Whet your appetite for destruction at Tampa’s Smash Room

Have you ever dreamed of going to a place full of glass or other breakable objects and just destroying everything within reach without being arrested or incarcerated?

If so, there’s a place where that fantasy can come true: Smash Room of Tampa!

Located in a warehouse on Nebraska Avenue, the Smash Room offers customers a safe opportunity to smash, smash and pound almost anything you can imagine for a low fee. For $50 per person, you have half an hour to break about 40 breakable objects plus two standard “large objects”. You can pay extra to add additional people, items, or time to your session.

The Smash Room, which opened in 2018, is based on the Japanese concept of a rage room, which is a place where people can pay to vent their anger by smashing random objects, according to site manager Jessica . She explained that rage rooms have made their way from Asia to the western United States and now exist across the country. The Smash Room is the only such business in Tampa.

My husband, 16 year old son and I visited the Smash Room on a Saturday afternoon. We had booked a reservation online and checked in with Jessica when we arrived. After signing liability waivers, she provided us with sufficient protective gear, including a helmet with a plastic face shield, protective rubber boots, a chest plate, and thick gloves. Participants are required to wear long-sleeved shirts that extend to the wrist, ankle-length pants (or longer) with no holes or exposed bare skin, socks that cover the ankle, and closed-toe shoes.

Jessica asked if we wanted to give her one of our phones and select a playlist of our choice for our session, or we could just ask for a music genre and she offered to provide the tracks. My husband and son were feeling undecided, so I opted to play 80s alternative music for him. What better soundtrack for destruction, right?

Jessica led us to a room in the warehouse with plywood walls. The concrete floor was partially filled with a variety of glass, plastic and ceramic items in various stages of failure. In the center of the room was a pile of three big tires, with a child’s car seat in front and an old computer printer on it. There was a trash can in the corner that contained golf clubs, baseball bats, crowbars and axes, and plastic milk crates on the floor filled with drinking glasses, ceramic vases, d plates, figurines and a number of other fragile objects.

Music started playing through a speaker in the corner of the room and we were on our own. We were hesitant at first and didn’t know where to start. I encouraged my husband to choose a tool from the trash and he picked up an axe. He carefully pulled out a ceramic plate from one of the milk crates, placed it on top of the printer, and hit it with the axe. The plate shattered into pieces and fell to the ground, adding to the existing scrap pile. We then took turns using various tools to destroy the printer, which was surprisingly tough, and quickly emptied the first milk crate of breakables. My son used a baseball bat to destroy glasses and a vase, and I picked up a golf club and smashed plates. My husband threw a glass up in the air and hit it with a baseball bat, sending shards flying all over the room.

When we completely emptied both crates of milk, we took turns trying to damage the car seat, which was apparently indestructible. Then we went through the pile of stuff on the floor, picking up items that hadn’t been completely destroyed and did our best to smash them into smaller and smaller pieces. Eventually the music stopped which marked the end of our 40 minute session. We were sweaty, exhausted and oddly satisfied when we finished.

The Smash Room is open seven days a week. The owners hope to offer a mobile Smash Room experience in the near future. Visit their website at smashroomoftampa.com or follow them on social media for pricing, policies or to book a session.

By Lynn González

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