Kendama 101

Ok I know that this doesn’t seem to fit in this section, but please bear with me. As a yoyoer, I need some really basic info on Kendamas that I thought you guys can provide me with. I’m probably only gonna get it during the Black Friday sale, so I would be more than happy if you guys can help.

1-What Kendama should I get if I’m only gonna get one that will get me through all the basics and hopefully some more.
2-What makes each Kendama different from the others? (Like in yoyoing there are different weight distributions and shapes)
3-What do I need to know as a lefty specifically for kendamas?
4-What else do I need to get to maintain my Kendama (how much string should I get)

Thanks in advance :smiley:

  1. Ozora, they are a great beginner kendama and also loved by pros.
  2. Weight, paint, wood, balance, sometimes size (jumbos, etc.)
  3. You need to string it so the string hole coming out of the ken it facing right and the big cup is always up. (For rightys the big cup is up also but the ken’s string hole is facing to the left.)
  4. Super/Krazy glue to glue the spike so it doesn’t get flat (not nessecary but after lots of play the spike wears down so people like to glue it.) String is not as important as it is with yoyo (first kendama still has first string) so don’t worry about buying string cause usually an extra string comes with a kendama. (Unless you want a color)
    I hope this helped! I have been playing kendama for almost 2 years!

Thanks, but for the kendama, I plan to get it from YYE, so from those, which do you recommend?

1: Get an ozora model. I prefer JKA approved stuff, but not because I want to be elitist. I’ve found they seem to play and feel a bit better. But, if not, honestly, anything is good.
2: The various woods used affect the weight as well as how long they will last, as well as the appearance. Like with yoyo, you might prefer heavier woods, or you may prefer the tama and ken to be of different materials so you can get what you want. A lighter ken moves faster while a heaver tama moves slower. Also, paints, stains and other finishes. Some paints are sticky but that will usually wear out after a few months. Some paints are slick, making landings harder.
3: Lefties just need to change the string so it’s coming out the other side of the ken. Some kens have to have this done differently than others.
4: I strongly recommend putting superglue on the tip of the spike. It will strengthen it and reduce wear. However, in time, you will wear the spike down and eventually have to replace the ken, or perhaps the whole kendama. These toys simply wear out.
Most kendamas come with a second string. Kendama string will wear out, but it seems to last way longer than yoyo string. Just don’t lose your bead. For now, look for one that comes with a spare string(all the Tributes do, as do Sweets, Krom and others). That should last you more than enough time to know yes/no on this kendama thing.

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To go through basic things I would suggest tribute from kendamausa. Also I like anything from sweets kendama. If you want a more grippy kendama (for balance tricks like lighthouse, lunars) I would reccomend the tribute super stick, pro model, sweets ATack, or sweets matte marble. Sorry if this was a bad explanation but just stay around the kendama based company’s like Sweets and KendamaUSA (don’t go for yoyo company’s)

If you are willing to pay for it, you should get some kendama eye candy. I am talking about the Sweets Chameleon. It is a bit pricey, but it really looks good. It also has an Aisuru finish on the ball, which makes it nearly impossible to chip. It was even tested by being thrown down like 40 ft of stairs, and the only damage done was a a few dents, but no chips. Of course this kendama is not needed, but if you want to go to cheap any KendamaUSA will work for you, like lets say the Classic which a lot of people in the Kendama Community prefer over most of the KendamaUSA line of kendamas (personally I like KendamaUSA and there all their products, but some people hate on the way the kendama is built as a whole piece, not two pieces like the others). However in reality any kendama will do the job as long as it isn’t a knock-off, but since your buying from here you don’t have to worry about that.

One final recommendation that a lot of beginners like is the Sweets Atack, which has a grippy surface on the ball, and gets even more grip the more you play with it. People like this kendama because it makes certain tricks easier to land, hence why beginners like it. Although as you get more advanced you may want to learn more on something less sticky, in order to challenge your skills. However that is a personal choice and not something you have to do.

So to recap (I know this got a bit wordy) Sweets Chameleon, if you want something flashy, Kendama USA Classic or Tribute is you want something cheaper, but is still perfectly fine to play with, or finally a Sweets Atack, if you want something that will make things easier for you as you first begin. Good luck with your choice, I’m sure you’ll enjoy whatever you choose. :wink: