Situated inside the only North American retail store for Chinese athletic apparel company Li Ning, Club Pong is a Pearl District destination for serious paddle practitioners, where amidst cavernous, well-lit digs, members and passersby alike can find a pick-up game, engage in hardcore practice, or get coached to become so good, they’ll one day be able to beat that wall that always played Forrest Gump so tight. There’s no need for spin on:
The Club: Membership gets you access to balls, loaner paddles, and Pong’s three pristine competition-grade Double Happiness tables, as well as a special room where you can hone your skills against a robot capable of shooting 90 balls a minute at roughly 70mph with gnarly spin. Members can also browse a pro shop jammed with everything from specialty apparel to blank paddle blades customizable with a myriad of rubber pad options that may or may not net you glory, considering organizers guarantee there'll always be "someone to hit with who's better than you", unless you’re Ma Long, or Ma Lin, or even a little someone named Wang Hao (All EXCELLENT table tennis players).
The Coaches: Pong offers a full coaching staff of pros (you best watch out, Wang Hao), including a dude who learned from the National Junior Coach of Bosnia before playing with the National Team of Peru, both of which are maybe really good. He claims his program'll have you beating any basement player within 3mo after learning everything from proper grip to the five basic strokes with spin as you progress through skill levels with badass names like Rogue, Necromancer, and Berserker, all of which'll ensure you'll never again hit the wall.