Kendama USA

Archive for the ‘Contest’ Category

Wyatt Bray is the 2015 Kendama World Champion

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

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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STACK 2 WIN Contest Recap

Thank you all for participating in our Stack2Win Contest! We truly had some really creative submissions and we hope to see more when we do this again!

Here are your winners!

1st Place: Ryan Plourd

2nd Place: Dwight Daly Jr.

3rd Place: Raven Thomas

Honorable Mention:

Camille Cruz

Be sure to check out all the submissions by clicking here.

Everyone who enters our contests wins, Message us if you didn’t place 1st 2nd or 3rd for an exclusive deal!

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2015 Sakura Classic Recap

The first ever Sakura Classic was a blast! We had a great turnout and it was a great seeing so many people enjoying and supporting what we love so much; Kendama. Our booth was full each day of the NCCBF and we couldn’t have asked for a better turn out. Thanks to the Consulate General of Japan for hosting us and to all those who came out and helped make this a success.

Here is a look early look at our booth on the 1st day.
Kendama USA - Day 1 of the 2015 Sakura Classic
Here are your Speed Ladder Winners.
Kendama USA - 2015 Sakura Classic - Speed Ladder Winners


Here are your 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners for the Sakura Classic

1st – Nic Stodd
2nd – Keilan Cancino
3rd – TJ Kolesnik
Congratulations to everyone!

Kendama USA - 2015 Sakura Classic - Tournament Winners

For more information on the National Cherry Blossom Festival and attending next year visit

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Road to NKR 2015 – Video Contest Recap

Thank you to all who participated in the video contest.
You can check out the entry videos as well as the winning video below.

Congratulations to Frankie D. Silva on winning the Kendama USA sponsored ticket to NKR 2015.

For more information on the NKR visit

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Road to NKR San Diego.

Dave Mateo is hosting a series of competitions allowing the winner of each city to get a full ride the the National Kendama Retreat this upcoming april! Here is the group photo of the San Diego competition!

Congratulations to Matthew Rigato for taking home the win!

Make sure you dont miss out on the next event going on in LA on March 29th!

For all the information you need goto 

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End of Summer Giveaway

Summer just ended, but there’s still 1 more event to celebrate. We’re extremely thankful for all the support from our fans and customers, and we want to give back something extra special this year.

Here at Kendama USA, we’re fortunate to have access to lots of unique prototypes, limited edition products, and rare Kendamas that may never be made again. For this End of Summer Giveaway, we’re opening up our vault and hand selecting a treasure-trove of these rare gems in our biggest giveaway ever!

There will be a total of 13 winners, We will be giving away three main prize packages and 10 other amazing prizes all described below.

  • Snow Gold Musou
  • Limited Musou Holster
  • Premium Orange Ozora
  • Sunrise Purple Strata
  • GRIP Walnut Sunrise
  • Honor Tribute

  • Sparkling Green Musou
  • Musou Holster
  • 80′s Red Sakura
  • Sunrise Blue Strata
  • Metallic Green Ozora
  • Honor Tribute

  • Breeze Orange Musou
  • Keyaki Shin Fuji
  • Yellow Ozora
  • Sky Blue Ozora
  • Honor Tribute

10 will win one of the following prizes:

  • Terra Lemongrass Jumbo Pill
  • Ozora Pink Galaxy
  • Tribute Merlot Silk
  • Kendama USA Padauk Proto
  • KROM Viking Zebra
  • Terra Purple Pill
  • KROM Rubberwood
  • Premium Gold Ozora
  • Tribute Black w/ Blue Triple Stripe
  • Grain Theory Mystery Kendama

Enter your email address on the left and you’ll be entered for your chance to win!



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Battle in Seattle Recap.

Battle in Seattle Recap, by Colin Sander.

Any time a trip is being planned where the word ‘Van’ is included always gets my ears perked up. When Alex mentioned during our Japan trip that the awesome pacific-northwest shredfest known as ‘Battle in Seattle’ (organized by the always gracious Gus Carstens) could be, and should be followed up by the Canadian national yoyo contest the next day at Vancouver’s science center,  where we would perform a live kendama exhibit of sorts. Then, that monday, It was to be Terra’s VanJam, to commemorate and spread the word about the opening of their first shop space in a super hip corner of Vancouver (Mount Pleasant) near Main and Broadway, . That was two Van’s in one proposal. The epic Canadian masterpiece of a modern city known as Vancouver (van, vancoo, vancoodidy the coo ((the coup)), Van), the timeless skyline surrounded by it’s towering coastal ranges, AND the Van that would quite literally retrieve us from south of the Canadian border and bring us to the promise land, after what would turn out to be an epic contest in Seattle. A van didn’t end up being part of the equation, but we were more like a care-a-VAN that was to haul some of the more veteran jammers of the kendama scene tup to celebrate Alex and Kristin’s progress with Terra.

Let’s go back, but not too far. Alex Smith is the rare-wood turning lathe-master behind an entire era of epic customs, personally schemed, pressed, shaped, and built to order, who also happens to have invented a completely new juggling device- the pill, out of a mixture of boredom, experience, and chance inspiration. Besides that, he won the 2nd annual ‘find the next Kendama USA pro’ contest, with a killer style, promising ability, and a classy trick vocab. He was new on the scene, but had been organizing sessions in his hometown of Edmonton and putting out crew-edits with them for a while. We all laughed about the swag-factor of having a potential Canadian resident-pro on Kendama U-S-A but everyone already knew than that kendama USA was for the world, not just our states.

a room packed with enough grub, homies, and n64 games to survive a BiS weekend.

anyway, we digress. I left Los Angeles on a friday, one day before BiS. This was to be BiS volume three. I went to both of the last two, as stops at the end of the vintage ‘KG ROOTS TOUR’ and it was a blast both times. The level of play was always high and that was a nice part about it. The epic vistas of the sound and the peaceful atmosphere made it almost like a zen gathering, a display of community and friendship and real dama-love, not just a Jam session. The previous two years also had seen hilarious hotel nights that one only need look at the opening clip of Kendama USA’s dama-fest video on youtube to understand… All those shredders under one roof is a recipe for, well, shredding.

Wyatt Bray shooting Chris June for Mario Bros 2. Cops arrived later stunned to see only dew cans

 Crews made it from all over to the obscure little hotel. Some of us gathered and walked on a nature-loop to scout potential film and session spots, wanting to get off of the hotel grounds, as we were starting to already ruffle the feathers of management with our drum-circle like shred stance and constant stoking, “OOhhs” and “Whaaaats”, and laughter. Tamotsu Kubota, Nic Stodd, Wyatt Bray, Rick (Erick ) and Rod (rodney ansel) and the rest of the COTK crew, all rolled to an ash-grey dock, in a wetlands, where i saw some of the illest head-to-head ken games being played, as nick stood dropped bombs like only someone who had just released two edits mere weeks apart could.

The 3am grind is standard

The rest of the night is a blur. Snacks, trick grind, cops, session migrations, mountain dew, laceage, and the likes went down. I brought lights so we could film all night. Stay tuned for the footage.

We all awoke to a heavy, rainy mist blanketing the Seattle sky. It was almost a kind rain, the day still shining brightly, but the volume of water fairly severe… It kept everyone sleeping late and really relaxed. This was the first year that BiS was moved to a new park, and the new location was quaint, low key, and really classic feeling. Waverly Park, in Kirkland. I liked the stone stairs that descended into the water where the contest’s head-to-head portion would be going off… Last year’s BiS had seen the birth of a now-legendary Bonz, who beat out Sweet’s brandon Meyer for the victory, in a heated, dead-silent head to head battle where the tide was coming in, crowding them closer and closer to the audience. The sun had set a good 15 minutes prior, and they both nursed the last orange glow above the horizon to light their ridiculously consistent tricks. It was a battle to remember. I had high hopes for this one.

Wyatt Bray pizza tossing as BiS starts

The turnout was good, with lots of vendors coming in to represent and support the scene. Kids drove from out of state, crews assembled and made road trips, old friends met up again for the first time in months and new bonds were formed. Everyone was teaching, lacing, stoke-ing, and that is what kendama is all about. The contest was fun, with Keith and I both getting knocked out first round, we just got to watch, but with the MC Chris Bosh making it deeper and deeper into the contest, I had to takeover MC duties and announce the final few battles. Yes our seeding system might have been a little rigged : ) but we wanted to make sure the best names stayed away from each other until the very end. The Advanced contest had already brought tons of excitement, with Jacob Trebil winning and Elijah Lane taking 2nd, 3rd was Bryson Lee. Sam Cannon took home the pro honors with Kris Bosch receiving runner-up honors.

Cam, Jared, Evan, Cullen, grinding out the advanced contest

 After packing up and saying goodbye, we shipped off via two cars with the Terra crew to Vancouver. I got to ride with Keith, which was crucial because we have deep convos that stretch across a wide array of subjects and exist in very different styles and flows. We go deep though, and the two hour ride would prove crucial for scheming future kendama USA epicness. Back in Seattle, the night party raged probably just as hard as years prior; The Vintage Gus’s house days.

PNW feel. trees, rain, friends

We arrived at night to Vancouver, unloaded all of the bags, passing out on the soft session floor of the Terra shop. We needed to save our dama-legs for tomorrows grind, and the following day’s VanJam.

The shop front

 Vancouver was a blur of perfectly hipster beer gardens, sprints through the slanted streets in pouring rain, finding cover at little awnings and overhangs along the way, vegan food, talk of music, juggling, sport, and really fun times in the Terra shop / warehouse. It was cool to see all the new product from Alex and see their operation shaping up. They had come a long way in the community and I was proud of them. So was Keith, and that’s why we wanted to be there to support them (Thanks Jero). We spent the weekend teaching and showing off our abilities, finding new players, and stoking out the immediate vicinity of shops and hangouts near the spot, which is clutch. There is an epic park out front wrapping vancouver’s skyline around you, where endless sessions took place. Alex and Kristin’s first meet-and-greet at the shop went well, and we had random passerbys coming in to learn their first big cups and spikes well into the night. All of the regulars hung out and played a little head to head game organized by Alex. I took down Sweets in the first round with a debatably hand-touched lunar-tre, (it grazed my hand in the air during the flip, not the catch…) and went on to beat Tamotsu in the semis and had a heated battle with Roddama in the finals that he should have taken. It was only fitting that I played the whole battle on a Terra kendama, the hand-turned Mun-Ebony ken that was one of Alex’s first turns of ebony wood, (he had made it for me two years earlier and presented it to me finished at the BiS pre-party on Gus’s porch, I’ll never forget seeing it for the first time…) paired with a 2013 Alex Smith Cherry tama… The thing was a tank, but consistent. And anyway I felt the dama-gods would reward me for playing a Smith-turned piece at his own event.

Alex in front of the Terra collection, free for all to jam with.

The crew stayed  one more day to hang out and film in the city, with no agenda, and I headed back to LA with a few new tricks up my sleeve and a lot of scheming for the future. It’s safe to say I learned sara-grip downspike juggle downspike thanks to Wyatt’s inspiration and Kristian’s practice side-support. My tama was destroyed after that weekend. I’d like to thank all of the companies and supporters that made Battle in Seattle 3 happen. I’d like to thank everyone that put in work and filmed / supported until 5am so that Mario Bros 2 could happen. (Stodd, Caleb Jeffries, Alyjah Onishi, Wyatt, Nick Bedmonds, and the security guards and cops for keeping us motivated)  BiS will always have a special place in my heart, as I’ve seen it evolve firsthand over the past three years, and hope to continue it into the future

Such a prime day out in Mt. Pleasant

Words By Colin Sander

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Kendama USA Presents the 2015 Sakura Classic

We’ve partnered with the Consulate General of Japan to present the first ever Kendama Championship – dubbed the “Sakura Classic” at this years Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival!

Taking place April 11th & 12th, we’ve got lots of activities like workshops, minigames, autograph signings & more b/w 11AM & 6PM.
If you are interested in just the Kendama competitions, they will also take place on April 11 and 12, and culminate with a finals match on the Peace Plaza stage from 3:45pm-4:45pm on Sunday the 12th.

Sakura Classic 2015

What is the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival?

The 2015 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival now celebrating its 48th year, is one of California’s most prominent celebrations of Asian traditions. Each year, over 200,000 people attend this dazzling display showcasing the color and grace of the Japanese culture and the diversity of the Japanese American Community. The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival is said to be the second largest festival outside of Washington, D.C.

The festival will be held on Post Street between Laguna and Fillmore Streets. There will be food booths, cultural performances, martial arts, live bands, the annual Queen Program, and more. The Grand Parade will be held on Sunday, April 19, beginning at City Hall and concluding in Japantown.

The event is free and open to the public. However, vendors will be charging for their food goods and retail products. Some specialized events will require a fee.

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