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AGKO 2019 Recap

AGKO Girls!

I’m in a van full of Kendama players blasting early 2000′s Emo Punk music as we all take turns to yank spike a mini Kendama on our road trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. That’s how my weekend started leading up to the All-Girls Kendama Open!

I got to join my friends @kmarqued @cho.dama @stephlussier @nikki_deo & @karendufus on our journey to AGKO. We rented a van, stocked up on food & drinks, (a whole lotta SunChips), good vibes, and a playlist full of nostalgic music! The first hour or so we were stuck in classic LA traffic but it didn’t matter at all because we were all having so much fun already, and everyone was just so hyped to be together in one place! In the car we would lace tricks with a mini Kendama we brought along, and during our pit stops, we’d have a film sesh or just jam to stretch out our bodies. We would even practice the AGKO trick list. It was honestly a Kendama road trip that I’ve always wanted, and I already knew at that moment that it was gonna be such a fun and unforgettable weekend!

The following day was the big day. We had a whole day of free time until the competition, so we decided to check out Seven Magic Mountains and film some tricks there. I ran into a group of Japanese tourists and they noticed my Kendama, so of course, I got them to try it out. They all took turns trying to spike, and one of them already knew how to play and managed to lace Around Japan first try! I taught him how to Lighthouse and he managed to get it after a few tries! He was so stoked and it gave me so much joy!

We then headed to the venue Distrct Arts where I was welcomed by a whole lot of familiar and unfamiliar faces. It was such a crazy experience meeting friends I’d known for over a year online and also meeting people I didn’t know but was able to connect thanks to Kendama. I was also welcomed by organizers Haley Bishoff, Carolina Herrera, and Kevin DeSoto. Some of them I was meeting for the first time but was warmly welcomed like we’ve known each other for a long time. The whole room was just filled with such good vibes and it was so beautiful to see so many purple colors everywhere and I could feel so much love in that room.

As well as the main competition, 7 to Spike was also planned for the event. As I was registering for the competition, I suddenly decided to try out 7 to Spike. I saw the list of names who had signed up for it and I thought I wouldn’t be much of a competition to those people and I might end up embarrassing myself not being able to lace anything in such a freestyle situation which I didn’t have any experience in. But I knew it won’t matter at all as long as I have fun. It was also an opportunity I knew I won’t come across often, and I thought it would be the best way to celebrate Dave Mateo. Just going out there and having fun. And I’m so glad that I decided to do so! The whole energy I felt was incredible, I was honestly a little nervous and shaky going up there at first so I wasn’t able to land any tricks. But the crowd’s reactions to seeing what I was attempting gave me so much energy and helped calm me down. Everyone was so supportive and encouraging! I’ll never forget that energy I felt during that game!

The competitions were also such an amazing experience. This was my first ever competition and big event so it was even my first time watching a competition live! It was so exciting being able to support my friends compete in person! I was shouting and screaming so much with excitement with everyone that I was starting to have a sore throat! There were so many great matches and it was so inspiring to watch everyone compete! I wish I could talk more about the competitions and some of the matches I got to see, but the whole day felt so surreal to me that it’s all kind of a blur. But I remember every emotion that I felt. I remember somehow managing to lace tricks on stage that I really struggled with leading up to the competition and scooping up spikes which I was proud of. It was honestly such a privilege getting to compete against Nikki, Jenny, and Steph in the Open Division and sharing the stage. It was so calming getting to face my friends in a competition when I thought I would be so nervous, and genuinely getting excited whenever they scored a point against me! The whole competition was like a roller coaster of excitement.

For the final round, it was me against Steph. We had a very suspenseful match but I managed to take the lead with Opposite Hand Around the World as I scooped up a spike onto one knee. When I was announced as the winner, I honestly couldn’t believe it. I never would’ve imagined I would take the win at my first ever competition. Just being there in that place at that moment with all my friends was already a win for me. So it was all such a surreal experience that I will never forget and a memory I will treasure forever! I’ll forever be grateful to everyone who made this event possible and to all the friends I got to spend time with on this journey. It sure was such an incredible experience and I’m so inspired to play Kendama more than ever! I hope to make it out to more events in the future!

- Lisa Komatsubara @lisakendama

 

Check out the Kendama Lisa used to win the AGKO here!

 

AGKO Winners!

AGKO Winners

First Place – Lisa Komatsubara (center)

Second Place – Steph Lussier (right)

Third Place – Jenny Cho (left)

AGKO 2019

 

 

 

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[2019] North American Kendama Open (NAKO) Recap!

NAKO Recap!We had a blast hanging with the Kendama community at this year’s NAKO event; renamed from Minnesota Kendama Open (MKO).  Repping KUSA were Bryan Scagline, Zach Magnuson, Nobu Nori, Rui Sora, Josh Kim, Daunyé Synigal, Dylan Westmoreland, Oliver Malby, Haley Bishoff, Wyatt Bray, Logan Tosta and Alex Smith. Great job to all those that competed, especially Zach Magnuson who took third in open, Oliver Malby who took third in freestyle, Nobu Nori who took second in freestyle, and Josh Kim who won the Yank Spike Contest!

The competition this year was great! So many players coming from all over the country to play Kendama is always such an amazing and unique experience. And the new venue this year was amazing. The first two days in the hotel were perfect for jamming Kendama and watching the competition go down! And the last day in the Varsity Theater was incredible to see the finals take place! Good Kendama, awesome friends, and amazing weather on Sunday made this weekend unforgettable! Congratulations to Motty for taking first in Open, and Nick Gallagher for taking first in Freestyle! Kendama USA was proud to be able place on every podium this year! We can’t wait to see our players compete at other competitions and the next NAKO!

Post competition on Saturday, the Downspike awards were a huge success! Getting to award the community for all their hard work and creative genius is the best. Thank you to Alex Smith and the Sander Brothers for hosting! Make sure to get on Downspike at downspike.com, or download the mobile app on your phone to always be in the loop with Kendama! And that’s right, Colin Sander was at NAKO this year helping judge freestyle and host the Downspike Awards! Hopefully we will be seeing more of Colin in upcoming events. And of course, a special thank you to Sweets Kendamas and all of the gracious volunteers for hosting another great event!

Thank you again, until next year MN!

NAKO Podium Open

NAKO Podium Freestyle

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Player of the Month – Danny Rankin – February 2019

This month’s player is Danny R in Florida! We took a minute to chop it up with the @kendamagoat and this is what he had to say:

Waddup it’s Danny / Kendama Goat! I was born n raised in San Jose, CA. I lived in Portland for 6 years, then in my van for a few years with scattered months in Philly, New York, Thailand, and Mexico. Now I reside in Florida but I’m always driving back and forth to Nashville, TN.

I found Kendama from my buddy Zach. (@kendama_odyssey ) He posted a video on Instagram that I thought looked really weird so I asked him about it. He sent me a dama and now I trip border balance first T every time switch. Outside of kendama I like to make weird rap videos, play piano, beat everyone at chess, sometimes skate, but kendama is better, shmob my scooter to the beach, thrift, go down weird conspiracy holes, read the taco bell subreddit, eat taco bell, ride by bike, Rubik’s cubes, stuff like dat. A few people I wanna shout out / thank – My buddy Cameron (@kendamalicious ) shreds super hard, is always posting clips, loves the game and just has a lit AF genuinely great personality so he’s one I look up to. Scags (@bryan_scagline) I’ve always looked up to that dude. He has a super fresh style and really comfortable flow, like not just clacking around, but actually hitting the cups and doing a lot of grip changes. Anyone that flows really..


View this post on Instagram

Some quip simplistic flow #crispy . . #kendama #kendamausa #kaizendash #kendamalovegang #kendamaodyssey #kendamagoat

A post shared by WHRL GVD (@kendamagoat) on

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Daunyé Synigal is TRIBE!


Daunye Synigal, a 21-year-old Kendama whiz from Modesto, CA, has been playing Kendama for seven years and is now on Kendama USA’s Tribe Team! Daunye was introduced to Kendama in Vacaville by a friend at their middle-school bus stop.

“I remember some of the kids at the stop being super hyped on trying it out. I thought it was a super cool toy that he stole from his older brother who was in high school. He soon showed me videos of professional/highly-skilled kendama players and told me that he was a part of a kendama team called Balanced Kendama Team (check them out on Youtube). It really interested and amazed me that my friend was on a team, especially considering everyone else on that team was in high school while we were middle schoolers. Their Youtube Edit had over 1000 views (in 2012!) and that made it seem super legit.”

The same friend gave Daunye his first Kendama which was a natty Sunrise Kendama which he played for 3 months before buying his first Kendama from Kendama USA; a Black TK-16 Kendama.

BONUS: My next three kendamas were a sky blue ozora, a blue on black triple stripe KUSA Tribute, and a Zack Yourd 2012 Pro Model.

Daunye is an all-around Kendama player who has an appreciation for all tricks and styles. He was sponsored by Dave Mateo onto the Tribe team. Daunye met Dave for the first time at a Learning Express jam hosted by Dave, and Logan Tosta in Roseville CA.

That event was an amazing experience for me. I won second place at a mini game and there wasn’t a prize for second place so Dave took it upon himself to give me his personal Grain Theory kendama. I was stoked!

Daunye helps host kendama jams at Japan Town San Francisco every Friday from 5-9pm called KG Fridays.

We jam inside the Peace Pagoda in the center of Japan Town Plaza and when the weather is bad we jam near the Kinokuniya Book Store inside Japan Town Mall. These jams are a homage to KG Tuesdays that KUSA’s Jake Wiens hosted for years.

Kendama USA - KG Jam CA Japanville Peace Pagoda

Daunye’s current favorite setup is anything with a Shift shape and a long string. ;)

Help us in welcoming Daunye to the team! We hope to see Daunye continue to spread the game, push his limits and those around him.

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Have you seen Zach Magnuson’s latest Kendama edit yet?

Here are 10 comments pulled from the Kendama edit as to why you should watch this edit right now!

“Amazing honestly this inspires me to go outside and just jam”

“Seriously had to watch the majority of the clips like three times ! You absolute monster wtf !! Best edit I’ve seen in so long.. hell ya man !”

“Every trick was a banger, phenomenal edit Mags”

“That edit was the definition of Kendama”

“This was amazing! Definitely the best edit I’ve seen in a while!”

“This isn’t ok. I’ve watched this edit at least 12 times and i still can’t process how ZMAGS is doing this.”

“One of the best edits I’ve seen! Seriously man, keep it up, amazing work!”

“Oh.”

“This is insane”

“Absolutely crazy. very inspiring.”

⚠️ WARNING – This video will make you want to get out and sesh Kendama. ⚠️

Zach Magnuson POV Kendama Edit #2 2019https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2gWa30BEBM

 

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Player of the Month – Lisa Komatsubara – January 2019

Kendama USA Player Spotlight January 2019 Lisa K

This month’s player is Lisa K all the way from New Zealand! We took some time to catch up with her and this is what she had to say:

My name is Lisa Komatsubara, and I’m from Auckland, New Zealand! As a child, I grew up owning a traditional Japanese Kendama, and funnily enough, I actually thought it was a boring toy because all I could do with it was cups and spike.  In 2016, I met Joe & Todd from @kumafilms and they showed me that you can do so much more with a Kendama! They taught me how to do Airplane and Juggle, and that’s how I fell in love with Kendama!

I literally practiced only those 2 tricks for a few months, then I played on & off then only occasionally. It wasn’t until August 2018 that I decided to start practicing properly and introduce myself to other tricks. Since then, my love & passion for Kendama has been growing bigger & bigger! When I’m not playing Kendama, I’m either juggling, capturing photos & videos, painting, or doing anything creative!

From the beginning, my Kendama inspirations have been @hbishhh & @dwesty_. They were the only 2 players I knew about when I first started. Another big inspiration is a fellow player Nicholas Jennings also from New Zealand. He continues to inspire me every day!”

Lisa’s progression is inspiring! Be sure to check out her feed and practice!

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Battle at the Border 2019 – Kendama Tournament Recap

Battle at the Border Kendama Tournament 2019 - Rocketown, TN USA

Was there an earthquake in Tennessee this weekend? No. That was 150 + Kendama players popping off in Nashville for the 7th annual 2019 Battle at the Border! #BATB went down Jan 4th and 5th in Nashville Tennessee at Rocketown!

This year was the FIRST EVER doubles tag team freestyle competition where we witnessed some of the most high energy performances to date. Judges Bryan Scagline, Kota Kagoshima, and Damon Kirchmeier scored the competitors on tricks, tag style, team flow, and creativity. Each person competing in freestyle had to pair up and throw down with another player of their choice!

1st place was awarded to Liam Router and Alex Mitchell from Sol Kendamas,

2nd place Lyndon Whalen from Sol Kendamas and Adrian Estaban from Grain Theory, and

3rd place was held down by our boy Zach Magnuson and Kevin DeSoto from Sol Kendamas.

Sol Kendamas also premiered the Lyndon Whalen SOL PRO video and dropped the Lyndon Whalen Pro Model! The design screams Whalen’s style and is the first kendama off its kind. Big ups to the WHALE-DOG! Do yourself a favor and pick one up on SolKendamas.com!

Lastly, we had Open division. Liam Router (Sol Kendamas) and George Marshall (Sweets Kendamas) went head to head in an intense final battle for first! Liam wasn’t missing a trick, and neither was George. The energy in the room was at an all-time high. The epic match concluded with:  Liam taking the W George took 2nd place & Zach Magnuson bagged 3rd for KUSA!

Much love to all of the sponsors, players, parents, supports, and everybody that helped make Battle at the Border an EPIC start to 2019! Special thank you to Chad Covington and Sol Kendamas. Much respect and see ya next year!

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Black Friday Site-wide Kendama Sale | Win a New GoPro & More!

Take 30% OFF your entire order & be entered to win some amazing prizes! Hurry though sale ends today!
Learn more about the prizes here!

Kendama Black Friday Sale Ad USA

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Mansfield Australia Kendama Jam Recap


Twelve-year-old Phoenix Valero has always wanted to organize a Kendama jam in his hometown to bring dama players together.
He’d been wanting to start one for a while but didn’t know where to start.  So he decided to reach out and contact his buds at Kendama USA!  With a little help, Mansfield saw its first Kendama Jam! A lot of folks showed up and the jam was a big hit!

Competition Summary:

Open Division :

@noahlachal
@eligh.7900 (Runner Up)

Mansfield Kendama Jam Open Division Winners

Intermediate Speed Ladder:

@_mackenziehenderson – (Middle)
@eligh.7900
@_1_dustin_1_

Beginner Speed Ladder

Mansfield Kendama Jam Beginner Winners

A big thank you to everyone, who participated and came out to the event.
Photo Cred: @freyavalerio

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New Kaizen Kendamas Now Available!

Kendama USA is proud to launch the first series of Kaizen Shifts and Kaizen Slims.  The Shift and Slim shape have been extremely popular on our Craft Kendamas, and the Kaizen options now offer you these amazing shapes at a great price.  Here is a picture of all the Kaizen’s we recently released.  These color options are limited, so grab your favorite style while you can.  Also, check out our wishlists feature to share with friends and family.

2018 Kaizen Kendamas Batch 1

 

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Introducing Craft Colors | Painted Craft Kendamas

“Go to the Valley of Fire they said, the dessert is epic they said.. (plot twist) IT WAS!”

The Craft Sandstorm and Graphite Kendamas were inspired by a trip to Nevada’s Valley of Fire! The 2017 Toy Fest West show was going down in Las Vegas and during a free day, Scags and Jero ventured a few hours out of the city lights to the great shifting sand dunes. The landscapes were so perfect it was crazy to comprehend what we were seeing! Pictures, clips, tricks, we had to be Abel to share this experience somehow!

After snapping a few pictures and reassuring ourselves that the views were THIS epic – we had to pay the memory forward and design these colors for tamas!

Pick up a Craft Color from Kendama USA and create your own ventures, memories, and stories to share!

Check out the edit and get lost in the landscapes that the Valley of Fire.

Check out the edit and get lost in the Valley of Fire’s landscapes .

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Ozora ReShape Kendamas Now Available @ Kendama USA

Ozora Kendama of Japan has developed a new shape that features larger cups and a semi 70/30 fade for easy hole tracking. Formally named “Odori REshape” this is the newest shape from Ozora in ten years and is the brain child of Japanese Craftman, Ryoichi Suzuki. The REShape has three meanings;”3R”, RENEW · · · Newly born design RELIABLE · · · Reliable specs and quality REACH · · · reach new possibilities.

SHOP NOW

https://shop.kendamausa.com/products/ozora-kendama-reshape

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