable spheres designed such that a full grown adult can slide into the center of the ball, secure himself or herself within the inflated sphere, and then can run around bouncing against walls, obstacles, or other bumper ball-clad people with relative impunity. In the air-filled grasp of a bumper ball, falls are cushioned, rolling down hill is reliably injury-free, and there is almost no way your friends and family members won't be doubled over with laughter at the spectacle of your antics.
As you might expect, these oversized inflatable objects are on the pricier side when it comes to novelty items, but most are durable enough to last for years of use as they can be patched and repaired if leaks develop. And as these bumper balls will become favorite fixtures of family playtime, and can even be used as part of a party rental service's offerings, they are well worth the investment, provided you choose the best human bumper ball (or balls) for your needs. They are a great way to encourage older children (and adults alike, for that matter) usually reticent to exercise based on how amusing their use can prove.
Human bumper balls use an almost universally similar design wherein a cloth harness wraps around its users shoulders, and a pair of solid handles is placed before the user's chest. When strapped into and holding onto the ball, he or she should be able to run about with ease and absorb impacts without any blunt force affecting his or her body. If you find that you do not fit comfortable into a unit's harness -- and that the straps cannot be adjusted to accommodate you -- do not use the bumper ball.
Most bumper balls measure five feet in diameter and are large enough to accommodate most teenagers and adults. Some units measure four feet across and are suitable for smaller adults or younger teens. Generally, these items are not sized for children nor are they necessarily an appropriate toy for the younger, smaller child -- youngsters are generally accident-prone enough as it is without the addition of an activity that encourages collisions and falls, air cushioning notwithstanding.
Playing with these oversized inflatables is also not generally advisable for those of advanced age due to the increased likelihood of damaged bones or joints that comes with the years. So too should anyone with a heart, pulmonary, or other potentially serious medical condition settle for spectating when it comes to the human bumper ball. Fortunately, it is as much fun to watch these items used as it is to actually encase yourself in one.
It should be noted that most human bumper balls are made from PVC material (or polyvinyl chloride), which is durable and resists tears and punctures, but which can also irritates some skin types. There are no viable alternatives available, unfortunately, so those with a PVC allergy will have to consider another form of diversion.
Bubble Soccer: Bouncing Across the Nation
Almost any amusing activity will eventually find a large enough group of enthusiasts to warrant some organization; this has certainly proven true for the human bumper ball. The "sport" known as Bubble Soccer is overseen by the National Association of Bubble Soccer, or NABS for short.
As the name suggests, playing the game relies on the basic rules of soccer with the unique twist of athletes being encased in giant inflated spheres.
As the name suggests, playing the game relies on the basic rules of soccer with the unique twist of athletes being encased in giant inflated spheres. There are obvious differences -- using one's head to hit the ball is rather impossible, for example -- but anyone who knows soccer will quickly learn the rules of its bubble-encased counterpart.
Playing a serious game of Bubble Soccer demands a good degree of athleticism, as the game is filled with running, shots and passes, and the added weight and effort that comes with the giant inflatable ball you are wearing. There are more collisions and spills in Bubble Soccer than in the traditional sport, but they tend to be much less serious in terms of injury. However this game can also be enjoyed at a leisurely pace among friends, with the goal being levity as opposed to victory.
NABS currently has leagues active in more than forty metropolitan areas across the United States, with many more under consideration for expansion -- if you're interested in the sport, chances are there are other like-minded human bumper ball fans near you.
Injury Risks Associated with Bumper Balls
Whether you are playing Bubble Soccer or merely horsing around with friends while wearing human bumper balls, you are actually rather safe as compared to the risks associated with common sports like football, basketball, and soccer. Provided that your sphere is properly secured to your body and you exercise good judgement while playing or competing, it's unlikely a serious injury will occur -- or at least it is unlikely that you will suffer an injury unique to the use of a bubble ball.
Cleats are a wise choice for use when running back and forth on turf or grass, but care must be taken not to damage your inflatable bumper ball or that of an associate.
In fact, because your torso, arms, and head are entirely encased in the inflated sphere, they are quite safe from injury; the sport sees remarkably few concussive injuries in particular, a laudable facet, as brain injuries can have lifelong effects. One possible injury that can occur even within the inflated ball is a player's face impacting against his or her hand; a mouthguard can protect the teeth against damage, or padded gloves can be worn, either approach will mitigate the danger.
Only a player's legs are fully exposed during the use of a human bumper ball, and therefore these are the only body parts that require additional protective hardware for more reliable injury avoidance. A standard pair of shinguards such as one wears when playing soccer is a great idea for the Bubble Soccer player (or any bubble ball user, in truth). Cleats are a wise choice for use when running back and forth on turf or grass, but care must be taken not to damage your inflatable bumper ball or that of an associate.
The best footwear may be that with ankle support; the one major safety concern a bumper ball can create is that it prevents its wearer from catching his or her fall. If you begin to topple over while in one of these spheres, chances are good that you are going to fall all the way to the ground. Adding extra support to your ankles can help prevent a sprain or even a break.