Ever wanted to just lose it for a few? It’s encouraged on this bus, where the harder you smash glass, the better.
Sean Logan/The Republic

First, pick a weapon: a baseball bat, a sledgehammer, a crow bar or perhaps, your own foot. 

Next, a target: a glass bottle, tiny teacup, porcelain plate, windshield, an array of electronics if you’re lucky. 

Then, put on a jumpsuit and smash away. 

“Smash rooms” are a growing international trend, places where customers can pay to go nuts in a safe environment and leave without cleaning the wreckage.

Vera Antranik and Keith Robinson came up with their own take on the idea, Insanity AZ, last September over breakfast sandwiches in downtown Phoenix. 

“A lot of people tend to think that this is something that came out of anger,” Antranik said, “but really, it was just like, ‘Hey, how cool would it be to be able to just break stuff with no consequences?’ “

They realized there were no smash rooms in Arizona, and they couldn’t find any across the U.S. that were mobile.

So they bought a used school bus in January, gutted it, retrofitted it with a cage and started collecting smashable items. 

A form of meditation? 

Antranik, the 25-year-old owner, worked in the tech industry before quitting to pursue the idea. Robinson, 41, is “the muscle” of the business, Antranik said.

“I was the original tester. It’s a lot of fun,” Robinson said. “I love the windshields because if you break them a specific way, if you do a line down the middle, they actually fold.”

Many people think of smash rooms as places to express stress or anger only, but it’s also a workout, Antranik said, as well as flat-out fun. 

“I think a lot of people are surprised when they come off the bus, and I’ve actually heard people say, ‘I feel relaxed.’ They feel happy, and it’s anything but negative energy,” she said. 

The pair bought the 1985 Blue Bird All American school bus in Pinetop, about 185 miles northeast of Phoenix, they said, from a man who said he had been using it to transport crews to fight wildfires in northern Arizona.

“The bus has great karma,” Robinson said, chuckling. 

How it works

Insanity AZ debuted in late July, and for now, the pair plans to park it at large events, like First Friday in downtown Phoenix. They’re hoping to get spots at the upcoming Lost Lake Music Festival and the Downtown Phoenix Zombie Walk. 

MORE: Downtown Phoenix Zombie Walk 2017 date announced

The cost for a smash session ranges from $15 to $30, depending on the items. The bus is also available for private parties and company team-building events. 

Customers must wear closed-toe shoes, sign a waiver and put on coveralls, gloves and a hard hat with a face shield before stepping into the cage on the bus.

They get to pick what music plays during their smash session, which others can watch from a small sitting area next to the cage. 



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