A new ping-pong bar bounces into the 905

The venue is match­ing up against SPiN Toronto and Smash Ping Pong Lounge

Richmond Hill Post - - News - by Kristina Kirkaldy

When Su­san Saran­don’s into it, you know it’s cool. Ta­ble ten­nis — or ping-pong — has be­come a so­cial phe­nom­e­non as of late, spread­ing across bars world­wide. There’s a huge ping-pong scene spring­ing up in down­town Toronto with SPiN Toronto, lo­cated at 461 King St. W., and Smash Ping Pong Lounge lo­cated at 672 Queen St. E. Now, Rich­mond Hill wants a piece of the ac­tion with the open­ing of Whiff Waff, a 6,000-square-foot bar, lo­cated at 9-115 York Blvd. It of­fers nine ping-pong ta­bles and two VIP ta­bles that are built to In­ter­na­tional Ta­ble Ten­nis Fed­er­a­tion (ITTF) specificat­ions: mean­ing you won’t find this ta­ble in your friend’s base­ment.

Af­ter a night out at SPiN — co-founded by the afore­men­tioned keener Saran­don — Whiff Waff’s owner Wil­son Wong wit­nessed first-hand the pop­u­lar­ity of the game in a so­cial set­ting.

“I thought [the theme of the bar] was a great idea, but I thought, why should peo­ple have to travel all the way down­town?”

This re­al­iza­tion led Wong to open York Re­gion’s first ping-pong bar. Whiff Waff is named af­ter a 1900s al­ter­na­tive name for the game, af­ter Jac­ques games com­pany trade­marked the name ping-pong in 1901.

“Back in my day, it used to be pool halls that would be the place to hang out at, but this is the new trend,” said Wong. “Ping-pong is a fun so­cial game that any­one can kind of play, even if they haven’t played in 10 years. It’s like rid­ing a bike, you just pick up the pad­dle and the ball, and it comes back to you.”

Not only is ping-pong a healthy and ac­tive ac­tiv­ity, but you can play the game ei­ther with a group of peo­ple or by your­self ( Whiff Waff has a serv­ing ro­bot that you can rent).

The ping-pong tend has also at­tracted many busi­nesses to drop the work and pick up a pad­dle to en­gage in a fun, so­cial team-build­ing ac­tiv­ity. Wong hopes to start host­ing ping­pong tour­na­ments and leagues at the be­gin­ning of April.

“It is some­thing dif­fer­ent that peo­ple can en­joy out­side of a base­ment or a com­mu­nity cen­tre,” he said. “It’s a cooler place to hang out: drinks and ping-pong, it’s an easy com­bi­na­tion.”

Does this mean we should trade in pool cues for ping-pong pad­dles?

L–R: Whiff Waff is equipped with nine ping-pong ta­bles and two VIP ta­bles that are built to ITTF specificat­ions; owner Wil­son Wong with the serv­ing ro­bot

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