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Kendama essentials

Started by Old_git, 28 April, 2016, 20:24:08

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Fairly new into Kendamas but in the midst of doing some reviews of different brands of Kendamas.
Asking for help from "the Elders" here on Forum.
(Basically anyone else except myself here ).
What key features are you looking for in a Kendama review?
I've discovered a few:
= Balance
= Grip, how the Ken fits your hand
= Build Quality, you dont want big chunks of wood falling apart the first day playing .
What else is there to ponder on , what would you like to see in a Kendama review ?
Anything you'd absolutely demand in a review ?

And another question.
When do you recon a new Kendama is "Played in"?
A week, a month, a day ?
My Ozora has been hammered for two weeks now and it shows.
Like my son so kindly pointed out looking at the hole in the Tama:
- Wow pop, you really missed a lot!

Sent from my REMIX SK1WG using Tapatalk

The Void

A couple of related threads:,1105.0.html,9.0.html
I feel like there's another one which specifically addresses a couple of your points, but I can't find it right now.

"Played in" is extremely variable for me. Occassionally one is great straight out of the packet, other times it takes a couple of months. It's just when a kendama "feels really nice".

I take most reviews with a huge pinch of salt. TBH, quite a few seem to be "OMG I just got this and itz AWESUMZ". Who is writing the review, and whether I know them/their playing is a major factor in how I receive a review. That's not to criticise anyone, because we all have our own way of expressing ourselves, but the style of writing often says more to me than the words themselves. As I'm typing this, I'm starting to worry that I'm sounding more and more of an arsehole[nb]Or perhaps an old git?[/nb]. :)

Other things I like to know:
The type of tama surface. (cf to other brands. e.g. "It's more like Ozora than TK16 paint, I think.")

Anyway, welcome to the forum, Old Git. How are things in Finland?[nb]Maybe you're not in Finland... I can't tell, 'cos you're not on [nb]...yet![/nb] [/nb]
If you don't want to BUY MY BOOKS 😉, then why not ask your local library to order them in, and read them for free? That would help too. Cheers!


Thanks for the quick and on-point reply.
Things in Sweden are raining ,thanks for asking. Kendama is kind of booming in my hometown and I really enjoy playing with it myself.
Writing is less challenging than landing a "around the world" at this point but eventually hoping it to be easier.
Got some more questions but I'll try and find the correct subforum for them and put them there instead.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk


i wrote this up for another new kendama player. perhaps you can gather some info from it as well

Quote from: PikWik on 16 March, 2016, 04:13:55
Quote from: sarethums on 14 March, 2016, 23:10:14

Differences between silk, painted and natural?
I have a silk, I love it and I feel like the others would be too slippy. Is this the case? Would it make certain tricks harder? Does it make any tricks easier?

the great thing about a silk tama is that it lets you get an idea of how to land harder tricks without the need to break in a tama for months to get the same grip.
that said, if you start and only play with a silk, you are learning tricks without increasing your minor muscle memory and when you pick up a glossy or fresh natural wood kendama, you will have a hard time :(

and good players can land most advanced stuff without the need for silk paint

How do different woods compare?
I use a beech and wondered how the heavier woods play? Im ordering a padauk as I love the sound of a kendama and ive read that the padauks sound is even more predominant.

beechwood is great because of how soft it gets when broken in. its also more fragile than the premium hardwoods, but is the standard wood used for ozoras and most standard kendamas for sale.
the harder the wood, the more dense & heavier it is, will help land lighthouse tricks easier but will require the cups to be broken in before becoming a lunar machine.
my favorite kind of wood for a kendama is maple. it is durable, great sound, and gets broken in relatively quick

Do different models have benefits in particular tricks or is it purely preference?
I have a kaizen and love all the moves except ones like tornado or anything similar that is more like a yoyo trick.

not so much different models but different weightings will lend each kendama to help with specific tricks. some will have heavier sarados, some will have heavy swords, & others will have heavier tamas.
my preference is a "lunar balanced kendama". or, where the sarado is heavier than the sword by 2-4grams.
& if youre very lucky/selective you can get a weight matched tama for your kendama. meaning, the weight of the ken is equal to the weight of the tama. this is my preference, but for good reasons

slightly heavier tama will make spacewalks quicker to pop off but make birds a tad more difficult.
slightly heavier ken than sarado will make juggles and whirlwinds easier, but inhibit lunars and stilts.
slightly heavier sarado than ken will provide a more solid balance for landing lunars and stilts.

How much difference does a split make?
Does a split make tracking easier for landing a spike etc?

a stripe/line definitely makes a big difference in tracking where the tama hole is. with the reference, you can be sure where to spike, everytime!

I hear that the jumbo pill is easier than the regular pill, is this the case?

jumbo pills/kendamas are easier to land balance tricks because theres more surface area to stall and balance with

& welcome to the boards!


Good stuff, learning curve getting lower each day about the essentials.
Now , if i only could start being consistent on the Moshi - Kame and Around the world.  8)

The Void

Check out the "Essential Eleven" thread for top tip video tutorials on those two.
If you don't want to BUY MY BOOKS 😉, then why not ask your local library to order them in, and read them for free? That would help too. Cheers!