SPiN resuscitates the dying art of ping pong

SPiN's chic sitting area adds to the contemporary ambiance of the social club.

Photo Courtesy of Spin

SPiN’s chic sitting area adds to the contemporary ambiance of the social club.

Jordan Holman, News Editor

1962: The turkey’s aroma wafts through the air as Uncle Joe positions his paddle at the perfect angle, his eyes fixated on the ball. Match point.

Beads of sweat drip down his forehead, heart pounding. With a flick of the wrist, the ball spins over the net, barely hitting the table’s edge.

It was his famous topspin serve that crushed his opponent once again. He remains the undefeated champion until the next holiday season.

This scene was a staple of American life throughout the 20th century. Families would come together to participate in legendary table tennis tournaments. But with the integration of technology in our everyday lives, games like these have simply perished.

This unfortunate reality struck a chord with actress Susan Sarandon when she decided to open up SPiN, a modern, chic, and trendy ping pong venue with locations in eight cities throughout the U.S. and Canada.

San Francisco’s ping pong social club takes a spin on the classic basement game. Located in the SoMa district, SPiN has attracted trend-seekers, hipsters, families, and die-hard table tennis competitors alike, all chasing the elusive title of ping pong champion.

When stepping into SPiN for the first time, I felt awestruck. Pop music blared, bright lights flashed, murals covered every inch of the wall, and contemporary furniture completed the look. The electrifying ambience made for an unforgettable experience.

Handed a menu filled with upscale American comfort food, my mouth watered as my friends and I scanned the page. Gourmet nachos, crispy truffle fries, and zesty guacamole called my name.

As the hostess guided us through the maze of ping pong tables, I heard enthusiastic cheers coming from every corner of the room. Once we arrived at our station, we immediately immersed ourselves in the game. Despite our best efforts, hitting the ball came as a slight challenge.

We were relieved that we didn’t have to perform the back-breaking work of picking up the dropped balls. Staff members collect the balls and restock the two buckets located on either side of every table. Table prices range from $29 to $49 per hour depending on the time of day.

During one of our breaks, we discovered a photo booth with different themes and filters. There’s also a bathtub filled with ping pong balls for players to jump into and take pictures.

I admit that even my friends and I couldn’t resist the temptation to soak up the likes and take the perfect Instagram shot. But the fun at SPiN isn’t just limited to these activities.

They also host themed tournaments, such as Halloween costume parties and a holiday event appropriately coined Santa Pong.

Bookings for private events are also popular and are the perfect way to celebrate a birthday, family gathering, or night out with friends in the city.

Recently, SPiN launched an app that allows players to make a profile and compete with each other. Regardless of skill level, this trendy twist on table tennis excites players of all ages. This swanky scene provides a unique spin on a San Francisco outing, bringing this age-old classic back to life.

 

SPiN address: 690 Folsom St #100, San Francisco, CA 94107

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