Author Topic: The Play Hardwood K from Kendama Europe.  (Read 2479 times)

Offline Zdenc

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The Play Hardwood K from Kendama Europe.
« on: 01 March, 2015, 19:00:26 »
Hello everybody, I have a quick question. Does anybody have the hardwood play pro k kendama and how does it play?

 I'm thinking of buying a hardwood but have not yet decided on one. I looked at some krom premiums and the ozoras. I really like the multi coloured ones, like the quad split, viking zebra or the play hardwood k.

Plus another question about the Kendama Europe kendamas and that is: How satisfied are you with them? I have been wondering that, because i don't see them being played a lot in the edits. It is possible though that I've been looking more at the USA side of the world edits.:)

Anyhow, I look forward to your answers and I wish you all a nice day.:)

Offline the milky oolong

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Re: The Play Hardwood K from Kendama Europe.
« Reply #1 on: 01 March, 2015, 21:49:39 »
[user]Zdenc[/user], I was sent a PLAY Hardwood from Kendama Europe before they came out, and I have to say it's a very well-made kendama. For me, the spike is a little on the short side (I'm not the daintiest of players and my spikes, admittedly, have to deal with quite a lot) but the feel of the ken is very satisfying indeed, with a natty finish that's playable and wears in well.

I think we've had the discussion somewhere before but maybe it's worth noting that 'hardwood' is a term used a bit inexactly in the kendama world: to my knowledge, all kendama wood types are hardwoods, including the more common beechwood and cherry kendamas on the standard line by Ozora, TK16 etc. Hardwood is a term used to differentiate woods from leafy trees from woods of pine-like needle-bearing trees (fir, larch, spruce, etc). There is a point to this: do not expect your costly Ozora Enju or Keyaki to be 'harder' (or heavier) than a beech kendama from one of your American firms (Sweets, for example). It may look nicer and if that's what you want, then sure.

I would say that PLAY kendamas, along with KROM, are the kendamas that I enjoy playing with for the longest period of time, and they can go for a very long time of daily use before you might want to retire one. The paint is a particular special point about PLAY kendamas - it's as hard-wearing and uncrackable as that of an Ozora and it's non-toxic, which I am pretty sure is not something many other kendama producers care to think about. The super three-tone sparkly neon paint-jobs you see on KROM/Sweets/Sunrise are almost certainly toxic. That's why PLAY kendamas are only available in a reduced colour range: the other paint jobs don't hold up (I can show you a neon Sunrise of mine that is now almost natty after a summer's use).

Like I said, I prefer a bit of a longer spike than that on the average PLAY kendama, but I have five or six PLAYs and always go back to my orange and my green stripe, no matter how many new and coveted kens I acquire. They're my go-to kendamas when I'm working on something that requires a perfect balanced ken/tama ratio, which makes tricky Lunar stuff or intricate balance lines feel manageable. The only other kendamas I own that I can rely on like this are both regular Ozoras.

So, I for one am satisfied with them, and I've played PLAY kendamas, TK16, Sunrise, Ozora, KROM, Tribute, Royal, and probably a few other brands from friends. For the sake of honesty I will say that I am friends with the owner of Kendama Europe Marc Wibbels, and he's given me PLAY kendamas before they've hit the shops (the orange Pro K and the Hardwood K), but I'm not afraid to pull out my KROM ken and battle him in a game of KEN, even though they're probably his biggest European rival.

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German Kendama Championships 2015: 3rd Place Speed Trick
KEN FEST Hannover, 2016: 3rd Place KEN Battle
KENDAMA CLASH Berlin 2016: 1st Place Intermediate

Offline Kev

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Re: The Play Hardwood K from Kendama Europe.
« Reply #2 on: 01 March, 2015, 22:40:14 »
+1 on your comments regarding Hardwoods both in terms of classification AND durability. Some (of what we can term) 'exotic' hardwoods definitely don't wear as well as the regular ol' beech in my view

The paint is a particular special point about PLAY kendamas - it's as hard-wearing and uncrackable as that of an Ozora and it's non-toxic, which I am pretty sure is not something many other kendama producers care to think about. The super three-tone sparkly neon paint-jobs you see on KROM/Sweets/Sunrise are almost certainly toxic.

I totally agree that the paint on PLAY kendama's is very durable indeed. Hard as nails!

Regards your comments about possible toxicity in paints, I'm less sure. Let me say first, I have no specific knowledge on this at all, however, I thought that for these products to be sold legally in the UK / EU / USA then they have to meet certain safety standards - particularly as a kendama is a toy.

Anyone know any more about this?

(I do know from when I made an order for Ozora's from Yamagata Koubou, the sales invoice detailed which international safety standards they met).

Offline the milky oolong

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Re: The Play Hardwood K from Kendama Europe.
« Reply #3 on: 02 March, 2015, 00:03:45 »
I thought that for these products to be sold legally in the UK / EU / USA then they have to meet certain safety standards - particularly as a kendama is a toy.

From conversations with Marc Wibbels, I've come to learn that several other kendama companies, European and Stateside, get around this factor. First of all, in continental Europe (maybe the same for UK) it depends very much how you define, legally, what you're producing. That means expressly saying that you're producing 'toys'. Marc has learned that it is possible to forestall, perhaps indefinitely, the process of acquiring safety standards credentials, while still being able to sell the product in the interim period, so long the initial application is being processed.

That's all I know, and no, I don't know which companies were being implicitly referred to here, and I wouldn't find it my place or the place here on the forum to discuss it.

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German Kendama Open 2014: 1st Place Speed Trick, 2nd Place Knockout
German Kendama Championships 2015: 3rd Place Speed Trick
KEN FEST Hannover, 2016: 3rd Place KEN Battle
KENDAMA CLASH Berlin 2016: 1st Place Intermediate

Offline Kev

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Re: The Play Hardwood K from Kendama Europe.
« Reply #4 on: 02 March, 2015, 16:04:15 »
Thanks for the info TMO, I'd never really considered this until you raised it.

 

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