Different woods

What are the difference between all the woods and what are the best?

This is a loaded question.

It Depends.

Each wood has different density and weight. Based on the makers design, they typically pick the best wood for their vision.

Two identical yoyos made out of different woods would play differently.

Good luck

*Oops- Missed the Kendama Part. My Apologies

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Beech, maple, ash and bamboo are some of the most popular.

If you’re new to kendama, I’d go full maple. Durable and feels great. Or maple ken and beech tama. Breaks in nicely.

  • Beech breaks in fast is great for a first tama to get a honed bevel fast.
  • Cherry also breaks in super fast and is often a lighter setup if that is a pref.
  • Maple just feels nice and is durable.
  • Oak has large pores which can help the cups grip a tama. I personally found this one to chip a lot easier than other woods I have.
  • Hickory has similar pores and grip as oak, but is a lot more durable and tends to be heavier than oak.
  • Stuff like purple heart and ebony are nice if you want a heavier setup, or for a spliced serado to force a setup to be better for tricks like lunars (probably irrelevant early on, but they look really good).

I have not tried these ones, but this is what I have been told about them from friends who have:

  • Skateply is more consistent weights and distribution when buying multiples of the same shape
  • Bamboo ken is really nice for stall tricks.
  • Wenge and zebrano look amazing and are great for splice setups. Zebrano chips easily when the whole ken is made up of it.

When starting out, beech, maple, or bamboo are great and not too expensive. But I honestly feel the serado to sword weight ratios mean a lot more than the wood type early on because it can make two setups of the exact same shape and wood type feel completely different from each other and excel at different trick types.

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Bamboo tends to be light. I also find that (at least on the Sweets ken I have) the glue that is used to laminate the layers wears more slowly than the bamboo itself, which creates a serrated effect that I did not find helpful.