It doesn't look like much, with its off-putting, covered-over front door on Sherman Way between a busy cake-decorating supply store and a check-cashing outfit. But step inside Allen & Sons Table Tennis Club in Canoga Park and you'll find the air filled with the tang of competition. At eight Butterfly ping-pong tables arranged on a large, Olympic-style rubber floor, people flash “drop dead, pal” stares and smirks as they zap the ball across the net. Beginners, pros, individuals or groups — everyone is welcome. A day pass is $12, a monthly membership $70. Think of it this way: You can lose fat and get your cardio going for about the price of cable TV, which has the opposite effect. If you're too embarrassed to subject anyone to your ping-pong “skills,” private coaching is $60 per hour — or try your reaction times and aim against the Newgy robot for $10 an hour. —Jill Stewart

21915 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, 91303. (818) 330-5756,

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