We are honored and excited to announce Wyatt Bray as the newest member of the Kendama USA Pro Team. Wyatt’s contagious positivity, energy and love for the sport has made a significant impact across the Kendama community. His disruptive style and mind-blowing trick combinations have influenced freestyle play by not only raising the bar but also growing the community at home and abroad. From organizing local jams, demonstrating at schools, touring the country for various events, participation in tutorial videos, edits, etc… we’ve watched Wyatt grow; not only as a player but also as a contributing member of the Kendama community. Wyatt has used his platform as both a world champion and a member of our team to share and spread Kendama worldwide.
Wyatt continues to challenge not only his own limits, but also the laws of physics in general when playing Kendama. He pushes those around him to reach for new heights and we can’t wait to see what’s in store next.
Please join us in welcoming Wyatt Bray to the Kendama USA Pro Team.
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!
Jake Wiens got a chance to catch up with Wyatt about their trip to Japan for Catch & Flow 2016:
Jake: Yo Wyatt! We are back in the states after an epic trip for Catch & Flow. You were all over the place. From late night sessions to the podium on the main stage at Catch & Flow. Lets talk about your trip. How many times have you been to Japan now? It seems like you are a regular.
Wyatt: Wassup Jake. Yeah this trip to Japan was epic. As of this trip it has been my 4th time to Japan now, I swear each trip seems to get better and better. Once you start to understand how to ride the train, order your dinner, and find the venue it’s a lot easier to feel less like a tourist and more at home haha!
Jake: What makes Japan trips so epic for you?
Wyatt: Everything! Most of the time you are there you don’t get to just hangout. Each day the crew mobs to different places. Some days I would just find sick film spots and grind, others with the whole KUSA crew checking out the city (sometimes shopping with Weins&Fuegz), playing ken with Nobu, clubbing with the GT Crew, being there with the COTK team, climbing roofs with Bonz, Competing etc. Almost everything you do there is just so insane haha! You are always on your feet, always moving. It’s a lot at first yeah, but Japan really is the most epic place for a kendama player.
Jake: What specifically is special about Catch & Flow?
Wyatt: Catch & Flow is a very special and unique freestyle event. Its not world cup, it’s the gritty, cutthroat, do or die world championships. You give it all you got and hope to come out on top, but sometimes you don’t. No one is telling you what tricks to do, or giving you a list to practice, you choose how you want to play kendama, you choose the tricks that you want to do and you choose how you want them to look. The next guy does the same thing and then the judges decide who was the dopest.
Jake: How was it battling Fish in the finals? I was on stage right next to you guys and I could hardly contain myself it was so epic.
Wyatt: Amazing! I love Fish, I have been playing with him for years now. It makes me really happy knowing that he is a great friend of mine. Going against him in the finals of Catch & Flow was so great! Both of us were pretty nervous, we both wanted to give a great performance and show whoever watched the finals how sick kendama is. I think we both laced hard and gave a good show for everyone. So knowing that, it was just sick to be up on that stage experiencing that with such a close friend of mine.
Jake: I have never seen you so stoked during a contest. What made your stoke level 11 during this battle?
Wyatt: Haha I dunno! I guess I was just really stoked that I was lacing all my tricks. It’s a lot of pressure being on stage and its hard sometimes to really focus in and land the tricks that I want to. But during this comp I dunno, I just felt good, like I was in my natural habitat. I took all my nerves and tried to use them as fuel. Instead of being so nervous it just got me more excited I was able to stay positive . After that all the pressure lifted and I felt comfortable to go for what I wanted to and what I thought was fun.
Jake: What was the craziest thing you saw this trip to Japan?
Wyatt: The Underground BMX Battle at Club Asia was pretty insane. Nobu hopped on the mic and started MCing it! Then after words when we hopped on stage and started lacing! That was so wild!
Jake: What are your plans for next years Catch & Flow?
Wyatt: Stay Hungry!
Jake: Give the kids one piece of advise on how to never be soft.
Wyatt: Always play kendama how you want to. And work hard, forward moons ain’t easy!
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.
Van Jam 3 has come and gone. For the 3rd year in a row, the lovely folks at Terra Kendama put on an amazing event with some amazing players that came in from all around the world.
This year, I had the opportunity to fly out to visit the Terra Kendama shop and meet the people behind it all. I began my Canadian adventure on a Tuesday afternoon, my plane landed and I caught a train to meet up with Alex Smith and Eric Martin. They picked me up from the station & took me back to Alex’s house to drop my things off before heading to the shop for the weekly jam. While walking into his house, I was greeted by Kristin Olinyk, part owner of Terra Kendama, she was working hard on some crazy new designs for new products and shirts. After they got some business done at their house we made our way to the shop.
If you ever visit Vancouver, just remember the only way to get around that city is to ride a bike. So we mounted up and began pedaling to the shop. Arriving at the shop was a real highlight moment of the trip, seeing the Kendama wall filled with every type of Kendama you can think of and just thinking about the history of some of the rare gems that were there was amazing. I then experienced one of their jams, which was super chill and relaxed. We hung out at the shop after the kids left to wait around for one special person to come in. I did not know who it was until they got there and it turned out to be a legendary member from WKT Zack Winters! When he got there we hung out and jammed for a bit more and headed back to the house for the night.
The next few days were pretty much the same routine but the exciting about it was that each day we got to explore the city little by little. Now I’m not what you call in shape but for this week I got the workout I’ve needed. Biking through the city was so amazing, we got to see the different cultures that make up this city while learning about its great history. The eating experience in Vancouver was amazing also. I got to try some the freshest fish I’ve had in years and I also got to visit the amazing local breweries that were everywhere.
After of a couple of days of hanging out, different Terra people started coming into town for the event and the house started to get pretty crowded. We had Rodney Ansell coming back from his long trip from japan, the whole COTK crew, Shimao Kamishima from Gloken and Chad Covington owner of SOL Kendamas all fly into town at the same time the day before the event. Also the entire Calgary crew containing Stephanie Lussier, Micha Logan, David Forrest, Jarrod Porter and Connor Aubrecht showed up with the last two players from San Francisco, Matt Rice and Mr. Sourmash.
This year VAN Jam was a 2-day event with mini games like lighthouse races, unicorn, spike offs and many more. Then they had unique events like the wall races on the famous dama wall with 98 different types of Kendamas ranging from metal to wood to plastic. Then you have the KEN tournaments, but in the eyes of the people at Terra KEN games are for children and DAMA games are for adults. So we prepared to play a large game of DAMA, and to be honest it really made the games more interesting to play. Yours truly did not make it past the first rounds in either amature or pro, but honestly I was just very happy to be able to go and compete. Also the players that competed were very good. For day 1 the Amateur players took the stage and competed hard with some awesome tricks thrown around. The winner of the round was Portland local Nick Edmonds. Congrats dude! The following day was for the PRO players and 26 players from around the world competed to win a hand turned Terra ken made by Alex himself. Some truly gnarly tricks were being thrown and the matches became real nail biters. At the end of it all
It came down to Connor Aubrecht & MR. USA aka Wyatt Bray for the finals. Both played amazing with different styles of play. They both were able to keep up with each other and the match went on for at least 45 min.
In the end, Wyatt Bray came out victorious, landing one of his famous forward moon combos with down spike whirlybirds.
After all the kids were gone, the adults made their way to the city to hang and try to get some filming done before the sun disappeared, but in true Kendama fam fashion we made one pit stop for some person to do something and turns out we stayed there until late in the night. We did get some filming done with some photoshoots on the side. Then we started making our way back to the shop for another couple of hours of playing some Super Smash Bros (COTK cough cough) and dama time while still stacking clips for some people.Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and around 3-4 in the morning is when we had to say good-bye to the Calgary fam and Chad Covington. He was leaving to make his flight back to Kentucky for school the next day. The next day the COTK crew left to make their way back to Portland. That morning the whole Terra crew, Mash, Shimao, Zack, Shawn (local shredder) and myself went up to north Vancouver to a shop called BC Playthings. Mr. Sourmash was doing a painting session for the store so we thought it would be a perfect time to explore parts of Vancouver that you couldn’t see in the city. The people who run BC were super nice and very grateful to all of us who went up there to hang out. It was great to see this shop that I remember sending products to right before coming to Vancouver. It’s a really cool feeling walking into a store that you packed for and seeing our product on the shelves when you get there. After the event at BC playthings we all headed back to Alex and Kristian’s place for a home cooked meal. Shimao brought some fresh wasabi root for Alex and Kristian as a thank you for letting him stay with them. The night was filled watching old skate videos and video games, while stories and jokes were being told through the whole night. The next morning came with sadness all around while we shared the last breakfast we were all having together. We had to say goodbye to Matt Rice and Mr. Sourmash as they make their trips back home. Not soon after they left we had to hop in Rodney’s van to drop Shimao off at the Airport so he could make his way home to his wife in Japan. After realizing that I was leaving in a couple short hours Rod, Eric, Kristian, Zack, and myself went for a bike ride through the city one last time to visit some really cool jam spots. After that we made our way to the last jam night for me until next year, but before we stopped at this food spot to pick up some authentic poutine. It tasted like it did when I was a kid and made it so worth the wait to have it at the end of this amazing trip. So jam night came and I got to see some local players that I’ve gotten to know over the past week and got to say my final goodbyes to them. Jam night ended and I had to rush to the airport luckily there’s a train stop right down the street from the shop so the terra crew walked me down to the stop so we could say our final goodbyes to each other. The experiences/ memories are going to be life lasting. I want to give a special thanks to Alex and Kristian for having spot for me to sleep while I was there and showing me these amazing spots around your beautiful city. Can’t wait to go back next year for VAN jam 4. Till Next year
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.
Bookmark this page! This’ll be your one stop shop for all of this year’s tricks for the upcoming Kendama World Cup in July.
We’ve got the entire trick list in one easy to use playlist as well as a link to the entry form and rules.
You can use any regular-sized Kendama (The Ken can not be any taller than 17 cm / 6.7 inches).
You’ll be required to place a KWC2016 sticker on after this “Dama-Check”.
The tama can only have ONE hole in addition to the string hole.
The Kendama is not allowed to have more than one spike and three cups.
You can get up to THREE Kendamas passed per player via the Dama-Check” for the Kendama World Cup 2016.
Ken or tama must not touch your hand/clothes while doing balance tricks.
Don’t change or move the Kendama’s string position with your free hand during the play.
No points are awarded on whether you keep ken and tama stable completely. Once laced go proceed to the next trick.
There are no limits on how many or which direction of turns or flips you do, unless otherwise specified.
How It’s Gonna Go Down:
Qualifying Rounds 1 & 2 – Day 1
Choose 10 different tricks in total from the trick list, the first 5 for Round 1, the other 5 for Round 2. You will get the points corresponding to each trick’s level. The maximum score for each attempt is 50, the total is 100.
Round 1: Try 5 tricks in 180 seconds. Use ONE Kendama.
Round 2: Try other 5 tricks in 180 seconds. Use ONE Kendama. You can use different Kendama from Round 1.
Top 24 players go to the Final Round, and additional 8 players will be granted wild cards for the Final.
IN CASE OF A TIE / DRAW
If two or more players have an equal score, their rankings will be determined by the SQUARE basis of the Final Round.
How to be granted “wild cards”
Countries/regions which fail to produce players who qualified may be granted wild cards.
Wild card players must get at least 30 points from the Qualifying Round.
ONE player from each country/region is picked, then up to 8 players w/ the highest score can proceed the Final Round.
If less than 8 countries/regions are granted, the quota(s) will be transferred to the eliminated players.
A total of 32 players go to the final round.
Final Round – Day 2
Go up to the stage, try different tricks (level 3 or upper) from the list as many as possible in 180 seconds.
Points are the SQUARE of the trick’s level.
You will get 100pts from level-10 tricks, 81pts from level-9s, 64pt from level-8s, 49pts from level-7s, and so on.
You can get points only once from each trick.
Final Round is not a tournament, competing by the total point you get.
The points of Qualifying Round will be added to the final score.
If you get 77 points in Qualifying Round and 700 points in Final Round, your final score will be 777 points.
Use ONE kendama throughout the performance.
Bring a CD with your favorite song longer than 3 minutes for your stage, if you want.
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. ”