Kendama USA

Archive for the ‘Clip of the week’ Category

[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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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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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 www.audleyfarm.com.

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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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Josh Kim is TRIBE!

It’s been almost 3 years since Josh Kim picked up his first Kendama.  Since then,  Josh’s passion & determination to lace Kendama tricks has fast-tracked his skill progression and he is now on Kendama USA’s Tribe Team! Josh’s play style is fast & technical, so try not to blink when watching this edit. With trick combinations including but not limited to boarders balances,  123 variations, & even tightropes, Josh’s gravity-defying lines will definitely blow your mind.

Back when I used to yo-yo around 2013, I would always learn tricks from yoyoexpert.com. I saw they were selling Kendamas, so I watched my first Kendama video on the site, which was the Kendama USA 2012 Japan Tour. Still one of my favorite videos to this day. However, I did not get a Kendama until 2015 where just kept it on my desk, and did not start playing until February of 2016. My first Kendama USA dama was a black silk Kaizen Kendama. My current favorite setup is a Watermelon Slim X Dwesty Ken; throws absolute face melters.

Kendamas USA - Josh Kim - Tribe Team

A year later Josh met Wyatt at the 2017 Grand Central Station Jam, where he won a Spike-Off and almost bested Wyatt in a game of Ken.  Wyatt saw potential in Josh and sent him a few kendamas after the jam.  Since then Josh has helped host a number of events and plans on continuing to throw jams and events in the NYC area.

Kendama for me is just an amazing sport that I love. To be able to receive so much support from the community is phenomenal. Thank you to everyone who has supported me in the past, and special shout out to my day 1′s; my parents. Without them supporting me everyday I play, I never would be where am I today. So grateful to be blessed with this amazing opportunity to play for Kendama USA. Can’t wait for what happens next!

Welcome to the team! Keep shredding.

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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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Haley Bishoff Turns Pro for Kendama USA

We are honored and excited to announce Haley Bishoff as the newest member of the Kendama USA Pro Team.  Haley’s love for the sport, drive to spread kendama, and pivotal role as THE leader in the female kendama scene has made a significant impact across the Kendama community. Haley has been hands-on in helping to developing strong grassroots Kendama scenes and events across the globe. Her commitment and love to Kendama continues to be an inspiration.

Haley Bishoff First Girl Pro Kendama Player

Persevere, overcome, and create your reality for where want to be. Please join us in welcoming Haley Bishoff to the Kendama USA Pro Team.

 

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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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Zack Yourd Kendama Edit #7 Lives!

Zack Yourd Kendama Edit #7

So unless you’re WiFi is out, you had to have heard about the legendary Kendama USA pro Zack Yourd releasing his NEWEST and arguably most creative video yet – Kendama Edit #7! The Video dropped yesterday, August 1st, at noon and the kendama community snapped! The video reached over 3 thousand views within the first 24 hours. Not viral, but notable views for an older kendama player dropping a new video in 2018. Players from all over the globe (really) spoke out about how the video made them feel!

So much so that we had to share some of the comments on this video!

“Inspired me to start playing kendama and inspires me to keep playing kendama!”

“We need more people that play like Zach. For the fun of it. The curiosity of what can be done with a Kendama. You’re truly and forever a legend Zach, I hope in 20 years people still try to play like you do.”

“This edit gives a different perspective on kendama

“What a legend”

“What I love about this is the absence of popular styles of tricks. Every trick here blew my mind in some way since it was so different than what I’m used to seeing!! Great job Yourd, keep it up!!!”

“This video just puts me in the same awe as when I very first started Kendama! Just the way the tricks are designed pushes a crazy level of technicality and suspense that, to me, is unbelievable once completed! Thanks for reminding me of that feeling!”

“So i’m in the beginning stages of kendama. I’m at month seven. But I’ve never been able to find inspiration for tricks that i actually like and enjoy. The variety that you did was so much different than anyone I’ve ever seen. So i guess i should be thanking you for the inspiration. That was so sick”

“Hands down one of the best edits of all time.”

“That was amazing. Truly worth the wait.”

“So stoked to see a kendama film from the legend himself. New tricks, same steez. We need to make an active push as a community to create more content like this in the future.”

“Best. Edit. Of. The. Year.”

— and the comments continue on with love and stoke for Edit #7! Thank you Yourd for only putting out A1 work and thank you to everyone that enjoyed the edit and took something away from it!

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Zach Magnuson is TRIBE

Zach Magnuson, a 19-year-old Kendama phenom from Motor City; Detroit, MI, has been playing Kendama for four and a half years and is now on Kendama USA’s Tribe Team! When he isn’t playing Kendama he’s either out shooting pics or making videos about Kendama! In his 2nd year of college at MCC, Zach claims to love school more than DWesty and plans on graduating with a degree in photography and video work.  Zach’s progression, passion, and community involvement have propelled him into the limelight and he’ll continue to leave a positive impact on those around him on KUSA’s Tribe team.

“I was introduced to Kendama by a high school classmate who had recently returned from a trip to Japan. My 1st Kendama was a red Duncan Kendama from Toys R Us. I describe my playstyle as very fast paced & new school but I’m still being creative with it. Wyatt asked me to be on Tribe at this year’s Dama in the D comp.  Wyatt and I actually met at Dama in the D2 but it wasn’t until D4 that we got to know each other. By the time D5 rolled around, I had honed my skills like never before and I placed in the top 10, even besting Wyatt in open 3-0.”

Current Setup:  Kendama USA Craft Shift Maple Ken x Ash Tama

” I love kendama and all the people I’ve met through it. I try and spread my joy for this truly amazing sport wherever I go.”

BTW, I host a jam every Thursday in Marysville, MI between 4 – 8 pm at Municipal Park. So if you’re in the area come on by and jam with us!

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