Ping-Ponging Around

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August 23, 2012 by joshonthebay

Firstly a confession, I can’t play ping-pong! So it may seem a little strange when I tell you I spent my first friday night in San Francisco having the time of my life playing endless games of it.

American TRIPPS is a group who organise ‘Berlin Style’ ping pong tournaments throughout the city. When I headed down they were celebrating their first anniversary and I found a diverse set of people, all with different levels of ability having a great time. I read about the event in a local listings, suggesting it was worth the $5 cover-charge just for the first hour of free beer.

The evening seemed to start slowly with only myself and a fellow SFSU-er to turn up at the very beginning but we sipped down the free cans of PBR and started messing around on the tables. It was clear from the offset – he was good, I was abysmal!

The room started getting busy and the first tournament began. They called it ‘Berlin-style” ping-pong which was something I had never heard of, but it was simple: everyone grabs a paddle and revolves around the table taking turns to hit the ball. When you hit the net or miss a shot (which I did, a lot) you leave the game and wait by the side for another tournament to begin!

By the end of the night there were four tables with hundreds of people revolving around them, taking a shot every few minutes. When the game was down to the last few competitors it became dizzying to watch as people rushed around to have their go.

In the background to this was a great set by Bay Area DJ, Primo who spun tunes from the new Hot Chip album to ease people in to a hectic night of dancing and ping-pong. As the tournaments really took off he did too, playing a six-decade set supported by visuals consisting of a Vincent Price/Christopher Lee hammer horror.

More on American TRIPPS here.

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