Kendama USA

Archive for the ‘Contest’ Category

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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End of Summer Giveaway Winners Announced.

The 3 lucky grand prize winners are:

Grand Prize: Jeffrey Snipes, Lincoln Park, MI

Second Prize: Joey Hargadon – Canton , GA

Third Prize: John Montano, Murrieta, CA

Other Winners:

Ayden Maddox – Reno , NV

Alex Trepanier – Laval , Quebec, Canada

Mark Moruzi – Lasi , Romania

Ricky Dorantes – Santa Barbara , CA

Steven Luong – San Jose , CA

Tate Kindom – Albertville , MN

Vincent Garcia-Moreno – Chila Vista , CA

Ian Teraoka – Santa Clara , CA

Bobby Mahin – Carlsbad , CA

Kathy Pease – West Rutland , VT

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to everyone who participated and helped spread the word about the giveaway. We look forward to doing more of these sorts of things in the future so stay tuned!

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Epic Unboxing Video.

Nick and Zack Gallagher just placed second in the cooks custom contest with an amazing doubles edit! They then decided to do an unboxing video of the prizes, their reaction is amazing!

Here is their contest video as well.

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2014 Cooks Custom Contest Results.

Upon many hours of debate the winner of the 2014 Cook’s Customs Contest is Joey Swisher. Joey’s edit brought an amazing mix of creativity, trick technicality, video professionalism and style. We are all very excited to work with Joey and design a one of a kind “2014 Cook’s Customs Contest Champion Kendama – Joey Swisher” sold on the Kendama website.

The second place prize goes to Nick and Zach Gallagher for their creative doubles tricks and amazing trick technicality. Their edit exhibited the fun and skill that should be shown in every kendama edit! Nick and Zach will receive a one of a kind blue to plum color shift kendama as well as two of any “Cook’s Customs” kendama they please.

The third place prize will go to Cullen Daniels and Evan Stout. These fun and skilled kendama players showed extreme skill, style, and professionalism through their entry. Their funny and artistic clips make the viewing experience fun and upbeat. Cullen and Evan will receive one of any “Cook’s Custom” kendama they please!


Thank you to all who entered, we thoroughly enjoyed watching all the fun and creative tricks that were submitted and plan on a similar contests in the future. For any future contest suggestions or feedback shoot an e-mail to Remember to follow @cookscustoms on Instagram for more contests and custom kendama updates.

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2014 Cook’s Custom Contest!!

KendamaUSA and Cook’s Custom Painting have teamed up to bring the “2014 Cook’s Custom Contest”

Grab your favorite dama, get creative, and enter to win your own customized kendama line sold on as well as many other prizes.

Follow @cookscustoms on Instagram to get contest updates, sneak peeks to upcoming custom lines and the contest winners.

Theme: Since “The Cook” is all about innovation, we want to challenge new ideas and creativity in the Kendama community. Creativity and technical tricks are the keys to bringing home a prize. Things like trying trick that no one has tried, using a customized kendama, incorporating props, string-less tricks, or even integrating other skills you have are great ideas to impress the judges.

How to enter/rules:  Simply upload a YouTube edit titled “2014 Cooks Custom Kendama Contest” and send the link to .  We will send back a confirmation e-mail to assure you that we received the entry. Entry deadline is June 1st 12:00pm EST.  The maximum length is two minutes. Team or partner edits are allowed but be prepared to split the prizes upon winning.



The first place winner will collaborate with Cook’s Custom Painting to create a completely new custom Kendama named after you.  This will be the first limited edition “Cook’s Custom Contest Champion series – your name here” sold on  You’ll also receive 2 of these Champion series kendamas (one to play and one to keep of course), and your edit displayed on the KendamaUSA website.



Second place prize will receive any two Cook’s customs they please, (subject to availability) plus a one-of-a-kind blue to purple color shifting Kendama.



Third place prize will receive any single Cook’s custom they please. (subject to availability)

Judging: The edit will be judged by Cook’s Custom painting and the Native.  Creativity, props, inventiveness, technicality, edit presentation and skill will take your edit to the next level. Don’t be too serious with the edit; kendama is all about having fun and developing skill so be creative as you want and have fun along the way.

To see all of the The Cook’s creations check out his page on the KendamaUSA website:

Also all questions will be answered at

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Turner Thorne’s Weekend Warehouse Giveaway

Turner Thorne is in Atlanta in our offices this weekend and feeling extremely generous. He’s searched through the warehouse for some exclusive items, and wants to give them to YOU! 4 lucky customers are going to get an amazing prize. The prize list includes:

- 1 Mugen Musou – Breeze Orange
- 1 Sunrise Walnut Grip from the one and only Luke Evans
- 1 Red 80′s Sakura
- 1 Unreleased Cook Custom Full Energy

For your chance to win, place any order between now and Sunday, May 11th at 11:59 pm EST. During checkout, use the code “SHARKS” to receive 10% off and be entered to win. Any order using this discount code is eligible to win. Turner will be hand selecting winners at random throughout the weekend. Start shopping now in our online shop HERE.

If you’re in the Atlanta area, come hang out with Turner and the Kendama USA Warehouse Crew at Mountain High Outfitters on Saturday at 5pm!

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