Outdoor show takes over Pearkes arena

The Vancouver Island Outdoor Adventure Expo has taken the bull by the horns

As a trade show that bills itself for active people, this year the Vancouver Island Outdoor Adventure Expo has taken the bull by the horns.

The fourth annual expo launches Friday at Pearkes arena with dozens of vendors linked to fishing, ATVs, fitness and off-road activities, but also with mechanical bull riding, and “zorbing,” a floating human hamster ball.

The Cyclone mechanical bull, complete with a bull head and horns, will give aspiring cowboys the thrill of rodeo riding, but without the spinal injuries. Cushioned all around, it is designed for kids and adults.

The same company will set up a pool for “Wild Zorbing Water Balls,” people-sized floating plastic balls that require exceptional balance to stand and walk on water.

“It’s a big ball in a pond. It’s quite a workout and a lot of fun,” said Beckie Ross, with trade show organizer Pacific West Displays in Nanaimo.

The three-day outdoor recreation trade show drew a few thousand people last year to see dozens of vendors. This year Western Speedway will bring out a winged spring car,  TNT Paintball will host a 40-foot paintball target range and the Victoria Fish and Game Club will host an airgun range.

In the theme of guns ‘n’ ammo, this year the expo will also host a display from Sterling Cross Defense Systems, an Abbotsford-based company that supplies items such as heavy machine guns, cannons and riot control gear to military and police agencies, and weapons for civilian sport shooters.

The expo runs Friday, March 22 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. See vioutdoorexpo.ca for more information.

editor@saanichnews.com