Please welcome Gavin Harvey to the Kendama USA family. We are proud to announce Gavin as Tribe! He is one of the most technical kids in the Kendama community. A few years back Dave Mateo first met Gavin at a small school event with Logan Tosta in Sacramento. Just like Logan, Dave believed that Gavin had high potential of being a great role model and leader for the next generation. Not only has Gavin rocketed his skill since then, he has also continued spread the love of the game through out Sacramento and progressed the players around him. Check out Gavin’s announcement video below.
We are excited to see what will come with your future in Kendama. Congratulations and welcome to the family. -Kendama USA Team
When Tribute team member, Haley Bishoff, isn’t playing Kendama, you’ll usually find her rock climbing or somewhere outside!
Though she is a passionate climber, it doesn’t stop her from bringing a Kendama wherever she goes.
Haley recently met up with a friend who she met last summer at a campsite in Leavenworth, WA. Both her and Nelson Klein were enjoying world renowned boulder problems, swimming in the Wenatchee river and meeting new people as the summer passed by. Such an awesome part of both the dama and climbing community is that new people are always being welcomed, friends are constantly being made and having connections spread across the country allows for new memories when passing through on trips.
Nelson and Haley spent some time climbing at Smith Rock in Terrebonne, OR, a small town just North of where Haley grew up. Smith is one of the most iconic sport climbing areas in the world and is home some of the first ever sport routes and through extensive pioneering since the 60s, now contains over 1,500 climbs on beautiful tuff and basalt rock.
Bringing a Kendama on a climbing trip is always a good call. Getting to play while waiting to climb and even attaching it to the gear loops on your harness for some casual play at the top of the wall never fails.
If you’re ever taking a trip to Smith Rock, don’t get fooled that Monkey Face is the only place worth seeing. Take at least a couple days to explore this gorgeous area in Central Oregon, take a walk up the heinous Misery Ridge and don’t forget to pack lots of water.
To follow more of Haley’s adventures and Nelson’s travel & climbing photography follow: @hbishhh and @ne1son.klein on instagram!
All Photos: Nelson Klein
Kendama used: Zebrano kaizen x Grey and Seafoam Half Split
Shout outs: KendamaUSA, all the belaytionships and Smith Rock for letting us climb your walls : )
We are excited and honored to announce Tj Kolesnik as the newest 2016 Kendama USA Pro! Tj is an embodiment of dedication to Kendama. His passion and work ethic can be seen in his progression from a player to a pillar in the Kendama community. TJ has been part of the Kendama community for several years. He began his Kendama journey back in 2010 while he was in his junior year of high school. For years, he has continued to hone not only his Kendama play and steeze but his skills in videography. He’s helped us share great moments and memories with the community and continues to host Kendama events around the globe.
Tj is currently a student at San Diego City College where he is dual majoring in Graphic Design & Communications. He still finds time to jam, capture amazing moments and work with kids. It’s no secret why Tj is such an inspirational and motivational figure to countless Kendama players around the world. Join us in celebrating and check out his journey in the video below.
Tosta to represent Kendama USA at World Cup.
By John Hull – Citizen Sports Editor
Published: Friday, July 8, 2016 10:47 AM PDT
Elk Grove Citizen – News
Logan Tosta is a normal 12-year-old boy that lives in Elk Grove. He plays soccer, will be trying out for a part in a musical in a community theatre company. He plays basketball.
But, the soon-to-be seventh grader at Joseph Kerr Middle School is also one of the best Kendama players in the country.
In fact, Kendama USA has asked Tosta to be a part of our country’s representation at the Kendama World Cup, July 23 and 24 in Hatsukaichi, Japan.
In recent years, Kendama has become a craze, mainly amonst young people, but several older folks have played with the strangely-shaped wooden dowel with a round ball attached via a short rope. In fact, a couple of Tosta’s Kendama USA teammates are in their 30’s.
Kendama has been around for centuries. It’s origination is in Japan. Kendama is a toy, generally made from wood, with a main body, “ken”, a spike on the top, “kensaki”, a large cup on one side of the ken, “osara”, a smaller cup on the opposite side, “kozara” and it has a short string, “ito”, with a small ball, “tama,” attached. When playing with a Kendama the object is to do a series of tricks such as swinging the ball in the air and having it land on the spike or one of the cups.
Logan’s father, Seth, says his son has been a Kendama player since he was in third grade and now it is not unusual for him to be practicing all his tricks six to eight hours a day.
“It’s one of those things where his friends stopped playing Kendama, but he kept playing and kept playing and he’s got pretty good,” Seth said. “He’s put in hours and hours into it and always is playing (a Kendama).”
Kendama USA, the biggest manufacturer of Kendamas in this country., discovered Logan and is now sponsoring him in competitions on what is known as the “TRIBE” team.
“There’s some really stellar players on this TRIBE team including last year’s World Cup champion,” Seth said.
This year will be the third year for the Kendama World Cup, considered to be the Super Bowl of all Kendama competitions. Tosta and his teammates will compete individually against others from literally all over the world. The top prize will be $5,000.
“This is the pinnacle of their sport,” Seth said. “It’s put on by GLOKEN, a company that makes Kendamas.”
A typical Kendama competition is a two-round affair. In the first round, each competitor will have two three-minute periods to perform a set of tricks. In the first period, a competitor selects five tricks to do. There’s a break in time and then in the second three-minute period, the competitor selects another five tricks to perform.
GLOKEN establishes a list of 100 tricks from which the competitors may choose. Every trick has a point value attached, anywhere from one to ten points.
“In each period you want to accumulate as many points as you can to advance to the finals,” Seth explained. “If you have enough points to finish in the top 24 then you move onto the finals.”
Last year the finalists scored 70 or more points in the opening rounds.
In the final round each competitor will get three-minutes on a stage in front of typically a large and boisterous crowd cheering him one as he does as many tricks as possible.
“The only different (in the finals) is that everything is ‘squared’ for your point totals,” Tosta said. “If you hit a ten-point trick on the finals’ stage, that’s worth 100 points.”
The points earned in the final three-minute period is added to the points in the earlier rounds for each competitor’s final score.
The competition will be live streamed on the GLOKEN website, gloken.net.
Seth admits he, too, likes to fiddle around with the Kendama.
“It would be funny to watch me as compared to Logan and his friends with the Kendama,” he laughed. “It’s comparing a world-class player to a novice.”
The past several months the entire family has been traveling across the country with Logan as he’s been entering different competitions.
“It’s really special to meet cool people that are into a niche thing,” Seth said. “He’s just 12-years old and most of the people competing are in their 20’s and they treat him like one of their own. They support him and look out for him. It’s something we thought would be a flash-in-the-pan for him, but he’s been so dedicated and consistent with it, not because he had to, but because he’s passionate about it.”
Madison Wisconsin has a lively Kendama community and Kendama USA Pro Zack Yourd stopped in and hosted a couple of events.
Here’s what Zack had to say about Madison, WI:
“There is no doubt that Madison, WI is on the rise to becoming a large Kendama community. A solid crew of both new and experienced Kendama players attended each event. The amount of people who attended and the level of Kendama play was incredible. The buzz even attracted the local news to cover one of the events. The ladder competition came down to the wire but local shredder Gino G. took home the crown! I look forward to visiting again in the future.”
Yourd followed up by reporting nothing but positive remarks about all of the players and their kind/humble/skilled attitude toward Kendama. Keep a look out for more of our players heading to Wisconsin!