Kendama USA

Posts Tagged ‘Wyatt Bray’

Sakura Classic 2017 | Recap

The Sakura Classic is a Kendama event that focuses on the original reason why we play Kendama. FUN! No fees, no pressure, all vibes. This year, the sun was shining and the players were out in full force. This Sakura Classic had the most pros yet, 28 Sponsored players came out to join the 100+ amateurs. The pros hosted workshops and gave advice to the young competitors trying to reach the main stage to become the Sakura Champ.

The speed ladders are always intense. Players were focused and honed this year, finishing the ladder within fractions of a second within each other requiring slow motion replays to determine the winner. Win or loose, everyone was smiling. At the end of a full day of speed ladder battles, we had our top 16 competitors for the next day.
Congrats to -
Matthew Stacy, Hartej Sinjh, Jordan Vargas, Keilan Cancino, Casey Cristabol, Anthoney Leary, Jack Shores, Eli Kertel, Hayden Brickman, Joshual Yanga, Mason Santos, Elmer Juen, Andrew Taldlip, Omrishi Jonnala, Jordan Petiesta &Tim Chow

The Pro / Sponsored speed ladder was a mix of a Kendama contest and a comedy show. As I looked around me, I would call out 5 pros at a time. Mixing up sponsors, friends, and rivals. During each round, I would roast each player.The crowd was laughing and the players were trying to focus while I talked about a modeling agency battle with Kristian Aynedter, Max Norcross, and Tj Kolesnik.

After day 1 in Japantown SF, everyone met at the Hatch in Oakland, a small bar and restaurant with neighborhood vibes in Oakland. Upon arrival, the place was packed with kendama players and Kendama videos were projected on the wall. Drinks, burgers, tacos, and wings were flowing like water. It was great to have everyone in one place for a party. Usually at some point during kendama events the young ones and the adults get split up due to age restrictions. Pancho, the owner of The Hatch opened his doors to all ages that Saturday night and made it a memorable event for everyone. Towards the end of the night, the music changed and a video started to play that ended up being the pro announcement for Kristian Aynedter and Ben Herald! People were cheering and applauding as waves of smiles rushed over the crowd. The goal was to create the “skate video premiere” feeling. Mission accomplished.

Day 2 of the Sakura Classic was the “hone in’ day. The day started with workshops for the top 16 ams that were in the classic. The pros helped each player tighten up their tricks and gave advice on how to stay cool and collected during the contest. While the players were warming up, the rest of the crowd watched the 9 and under and the 30 and up contest. The 9 and under featured a big cup off as well as ken drop and other fun mini games. All competitors walked away with prizes. The 30 and up class were competing for an Original Grain watch and Kendama USA kanji brush shirt. The competition was made up of dads of players and other adult players. The vibe was amazing and everyone had a blast.

The amateur contest began at 1 and players were ready. At the Sakura Classic, there is no stage, only the street. The players paired up and battled in the middle of post street in Japantown. The crowd gathered quickly to watch the young competitors face off. The battles went on until we had the top 4: Jordan Vargas, Keilan Cancino, Hartej Sinjh, and Matthew Stacy.

While the am players celebrated their victory, the pros started gathering for the pro contest. This years pro contest featured some of the most amazing players and match-ups I have ever seen. It is amazing to watch 2 of your favorite players go head to head. In the end it came down to Ben Herald and Josh Grove that would battle it out on the main stage later in the day.

Right after the pro classic, the pace switched to pro freestyle / exhibition. Music was bumpin’ and the crowd formed a circle in the middle of the street. I called 4 players into the circle and they threw down free style for 4 min. If you mess up twice you step out and some one else comes in. After 4 minutes, the crowd judges who will stay and who will go. This years freestyle had some of the most epic bangers laced and the crowd was going nuts. The highlight was when I decided to have all of COTK battle it out in the ring. Wyatt, Stodd, June, and Caleb all jumped in huddled up and then broke into one of the most legendary freestyles. Stodd hitting impossible lunar combos, while Chris June redefined the definition of bird combos, Caleb slinging his way into the next universe, and Wyatt going ham with the most vicious down spike combos. After all the smoke settled from all the rounds, it came down to Gavin Harvey and Micha Logan to battle on the main stage.

At 5:30, the entire squad mobbed up to the main stage that sat under the pagoda where we jam every Tuesday. I grabbed the mic and started to explain kendama to the people. I asked “who knows what a kendama is?” I did not expect the roar that came from the crowd. I then asked “who has never seen a kendama before?” Only a few people in the audience had never seen one!

After some tricks on a normal sized Kaizen and a KROM XXL I brought up the freestyle finals. Micha and Logan were on another level of honed. Both players landing unique tricks that are the definition of modern kendama. After both players had their runs it was judgement time. The crowd undeniably decided in favor of Gavin. Micha lifted Gavin up off the ground and Gavin’s hands when in the air with victory!

Next we went into the Pro Classic Finals. Ben Herald faced off With Josh Grove. Both Ben and Josh were landing the tricks left and right, match for match. It was match point for Ben and the card drawn was the hanging inward flip down spike. Josh came within millimeters of the lace and Ben had a chance for the win. Ben took a breath and landed the trick first try! The crowd cheered and there was a new Sakura Pro champ! Ben was awarded the custom champion Hapi Coat custom made for the contest. Going pro the night before and winning the contest the next day creates a story for the ages.

For the finale, the amateur players made their way to the stage. Round one was Hartej vs Jordan Vargas and Hartej takes the win to move onto the finals. In round two was Matthew vs Keilan and Keilan took the win. Fun fact: Keilan has placed in the top 3 every Sakura Classic!

The finals were two competitors who have trained and worked for the spot both Hartej and Keilan have dreamed of being the Sakura Champ. Just like the pros Hartej and Keilan were matching trick for tricks building the suspense. Hartej had 3 points and needed 1 more for the win. Keilan drew the infamous Handlestall hop to slip on stick. Keilan missed and it came down to Hartej. Hartej hits the handle stall and the hop over. The moment of truth is the slip on stick and he lands it perfectly. The crowd rushes in and the audience applauds the new Sakura Champion. Both players walked away with amazing prizes form Kendama USA and Grain Theory and Hartej was awarded the Sakura Champions Hapi coat.
Sakura Classic Champions - Hartej & Ben w/ Hapi Coats

The weekend was full of kendama, friends, an amazing contest, and all of this in the middle of a 200,000 person festival celebrating Japanese arts and culture. Kendama continues to grow in northern California and the Sakura Classic is the time when everyone comes together from all over the west coast to enjoy kendama together.

See you there next year.

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Wyatt Bray Pro Turns Pro for Kendama USA

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 Bray Lacing a UFO on his Pro Model

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.

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COTK Stumptown 4 Recap

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!

~Caleb Jeffries

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Derek Astin Featured in Local Magazine

Tribe member Derek Astin recently had a column written about him and his Kendama skills in a local Utah magazine called “Draper Lifestyle.”

Kendama used: Wyatt Bray Champ Mod
Link to Dereks Article

Special thanks to Draper Lifestyle and columnist Kelly Erickson for writing such an amazing article about Derek.

 

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VAN Jam 3 Recap

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.

kendama usa, Terra Kendama, Terra Shop, Van Jam 3

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

-Jewbacca

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Kendama World Cup 2016 – Official Trick List

Kendama World Cup 2016 - Entry, Rules & Trick List

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.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6K_qxv1NMKJxk-XCsALDVjHMtOdiqdLx

How to Enter the KWC2016:

It’s easy, you simply purchase your entry ticket or package from Gloken at the link below.
Keep in mind that you will have to get yourself to Japan; entry and / or packages do not include airfare.

http://www.gloken.net/en/w-cup/201605031557/

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.

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Wyatt Bray – Oakland Slay Days

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. ”

Enjoy Wyatt Bray in “Oakland Slay Days”

 

-Jake Wiens

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Event: Play Fair – New York City – February 13th & 14th

Come Jam with us at this year’s Play Fair in New York City!
The event is being held at the Javitz Center on February 13th & 14th.

Most of the Kendama USA crew will be there so come out, hang, and meet your favorite Pro!

Here is the schedule and who will be at our tent area on each day & session.

Saturday
9:30 AM -1:30 PM: Dave Mateo, Guy Wright, Wyatt Bray
3:00 PM — 7:00 PM: Jake Wiens, Kristin Olinyk, TJ Kolesnik

Sunday
9:30 AM -1:30 PM: Alex Smith, Jake Wiens, Kristin Olinyk
3:00 PM — 7:00 PM: Guy Wright, Wyatt Bray, Bryan Scagline

For ticket info please visit playfairny.com

The Javitz Center
655 W 34th St
New York, NY 10001
(212) 216-2000

The Javitz Center is on 11th Ave, between 34th and 40th streets, in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, New York City.

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KWC Setup Recap

KWC 2015 Setups Banner
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

Zack Yourd KWC Setup

 

Recipe:

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.

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2. Wyatt Bray – TK16 Master Ken x Turner Thorne v4 Pro Model Tama

Wyatt KWC Setup

 

Recipe:

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

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3. Turner Thorne – Kaizen Zebrano Ken x Turner Thorne v4 Pro Model Tama.

Turner KWC Setup

 

Recipe:

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

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4. TJ Kolesnik – Colin Sander v4 Pro Ken x Tribute Red/White Half Split Tama

 

TJ KWC Setup

 

Recipe:

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

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5. Keith Matsumura – Colin Sander v4 Pro Model

 

Keith KWC Setup'

 

 

Recipe:

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

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7. Haley Bishoff – Kaizen Zebrano Ken x Kaizen Silk Turquoise Tama

 

Haley KWC Setup

 

 

Recipe:

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

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8. Dave Mateo – Kaizen Zebrano Ken x Kaizen Translucent Wine Tama

 

Dave KWC Setup

 

 

Recipe:

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

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9. Bryan Scagline – Kaizen Birch Ken x Tribute Black / Yellow Half Split

KWC 2015 Setup - Bryan Scagline

 

Recipe:

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

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10. Alex Smith – Kaizen Birch Spike x Maple Cups x Alex Smith v4 Pro Mod.

 

KWC 2015 Setup - Alex Smith

 

Recipe:

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

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Interview with the Kendama World Champion – Wyatt Bray

Kendama World Champion Wyatt Bray describes what Kendama means to him and moments leading up to the announcement crowning him as Champion.

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KUSA x GT x COTK – 4 Trick Fix Portland Wall Session

KendamaUSA, Grain Theory, and Children of the Ken combined forces to drop in for a trick stomping session in Portland Oregon with Nic Stodd, Wyatt Bray, Haley Bishoff, and Keith Matsumura.

Enjoy!

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VOTE NOW! Team Wiens vs. Team Fuegz


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