Kendama USA

Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

Kenyatta Williams is PRO!

We are excited and honored to announce Kenyatta Williams as the newest 2022 Kendama USA Pro! Kenyatta’s passion and dedication to kendama, blading, and helping others progress has made him a pillar in the kendama community. The San Diego native had a vision for Kendama where much like blading, you incorporate every part of your body with variations, combos, flow etc… and he made it into a reality, blending blading, fashion, technical kendama tricks, and dance through play; changing the way we all see Kendama. Join us in welcoming the steeziest kat in the game to the pro team; Kenyatta Williams.

“Kendama was so stiff to me so I approached it with the mindset to use angles, go outside boundaries, even kicking my kens! Everyday I told myself to do something i hadn’t done the previous day.”

Kenyatta continues to challenge himself and has motivated countless players not only through play, but by engaging players, organizing events, attending jams, competing, filming tricks & tutorials, judging tournaments and much much more. Kenyatta is an embodiment of what it means to be a PRO and share Kendama. We’ve been truly blessed to have Kenyatta as a part of our family and are excited for the next chapter!

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Player of the Month – Nick Dodenhoff – April 2022

Meet April Player of the Month Nick Dodenhoff, from Marietta, Georgia. Nick started playing Kendama in 2011, “kendama was especially popular the high school I was attending; Cherokee. Everyone was playing it, and everyone got good enough that we were making edits. For most people, it was a fad, but for me, kendama stopped being fun.”

Nick Dodenhoff - Player of the Month - April 2022 - Kendama USA

“Currently, one of my favorite setups is the nova shape craft ken with a saucy coral tama, that is the move. My favorite kinds of tricks right now are stalls and strings, the Sweets’ Special has a place in my heart as the first advanced trick I ever learned. My left index finger actually has a callus from ‘em, haha.”

So many shoutouts. Shoutout to Ryan Plourd for coming to my jams at KSU and introducing me to so many people. Shoutout to Christian Fraser for being the first kendama player I looked up to and helping me plan so many GA Kendama events. Shoutout to Jero for believing in me years ago and showing up out-of-the-blue to a jam just to hand me my first ever prizes for our jams (and not to mention the WHOLE GA DAMA COLLAB Ken we did years later). Shoutout to Corey Sipes for being the biggest Kendama homie ever and pushing me to get better in those early days. Shoutout to Chad Covington for giving me the roadmap to hosting great Kendama competitions. And probably most importantly shoutout to Nick Fisch, Aidan Smith, Aidan Hitz, Jay Garland, Jonah Holcomb, George Marshall, Austin Johnson, Juwan Shields, Katarina Dodenhoff, T Mac, Alissa DeCoteau, and all the Georgia homies that come out to the jams on the regular. You all are the reason I play and do what I do for GA Dama.

“Georgia has one of the best squads in the nation (the world!?).  Any time you are in our state, hit us @gakendamaplayers and we will make things happen for you! Hope to see you all in September at ATLO 2022!, Much Love & Respect to Kendama USA, the community, & everyone pushing to help it grow.”

 

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[2021] Catch & Flow Kendama Tournament Recap

This year’s Catch & Flow Kendama Tournament was amazing, there were 58 players competing in 6 different groups battling it out for a 100,000 Yen grand prize, trophies, & more.
The final round consisted of 16 players (13 players and 3 seeded players) in a 90-Second solo freestyle run where players were judged on the following four catagories:

CREATIVITY ● VARIETY ● COMBO ● FLOW (fluidty, atmosphere)

The last 2 players battled head to head to crown the champion and these were the results:

Results:

1st Place: Yasu – JP – Also Announced as KROM Pro

2nd Place: Nobu – JP – Kendama USA

3rd Place: Soma Fujita – JP – KROM

But just in case you missed the tournament live, you can watch it all in the video below.
Thank you to all the sponsors, judges, players who participated and folks at home who watched!

Much Respect

Podium Battle QuickLinks:
Nobu Nori vs Takuya Igarashi
Nobu Nori vs Yasu

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Logan Tosta is PRO | Kendama USA

Logan Tosta is a Kendama USA ProLogan Tosta is a Kendama USA Pro! Logan has been an inspiration since we met him back in 2013 during the KG Roots Tour in SF. It’s hard to believe he was just 9 when he gave TJ Kolesnik & Dave Mateo a run for their money in Games of KEN. We saw an amazing role model, ambassador, and potential champion of both the community and the sport and that’s exactly what Logan has become. Join us in welcoming a champion of Kendama to the pro team!

Logan’s style, energy, positivity, and competitiveness is a vibe that’s been felt worldwide. His near impossible and gravity-defying combinations continue to raise the bar and not only built awareness around the kendama as a whole but continue to motivate and challenge players everywhere. Logan and his family continue to support, organizing, and attend jams, filming tricks, demonstrating at schools, and simply sharing kendama everywhere he goes… we’ve watched Logan grow; not only as a person, player, and as a contributing member of the Kendama community and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.

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KUSA x GA Kendama Collab Peach Kendama Now Available

We’ve teamed up with our friends in the Georgia Kendama Community (@gakendamaplayers) to bring you this special Peach-themed Kendama. The GA Kendama Club has been actively growing and supporting the Kendama scene in our home state, and we couldn’t be more proud to collaborate with them!

Kendama in Georgia has a long history, and the GA Kendama Players have roots going back as early as Dama Fest in 2011. Community leaders like Nick Dodenhoff have made large efforts to get the word out and host local jams and events. As the scene has grown, they have created their own logo, T-shirts, stickers, and even their own podcast “Georgia Kendama Radio. The podcast itself has hosted everyone from Jeremy Stephenson (Kendama USA) to Chad Covington (of Sol Kendamas) and Matt Jorgenson (of Sweets Kendamas). In 2018 the Georgia Kendama Players Club hosted the Georgia Kendama Open (GKO), followed by the Atlanta Kendama Open (ATLKO) in 2019.

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Making this collab Kendama seemed like a great idea after so many years of mutual support. It features a unique GA Peach themed tama with KUSA Silk paint, a Maple SHIFT Shape Ken with a new base cup hole, custom engravings, and much more. This club hopes to spread the excitement and community of Kendama to even more people in the south. If you are ever in Georgia, make sure to attend one of the jams and meet all of the incredible people that make up the Georgia Kendama Players.

 

Georgia Kendama Players hopes to spread the excitement and community of Kendama to even more people in the south, and the support of companies like Kendama USA has been huge. If you are ever in Georgia, make sure to reach out to them to get a Jam going and meet all of the incredible people that make up the Georgia Kendama Players.

 

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Zach Magnuson Pro Model Kendama Review

What’s good everyone! Jon here from Honed Media bringing you another kendama review. This time I want to especially thank Sharif from Kendama USA for allowing me to guest write for the KUSA blog. Without further ado, let’s talk about Zach Magnuson’s Pro Model  #MAGSMOD.

I’d like to frame my article around “what makes a pro model” – because the first impression I get when opening the box and feeling the kendama is that THIS IS A PRO MODEL. From a tama design that no one can come close to imitating to the custom stickers and even the orange string – everything about the experience screams unique.

People who have followed Zach Magnuson aka Mags on social know that he is a talented photographer from Detroit and I personally enjoyed how elements of his passion for photography are designed into his other passion. Passion-ception.

Even the box feels high quality. The material is hard with textured prints and would stand out on any shelf. But enough about the aesthetics, we’re here to talk about how the kendama plays.

Let’s start with the shape – we have a modified Shift introducing the Kaizen Base Cup Hole and let’s just say it’s what the doctor ordered. I’ve been a fan of Kaizen for many years and have played a range from 1.0, 2.0, Slim, and Shift. I will admit that lunars were a challenge with the Shift because the wider base cup results in an increased weight shifted there. It made the kendama a ken-flip machine, but the trade-off was lunars.

With the balance hole available on Mag’s mod, the lunar balance has improved significantly without much compromise to the ken-flip capability. It feels like one of the most complete kendamas that I’ve played out of the box. Complete in part as well because the spike comes glued – something that I do for all my kendamas. When it comes to the paint, I personally prefer jamming sticky tamas, but something about KUSA’s silk paint slaps different. It seems to be rougher out of the box and allows for a nice adjustment when playing your balance tricks.

To each his own, however, I’d say that both paints will not let you down and it’s really a matter of personal preference which paint to use. I had an easier time with landing lunars on the sticky paint, while catching and adjusting lighthouses felt better on the silk paint.

 What about durability?

Part of this review involved a 2-week test doing cup tricks, ken tricks, and tama tricks. Let me be upfront – I miss the spike a lot. Despite that, there were only minor chips after 2 weeks, mostly around the bevel making it a relatively durable kendama. This could be in part that the weight of the tama was heavier (80+) and therefore the wood would have been harder and denser.

What might be more important to note was that I did not feel the tackiness of the respective paints change much – something you do not see often.

In the playability section, I test the smoothness and ease of landing tricks in the 4 criteria, Lunar, Stalls, Slings, and Ken Flips.

A difficulty rating out of 10 (1 being easier than usual, 5 being no difference and 10 is much harder than usual) will be given to each category at discretion.

Lunar

Stall

Sling

Kenflip

Pull-up Bird

  3

Pull-up Sling

  4

Kenflip Spike

2

Lunar

3

Bird Over The V

  3

Pull-up Double-Sling Spike

  4

Double Whirlwind

3

Double Lunar Flip

4

Handlestall – Ring

  4

Pull-up Sling, Late Sling

  4

Kenflip-

ken flip Spike

4

 

 What does this compare to?

You know when you’re headed out of home for a short bit and want to grab a kendama off the shelf you can just walk and jam without worry? This is it. Despite being a pro mod with an extensive and complex aesthetic design, it still plays like a daily jammer – and that is one of my favorite things about it.

I play a lot of kendamas and found it easy to rotate in and out of the #MAGSMOD which makes it and really worthy investment.

At $40, this is one of the most value-for-money kendamas out there. The level of design on the tama, sticker pack, and packaging indicates that it must have been relatively expensive to produce – yet Kendama USA prices it comparable to other kendamas in the market with a less complex design.

As a plus point, each #MAGSMOD purchased goes to supporting Zach’s kendama journey – a win-win situation if I ever saw one.

Bonus: To show that this dama is for the everyday average player like me – I shot a three trick fix with different balance and stall tricks to show how player-friendly it was out-of-box. Enjoy!

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Zach Magnuson Goes Pro | Kendama USA

Join us in celebrating the newest Kendama USA Pro; Zachary Magnuson! Zach’s dedication to the sport and community can be seen in his progression as both a player, a member of the community, and a videographer. Zach began his Kendama journey in 2014, while in high school and started competing shortly after. We first met Zach at Dama in the D2 and was asked to join Kendama USA’s Tribe team in 2018. Zach’s tenacity to pursue his passions and perfect his skills lead him to exactly where he wants to be.

Zach Magnuson Kendama USA Pro

Zach is currently a senior in college studying photography and film. When he isn’t studying he’s either playing kendama or working on a project he continues to be an inspiration to people and players around him and shares Kendama wherever he goes. Lets all welcome Zach to the team!

Act Fast Limited Quantities Available

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Jarvis Lawrence is TRIBE

Jay Lawrence is TRIBE

Meet Jarvis a.k.a Jay, the newest member of the Tribe team! His quick wits and even faster hands will have yous guys blinking in disbelief. The ‘Scansin native, has been playing kendama for 3 1/2 years and first encountered kendama at school when a kid in his class pulled a kendama out and started playing it; after that Jay picked up his first Kendama a green & black Tribute Kendama and the rest is history.

Jay is constantly challenging himself and those around him to improve. His flow, consistency, and dedication to both the sport and the Kendama community are inspiring and we can’t wait to see more from him.

Watch his Tribe announcement edit below and help us welcome him to the family!

A few years back Bryan Scagline first met Jarvis and saw the potential of being a great role model and leader in the community.  Not only has Jay’s skills evolved since then but he hosts jams in his home state of Wisconsin with his crew 608KEN.

Current Favorite Setup: null X Kaizen Red/White Half Split!

- Much Respect -

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Player of the Month – Colin Hislop – July 2020

Meet July Player of the Month Colin Hislop, from Sandpoint, Idaho. Slaying since the 8th grade, the first kendama he put his hands on was a friend’s.

Kendama USA Player of Month July 2020 Colin Hislop

“I was instantly hooked! Soon after, (June, 2012) I visited the @sportscreel in Spokane, WA and picked up my first dama: a Purple Shenzhu! I love simple tricks with spicy tech thrown in. Late goons, grip trades, and fast hands all get me juiced. My favorite setup is whatever feels good! Currently,I am loving the null.”

Kendama USA Player of the Month Colin Hislop 2 - July 2020

He’s currently working on a year-long project, filming a trick every day. Over 200 tricks deep, Colin believes it will likely release on January 1st, 2021! We can’t wait to see it!

“I’m so incredibly grateful for this tool and everywhere it has brought me. It’s been an unforgettable 8 years, and I can’t see myself ever stopping.

The shout-out list is endless, but to start: the day one homie @_samcannon_, @asapcrvst, @mikey_schelling, and the sensei @benherald. From friendship, to motivation, to tutoring, these dudes have inspired me more than I can put into words.

Love to Kendama USA, the community, & everyone pushing to help it grow.”

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The Race Horse Named Kendama

Racehorse Kendama Wins at Maryland

Meet the racehorse named Kendama; a beautiful, three-year-old Colt from the prestigious Audley Farm. General Manager Turner Kobayashi, a Japanese-American, who’s been part of Audley Farm for over 20 years now, tells us that they named the horse’s pedigree; after his mother, a mare named Bilboquet.  Kendama won his last race on Friday, July 10, 2020.  It was a mile and one-sixteenth turn stretch at Laurel Park in Maryland. Check out our favorite racehorse in action below.

A little more about Audley Farm,  a 3,000-acre historic farm in Berryville, Virginia founded in 1749. George Washington’s adopted daughter; (Martha’s granddaughter), Nellie Custis lived here. Once the very first Triple Crown winner, Sir Barton was a stallion at Audley back in the 1920s. Currently, Audley Farm is a champion thoroughbred racehorse breeder and owner as well as a registered Black Angus seed stock and beef producer. To learn more about the racehorse named Kendama and Audley Farms check out null.

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#BISHMOD Kendama Sports A Crisp New Look

The Haley Bishoff Pro Model Kendama has a new look and updates that are sure to help you progress. The new colorway and packaging around Haley’s new pro model mirror the changes she sees in her environment; moving from Oregon to Nevada, forest to desert.

Custom artwork captures the essence of the desert and the beautiful hues seen in the sunsets there. A UV topographical map of Zion National Park wraps around the packaging and art. On the back of the box, you can visually climb one of Haley’s favorite routes in the park called Moonlight Buttress. On the Kendama, there are cacti under the slip stop, an engraved OG Tribute logo on the base cup, Haley’s engraved signature along with the ken, and gold engraved SHCL tribute to a Kendama pioneer who positively changed the lives of many around the world: Dave Mateo. Spike Hard Catch Low Forever.

“There’s something uniquely special about the desert. It brings a certain kind of appreciation to how something so simple can be so vast. As of now, the desert is home. There are not many other places in the world that bring such rich reds and deep oranges. The desert always provides.” – Haley Bishoff

Watch the unboxing to learn more about the #BISHMOD and an in-depth comparison to the v1.
Follow Haley and the Girls Kendama Collective.

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TJ Kolesnik’s New Pro Model Kendamas Now Available

We’re excited to announce the release of the new TJ Kolesnik pro model Kendama; Deep Sea! The inspiration for the pro model comes from the different shades of our blue oceans and their breaking waves.   The Deep Sea Kendama features the new Shift Shape, Kaizen Super Stick Paint, Custom Seal, and more.

Kendama USA TJ Kolesnik Pro Model Kendama Deep Sea

TJ’s drive, energy, and passion for Kendama have made waves across the globe. TJ  continues to use his platform to introduce people to Kendama and grow the community on a global scale.

The thing I always find myself reflecting on about kendama in my life is the constant progression of tricks, friendships, creativity, and everything that comes with our community we call family. I’ve been given so many opportunities to really show just how amazing kendama is. In the last 8 years when I first picked a kendama in high school, I never thought we would all be here today. Traveling globally to attend contests and events. Inspiring kids and players across the entire world to continue chasing their dreams and achieving their goals. Literally creating a lifestyle from the ground up out of pure passion, love, and joy. As I stand here today, it’s been one of the most adventurous journeys playing, promoting and pushing kendama to the next level. Everything from the design of the box to the seal, wood engravings, signature and colorway of the tama, I was able to work closely with Kendama USA to design each and every piece to my perfection. It’s a resemblance of who I am as a person and the impact the ocean has on my life. Continue to make waves and pursue all of your wildest dreams. Much love. Must respect. Thank you – TJ



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