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.
Last weekend’s LVKO was a big success for Kendama USA. Our team was able to take the top three in both competitions. The entire KUSA crew advanced to the second day of the open division with Max Norcross and Christian Fraser from Sweets along with Oliver Velasquez. The newest member of the Tribe team; Gavin Harvey took the open division win. Check out the photos and the placings from the event below.
Tribe member Zach Porter & Focus member Austin Ring spent the 4th of July relaxing at Jones Gap State Park in South Carolina. They shot this mini edit during their travels and shared it with us. Check it out!
Who is Zach Porter? Zach porter is one of the first KUSA Tribe members, chosen by Pro player Alex Smith. He has a unique style and has been a positive force in the Kendama community for several years. His crew, GVK hails from the southeastern US and is known for creating mind blowing edits and have won several contests over the years.
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
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 : )
Madison Wisconsin has a lively Kendama community and Kendama USA Pro Zack Yourd stopped in and hosted a couple of events.
Here’s what Zack had to say about Madison, WI:
“There is no doubt that Madison, WI is on the rise to becoming a large Kendama community. A solid crew of both new and experienced Kendama players attended each event. The amount of people who attended and the level of Kendama play was incredible. The buzz even attracted the local news to cover one of the events. The ladder competition came down to the wire but local shredder Gino G. took home the crown! I look forward to visiting again in the future.”
Yourd followed up by reporting nothing but positive remarks about all of the players and their kind/humble/skilled attitude toward Kendama. Keep a look out for more of our players heading to Wisconsin!
Every trip to Japan is always an unforgettable experience for us, and the 2016 trip is right around the corner! As we get honed for KWC 2016 over these next few weeks, we are taking a look back to remember last year’s adventures. We are excited to release our 2015 Japan video to the public today. Enjoy!~
Casey Patterson aka Mr.Boom gives us a behind the scenes look at his life and what fuels his drive to win on GoPro’s 5th episode of Two Roads. Patterson and teammate Jake Gibb, qualified for the 2016 Olympics this past Memorial Day weekend ranking 4th on the provisional list of teams.
Check the video out and listen to how dedicated Casey is to his sport; something that resonates with every Kendama player and the community. Casey can be seen spiking and playing Kendama w/ his kids @ 2:54.
“When you have a dream, you have to better every aspect of your life to achieve it and be truly successful, bettering your whole self will allow you to accelerate progress.” – Casey Patterson, 2016