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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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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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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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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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