We’re happy to release the Make Waves World Tour ft. TJ Kolesnik.
Over the summer of 2016, Tj embarked on a six week journey across the world, touring to multiple countries, cities and states upon his #MakeWaves Pro Model being released. Starting in Japan, he traveled to counties like Singapore, Sweden, Canada and the United States. Each day brought a new crowd of eager Kendama players, fun and exciting experiences and memories that will last forever.
We hope you enjoy this full documentary style / video piece Tj shot during his trip. With help from all of you, Tj was able to turn his dream into a reality.
“It was crazy to be away from home for 6 weeks. I’ve traveled all over the world for the last couple of years, but going non stop for 6 weeks, I was a bit anxious to start my journey. Every second of my trip was memorable. I met so many amazing people, new Kendama players and like-minded individuals who are chasing their dreams, just like me.
I want to give a HUGE thank you to every single person who has supported me since day one, as well as all of the new players who are just starting their Kendama journey. I realized a long time ago that hard work, dedication an persistence can get you anywhere in life. As long as you’re humble, patient and hungry, anything is truly possible. Thank you to Kendama USA, Original Grain, Goorin Bros., and Dama Mods for sponsoring this tour.
Enjoy some photos along my journey during Tour. If you haven’t had a chance to pick up the Tj Kolesnik Pro Model, click below to get yours today.
We’re excited to launch the newest development from Kendama USA: The Kaizen Craft. This line of Kendamas is designed and hand crafted by Kendama players and manufactured right here in the USA. We are introducing 2 entirely new shapes: The Kaizen 2.0 and the Kaizen Slim. Numerous improvements include larger cup sizes, arched cup rims, a refined slip stop, and a new sarado shape that slings amazing while keeping prime lunar balance. The exceptional craftsmanship is unlike anything we’ve created so far, and we know you’re going to love it. This is our Craft.
This year’s COTK Halloween Battle; Stumptown 4, showed that the Pacific Northwest Kendama scene is alive and well. The hype factor of the legend himself, Tamotsu Kubota brought even more people to this year’s’ event, making it COTK’s biggest yet! Sol Kendamas Pro Kevin Desoto also made his way up to Portland to compete and kick it with the squad for the second Halloween in a row. Tons of Oregon pros such as Matt Rice, Two Bears, and KUSAs own Haley Bishoff came out to shred as well.
We were lucky to have a warm sunny day for the battle and everyone was honed. As is Halloween tradition, we were having players lace a trick for a treat. There were people doing tricks like double whirlwinds and triple J sticks left and right for a piece of candy. Mini games were had, prizes were won, and tricks were laced. This was a special event in the sense that this was the first time and COTK merchandise was available to the public. COTK, with the help of Portland local Colin Cathy, made and sold a limited run of 20 COTK Halloween posters.
Grain Theory’s Eli Cory ended up taking 1st in the Pro bracket over Sweets’ Luke Ford. Shout out the the local shredder Josh Marine for snagging 3rd over Kevin Desoto and multiple other pros in the bracket. I’m always so hyped to see how quickly the local kids are improving. They’re some of the next generation of pros and it’s cool to see them get to that point.
Overall, this year’s battle was a huge success.The brackets ran super smoothly, the prizes were amazing, and the turnout was better than ever. It was so great to have guests like Tamotsu and Kevin fly out and I hope next year is even better!
On the 29th of October, the 9th edtition of Spikedama was held in Rotterdam; a city in The Netherlands. During the event, the Open Dutch Championship went down and our TRIBE team member Joris Schweppe took home 1st place. Competing against the former champion, Jeffrey Italiaander, Joris was all but defeated at 0-2 in Italiaander’s favor. Despite the mounted pressure, Joris stayed focused and managed to come back and win the final round with a 3-2 win.
It was one of the biggest turnouts of SpikeDama so far. The attendants came from all over Europe, it was the most international SpikeDama to say the least.
Joris won the competition on his Craft 2.0 Ash Kendama, which was released the same day at MKO In Minnesota.
Joris’ thoughts on the new Kendama: ”Its my new favorite Kendama. I learned new tricks incredibly fast while playing it. The shape is so refined that when I picked it up, I knew I had to use it for the competition.”
The SpikeDama crew is planning to blast out another event early 2017, This will be the 10th edition so hopefully it will be a big one!
MKO is around the corner and everyone is getting prepared for the contest. Each year the freestyle contest gets more and more intense as overall skill and creativity evolves in the Kendama world. The finals is without a doubt one of the most hype moments during the contest. This year we are very excited to have our very own Jake Wiens on stage not as an MC or a competitor but as a DJ! Jake has been producing mixes catered to Kendama play and is taking his skills LIVE to the main stage to provide the beats to fuel the freestyle gladiators as they put their skills to the test.
Jake has put together a live recording of his “SESH” mixtape that features a taste of whats to come during the freestyle contest. Make sure to download the mix for free, grab some homies, and SESH!
This year marked the 30th anniversary of JapanFest Atlanta. Kendama USA had the pleasure of participating in the event for the 3rd year in a row. Going to JapanFest is always an amazing time for us to experience the culture from which our favorite toy comes originates. It also allows us to meet new people and get them excited to try out Kendama. There is so much to do at JapanFest from drum shows, sumo matches, Kabuki Shows, and even eating some amazing authentic Japanese food. It also provides the opportunity to pick up merchandise from your favorite animes while getting to know new people and trying new things. This year, Jake Kopanski and Ryan Plourd were holding it down for KUSA, putting on 2 shows and a workshop to teach Kendama to everyone who was interested. It was great teaching new people how magical Kendama is and we hope to see you there again next year!
We’d also like to give a special shout out to NANA, a company we had collaboration with during the weekend. You can check out their app by clicking here.
Thank you to all of the local players that came out and helped with the event. Damafam is strong!
Catch & Flow 2016 was a smashing success! Congrats to Jake Fisher for taking 1st place. Our very own Wyatt Bray took 2nd and KROM’s Bonz Atron took 3rd. The event was full of shredders from around the world showing off their style and flow in this freestyle event. It was awesome to have Nobu and Jake MC the event again this year and bring that extra energy to the stage.
Here is what Kenyatta and Dave thought of the event:
“Catch & Flow was definitely an experience of a lifetime! Everything was beyond memorable from seeing Friends halfway across the world to meeting new Japanese players I didn’t think I would ever have opportunity to meet. I loved the vibe of the competition. Awesome to have Harold DJing the event. I genuinely felt love from everyone I was fortunate enough to let and spend time with. I truly look forward to next years event.” – Kenyatta
“This years Catch & Flow competition was another epic one for the history books, the talent and skill level just gets more and more insane every year.” -Dave.
That’s right! We’ve extended our Cyber Monday Sale for all you Cyber Monday procrastinators! So rejoice, pick up a dama and celebrate! Use code: KUSACYBER16 during checkout to save 25% on your order. Hurry though, sale ends tonight!
KendamaUSA and The Cook have teamed up once again to bring you the 3rd annual Cook’s Customs Contest
Start: October 1st
Videos due: October 17th
HOW TO ENTER:
Upload your video to Youtube with the title “Cook’s Customs Contest 2016: (your name here)” by 10pm EST on October 17th
Send an email with your name, Youtube link, an address you would want your prize sent to, your phone number, and email it to email@example.com before 10pm EST October 17th
Your edit should only have THREE of your best Kendama tricks (no more no less)
The theme of your final trick (the third trick) is originality. The more creative the better. Try to think outside the box and develop a trick or line that is your own. This trick may make or break your edit.
Your edit should be no larger than 90 seconds (1:30)
Edits will be judged by the KendamaUSA crew & The Cook
Your edit will be judged on: Skill, rhythm, creativity, flow, trick technicality, music incorporation, videography, and style.
First place: As usual, the winner will collaborate with the Cook to create their own Custom line to be sold on the KendamaUSA website. You will receive two of your customs…one to play and one to keep. Your edit will be posted to the KendamaUSA website and social media. In addition, you will receive a care package from the Cook consisting of one-of-a-kind Kendama, a one-of-a-kind Jumbo, stickers, tshirt, and more.
Second place: You will receive two of any Cook’s Customs product on the website plus a care package from The Cook.
Third place: You will receive one of any Cook’s Customs product on the website plus a care package from The Cook.
Will be announced on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.
Check out last year’s winning edit & custom model here:
Throwback Kendama Open (TKO) was a great event. Over 60 players from all over the country came together in Clarksville, Tennessee to jam & compete. Kendama USA Tribe member Zach Porter attended and local crews DKT, GVK, & the Grande Squad also showed up. Needless to say, there was a lot of talent there. The event had fifteen sponsors and many prizes were given out during the mini games, freestyle event, and the speed ladders. The vendors there were Sol Kendamas, Kendama USA, All Out Damanation, and Pineapple Kendama. The weather was brutal but most of the people that attended stuck it out through the heat and the rain for the entire event.
The advanced ladder was beyond intense; here are the top four after it was all said and done:
1st: Liam Rauter
2nd: Alex Mitchell
3rd: Jacob Womack
4th: Austin Ring
A HUGE shout out to Chad Covington and Sol Kendamas for throwing a banger of an event, here is the edit for Throwback Kendama Open 2016.
Take a look at some of the pictures from the event below.
While on vacation, VICE contributor Tom Harrad ran into Bonz Atron. Captivated by both Bonz Atron & Kendama he wrote a story on his experience in meeting him and playing Kendama for the first time. Click the link below to read the full story and see Kendama through the perspective of someone seeing Kendama for the first time and learning how to play from a champion.