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Jun 15, 2010 12:28 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Table tennis club opens in Water Mill

Jun 15, 2010 12:28 PM

For many, table tennis, or ping-pong, conjures up childhood memories of family fun on the back patio, in the basement or the garage, but the Hampton Table Tennis Club in Water Mill is taking the sport to another level.

What began as a fun idea between friends and table tennis enthusiasts Kent Feuerring and David Osiecki quickly became a plan and then a reality last month. Feuerring, a commercial film producer, said the entire project took just three weeks to complete from start to finish and the club quietly opened on May 29.

Located just east of the Hampton Coffee Company on Montauk Highway in Water Mill, the Hampton Table Tennis Club is home to three tournament grade Killerspin ping-pong tables, one attractively designed Killerspin Revolution table, and a state-of-the-art Robo-Pong ball feeder and practice table featuring spin and shot selection. Members and guests can also play on an outdoor table or sit back and enjoy the game on the Nintendo Wii and 60-inch high-definition television inside.

“We wanted to bring something new to the locals,” Feuerring said, noting that he has visited the East End since childhood and lived in Sagaponack full time with his family for the past 15 years. He and Osiecki, a successful real estate and business investor and Sag Harbor resident, are passionate about table tennis and they are more interested in spreading their love for the game than making a profit. “I always wanted to do something locally,” Feuerring said. “There are a lot of ping-pong people.”

Before Osiecki and Feuerring met, mutual friends were aware of their shared fondness for table tennis and they were encouraged to get together, but the two men were introduced by fate instead. They met coincidentally after sitting next to each other on a plane leaving Miami and before long Osiecki and Feuerring were playing ping-pong together and fantasizing about creating HTTC.

“It became our idea,” Feuerring said, explaining that he and Osiecki went full steam ahead on the project. “Why hasn’t this happened before?” he asked, pointing out that the sport is back in fashion now. “I’ve been wanting to do this for two years,” Feuerring said. “If I don’t do it now, someone else will.”

Feuerring said he and Osiecki offer different things to the club, but their talents fit together well. “We have a different skill set,” Feuerring said, explaining that he handles the practical elements of the club, while Osiecki adds more creativity. “I’m the nuts and bolts guy ... He’s the idea guy,” he said, noting that Osiecki’s daughter, Katie, designed HTTC’s logo.

The partners envision their club as a family-friendly venue for men, women and children of all ages to have a healthy and wholesome good time, but that’s just the beginning.

HTTC offers lessons with experienced coaches and they would like to collaborate with the local schools and hold professional exhibition matches with some of the top players in the world.

Local enthusiasts, including artist and ping-pong player Walter (Valta) Us, are already becoming regular fixtures at the club, and other serious competitors are beginning to take notice.

Last week, 32-year-old Southampton resident and certified table tennis coach Daniel Flores and his friend Ania Kozlowska, another serious player from Southold, visited the club. Both play at a handful of other table tennis clubs on Long Island and they said the HTTC facility is a cut above the rest.

“It’s nice,” Flores said, explaining that he often plays in Hampton Bays and Bohemia, but the other clubs keep very limited hours and they typically use inferior tables in less attractive locations, such as a cramped residential basement. “I travel, I play in a lot of tournaments,” he said, pointing out that the Hampton Table Tennis Club has excellent floors and quality tables. Flores noted that the only problem is finding good players to compete against.

“We love it, we need more clubs here ... I used to play in a club in Poland every day,” Kozlowska said, also noting that the HTTC’s lighting is very good. “The facility is beautiful,” she said.

Osiecki said ping-pong has great health benefits, it can improve brain function and “it’s a much more elegant way to work out” for the aging population. But more than anything else, “It’s all about the fun, that’s the key.”

Membership to the Hampton Table Tennis Club is available for individuals or families in 
two-day, one-month and yearly increments from $10 to 
$250 and guest fees are $5. Table fees range from $10 to $30 per hour, depending on the time and table, and lessons are $100 per hour.

HTTC is open from 3 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays, 3 to 9 p.m. on Fridays, noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Schedules change weekly and interested parties should check HamptonTableTennis.com each week or call 521-7566 for more information.

The club is also available for parties, benefits, art openings and other gatherings.

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Good Luck Kent! Sounds like fun, will have to stop in!
By Sag Native (54), East Hampton on Jun 15, 10 9:15 PM
Yes, $30 an hour and $100 per hour for someone to teach me how to play ping pong. that sounds like a nice thing for "locals" to do.
A carpenter can have thousands of dollars in tools and a thirty thousand dollar truck to make payments on, and yet he might get $30-$40 dollars an hour. Thats if he is good and works his butt off. Getting dirty and humping lumber around a dangerous job site. Replace "carpenter" with "plumber, or electrician- same deal. If anyone deserves $100 an hour its a hard ...more
By private (27), sag harbor on Jun 22, 10 10:39 PM

Did you learn about supply and demand in economics? Anyone can be a carpenter/plumber and there are no shortage of either but how many top notch table tennis players are there? And the article says rates range from $10-30. I'm guessing peak times/tables cost more money.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jun 24, 10 9:19 AM
Better than a bank, a nail salon or liquor store. Good idea, a little expensive, but worth it if you've got bored 14-year-olds on a rainy day.
By ann lombardo (4), southampton on Jul 6, 10 5:21 AM