News / Edmonton

Edmontonians letting off steam in new 'smash rooms'

Downtown space lets people smash dinnerware with bats, hammers.

Smartypantz branch manager Brendan Thompson stands inside a smash room Monday.

Kevin Maimann / Metro Order this photo

Smartypantz branch manager Brendan Thompson stands inside a smash room Monday.

I was not in an especially smashy mood when I visited Edmonton’s new Smash Room on Monday, but I decided to take a shot at it. Or, at least, take a swing at a few dishes.  

SmartyPantz escape rooms downtown installed two side-by-side rooms – the first of their kind in Western Canada – and they are quickly growing in popularity among people looking to let off steam.

“We’ve heard a lot of people saying you can come take out your stress or take out your anger. I wouldn’t stop seeing your shrink, but it might help with that,” said Smartypantz branch manager Brendan Thompson.

“I think it’s also, really, just fun. Most people who come in are polite and normal people, and as soon as they get to smashing they become energetic, angry people.”

The small rooms come complete with a table, set with plates, mugs and cutlery. Pulling out the table cloth, I have to admit, was extremely satisfying. Next, I picked up a golf club and swung at a Coca-Cola glass which shattered to smithereens, but I was protected from flying shards by the mandatory goggles, earmuffs and overalls.

A minute of smashing was all I had in me, but most people seeking the experience want a whole lot more – people can buy sessions of five or ten minutes.

Tires, two-by-fours and pieces of furniture are up for throwing and breaking, and weapons include sledgehammers and baseball bats.

“Some people do five minutes and they just want to keep going, and some people find that five minutes is enough. It’s tiring,” Thompson said.

Smartypantz orders its table settings in bulk, but most other items were thrown out or given away.  The company is working on policies to allow people to bring in their own items, so things could get sentimental and likely, a little weird.

So far, everyone has been respectful of the rules.

“There is a smasher inside of all of us,” Thompson said.

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