Kendama USA

Archive for the ‘Contest’ Category

Battle at the Border Recap by Ryan Plourd

This year’s Winter Edition of Battle at the Border; BATB, was the best yet. The turn out was great and players from all over came together not only to test & hone their skills, but to make new friends, get to know old friends a bit better and grow as a community. Congratulations to all the competitors and winners, and thank you to Chad and Shelton Covington for putting on a great event. We can’t wait for this year’s Summer BATB.

If you didn’t catch the winners of BATB:

Open Division:
1. Kevin DeSoto
2. Lyndon Whalen
3. Christian Fraser
4. Jackson Stanek

1. Jake Fischer
2. Kevin DeSoto
3. Christian Fraser
4. Wesley Carkonen

*Austin Ring took first in the opposite hand ladders.
*Zach Porter took first in Race to Lace, landing all his tricks 1st try.

Zach Porter ending a combo in Race to Lace.
Zach Porter - Race to Lace BATB 2016

Post BATB Jam – The Parthenon, Nashville, TN:
POST BATB 2016 Parthenon Jam


Austin Ring casually Stilting

Austin Ring Stilting BATB 2016


Host Chad Convington, Jake Fischer, & Wesley Carkonen

Chad Covington - BATB January 2016

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Van Jam 2 Recap

At the end of the summer, the Terra Kendama workshop celebrated one year of being open in Vancouver, after moving to the coast from Edmonton last spring. The ‘Van Jam 2′ is an event that celebrates the core of what kendama is: having fun while hanging out with friends, learning some new tricks, and maybe a little bit of competition on the side.

This year’s event brought players from across Canada, the US, and Japan to the Terra workshop. Turner Thorne, Haley Bishoff, and I were the repping Kendama USA, and it was awesome having teammates in town! We spent a lot of time seeing sights, eating good food, and jamming kendama around the city.

Last year KendamaUSA’s own Colin Sander won the game of DAMA tournament at the Van Jam, but this year it was Brandon Meyer that took home the first place prize. Good times were had by all, this certainly won’t be the last of the Van Jams!

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Team Wiens v Fuegz Show – Recap

Team Wiens & Team Fuegz  battled it out for street cred in the Mile High Battle – Musous on a Plane 3.

The two teams headed to Japan for this year’s KWC on seperate planes covering 5,000 miles in 10 hours. You voted on which was best & here are the results!


#TeamWiens - Musous on a Plane 3


Missed the Vote? No Problem! Watch the videos and leave us comments on the videos.







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2015 Cook’s Customs Contest Winners Announced

Cook's Custom Contest - David Mock 1st Place

David’s entry encompassed everything this contest is about. He showcased the beautiful locations where he lived and did it in an electrifying way. The videography as well as the technical trick combos made David’s edit stand out from the rest and effectively crowned him the winner of this year’s contest.

2ND PLACE: James Valdez – James definitely gave David a run for his money with his entry. His use of clean videography and jaw dropping trick sets left us stunned. His lunar combos at the end locked him in at second place in this years contest.

3RD PLACE: Josh Hebro – Josh came out with a bang with his first trick being an intricate spacewalk combo and throughout the edit his skills get more and more impressive.  Congrats Josh you snagged 3rd place!!

The Junior entries this year were beyond amazing, we received entries from so many talented young Kendama players we had to add a third place to the Junior division to honor the talent these kids have shown.

1st: Tomoki Ninomiya

2nd: Zack Fernando

3rd: Gabe Frapton

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VOTE NOW! Team Wiens vs. Team Fuegz

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2nd Annual Cook’s Customs Contest

2nd Annual Cook's Customs Contest 2015

Second Annual Cook’s Customs Contest 2015

Cook’s Customs and Kendama USA have partnered once again to bring you the Second Annual “Cook’s Customs Contest”!!! The Cook’s Customs Contest was so successful last year we couldn’t help but give it another shot. Many talented contestants entered from all over the world and helped achieve an amazing 2014 contest. The winner of the 2014 contest, Joey Swisher, has teamed up with the Cook and Kendama USA to judge the 2015 contest. Enter to win several prizes and more importantly to make your own custom line of Kendamas sold on


The 2014 contest was mainly based on creativity, YouTube video quality and technicality, however this contest is different. We have concluded that one of the most overlooked aspects about kendama edits are locations. Filming an edit is not about how many stilt flips you can land in a row while you’re in your basement, it’s about getting outside and playing in beautiful and interesting places. One of the great things about Kendama is that it doesn’t need electricity, it runs off of you! We encourage all participants to explore where they live and show us the most interesting, crazy, beautiful, small, big, or creative places where you can film your tricks. Feel free to use props, jumbos, string-less, or anything else kendama related you can think of.

We realize that it might be an unfair advantage to younger contestants that are unable to drive to awesome spots or make really intricate videos with expensive cameras so for the first time we are making a fifteen and under “Junior” division and also a separate “Pro” 16 and up division. So invite your friends of all ages to enter!!!


Here is a summary:


  • Raines Cook
  • Joey Swisher
  • Kendama USA Team


What we’re looking for:

  • Trick technicality
  • Smoothness
  • Style
  • Video quality
  • Music incorporation
  • Creativity



  • Use any kind of Kendama you want and be as creative as you want.
  • The edit should be titled Cook’s Customs Contest 2015 (your name here).
  • Doubles edits are ok. Prizing will be split with your partner.
  • Post video to YouTube & send link to here w/ division, address and phone.
  • Contest ends @ midnight EDT on Aug. 15th
  • “Pro” entries under 16 add age as a side note when submitting your edit.

Prizes :

Pro Division:

  • 1st Prize: Collaborate with the Cook to create your own custom line of Kendamas that will be sold on the KendamaUSA website. Also you will receive two of these Kendamas (one to keep and one to play). As well as other surprise bonus items. Also your edit will be posted on the KendamaUSA website.
  • 2nd Prize: You will receive any two Cook’s Customs Kendamas that you desire on the KendamaUSA website as well as a one of a kind surprise Cook’s Custom.
  • 3rd Prize : You will receive one of any Cook’s Custom Kendama sold on the KendamaUSA website and other surprise bonus items.

Junior Division:

  • 1st Prize: Along with having your edit posted to the KendamaUSA website you will receive a Cook’s Customs care package
  • Care Package will include:
  • Included: Purple pearlized Cook’s Custom
  • Custom Rasta Tama
  • Blue Energy Series Kendama
  • 2 Surprise Custom one of a kind Kendamas
  • String pack, stickers, ect.
  • 2nd Prize: You will receive a surprise Cook’s Custom kendama and other bonus gifts.



Follow @cookscustoms on Instagram for updates and contest info as well

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Kendama World Cup 2015 – Mini Recap

“This year’s trip to Japan was one for the books. Every time we trek on a new adventure, more and more memories are made. We made our way abroad with two new additions, Tribe Team members Wyatt Bray and Bryan Scagline. It was both their first time out of the country and a great time to experience Japan. I was in the same position exactly 1 year ago and for all the trips I’ve been on, this has been one of the most memorable and fun for me.



The 2015 Kendama World Cup started off with a bang. Zack Yourd, Bryan Scagline, Dave Mateo, Turner Thorne, Jason Morrison, and I all met up at the San Francisco International Airport to hop on a plane to Japan. It was 13 hours of pure fun, rowdiness on the plane, and teaching passengers and flight attendants how to play Kendama. We managed to film an entire edit that features the new Mugen Musou… #TEAMFUEGZ! Coming shortly.

Yes, finally touched down in Japan. Let the adventures begin.


10 long, sleepless, adventure filled days were about to go down. The best and most talented Kendama players all under one roof, competing against each other for the top prize. Luckily, the entire World Cup (2 days) was on a live stream so those who weren’t there were able to catch the live footage and see the craziness go down. For me, the last 10 days blurred together because there was so much going on all at once. So many exciting things happened every day and the level of skill in Kendama has risen to new heights. I’m happy and proud to congratulate my own teammate Wyatt Bray for taking it home for Kendama USA! GO WYATT! WE LOVE YOU!

To check out Wyatt’s winning run click HERE

Let’s just give a quick recap of events. Plane rides, no sleep, Japanese beer tasting, long nights, down pours, early mornings, scaling roof tops, amazing sushi, walking, LOTS OF WALKING, onsens, vending machines, 7/11, alpaca, Japanese style housing, hostels, dama village, polaroid sessions Osaka, Hiroshima, Kendama Street, okonomiyaki, subways, laughing, friends, family, team, Kendama. I hope everyone reading this gets to experience Japan and the Kendama World Cup at least once. For those who did go this year, I hope you read this and smile and think back to all the great memories.



A big thank you to Tamotsu Kubota, Yuka Hyuga, Hajime Ishibashi, Kota Kagoshima, the rest of the Gloken Crew, Kendama USA, and of course, Jeremy Stephenson. Cheers to the future of Kendama! See you all next year.” -Tj Kolesnik

check out more from the trip:


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2015 Kendama World Champion – Wyatt Bray

Huge congratulations and respect go out to Wyatt Bray for winning the 2015 Kendama World Cup championship!

Props to Keith Matsumura as well who also made it into the finals and finished in 22nd place.

Big thanks to the entire Kendama USA crew and to GLOKEN for making this event possible. The turnout this year was unbelievable with players attending from all over the globe. We appreciate all the players and companies who made the journey and took part in such an amazing contest.

More posts and updates coming soon.


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Freestyle 15 Winners Announced!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Freestyle 15 Video Contest!
We had a lot of submissions and it took the judges quite a while to go through them all and pick winners.
Be sure to check out the winning submissions as well as honorable mentions below.

Alex Smith Winner: Walter Cummings

Got this one for the @kendamausa #kusafreestyle15 contest @htimsxela @turner_thorne @t_starnes hope you all enjoy cheee!!!

A video posted by Walter A Cummings III (@waltaboi808) on

Turner Thorne Winner: Rolf Vigganer

Nailing some flowy flow with some slowy slow. My entry for the #kusafreestyle15. Heavily inspired by the man who has influenced my style the most, my employer and my friend @thorkildmay. I hope you enjoy @htimsxela, @t_starnes and @turner_thorne. #kendama #noia2 #krom #kromhq #kromnoia2 #kromkendama @kromkendama @kendamausa

A video posted by Rolf S. Ganer (@rolfsandvigganer) on

Trevor Starnes Winner: Dylan Westmoreland

Entry for #KUSAFreeStyle15 #HellaKendama #Kendama @teejkolesnik @htimsxela @turner_thorne @kendamausa

A video posted by Dylan Westmoreland (Dwesty) (@kdama_dyl) on

Honorable Mentions:
Tony – @Bonesicle
Daunye Synigal – @daun_yon
David Mock – @mocklemore

Don’t fret if you didn’t win take 15% off your next purchase with code KUSAFF15, grab a fresh dama and practice to win our next contest!

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East Coast – Beach Kendama Tour ft. Turner Thorne & TJ Kolesnik

East Coast Beach Kendama Tour\

We’ve touched down and are going to be visiting a few Kitty Hawk stores in the North Carolina area!
We’re going to be here all week and here are the dates and locations of where we are going to be.

Tuesday 6/23: Corolla – Kitty Hawk – Monterey Plaza – 819 Ocean Trail, Corolla, NC 27957
2-4PM – Jams, Demos & More | 7-9PM – Workshop

Wednesday 6/24: Kitty Hawk | 3295 S. Croatan Hwy., Nags Head, NC 27959
10AM – 2PM Jams & 7PM – 9PM – Contest

Thursday 6/25 – We’ll be in Avon for a couple of hours then going to Rodanthe.
10AM – 12PM – Jams & Demos | Kitty Hawk | 39432 North Carolina 12, Avon, NC 27915
7 – 9PM – Demos | Waves – Kitty Hawk Kites Kiteboarding Resort | 24502 Hwy 12, Rodanthe, NC 27968

Friday 6/26 – Waves – Kitty Hawk Kites Kiteboarding Resort – Summeritaville
6 – 10PM – Come find us at Summeritaville!

Tour Schedule

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60k Contest Winners Announced!

Here are your 60K Winners! Thanks to everyone who entered and everyone who has helped us grow.

We will continue to do our best and spread the dama love everywhere we go!


1st Place – Will Scheibe (@thescheibe)
“Houston, TX is an amazing place with an eclectic, yet tight knit kendama scene. I am lucky to have moved to a city where I can enjoy this toy with other people.
However, in my mind, kendama is not associated to one place. In fact, I would say that the thought of this toy is attached to the idea of NOT having a home base. The idea that, to truly experience the culture it has to offer, you need to see it manifested everywhere else. While I have been fortunate enough to be able to travel and see these places in person, I would say that we can see these cultures through the portal of social media. And that, in my opinion, is a gift we are all lucky to share.”

2nd place – David Clicks (@davidclicks)
“Being a foreigner in another country isn’t easy but thanks to Kendama, it made life a whole lot easier.
I came to live in Jakarta, Indonesia a couple of years back and being new, well there wasn’t much people that I knew in this foreign land. Starting Kendama early last year has brought me new friends who helped me discover the wonders of Jakarta and the beauty of it and I’m really thankful for this simple yet intoxicating skill toy. Not only that, advancing together in skills and introducing it to new people has helped garner a whole lot more friends for me :) Also this culture has been spreading like wildfire in South East Asia that we are coming to know other players in the region, namely from the nations of Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, meeting up and jamming with the whole lot :) A big thank you to the guys at @arero_ for the extending that hand and I love you guys.
A lil trivia. This photograph, taken in Jakarta is photographed at a landmark in Jakarta known as Monas, is known as the national monument of the city. Symbolizing the freedom and fight for the independence of Indonesia, it was constructed to commemorate the struggle for Indonesia independence.
Also, this half split tribute by@KendamaUSA is painted in the exact same color-way and design as the Indonesian flag. It’s also my favorite among the entire collection :) Thank you@KendamaUSA for the contest and congratulations on the #kusa60k :) Location: Jakarta, Indonesia”

3rd Place – Ryan Cabal (@rysofunny)
“I live in Seoul, South Korea. It’s a busy place full of busy people. As you can imagine, the people of this land are working hard for that C.R.E.A.M. Over the years, they’ve built this 빨리빨리 (ppalli-ppalli) work culture: basically means, get your shit done…and fast.
Time is precious and spent to the max. Students study for hours for tests and take breaks with their smartphones. Friends of mine are either working or trying to find jobs. Parents go to work early and finish late. Who would have time for a simple toy? I do.

In Seoul, sometimes I feel like the only player. Sure there are others, but our schedules hardly match up. Which brings me to this picture.
Osaka, Japan is where I play kendama. It’s where I can play to my heart’s content. Japan is beautiful, you can really feel the nature all around you. I can slow life down a bit and just play. The locals get super stoked here, whether you’re landing a banger in front of homies or a simple spike for strangers. You can’t help but feel connected to these people.

I love Seoul, it’s my home. The people here are proud and full of dreams to succeed. I’d say, thanks to them, I am too. “Build and they will come.” Until then, I’ll continue jamming and sharing the love, one spike at a time. “

4th Place – Takeshi Kodama – (@zoomadanke)

“I want to pass dawn from generation to generation through playing kendama together.”


David Angelo Felipe (@djdfelo)

“I live in America’s Finest City, San Diego.
This is my beautiful girlfriend and with the ever famous skyline behind us. Kendama became very popular here about a year ago, and is still continuously growing. A lot of this has been because of our work. My girlfriend and I have sacrificed a lot of energy, money, and time, and we’ve devoted ourselves to help grow the Kendama community, through@Gunnzostore. We’ve hosted various events, and have really connected not only with the kids who play, but their parents as well.
The San Diego Kendama Community has been built, and is still growing through not only us, but also with the hard work and dedication of our friends @_kendiego_ ,@officialkendamasd, @TeamGUNNZO,@teejkolesnik.
Kendama has been an amazing journey for Aurora and I. It has brought us to other cities, and opened the door to many new friendships. Most importantly, kendama has strengthened our relationship. We would not be the same couple we are today if it weren’t for this magnificent toy. As many of you know, we have a little baby coming, and we will continue to show her our love of Kendama and teach her the same we did to our city.”

Abu Ammar (@mdnurrahim)
“In this picture are the things that i love. My wife, my son, the beach, the sunset and kendama. Just like this picture, kendama is a small part of my life but one that is dear to me. Having founded@woodworkkendamas and having to be one of those that is able to share this passion with others is one of the important milstone in my life. To fully understand this simple toy, you need to pick one up and have a go at it, and if you dont like it then id have to say that you are really missing out. I mean how do you think a hundred maybe thousand year old toy still exist anyway at this time and is still growing. So grab a ken a experience what you’ve been missing out.”

Junior Hakkei (@bboyuneek)

“Welcome to the City of Hilo Hawaii! Where one of the main places where we hold #Kendama meet ups, clubs and events and my home of dance! This is my Dance Studio and thanks to this wonderful Studio in this wonderful city I was able to bring together many numbers of our Kendama community, dance community and much more! This is where I’m from a home of #kendama mixed with my #dance life!”

Alan Young @raiden985)

“My entry for the @kendamausa 60k contest. The subway system here in NYC connects every borough together through its intricate underground tunnels. Kendama is a complex underground tunnel itself contained into a small toy. This little thing connects players all around the world, from Japan to California, and now New York City. Thank you @soulill this awesome photo.”

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Freestyle 15 Instagram Video Contest

All right, here’s the deal. We’re holding an Instagram contest and we want to see your most creative 15 Second Freestyle with only one rule…No spacewalks! Judges Alex Smith, Turner Thorne & Trevor Starnes will be looking for creativity, style & flow. Grab your gear and enter to win!

Deeply rooted in the Kendama community, judges Alex, Turner, & Trevor are always trying to improve and help others improve on their skills in freestyle sports. We’ve thrown together a prize pack that represents their love of not only Kendama but also Skateboarding for this contest.

All submissions must be tagged with hashtag #kusafreestyle15 and received by Sunday night, June 14th, 2015. Only 1 submission per person.

  • #kusafreestyle15


  • Alex Smith
  • Turner Thorne
  • Trevor Starnes

  • No Spacewalks.


Alex Smith Winner:

    • New Bamboo Pill
    • Alex Smith v4 Pro Model
    • Denim Blue Jumbo Pill
    • Autographed Natty Beech Pill
    • Kendama USA Logo Skateboard

Turner Thorne Winner:

    • New Wenge Pill
    • Turner Thorne v4 Pro Model
    • Sienna Red Jumbo Pill
    • Autographed Cherry Pill
    • Kendama USA Seal Skateboard

Trevor Starnes Winner:

  • New Padauk Pill 
  • Kaizen Select – Natural Beech
  • 2013 A.Smith Trad’l Cherry Pro
  • Autographed Purple Pill
  • Kendama USA Kaizen Skateboard


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