Kendama USA

Archive for the ‘Team’ Category

[2021] Catch & Flow Kendama Tournament Recap

This year’s Catch & Flow Kendama Tournament was amazing, there were 58 players competing in 6 different groups battling it out for a 100,000 Yen grand prize, trophies, & more.
The final round consisted of 16 players (13 players and 3 seeded players) in a 90-Second solo freestyle run where players were judged on the following four catagories:

CREATIVITY ● VARIETY ● COMBO ● FLOW (fluidty, atmosphere)

The last 2 players battled head to head to crown the champion and these were the results:

Results:

1st Place: Yasu – JP – Also Announced as KROM Pro

2nd Place: Nobu – JP – Kendama USA

3rd Place: Soma Fujita – JP – KROM

But just in case you missed the tournament live, you can watch it all in the video below.
Thank you to all the sponsors, judges, players who participated and folks at home who watched!

Much Respect

Podium Battle QuickLinks:
Nobu Nori vs Takuya Igarashi
Nobu Nori vs Yasu

Continue Reading...

Haley Bishoff Pro Model Kendama Now On Nova Shape

The Haley Bishoff Pro Model Kendama now features the Nova shape and is available in both silk or super stick paint options. The colorway and packaging around Haley’s new pro model mirrors the changes she saw in her environment when she moved from Oregon to Nevada, forest to desert. This pro model kendama captures the essence and beautiful hues seen in the Nevada sunsets. A UV topographical map of Zion National Park wraps around the packaging and art. On the back of the box, you can visually climb one of Haley’s favorite routes in the park called Moonlight Buttress. On the Kendama, there are cacti under the slip stop, a drilled base cup for better balance. Custom engravings include Haley’s signature along with the ken, and gold SHCL tribute to a Kendama pioneer who positively changed the lives of many around the world; Dave Mateo.  Spike Hard Catch Low Forever.

“There’s something uniquely special about the desert. It brings a certain kind of appreciation to how something so simple can be so vast. As of now, the desert is home. There are not many other places in the world that bring such rich reds and deep oranges. The desert always provides.” – Haley Bishoff

Follow Haley and the Girls Kendama Collective.

Continue Reading...

Logan Tosta is PRO | Kendama USA

Logan Tosta is a Kendama USA ProLogan Tosta is a Kendama USA Pro! Logan has been an inspiration since we met him back in 2013 during the KG Roots Tour in SF. It’s hard to believe he was just 9 when he gave TJ Kolesnik & Dave Mateo a run for their money in Games of KEN. We saw an amazing role model, ambassador, and potential champion of both the community and the sport and that’s exactly what Logan has become. Join us in welcoming a champion of Kendama to the pro team!

Logan’s style, energy, positivity, and competitiveness is a vibe that’s been felt worldwide. His near impossible and gravity-defying combinations continue to raise the bar and not only built awareness around the kendama as a whole but continue to motivate and challenge players everywhere. Logan and his family continue to support, organizing, and attend jams, filming tricks, demonstrating at schools, and simply sharing kendama everywhere he goes… we’ve watched Logan grow; not only as a person, player, and as a contributing member of the Kendama community and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Continue Reading...

Zach Magnuson Goes Pro | Kendama USA

Join us in celebrating the newest Kendama USA Pro; Zachary Magnuson! Zach’s dedication to the sport and community can be seen in his progression as both a player, a member of the community, and a videographer. Zach began his Kendama journey in 2014, while in high school and started competing shortly after. We first met Zach at Dama in the D2 and was asked to join Kendama USA’s Tribe team in 2018. Zach’s tenacity to pursue his passions and perfect his skills lead him to exactly where he wants to be.

Zach Magnuson Kendama USA Pro

Zach is currently a senior in college studying photography and film. When he isn’t studying he’s either playing kendama or working on a project he continues to be an inspiration to people and players around him and shares Kendama wherever he goes. Lets all welcome Zach to the team!

Act Fast Limited Quantities Available

Continue Reading...

Dama to the Death 3 Recap!

On the last day of February 2020, Dama to the Death 3 went down in Orlando, Florida at Dead Lizard Brewing Company. Pros as well as many local Kendama players travelled out for this event, including Christian Fraser and Bjorn Reece from Sweets Kendamas, Alex Mitchell, Chad Covington, Lyndon Whalen, and Kevin DeSoto from Sol Kendamas, Isaac Turner from Lotus Kendamas, and Zach Magnuson and Josh Kim from Kendama USA!

The weather was perfect for jamming Kendama outside all day. After some announcements and vending, the event was kicked off with the Amateur Ken Tournament. If you are unfamiliar with Dama to the Death, the event consists of an Amateur KEN Tournament, and a Pro Freestyle Tournament, both double elimination style. The twist though, is that once you are knocked out of either tournament, you have to cut your Ken from your tama and burn it at the end of the event! Controversial? Maybe. A lot of fun and a new way to play? Absolutely.

As the Amateur KEN Tournament came down to the finals, the event moved from outside to inside the venue, with a stage and seating for everyone to watch. In the Amateur finals were Troy Monteagudo and Jacob Ogden AKA Squid. Troy had won all of his matches so far, and Squid had been working his way up the losers bracket for another chance in the finals! The first match went hard. Squid was able to beat Troy the first game, extending the match to a second game to crown the final champion. As the final match played out, Troy was able to take the final game, winning the Amateur KEN Tournament! Congrats to Troy for placing first, Jacob for second, and Ean for third! So awesome to see Florida take the entire podium for this tournament!

The next part of the competition was the Pro Freestyle Tournament. The nine freestyle players went head to head, each with two rounds of forty seconds to show off their hardest and most tech moves to the judges. As the bracket began thinning out, Kendama USA Tribe team members Zach Magnuson and Josh Kim were the ones to make it to the finals. Finally the time came for the judges to pick a winner. The crowd went silent waiting to see who would take first. As the flags went up, the crowd roared as the returning Dama to the Death Champ Zach Magnuson was able to defend his title! Congratulations to Mags for placing first, Josh Kim for second, and Kevin DeSoto for third! Zach used a Nobu Pro Model to win Dama to the Death 3! Click here to purchase your own Nobu Mod!

 

 Dama to the Death 3 Tournament Podiums

Finally the Tournaments were over, and the moment everyone was waiting for was about to happen. The event moved outside with the fire pit and all the Kens ready to burn. Troy and Zach went up to the mountain of Kens and together started the blaze marking the official end of the event. Dama to the Death 3 was one of my favorite events to go to, with a much more laid back vibe and unique take on competition. Special thank you to Honed Media for throwing this event, especially Ryan Reese, Marley Griggs, and Monika Knotts for all the hard work they put into making Honed Media what it is today! Make sure to check out the Honed Media Documentary here! If you ever have the chance to make it out to the next Dama to the Death, make sure to pull through for an awesome day filled with fun and Kendama!

- Josh Kim


Dama to the Death 3 Group Photo



 

Continue Reading...

[2019] North American Kendama Open (NAKO) Recap!

NAKO Recap!We had a blast hanging with the Kendama community at this year’s NAKO event; renamed from Minnesota Kendama Open (MKO).  Repping KUSA were Bryan Scagline, Zach Magnuson, Nobu Nori, Rui Sora, Josh Kim, Daunyé Synigal, Dylan Westmoreland, Oliver Malby, Haley Bishoff, Wyatt Bray, Logan Tosta and Alex Smith. Great job to all those that competed, especially Zach Magnuson who took third in open, Oliver Malby who took third in freestyle, Nobu Nori who took second in freestyle, and Josh Kim who won the Yank Spike Contest!

The competition this year was great! So many players coming from all over the country to play Kendama is always such an amazing and unique experience. And the new venue this year was amazing. The first two days in the hotel were perfect for jamming Kendama and watching the competition go down! And the last day in the Varsity Theater was incredible to see the finals take place! Good Kendama, awesome friends, and amazing weather on Sunday made this weekend unforgettable! Congratulations to Motty for taking first in Open, and Nick Gallagher for taking first in Freestyle! Kendama USA was proud to be able place on every podium this year! We can’t wait to see our players compete at other competitions and the next NAKO!

Post competition on Saturday, the Downspike awards were a huge success! Getting to award the community for all their hard work and creative genius is the best. Thank you to Alex Smith and the Sander Brothers for hosting! Make sure to get on Downspike at downspike.com, or download the mobile app on your phone to always be in the loop with Kendama! And that’s right, Colin Sander was at NAKO this year helping judge freestyle and host the Downspike Awards! Hopefully we will be seeing more of Colin in upcoming events. And of course, a special thank you to Sweets Kendamas and all of the gracious volunteers for hosting another great event!

Thank you again, until next year MN!

NAKO Podium Open

NAKO Podium Freestyle

Continue Reading...

Daunyé Synigal is TRIBE!


Daunye Synigal, a 21-year-old Kendama whiz from Modesto, CA, has been playing Kendama for seven years and is now on Kendama USA’s Tribe Team! Daunye was introduced to Kendama in Vacaville by a friend at their middle-school bus stop.

“I remember some of the kids at the stop being super hyped on trying it out. I thought it was a super cool toy that he stole from his older brother who was in high school. He soon showed me videos of professional/highly-skilled kendama players and told me that he was a part of a kendama team called Balanced Kendama Team (check them out on Youtube). It really interested and amazed me that my friend was on a team, especially considering everyone else on that team was in high school while we were middle schoolers. Their Youtube Edit had over 1000 views (in 2012!) and that made it seem super legit.”

The same friend gave Daunye his first Kendama which was a natty Sunrise Kendama which he played for 3 months before buying his first Kendama from Kendama USA; a Black TK-16 Kendama.

BONUS: My next three kendamas were a sky blue ozora, a blue on black triple stripe KUSA Tribute, and a Zack Yourd 2012 Pro Model.

Daunye is an all-around Kendama player who has an appreciation for all tricks and styles. He was sponsored by Dave Mateo onto the Tribe team. Daunye met Dave for the first time at a Learning Express jam hosted by Dave, and Logan Tosta in Roseville CA.

That event was an amazing experience for me. I won second place at a mini game and there wasn’t a prize for second place so Dave took it upon himself to give me his personal Grain Theory kendama. I was stoked!

Daunye helps host kendama jams at Japan Town San Francisco every Friday from 5-9pm called KG Fridays.

We jam inside the Peace Pagoda in the center of Japan Town Plaza and when the weather is bad we jam near the Kinokuniya Book Store inside Japan Town Mall. These jams are a homage to KG Tuesdays that KUSA’s Jake Wiens hosted for years.

Kendama USA - KG Jam CA Japanville Peace Pagoda

Daunye’s current favorite setup is anything with a Shift shape and a long string. ;)

Help us in welcoming Daunye to the team! We hope to see Daunye continue to spread the game, push his limits and those around him.

Continue Reading...

Have you seen Zach Magnuson’s latest Kendama edit yet?

Here are 10 comments pulled from the Kendama edit as to why you should watch this edit right now!

“Amazing honestly this inspires me to go outside and just jam”

“Seriously had to watch the majority of the clips like three times ! You absolute monster wtf !! Best edit I’ve seen in so long.. hell ya man !”

“Every trick was a banger, phenomenal edit Mags”

“That edit was the definition of Kendama”

“This was amazing! Definitely the best edit I’ve seen in a while!”

“This isn’t ok. I’ve watched this edit at least 12 times and i still can’t process how ZMAGS is doing this.”

“One of the best edits I’ve seen! Seriously man, keep it up, amazing work!”

“Oh.”

“This is insane”

“Absolutely crazy. very inspiring.”

⚠️ WARNING – This video will make you want to get out and sesh Kendama. ⚠️

Zach Magnuson POV Kendama Edit #2 2019https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2gWa30BEBM

 

Continue Reading...

Introducing Craft Colors | Painted Craft Kendamas

“Go to the Valley of Fire they said, the dessert is epic they said.. (plot twist) IT WAS!”

The Craft Sandstorm and Graphite Kendamas were inspired by a trip to Nevada’s Valley of Fire! The 2017 Toy Fest West show was going down in Las Vegas and during a free day, Scags and Jero ventured a few hours out of the city lights to the great shifting sand dunes. The landscapes were so perfect it was crazy to comprehend what we were seeing! Pictures, clips, tricks, we had to be Abel to share this experience somehow!

After snapping a few pictures and reassuring ourselves that the views were THIS epic – we had to pay the memory forward and design these colors for tamas!

Pick up a Craft Color from Kendama USA and create your own ventures, memories, and stories to share!

Check out the edit and get lost in the landscapes that the Valley of Fire.

Check out the edit and get lost in the Valley of Fire’s landscapes .

Continue Reading...

Zack Yourd Kendama Edit #7 Lives!

Zack Yourd Kendama Edit #7

So unless you’re WiFi is out, you had to have heard about the legendary Kendama USA pro Zack Yourd releasing his NEWEST and arguably most creative video yet – Kendama Edit #7! The Video dropped yesterday, August 1st, at noon and the kendama community snapped! The video reached over 3 thousand views within the first 24 hours. Not viral, but notable views for an older kendama player dropping a new video in 2018. Players from all over the globe (really) spoke out about how the video made them feel!

So much so that we had to share some of the comments on this video!

“Inspired me to start playing kendama and inspires me to keep playing kendama!”

“We need more people that play like Zach. For the fun of it. The curiosity of what can be done with a Kendama. You’re truly and forever a legend Zach, I hope in 20 years people still try to play like you do.”

“This edit gives a different perspective on kendama

“What a legend”

“What I love about this is the absence of popular styles of tricks. Every trick here blew my mind in some way since it was so different than what I’m used to seeing!! Great job Yourd, keep it up!!!”

“This video just puts me in the same awe as when I very first started Kendama! Just the way the tricks are designed pushes a crazy level of technicality and suspense that, to me, is unbelievable once completed! Thanks for reminding me of that feeling!”

“So i’m in the beginning stages of kendama. I’m at month seven. But I’ve never been able to find inspiration for tricks that i actually like and enjoy. The variety that you did was so much different than anyone I’ve ever seen. So i guess i should be thanking you for the inspiration. That was so sick”

“Hands down one of the best edits of all time.”

“That was amazing. Truly worth the wait.”

“So stoked to see a kendama film from the legend himself. New tricks, same steez. We need to make an active push as a community to create more content like this in the future.”

“Best. Edit. Of. The. Year.”

— and the comments continue on with love and stoke for Edit #7! Thank you Yourd for only putting out A1 work and thank you to everyone that enjoyed the edit and took something away from it!

Continue Reading...

All Girls Kendama Tour Recap

The All Girls Kendama Event 2017 was the first of its kind. A series of contests for women, all hosted by female players in the scene, in three different countries. KendamaUSA’s tribute member Haley Bishoff teamed up with some a few other kendama players in the community to create an incredible event!

All Girls Kendama Event Trick List Video:

 

First Stop: Portland, OR.

Haley Bishoff, Carolina Herrera & Molly Harney hosted the first stop in Portland, OR in August at the Portland Pastimes & Velo Cult complex. Almost 100 people came out to support, with about 15 competitors. KendamaUSA’s Tribe member Miya Song took 1st in the Open division, with Emmy Evans coming close in 2nd. Chelsea May Perez from Sweets took 3rd! The Portland event was surely special, because it was the first ever All Girls Kendama Event in the United States.

Special shout outs: Carolina Herrera, Molly Harney, Masako Hosoi, Arque Richards Pagh, Kristin Olinyk, Dave Mateo, Portland Pastimes & all the sponsors.

You can buy a limited run T-Shirt from the Portland event HERE!

http://www.shcl.bigcartel.com/product/2017-all-girl-kendama-t-shirt-unisex

Next Stop: Tokyo, Japan.

Haley and Yuka Hyuga from Gloken put together the second stop.

The Tokyo event was once again, such a success with 100 attendees and 39 competitors, making this the largest All Girls Kendama Event, EVER! This year’s event was the second all girls kendama event in Japan. In 2015, Haley and Yuka hosted another event in Osaka, Japan. But this year’s event was so much bigger with a way higher skill level. Huge congratulations to all the competitors and winners.

Special shout outs: Yuka Hyuga, Mirai from Tokyo Dama Girls for MCing, DJ Moco, Peter Richards, Zawa, Gloken & all the sponsors.

You can watch both Tokyo Recap Videos Below!

Third and Final Stop: Kaohsiung City, Taiwan.
The Taiwan scene is incredibly special, a collection of close friends who just genuinely love kendama. The innovative mini games that Super Friends Kendy has created made the event so fun and interactive for everyone who came out. This time, 100 people attended with 32 female competitors.
Special shout outs: JiJan Chen for creating all the beautiful artwork on the flyers for all three events and MCing the Taiwan event alongside her brother, Jiaziu Chen. Duck, Janet & Rain from South Kendama for being such gracious hosts to Haley and Yuka, and of course, SUPER FRIENDS KENDY!

Watch the Taiwan Recap HERE!

Continue Reading...

Click Clack Radio S1 Ep. 5 – Ben Herald Interview

Ben Herald is one of the newest Grain Theory pro kendama players and the pro division champion of the Sakura Classic Championships this year.
In this interview we learn about the annual Sakura Classic contest held in Japantown, SF, his pro model design and more!

Head to shop.kendamausa.com/ and use the code: CLICKCLACK to get 10% off your next order.

Special thanks to:
Ben Herald
Jack Baker
Molly Harney
Haley Bishoff
KendamaUSA
Grain Theory
Josh Flow Grove – Rhythm kendama sounds

Sakura Classic recap -
kendamausa.com/2017/04/21/sakura…assic-2017-recap/

“Going pro the night before and winning the contest the next day creates a story for the ages.” – Ben Herald

Continue Reading...