Rage on: Brothers start Waco Rage Room amid pandemic

By Madalyn Watson | Editor-in-Chief

Even though coronavirus has everyone on edge, the Waco Rage Room gives locals a place to create what comes naturally in times of stress — destruction.

Winston Kail, the president and co-founder of Waco Rage Room, opened this business with his brother, David Stallings, on June 4.

“With just everything going on throughout the year, it just seemed like the perfect time to do it,” Kail said.

Although Kail has been dreaming of opening their business since 2017, the chaos that came with the coronavirus gave him and his brother a unique opportunity.

“As we were building and putting this thing together, things just kept happening and I could tell there was such tension,” Kail said.

A Waco Rage Room player smashes a windshield. Chase (Junyan) Li | Photographer
A Waco Rage Room player smashes a windshield. Chase (Junyan) Li | Photographer

The Waco Rage Room, located at 1007 Wooded Acres Drive, is a place where people de-stress by breaking as many things as they want within an enclosed room.

“We’re a stone’s throw from Valley Mills,” Kail said. “I love my neighbors. It seems like a very American thing. There’s a gun store, a bar and then a place where you break things.”

With all the tension in the world right now, Kail said he wants the Waco Rage Room to be a safe place for people to work through their emotions rather than taking it out on the people around them.

“It just kind of gives them some focus, it gives them an outlet,” Kail said. “I think a lot of times we suppress all those natural things, and then that’s when we walk around so sad and depressed and angry and frustrated.”

Although the Waco Rage Room provides several different packages, Kail said the most popular is their Date Night service.

“It’s people that would surprise you coming [in], very quiet couples, people who have very normal jobs,” Kail said. “But I think it is from having this very structured, desk job. It builds up inside of them.”

Kail said one couple came to the Waco Rage Room and treated it like couples therapy.

“They kept coming out of the room and they’d be upset, but then they add some more things and go back in there and yell and scream and break stuff,” Kail said. “By the end of it, they were lovey dovey. They were happy.”

The Date Night service starts at $75 for 45 minutes, according to the Waco Rage Room’s Facebook page and its Instagram. Like all of the sessions they offer, you can add more time and items during the reservation. The cheapest option they offer, Bring Your Own Breakables, is $25. You bring the items to be destroyed and they provide the room and the weapons.

Brianna St. John joined several of her coworkers at the Waco Rage Room on Tuesday night to celebrate a birthday and release some pent up frustrations.

“I’ve heard of [a Rage Room] before, but I’d never been to one,” St. John said. “And for the price, it’s really worth it.”

A Waco Rage Room player is smashing things. Chase (Junyan) Li | Photographers & Videographers
A Waco Rage Room player is smashing things. Chase (Junyan) Li | Photographers & Videographers

St. John and her friends said that where they worked as waitresses, a lot of their customers are not taking coronavirus seriously and even cuss them out when they ask them to wear a mask.

“People are really selfish and they don’t take the time to buy a mask or wear it and they want to make excuses,” St. John said. “And then that puts people’s health and our health at risk.”

The group smashed dishes, bottles, a door with lots of glass windows, windshields and a television to cope with their frustrations.

All of the items that you can destroy at the Waco Rage Room are donations.

“You’d be surprised to how excited people are to give us things,” Kail said.

Because of the stay-in-place orders and social distancing, Kail said he thinks that people were more likely to donate to them.

“[Because of coronavirus,] people were home. They were bored. They were doing little home improvement projects. They were cleaning out their house, they were getting rid of this, getting rid of that,” Kail said.

A decent amount of the items donated to be smashed at the Waco Rage Room include holiday decorations.

“A lot of times we’ll go in the room and then everything will just be smashed to pieces, but they won’t smash the baby Jesus,” Kail said.

The brothers also mentioned a deal they are promoting for Baylor students now that they are in town. If you show your Baylor student ID, you can get $5 off your session, Kail said.

“We don’t have very many rules,” Kail said. “We ask the people to be safe. Don’t go nuts, but have as much fun as you can.”