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Duncan Toys Komodo Kendama, Varying Colors
  • Constructed from sturdy beech wood
  • Has a classic Japanese look
  • A well-coated, glossy ball for chip-resistant play
  • Easy to learn and fun to master

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Buyer's Guide: Kendamas

The Ultimate Guide To Kendamas

For more than 200 years, the Kendama has served as a skill toy in Japan. Here's the fun part. The theory is that the Kendama may be a Japanese version of French bilboquet. This wooden cup and ball toy was introduced during the Silk Road period in Japanese history, when Japan first traded with Europeans.

It could have been invented independently in Japan, similar to the ball and cup toys found in other parts. We won't know the truth, all we know is that the Japanese made the basic cup toy and ball into something far cooler and more enjoyable. That's what really matters.

The Kendama Build:

The main body of the Kendama, or handle, is the Ken. It is the three-cup and spike piece. The Tama is the ball.

This leads to the inevitable question: "Why isn't it called Kentama instead?"

Let's just say it has to do with the many ways you can transliterate Japanese symbols.

Kensaki -  The wooden spike at the handle's end.

Sarada - The crosspiece with the two cups, which looks almost like a hammerhead.

Ozara - The largest cup.

Kozara - The middle cup. It's the smaller of two cups.

Chuzara -  The smallest cup. It's also known as the cup at the bottom of the handle.

Ana - The hole in the Tama (the Ball, remember? It is possible to catch it using the Kensaki (the spike).

Ito- The string. The string is typically 38 cm long, or longer.

Kendama Sizes:

Regular kendamas: Standard sized kendamas are usually 7 inches high with the ball on the spike. This spans from the bottom to the tip of the kendama.

Jumbo kendamas: Jumbo kendamas are larger at approximately 9.5 inches high with the ball on the spike. They measure from the bottom to the top of the kendama.

Although there is a "mini Kendama," they are not very useful and seem like a complete waste of time. We don't have them and don't know how large they are. These are best ignored as they look more like party favors and less like playable Kendamas.

Below are three great Kendama recommendations. These are all great choices.

Duncan Komodo Kendama. It is made of high-quality wood and comes from Duncan, the most famous name in yoyos.

Yomega Kendama Pro. Yomega also makes an excellent wooden Kendama. It is solid.

Large Bahama Kendama. Extra-large fun with jumbo Kendamas that make you appear tiny and baby-sized.

Don't forget to get extra Kendama strings. They wear out exactly like yoyo strings.

Remember, your Kendama's wood dents and paint chips are a badge to honor. They show that you use your Kendama regularly and not just keep it around for display. Your Kendama will perform better if you continue to use it and get it used. It becomes "stickier", and it stays in the cup longer. You should be proud of how your Kendama looks when it is broken in.

Tips Before Buying A Kendama Toy

The Kendama Toy is an old-fashioned toy still very popular even in today's age of computer games. It is a challenging toy which presents both adults and children alike with the difficulty of being able to earn the ball latch onto the pole. It is a toy which will surely make you come up with a good plan for how to earn the ball stuck to the pole. If you want to buy the best Kendama Toy, it pays to know a few factors to consider before buying it.

One of the factors to consider before buying the kendama toy is the size. The sizes available for the kendoms range from small, medium and large. Some are designed to be displayed in a crowded play area with the child winning challenges against rivals. Others however are made to be placed away from the play area. The design of the kendama toys should therefore match with the size of the play area or should be made to cater for the area.

The second factor to consider before buying the kendama is the flexibility of the toy. The kendama can either be used for one-on-one training or competitions and for multiple uses. The best kendama tricks however, involves the use of the kendama multiple times within a single competition or training session or even integrated into a Eurosoft EURO tournament.

The third factor to consider is the uniqueness of the kendama. A kendama in a competition will have already won a competition or a particular event before. The kendama could be designed to incorporate more than one move to increase the odds of it winning the competition and becoming the winner. Such uniqueness may take place when the kendama is used for multiple tasks within a single competition. The best kendama toys therefore are the ones that have been proven to win multiple nationally known kendama events first held in Europe.

The fourth factor to consider is the difficulty of using the kendama. The tama is known to be versatile in the sense that it can be used in more than one way. For example, it is widely believed that it can be transformed into a giant spiked ball or spiked rope. The question though is how to use a kendama toy - especially a giant one - to win a big cup.

There are three types of tricks that can be performed with a tama. The first is called the jump tricks. The second is called the hop tricks and the last is called the jump and spin. Each type of trick requires a different kendama to perform. If you are planning to enter in a competition or a kids party, then make sure that you get yourself a good quality tama to use for your tricks.

A kendama to compete using all of its tricks will definitely take you to a whole new level. You can even combine some of your tricks to create new and unique moves to impress your audience and win the competition. It is important though that you practice every possible technique before you enter any competition to ensure that you can perform with ease and impress the judges and other competitors. A kendama to compete using only its jumps is the ultimate challenge to any child or adult and can even open up several new possibilities for you as a child and for you as an adult.

Your chances of winning the Kendama Toy Award are very high if you enter in an international tournament. Many people have won the award and have become worldwide known because of it. The best part about the Kendama Toy Award is that it is open to every child that is ten years old or older. So get yourself ready to enter the international world cup in style and take home the kendama that shows everyone that you have the most impressive tricks at your disposal.