In the UK, the latest twist on the underground sport of champions is Ping Tron – the lovechild of neon techno raves and table tennis. Others may have dabbled with the concept of UV-lit table tennis, but there is now a consolidated UK movement being spearheaded by a small group of guerilla party people.
The mobile set up is simple: Black out the playing space, set the UV lights humming, and deck out the tables, nets, bats, and balls with neon reflective marking. Finally, turn off the regular lights and get the music blasting.
Epic battles and rallies commence, but this is a sport for teammates. The general vibe is laid back and fun with little attention paid to scoring and competition. It's inclusive, energetic and creative, rather than regimented and intimidating. Benches are placed tableside for glowstick-wearing spectators too cheer on their mates.
Ping Tron debuted last summer at Winterwell Festival, and this year it’s exploded onto the UK festival scene. Lucky festivalgoers caught them at Secret Garden Party and Boomtown. Around town, they’ve done pop-up nights at The Shop NW10 and The Loft.
The next opportunity to catch them will be at Bestival (6-9 September) on the Isle of Wight. Until then, brush up on your table tennis skills, dig out your day glow and bat to the beat.
Photo courtesy of Mike Massaro.