Life can sometimes be stressful. Train delays, road closures and the soaring price of avocado on toast can all add to your daily load. Thankfully, you can now release some of that pent-up rage in the most practical way possible – by smashing stuff up with a baseball bat.
Sydney’s first break room, Smash Brothers, opened its doors in April, almost as a public service for Sydneysiders looking for a controlled space to let off some steam.
Housed in an industrial area of Kogarah, in Sydney’s south – appropriately surrounded by car smash repairers – it’s the first project for friends Johnny Li and Russell Dunn, a digital marketer and web developer, who reckon it’s ideal for people’s wellbeing. The duo had heard of similar rooms in other cities and thought Sydney needed one. Plus, they just really like to smash stuff.
When you arrive, you’re kitted out in overalls, gloves and a face shield, and given a baseball bat. Each 10-minute session comes with a milk crate full of breakables, like bottles, plates and cups. There are a few basic safety rules, but essentially you’re free to smash at will. You can throw the items at the wall, hit them off a crate with the bat or (depending on your hand-to-eye coordination) throw plates in the air and take a swing.
Both rooms are also stocked with one “big” item, like a fridge, office printer or water heater. Everyone has a crack at it over the day, so if you want to be the first to inflict some damage, come in the morning.
The whole thing is incredibly cathartic – and surprisingly tough on the arms. Objects break with a satisfyingly loud crash against the back wall, showering the room in shards of glass and ceramic. And there’s a thumping soundtrack of hardcore rock and trance playing in the background, in case you need a little extra push.
“People don’t expect to come out feeling so relieved because it’s quiet different to other stress relief techniques,” says Li. “After one or two minutes they realise it’s not dangerous so they really let loose and get smashing.”
The sessions are recorded on a video camera, with the live feed played in the waiting room. Videos are also uploaded onto social media so you can share your smash therapy with the world.
A local restaurant supplies the used bottles and the rest is sourced from wherever the team can find it. After it’s been smashed, everything is recycled. Dunn admits to being “a bit of a greenie”, so it was important to them to ensure the waste was disposed of responsibly.
Unit 2, 1 Phillips Road, Kogarah
0413 613 813
Sat & Sun 10am–6.30pm
This article was updated on June 22, 2018.