Everyone’s Kendama story is different, as is what it means to them. Haley Bishoff, Kendama USA Tribute Team Member, explains what Kendama means to her, its benefits, and the positive impacts it’s had on her life.
What is Kendama to you? Tell us in the comments section below!
The 2nd Annual Let’s Dama event in Long Beach, CA was an amazing event. It was put on by local LA crew; LEZDAMA.
Over 100 people attended the day long event as did sponsored players and vendors from several different companies.
Many sponsored players that attended the event showed up with some fantastic giveaways. One of which was one of a kind REZ Kendama that went to Charity Cristobal.
We showed our support with Colin Sander, Derek Astin, Haley Bishoff & Dylan Westmoreland all in attendance.
(Pictured below from left to right)
Other sponsored players included EJ Williams from RWB, Steph Lussier & Kristian Aynedter of Grain Theory, Chelsea Perez & Alex Hirota for Sweets Kendamas and Molly Harney from DWI plus many more.
The winner of the Advanced Open Divison was local Emmy Evans. Reppin’ hard for the all the lady shredders out there. In 2nd and 3rd were Tribe Members Derek Astin and Dylan Westmorland
For the intermediate ladders we had Kevin Luong taking 1st . Gabe Romo taking 2nd . Parker Smith taking 3rd
For the Beginner Ladders they had Dylan Trast taking 1st@btampu taking 2nd taking 3rd@mgdama
Haley Bishoff described the event as “an incredible day for the progression of female Kendama. The event was put on by all girls and the winner of the open division was a young female who actually won the beginner bracket at last years’ Lets Dama. Seeing how female Kendama has evolved makes me psyched as ever and I’m very happy I can be apart of it.”
Please welcome Gavin Harvey to the Kendama USA family. We are proud to announce Gavin as Tribe! He is one of the most technical kids in the Kendama community. A few years back Dave Mateo first met Gavin at a small school event with Logan Tosta in Sacramento. Just like Logan, Dave believed that Gavin had high potential of being a great role model and leader for the next generation. Not only has Gavin rocketed his skill since then, he has also continued spread the love of the game through out Sacramento and progressed the players around him. Check out Gavin’s announcement video below.
We are excited to see what will come with your future in Kendama. Congratulations and welcome to the family. -Kendama USA Team
Tosta to represent Kendama USA at World Cup.
By John Hull – Citizen Sports Editor
Published: Friday, July 8, 2016 10:47 AM PDT
Elk Grove Citizen – News
Logan Tosta is a normal 12-year-old boy that lives in Elk Grove. He plays soccer, will be trying out for a part in a musical in a community theatre company. He plays basketball.
But, the soon-to-be seventh grader at Joseph Kerr Middle School is also one of the best Kendama players in the country.
In fact, Kendama USA has asked Tosta to be a part of our country’s representation at the Kendama World Cup, July 23 and 24 in Hatsukaichi, Japan.
In recent years, Kendama has become a craze, mainly amonst young people, but several older folks have played with the strangely-shaped wooden dowel with a round ball attached via a short rope. In fact, a couple of Tosta’s Kendama USA teammates are in their 30’s.
Kendama has been around for centuries. It’s origination is in Japan. Kendama is a toy, generally made from wood, with a main body, “ken”, a spike on the top, “kensaki”, a large cup on one side of the ken, “osara”, a smaller cup on the opposite side, “kozara” and it has a short string, “ito”, with a small ball, “tama,” attached. When playing with a Kendama the object is to do a series of tricks such as swinging the ball in the air and having it land on the spike or one of the cups.
Logan’s father, Seth, says his son has been a Kendama player since he was in third grade and now it is not unusual for him to be practicing all his tricks six to eight hours a day.
“It’s one of those things where his friends stopped playing Kendama, but he kept playing and kept playing and he’s got pretty good,” Seth said. “He’s put in hours and hours into it and always is playing (a Kendama).”
Kendama USA, the biggest manufacturer of Kendamas in this country., discovered Logan and is now sponsoring him in competitions on what is known as the “TRIBE” team.
“There’s some really stellar players on this TRIBE team including last year’s World Cup champion,” Seth said.
This year will be the third year for the Kendama World Cup, considered to be the Super Bowl of all Kendama competitions. Tosta and his teammates will compete individually against others from literally all over the world. The top prize will be $5,000.
“This is the pinnacle of their sport,” Seth said. “It’s put on by GLOKEN, a company that makes Kendamas.”
A typical Kendama competition is a two-round affair. In the first round, each competitor will have two three-minute periods to perform a set of tricks. In the first period, a competitor selects five tricks to do. There’s a break in time and then in the second three-minute period, the competitor selects another five tricks to perform.
GLOKEN establishes a list of 100 tricks from which the competitors may choose. Every trick has a point value attached, anywhere from one to ten points.
“In each period you want to accumulate as many points as you can to advance to the finals,” Seth explained. “If you have enough points to finish in the top 24 then you move onto the finals.”
Last year the finalists scored 70 or more points in the opening rounds.
In the final round each competitor will get three-minutes on a stage in front of typically a large and boisterous crowd cheering him one as he does as many tricks as possible.
“The only different (in the finals) is that everything is ‘squared’ for your point totals,” Tosta said. “If you hit a ten-point trick on the finals’ stage, that’s worth 100 points.”
The points earned in the final three-minute period is added to the points in the earlier rounds for each competitor’s final score.
The competition will be live streamed on the GLOKEN website, gloken.net.
Seth admits he, too, likes to fiddle around with the Kendama.
“It would be funny to watch me as compared to Logan and his friends with the Kendama,” he laughed. “It’s comparing a world-class player to a novice.”
The past several months the entire family has been traveling across the country with Logan as he’s been entering different competitions.
“It’s really special to meet cool people that are into a niche thing,” Seth said. “He’s just 12-years old and most of the people competing are in their 20’s and they treat him like one of their own. They support him and look out for him. It’s something we thought would be a flash-in-the-pan for him, but he’s been so dedicated and consistent with it, not because he had to, but because he’s passionate about it.”
We are proud to announce our newest member of the TRIBE; Dylan Westmoreland from Murrieta, CA. Dylan started playing Kendama in the summer of 2014. His first Kendama was borrowed from a friend and once hooked he finally snagged one for himself. Tribute member TJ Kolesnik has been able to see him grow as a Kendama player since day 1. Dylan attended his first Kendama contest in Southern California which was hosted by TJ in Southern California. From there, he went on to winning video contests, traveling to cities to compete and being active in the community via YouTube / Instagram / Facebook, etc… showing all his progression.
We are happy to welcome Dylan to the team. 15 years old and killing the game. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for you and how you’ll grow with our company.
Be sure to check out his TRIBE Announcement video below, as well as a collection of photos below of jams, events and contests Dylan has attended.
World Champion, Wyatt Bray had a chance to film with Jake Wiens in Oakland CA for his new video part with Kendama USA.
“Over 3 Days we explored Oakland and laid down some of the crazies tricks for the camera. It was amazing to have the time to properly document Wyatt. He has such crazy energy and a drive that is unmatched by any other player. When he gets into a zone he is in it until he gets it. I was prepared to film for hours on each trick only to have wyatt bang each one out with the quickness. TJ Kolesnik came along for the 2 days coaching and documenting behind the scenes. This was the dream squad. There was so much support and drive to make this something amazing and memorable. ”
We are honored, humbled, and excited to announce Dave Mateo as the newest member of the Kendama USA Pro Team. Dave brings a unique flow, energy, and style to the world of Kendama. Dave’s raw talent, passion, and dedication continues to be an inspiration to countless Kendama players around the globe. He has been a leading force for developing strong grassroots Kendama scenes, most notably in Sacramento and Las Vegas. He has also spearheaded multiple community projects, including the National Kendama Retreat.
Since day one, Dave has been extremely generous and selfless in his approach to enrich and spread Kendama culture. His passion for Kendama is undeniable, and his signature style is unmistakable. Dave has been a key part of Kendama USA for several years now, helping both publicly and behind the scenes. He continues to challenge his own limits and is committed to pushing others toward their dreams. We’ve been truly blessed to have Dave as part of our family, and we’re excited for this next chapter to unfold. Please join us in welcoming Dave Mateo to the Kendama USA Pro Team.
They’re here! 16 brand new Kaizen styles & color ways! Everyday last week we released a few new products keeping everyone on the edge of their seats and hyped about all the new products. But just in case you missed it all, here is a pic showing everything that we released. So grab yours today or get them on your wishlists ASAP and share with friends and family!
The Kendama community is still strong and growing in the Sacramento area, Kids Ken did an amazing job putting together this event. We love to see the support of kendama events in every region, and sacramento has been one of the longest running kendama scenes. Dama on Sacramento! Keep up with the sac kendama scene by following the hashtag #spikeramento on instagram.
KendamaMastaz hosted a kendama jam last week in pasadena CA, with a ton of competitions like spike off, stack, and Ladders! Check out some of the action right here or check out all the photos HERE. Huge thanks to Vapemastaz for holding it down at your shop!
We couldn’t be more honored and excited to announce Jake Wiens as the new 2013 Kendama USA Pro Team Member.
Jake has been an awe inspiring figure in the Kendama community for as long as I can remember. The roots he planted during the first backyard Kengarden battles in San Francisco have grown into something none of us could have imagined. Jake brings an unmatched energy and enthusiasm to the game, and shares a true passion for introducing Kendama to new players around the world. With all the collaborations, mutual support, amazing events, and incredible dama journeys over the past few years, it’s a very well deserved spot.
This edit takes you into Jakes life in San Francisco, with stories from some of his closest friends and inspirations.
Jake’s Pro Model Kendama will be released in 2014. Welcome to the family.
Big thanks to Colin Sander for the incredible production quality, and to Tori Sander for the crispy stills. Shoutouts to Matt Rice, Harald Boyesen, Andy Olive, Guy Wright, and Sourmash for their contributions to this production.