The Kendama Forum

Forum categories => Gear => Best Kendama?/Buying Advice => Topic started by: Jedi_man on 23 November, 2015, 20:02:42

Title: Need to decide on a Christmas kendama!
Post by: Jedi_man on 23 November, 2015, 20:02:42
Hello! I'm looking to get a kendama or two for Christmas, but there are so many good ones to choose from! I'm looking for a kendama heavier than beech, but it doesn't HAVE to be, and is good for all tricks. It doesn't have to have paint, but as long as it isn't so slippery that it's hard to even PLACE the ken on the tama (Like my red oak krom)! I'm also looking for a kendama that has a very nice sound when you play with it. I also want to know if they are good overall.

I'm considering:
Kaizen:
$35 Padauk silk mint; This one looks so nice :) But I hear that the ken chips easy! Does this happen with regular play or just when you drop it on a hard surface? Can you repair it or prevent it? I want to know if it has a good weight, and if it has a good sound. Sound matters to me :) I also heard that the wood may rot from skin oils. Is this true?

$40 Cherry white silk; This one interests me, because in the description it says it has heavy weight and a rich clack. Like how heavy, and how rich? Is it overall better than the padauk? This one also looks nice.

$36 Alex smith pro model red maze; I see this one is actually made of maple! Is maple heavier than beech, or has a better feel? Is it better than the others? How does it sound?

One reason I would like a kaizen is because they say it has a widened tama bevel. How wide is it?

Sweets:
Homegrown maple natural; This one looks so clean! How is the homegrown maple series? Are they much better than the kaizens? How heavy are they? How do they sound? Are they extremely slippery? Since it's 50 bucks, I probably won't get one unless they are superior to the above kaizens.

Homegrown maple with walnut stripe; I also like the looks of this one. If it's not too slippery, I may choose it.

Which wood would you recommend: Padauk, Cherry, or Maple?

I would prefer to get a kaizen, because it costs less, but if the homegrowns are better, I would consider getting one.

It's basically between the homegrown or the padauk.

Also, what makes the homegrown better than the alex smith pro model, if it is?

Any other suggestions would be nice.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Need to decide on a Christmas kendama!
Post by: Jedi_man on 25 November, 2015, 07:26:04
Anyone?
Title: Re: Need to decide on a Christmas kendama!
Post by: KenSan on 25 November, 2015, 11:31:18
H i @Jedi_man

Unfortunately I have no experience with anything other than beech or birch(TK16) kendamas. But personally my next dama will be maple. I've heard it said that everyone should have a maple ken in their collection and I like maple guitar necks so why not. Apparently they feel great (sharp and crisp looking) and also make a good sound!
I'm going for the maple from Ultra kendama as its quite reasonably priced. The @AlexSmith USA model looks good but maybe the wood burning is a little much for my taste.
Anyway the reviews on the Kendama USA website suggest that your favoured Padauk silk mint is very good as does the Alex Smith models reviews.

I don't think you'd go wrong with either (or both).

For me also the Homegrowns are a bit pricey but they get lots of rave reviews.

Also as a side note you definitely need and Ozora or two in your collection, Keyaki maybe.

Sorry I cant be of much more help.

Stuart
 
Title: Re: Need to decide on a Christmas kendama!
Post by: The Void on 25 November, 2015, 12:04:59
Hi @Jedi_man ,
I don't own a Kaizen or a Homegrown, and I've only played with each of them briefly. But I got an Alex Smith Pro model a few years ago, when they were made of cherry wood, and I did enjoy the chunky weight of that.
Good luck choosing!
Title: Re: Need to decide on a Christmas kendama!
Post by: Jedi_man on 25 November, 2015, 19:53:09
Thanks KenSan and Void!
I also thought the woodburning is too much. I was thinking about getting an ozora too, so it's likely that I will.
If I were to go with the padauk, I would get that and an ozora. Homegrown and an ozora may be too much $$$.
Anyone have any thoughts on homegrowns?
Title: Re: Need to decide on a Christmas kendama!
Post by: PikWik on 26 November, 2015, 04:46:11
maple homegrown with walnut stripe is an amazingly well balanced kendama. the padauk stripe is similarly weight balanced as well. but, the solid maple HG i played was out of balance - 82g tama, 70g ken. & i have heard that the purpleheart HG is also not balanced well (from reading frankendamas posts, and people in the kendama community)

about the padauk wood. if you are in a humid environment, and store your kendamas in a humid environment, i have seen that 'white dust' on my padauk. just my padauk tho & i have read that this is normal for padauk. still, padauk wood is some of my favorite. beautiful color when it breaks in and makes a wonderful clack. however, it also has some of the more varying weights ive seen. where one kendama will be super light and the next HEAVY. i would recommend getting a padauk, but keep in mind you are playing a crap shoot to get a good balance.

if i were you, i would take the gamble and get a padauk (that mint is my personal favorite), and then get a premium keyaki ozora (for that clack, and perfect craftsmanship)
Title: Re: Need to decide on a Christmas kendama!
Post by: Jedi_man on 26 November, 2015, 06:39:51
maple homegrown with walnut stripe is an amazingly well balanced kendama. the padauk stripe is similarly weight balanced as well. but, the solid maple HG i played was out of balance - 82g tama, 70g ken. & i have heard that the purpleheart HG is also not balanced well (from reading frankendamas posts, and people in the kendama community)

about the padauk wood. if you are in a humid environment, and store your kendamas in a humid environment, i have seen that 'white dust' on my padauk. just my padauk tho & i have read that this is normal for padauk. still, padauk wood is some of my favorite. beautiful color when it breaks in and makes a wonderful clack. however, it also has some of the more varying weights ive seen. where one kendama will be super light and the next HEAVY. i would recommend getting a padauk, but keep in mind you are playing a crap shoot to get a good balance.

if i were you, i would take the gamble and get a padauk (that mint is my personal favorite), and then get a premium keyaki ozora (for that clack, and perfect craftsmanship)
Thank you for the info :)

How would you rate the stick/slip of a homegrown? I would love to get one but I want to be able to do balance tricks. As long as it's not extremely slippery, it's fine.

If I do go for the padauk, I hope I get a heavy one :)

Also I'm actually looking to get a beech green ozora because it's affordable, everyone recommends one, and I want to be able to do balance tricks. In what ways are keyaki ozoras superior?

If beech ozoras are not as good as people say, I would probably get a homegrown and the padauk.
Title: Re: Need to decide on a Christmas kendama!
Post by: PikWik on 26 November, 2015, 16:15:59
maple homegrown with walnut stripe is an amazingly well balanced kendama. the padauk stripe is similarly weight balanced as well. but, the solid maple HG i played was out of balance - 82g tama, 70g ken. & i have heard that the purpleheart HG is also not balanced well (from reading frankendamas posts, and people in the kendama community)

about the padauk wood. if you are in a humid environment, and store your kendamas in a humid environment, i have seen that 'white dust' on my padauk. just my padauk tho & i have read that this is normal for padauk. still, padauk wood is some of my favorite. beautiful color when it breaks in and makes a wonderful clack. however, it also has some of the more varying weights ive seen. where one kendama will be super light and the next HEAVY. i would recommend getting a padauk, but keep in mind you are playing a crap shoot to get a good balance.

if i were you, i would take the gamble and get a padauk (that mint is my personal favorite), and then get a premium keyaki ozora (for that clack, and perfect craftsmanship)
Thank you for the info :)

How would you rate the stick/slip of a homegrown? I would love to get one but I want to be able to do balance tricks. As long as it's not extremely slippery, it's fine.

If I do go for the padauk, I hope I get a heavy one :)

Also I'm actually looking to get a beech green ozora because it's affordable, everyone recommends one, and I want to be able to do balance tricks. In what ways are keyaki ozoras superior?

If beech ozoras are not as good as people say, I would probably get a homegrown and the padauk.

homegrowns will play similar to a natural unpainted kendama. and as far as them being slippy, different woods will have different grips. i can land 1-turn lunars with my maple stripe HG (140g) . and it has a wonderful sound when hitting a perfect WW/earth turn.

the green beechwood ozora you're talking about getting, while having an amazing ken for lunars, will have some slippy paint which makes balance tricks extremely difficult. i can land 1-turn stuff on a brand new glossy ozora, but then it wears into this glass like feel & takes ages of playing before it gets to the perfect playability.

the keyaki will be a kendama that you will still have a few years down the road. great for balance tricks, durable, plus the expert construction of an ozora. there is a reason why people always recommend this brand of kendama.

whatever you do end up getting, let us know!
Title: Re: Need to decide on a Christmas kendama!
Post by: Jedi_man on 26 November, 2015, 19:24:08
homegrowns will play similar to a natural unpainted kendama. and as far as them being slippy, different woods will have different grips. i can land 1-turn lunars with my maple stripe HG (140g) . and it has a wonderful sound when hitting a perfect WW/earth turn.

the green beechwood ozora you're talking about getting, while having an amazing ken for lunars, will have some slippy paint which makes balance tricks extremely difficult. i can land 1-turn stuff on a brand new glossy ozora, but then it wears into this glass like feel & takes ages of playing before it gets to the perfect playability.

the keyaki will be a kendama that you will still have a few years down the road. great for balance tricks, durable, plus the expert construction of an ozora. there is a reason why people always recommend this brand of kendama.

whatever you do end up getting, let us know!
Would you say maple is pretty grippy, more grippy than red oak? I can barely land lighthouse on my red oak.

Is the keyaki kendama better than the padauk kendama? By looks alone, I would take the padauk mint...
And is keyaki more grippy than red oak?

I'm still leaning towards getting the homegrown walnut stripe + padauk mint.
Title: Re: Need to decide on a Christmas kendama!
Post by: PikWik on 26 November, 2015, 20:06:14
i do live in texas where the relative humidity is always 80% or higher. so that helps make natural wood more grippy. my walnut stripe HG is just as sticky as my white premium ozora, but not as grippy as my gold premium.

i think the mint padauk and walnut striped HG would be an amazing gift! the mint padauk will be by far more grippy, but i promise you will love the way the HG sounds *_*
Title: Re: Need to decide on a Christmas kendama!
Post by: PikWik on 26 November, 2015, 20:10:24
the keyaki would be something you'll want if you really like the natural ozora shape but wanted a more durable wood. as much grip as a natural beech/maple (premium white ozora)
Title: Re: Need to decide on a Christmas kendama!
Post by: Jedi_man on 26 November, 2015, 20:40:49
I live in Minnesota, so it's not really humid. But it's good to hear that the homegrown is as sticky as a premium ozora in texas! I bet it's at least decently sticky in MN, especially when broken in. I hear great things about the sound and feel of the homegrowns. I have held a plain maple homegrown before, when I was at their store, and it felt so solid and smooth! I didn't get to play with one though.

I'm about 75% sure that I will choose the walnut stripe homegrown, but the other one, if I do get 2, I haven't chosen yet. It's between the keyaki or the padauk. Thanks for your help! :)

Any more help would be well appreciated. I would like to know how slick homegrowns are in MN.

Edit: Should I get the walnut, purpleheart, or padauk striped homegrown?
Title: Re: Need to decide on a Christmas kendama!
Post by: Jedi_man on 29 November, 2015, 21:16:24
Ok, so I know I'm getting a homegrown for sure, but I'm trying to decide if I should get the purpleheart stripe or walnut stripe. I like the looks of the purpleheart more.
If I asked them for a balanced one in the checkout note, would they choose a balanced one? Also, would they provide if I asked for a weighty one with a rich purple stripe? That is a little much to ask for, but I'm just curious. I could also go to their store and choose one if I want...

For the second one, if I get one, I'm looking at a kaizen mint padauk or an ozora keyaki. But if Sweets is getting more rolling pins before Christmas, I would gladly go with that, because I wanted one of those for a long time. Does anyone know if/when they will get more rolling pins?
Title: Re: Need to decide on a Christmas kendama!
Post by: PikWik on 29 November, 2015, 22:14:43
heres a great article on the birth of frankendama and the HG series. (http://kendama.cz/text/how-i-was-balancing)

in it he describes how he bought ~100 HGs to sell in his shop and the process of weighing each one and the conclusions he came to.

Quote
Thomas had a problem: his ash ken weighed 66g and the tama weight was 89g. That is 23g difference between ken and tama and that's not good. You can barely do any space walks with this kendama...I wasn't able to balance any HGs with the purple heart stripe (the most expensive HGs).  I managed to balance only one HG with a padauk stripe. I was happy with the walnut stripe; I balanced all of them. Maple was quite OK. Ash was true hell: they possessed the biggest difference between ken and tama. I searched the whole warehouse for tamas that I could pair with kens. So the score was 14 of 35 kendamas balanced...

if you can go to the sweets shop and weigh them yourself, id say get a purple heart HG. but it seems even on a mass scale, the walnut stripe is the best weighted HG, hands down.

ill let someone else chime in on the padauk or the ozora :) but best of luck with the search for YOUR favorite kendama
Title: Re: Need to decide on a Christmas kendama!
Post by: Jedi_man on 30 November, 2015, 00:01:43
So the purpleheart stripe is generally lighter and less balanced than the walnut?
I hope that's not the case because I prefer heavier kendamas, as my favorite kendama currently is a natty red oak krom.
Can you say how heavy your maple walnut stripe is, and if you know, how heavy the purpleheart stripe is? On their website it says the purpleheart is 13 ounces. That's crazy! It must be weighed with the packaging.

My red oak is approximately 155 grams (85 tama, 70 ken, I know it's bad). 25 grams heavier than my favorite beech kendama, a sweets atack rasta fade, which is 130 grams (65 tama, 65 ken, very well balanced).
I only have a balance scale with weights, so they're not that accurate. :)

Going by looks, I would choose the purpleheart. Do different stripes affect the play or weight, and by how much?

Sorry if I'm asking too many questions. If you're getting tired of answering just say so. Thanks so much for your help :)
Title: Re: Need to decide on a Christmas kendama!
Post by: PikWik on 30 November, 2015, 22:46:06
no problem with all the questions. this is stuff i enjoy talking about

just to break down the average weights of maple striped HGs;

walnut stripe is the lightest at ~140g (70g ken, 70g tama)
padauk stripe is the middle ground. ~145g (70g ken, 75g tama)
purple heart is the heaviest of HGs ~155g (70g ken, 85g tama)

i would also like to add, the homegrown ken might be lighter, ~65g area, on some of the maple HG kens.
& if youve never seen what a padauk kendama looks like when it goes thru its color changes, id say check that out, cause its cool looking.
it starts orange-ish, then gets redder and redder, until it peaks at a blood wine almost purple color and stays there. the purple heart wood will also get darker as it ages (to a near black).
so if youre looking to have a kendama that has an interesting color years from now, the padauk striped HG would be my choice.

but, all of that may not matter to you right now, so just get what you think looks the best. i am very particular about my weights and only play with balanced kendamas, but that may not be a concern for you at this time.
in the beginning, when i was first learning tricks, i didnt really have a preference. but now, i greatly prefer a balanced kendama. & it doesnt matter what brand. if its balanced, it plays better. period.


Title: Re: Need to decide on a Christmas kendama!
Post by: Jedi_man on 01 December, 2015, 05:52:48
So the purpleheart should be around the same weight as my red oak? Excellent!

I actually have heard about padauk and purpleheart darkening over time. I never saw a picture of an old purpleheart homegrown, so I don't have an opinion on that. I have seen pictures of old padauk kendamas, and they look pretty nice! I would prefer purpleheart over padauk brand new.

Since the sale is almost over, I need to choose asap. If I asked them for a balanced kendama in the checkout note, would they provide?
It's between padauk stripe or purpleheart stripe, leaning towards purpleheart. If I don't decide soon, I'll just go for the purpleheart...
Title: Re: Need to decide on a Christmas kendama!
Post by: Jedi_man on 01 December, 2015, 07:08:38
We ordered a homegrown kendama :) Not sure which one it is, as my mom is not telling me, though I am very sure it's the purpleheart, as that's the one I wanted.
I don't know if I will get a second one or not, but I will figure that out myself, but if I need info, I'll just come back here. Thank you all for your help! :D
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