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.
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!
We got a few minutes with Haley Bishoff this past weekend so we decided to do a Rapid Fire Q&A to help get to know Haley a little better.
Haley what was the…?
Last books you read:
- Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
- Annapurna: A Woman’s Place by Arlene Blum
Last food you ate:
- Some veggie stir fry
Last song you listened to:
- Tallest Man on Earth’s new song – Rivers
Last edit you watched:
- The new Epic Drone edit feat. B Meyer!
Last store you were in:
- Fred Meyer…I’m in there like at least 3 times a day for some reason
Last ice cream you tried:
- So Delicious cashew milk snickerdoodle. It tastes like Christmas
Last state you visited:
- Last state I was in was California for Let’s Dama 2!
Last time you picked your nose:
- Casual pick like 30 minutes ago, no shame.
- #noregrets #liveontheedge #yolo #lol
Last dama set up:
- I have been jamming an Orange Kaizen A LOT lately…glued spike & mashed cups, of course.
Last things you drank:
- Iced coffee with some hazelnut creamer
- A ponderosa pine tree at the bottom of my leg near my ankle. Represents home in Central Oregon
Last dream you remember:
- I had a super strange dream last night that my neighbor Chris was in my parents house and threw up everywhere…why? I don’t know.
Last movies you watched:
- Soaked in Bleach, a Netflix documentary about Kurt Cobain’s life
Last bone you broke:
- Strangely I have never broken a bone to the point of having a cast, but I have fractured a few things. Last thing was a small fracture in my left knee when I was in high school. I was sliding down a huge patch of ice on my snowboard on my butt and caught at edge, flew forward and landed right on my knee. I actually didn’t even find out it was fractured for days, oops.
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.”
When Tribute team member, Haley Bishoff, isn’t playing Kendama, you’ll usually find her rock climbing or somewhere outside!
Though she is a passionate climber, it doesn’t stop her from bringing a Kendama wherever she goes.
Haley recently met up with a friend who she met last summer at a campsite in Leavenworth, WA. Both her and Nelson Klein were enjoying world renowned boulder problems, swimming in the Wenatchee river and meeting new people as the summer passed by. Such an awesome part of both the dama and climbing community is that new people are always being welcomed, friends are constantly being made and having connections spread across the country allows for new memories when passing through on trips.
Nelson and Haley spent some time climbing at Smith Rock in Terrebonne, OR, a small town just North of where Haley grew up. Smith is one of the most iconic sport climbing areas in the world and is home some of the first ever sport routes and through extensive pioneering since the 60s, now contains over 1,500 climbs on beautiful tuff and basalt rock.
Bringing a Kendama on a climbing trip is always a good call. Getting to play while waiting to climb and even attaching it to the gear loops on your harness for some casual play at the top of the wall never fails.
If you’re ever taking a trip to Smith Rock, don’t get fooled that Monkey Face is the only place worth seeing. Take at least a couple days to explore this gorgeous area in Central Oregon, take a walk up the heinous Misery Ridge and don’t forget to pack lots of water.
To follow more of Haley’s adventures and Nelson’s travel & climbing photography follow: @hbishhh and @ne1son.klein on instagram!
All Photos: Nelson Klein
Kendama used: Zebrano kaizen x Grey and Seafoam Half Split
Shout outs: KendamaUSA, all the belaytionships and Smith Rock for letting us climb your walls : )
Sakura Classic this year was bigger than ever, with an amazing first place prize for the amateur bracket – an all expenses paid trip to the 2016 Kendama World Cup in Japan! Not only did we have members from Gloken fly all the way out to the event from Japan, but we had the world’s best kendama performing duo, Zoomadanke, show some of their most impressive Kendama play ever.
Huge congrats to the winners of the Sakura Classic!
1st: CJ Martinez
2nd: Hayden Brickman
Pro Freestyle Division:
We were stoked to see the commitment from the kendama community to come out and jam despite the rain. Huge thanks to all the volunteers from the Bay Area that came out to help, Gloken, KendamaUSA, Grain Theory and of course, Jake Wiens for putting on another incredible Sakura Classic! See you next year!
This is a collection of some of my favorite places I’ve traveled to. From mountains in Oregon to half way across the world in Japan, Kendama can always be apart of adventures. Get outside, explore and play kendama!
Smith Rock Bend, Oregon
Broken Top Mountain, Three Sisters Wilderness
No Name Lake, Three Sisters Wilderness
Miyajima Island, Japan
Mt. Fuji Summit, Japan
At the end of the summer, the Terra Kendama workshop celebrated one year of being open in Vancouver, after moving to the coast from Edmonton last spring. The ‘Van Jam 2′ is an event that celebrates the core of what kendama is: having fun while hanging out with friends, learning some new tricks, and maybe a little bit of competition on the side.
This year’s event brought players from across Canada, the US, and Japan to the Terra workshop. Turner Thorne, Haley Bishoff, and I were the repping Kendama USA, and it was awesome having teammates in town! We spent a lot of time seeing sights, eating good food, and jamming kendama around the city.
Last year KendamaUSA’s own Colin Sander won the game of DAMA tournament at the Van Jam, but this year it was Brandon Meyer that took home the first place prize. Good times were had by all, this certainly won’t be the last of the Van Jams!
“I first met Miya Song back in Oahu, Hawaii during the YoDama event. Miya made such a strong impression on me since she was the young, 14 year old, female player who was doing incredibly hard tricks. In the year and a half Miya has been playing Kendama, her progression and skill level have increased exponentially. Not only is Miya one of the most chill people to be around, she truly pushes the female kendama scene to a whole new level with technical tricks and unbeatable style. I am so proud to have Miya as a part of my tribe and am psyched to see what she brings to the future of kendama! Stay awesome!”
Over the past two weeks we’ve shared what each Kendama USA team member used in the KWC qualifiers and finals.
We wanted to recap it all into one area and offer a limited 15% discount on these items with code: KUSAWorldCup15
1. Zack Yourd – Zebrano Ken x Tribute Half Split Red/White Tama
1 Zebrano Kendama
1 Tribute Half Split (Red/White)
“It’s a mash-up of some of my favorite kendama parts, and I like when the tama is a couple of grams heavier than the ken. Half splilts also help for tracking which is nice for more stressful/competition play.” – Zack Yourd.
2. Wyatt Bray – TK16 Master Ken x Turner Thorne v4 Pro Model Tama
1 TK 16 Red
1 Turner Thorne v4 Pro Model
“I wanted a freshy, competing with a fresh is the best. TK 16 are one of my most memorable damas because they were the first I played when I first started.” - Wyatt Bray
3. Turner Thorne – Kaizen Zebrano Ken x Turner Thorne v4 Pro Model Tama.
1 Kaizen Zebrano Kendama
1 Turner Thorne v4 Pro Model
“Strictly for the balance ratio between the ken and tama. It was also the one that was most broken in around the bevel which helped with bird tricks” – Turner Thorne
4. TJ Kolesnik – Colin Sander v4 Pro Ken x Tribute Red/White Half Split Tama
1 Colin Sander v4 Pro Model
1 Tribute Half Split (Red/White)
“The v4 ken matched super well weight-wise with the tama, and the half split is a reallygood visual. The bottom white half makes the tama hole pop. Once playing a few days the silk paint on he tama breaks in really nicely.” – TJ Kolesnik
5. Keith Matsumura – Colin Sander v4 Pro Model
1 Colin Sander v4 Pro Model
“I like the 3-tone tama, it’s easy to track for spike tricks. Also in the past I’ve gotten good vibes from playing Colin’s pro models.”
- Keith Matsumura
7. Haley Bishoff – Kaizen Zebrano Ken x Kaizen Silk Turquoise Tama
1 Kaizen Zebrano
1 Kaizen Turquoise
“I like the look of it, the color-way was nice. Matching is key. It played well for me too, I landed all of my tricks in my 2 runs. When choosing a Kendama, 60% is based of looks, the other on playability.” – Haley Bishoff
8. Dave Mateo – Kaizen Zebrano Ken x Kaizen Translucent Wine Tama
1 Kaizen Zebrano
1 Kaizen Red Wine Translucent
“I’ve lately found that I’ve been able to lace nutty multiple J-Sticks/UFO’s with the grip from the translucent paint. Also this tama is a bird machine. Once beating it in, the bevel allows the tama to just sit n grip.” – Dave Mateo
9. Bryan Scagline – Kaizen Birch Ken x Tribute Black / Yellow Half Split
1 Kaizen Translucent
1 Tribute Half Split (Yellow / Black )
“I wanted to rep the hometown colors, and the half split is good for tracking. I found this useful when performing up on stage and during on-the-spot play.” – Bryan Scagline
10. Alex Smith – Kaizen Birch Spike x Maple Cups x Alex Smith v4 Pro Mod.
1 Kaizen Translucent
1 Alex Smith v4 Pro Model
“Can I get a glass of water?… The tama was nice and solid and the tama’s weight matched well with the ken. The hybrid Ken was not planned and was pieced together after some Kendama mishaps, but it played really well.” – Alex Smith
“This project highlights each of Kendama USA’s players and the specific kendama set ups they chose to use for the KWC while also adding my own style into the mix. Every photo was taken with instant-print cameras (Polaroid OneStep SX-70 and Fujifilm Instax 210) and every word written by hand. I like taking the foreign route in todays technology era and crafting things by hand. Having a limited amount of film for the cameras also added a surprise/suspense element to it all because each shot was a make-or-break on whether or not it would come out in focus or not. I really want to thank Jero, Cecilia Chow, Luke Evans, and the K-USA team for their contributions on making this come together ”
For the next 4 days straight we will release one of the players pages so be on the look out so you can see what set ups some of your favorite pro players are choosing to jam these days.