The Wyatt Bray Kendama World Cup 2015 Commemorative Model is out! It is a limited edition so I picked one up. First impressions are extremely positive. Kendama USA and Wyatt Bray have done a really great job with this Kendama. The look and feel is fantastic. The all maple construction is killer. The silk paint feels amazing. The 3 green stripes on white looks so nice and classy. Overall a really fantastic kendama and a little piece of Kendama history. When Wyatt Bray won the Kendama World Cup in 2015, it was only the 2nd year of the tournament. These are special one of a kind kendamas. You’re not going to be able to buy the Wyatt Bray Mod once the first run has been sold. Check out my unboxing below.


The Kendama World Cup 2016 (KWC 2016), which took place in Hatsukaichi, Japan wrapped up this weekend. It was available to watch via a livestream on youtube. I really enjoyed watching it. The 2 days of livestream are all available on the Gloken youtube channel, so you can go back and watch the event in case you missed it over the weekend.

The brand new Kendama World Cup Champion is Bryson Lee, pro with Sweets kendama. He scored a crazy 976 points, beating out both Bonz Atron and Wyatt Bray’s scores from the previous two years. Bryson seems like a really nice guy. He was so choked up and full of emotion after winning. I’m sure it is extremely overwhelming. I don’t know much about him or the Sweets team, but they surely deserved it and displayed a humility and professionalism that is admirable!

Bryson Lee Lukas Funk Sweets Kendama KWC2016 Champion

I had just a few thoughts on the Kendama World Cup I wanted to share. You might consider these to be criticisms, but I don’t intend them to be negative. KWC is only in its 3rd year, and overall they did a fantastic job. It is clear that Gloken and all the organizers and sponsors are very passionate about Kendama. I think this passion shines through and at the end of the day is the most important thing to make the World Cup a success.

So, my 3 main criticisms:

  1. Music was a bit tough to stomach. DJ Zawa put it on. It was strange, because I think he has a good rep. But the music was so strange, people were constantly commenting on it in the livestream chat. It was weirdly repetitive in many places, and just didn’t have the right feel or vibe that one comes to expect from Kendama. Truth be told, the normal trap/hip-hop whatever type music that is prevalent in a lot of edits is not necessarily my cup of tea, but this weird minimalist, repetitive techno that Zawa was playing just seemed jarring and honestly distracted from the event. I think it may have even affected some of the runs up on stage. 2 of the Japanese competitors came up with headphones on (I don’t remember who) and I honestly don’t blame them.
  2. Performers like Zoomadanke, another guy (forget his name) and the Kendama companies seemed too casual. It was underwhelming on the performers side of things, and didn’t seem very well thought out from the sponsors/teams side of things. It wasn’t terrible by any means, but I think a little more thought here could really make this part of the event outstanding.
  3. This criticism maybe isn’t warranted, but I’ll mention it anyway. The wait time in between things seemed painfully long. Now I know I wasn’t there. I was watching the livestream. I know there is a TON that goes on behind the scenes. The very nature of a big tournament means there are scores to tally and to double check, lot of organizing and directing of people. But still. The mini-games were okay but also seemed to go on too long. I guess when everyone is so skilled that is to be expected a bit as well.

Okay, I’m done being critical. The event was really great, I just had to say those few things. I’m really looking forward to this next year. Kendama is very exciting to me right now, and as a beginner still I’m going to stay up to date with the developments around the sport and see if there is anything I can contribute. For now there’s not much, but I’ll continue to make some posts here if I have some thoughts. I’ll also keep grinding and working on new tricks, and maybe throw some videos up as well.

Check out my YouTube channel, comment there or here below.


Which Kendama USA Pro Mod should I get?

by Ben on July 20, 2016

Which Kendama USA Pro Model should I get?

Kendama USA currently offers 7 pro mods, or 8 if you count the Wyatt Bray model. So this begs the question that many new players ask. Which Kendama USA Pro Model should I get? I’m going to break them down for you in one article so you can easily make your decision. There is not a bad pro mod out there, but there may be one that is the best option for you.

Jake Wiens – Moon Rock Grey

Jake Wiens Pro Mod
Buy Jake Wiens Pro Mod
The Jake Wiens Pro Mod features a moon rock grey tama, painted with the famous and very nice Kendama USA silk paint. It uses the traditional assembly Kaizen ken shape, and I believe it is made out of beech. The artwork and whole space theme and how it relates to kendama are brilliant in my opinion, and definitely put the Jake Wiens Pro Mod in my top picks out of the Kendama USA Pro Model lineup.

Dave Mateo – Dream Dama

Dave Mateo Pro Mod
Buy the Dave Mateo Pro Mod
The Dave Mateo pro mod “dream dama” looks absolutely stunning. It has many unique features, making it really stand out. It it built with 3 different kinds of wood: a sassafras tama, birch spike, and padauk sarado. It has a great looking 70/30 purple and ruby paint. The purple is silk paint and ruby is gloss paint. A lot of poeple like the gloss around the tama hole because it develops into a great spot for birds and stalls with that kind of paint.

Alex Smith – Red Maze

Alex Smith Pro Mod
Buy the Alex Smith Pro Mod
The Alex Smith “Red Maze” pro model kendama is the only Kendama USA made red silk tama, and it has a small maple leaf on the top as a reference to his home country of Canada. The Kendama is all maple as well, and features an incredible maze design burned in the ken.

Zack Yourd – Brown Brew

Zack Yourd Pro Mod
Buy the Zack Yourd Pro Mod
The Zack Yourd “brewdama” pro mod is one of my favorites. His lifestyle incorporates many kinds of brew, whether it be tea, coffee or beer. I can identify with this as well, and the artwork of tea leaves, coffee beans, and hops looks amazing. It also has quite the unique tama, with a semi-translucent silk paint over a sassafras wood.

Turner Thorne – Army Green

Turner Thorne Pro Mod
Buy the Turner Thorne Pro Mod
Turner Thorne’s pro model is so nice, clean, and classic. It has an silk painted green tama in a reference to trees and the outdoors. It has mountains on the big cup rim and some custom artwork on the ken handle. Very classy, can’t go wrong with the Turner Thorne pro model.

Colin Sander – Tri Color

Colin Sander Pro Mod
Buy the Colin Sander Pro Mod
The tri-color Colin Sander Pro mod is the only tri color silk painted tama in the pro model lineup. The colors are so unique, and help a lot with hole tracking when doing difficult tricks. It is made from classic beech wood and features an awesome rock stack artwork on the ken.

TJ Kolesnik – Make Waves

TJ Kolesnik Pro Mod
Buy the TJ Kolesnik Pro Mod
The TJ Kolesnik Pro Model is the newest pro mod to be added to the Kendama USA pro mod lineup. It is the very first Kendama USA Kendama to feature an all ash build. It has some artwork featuring who TJ Kolesnik is as a player. It is also the first Kendama from Kendama USA to have 4 stripes, AND it features a brand new super sticky paint. This great combination of new stuff makes the Kolesnik pro mod my favorite right now.

Wyatt Bray – Limited Edition KWC Commemorative Set

Wyatt Bray KWC Commemorative Set
Buy the Wyatt Bray Limited Edition KWC Kendama
Technically, the Wyatt Bray Kendama is not a pro mod, but a limited edition set in celebration of his win of the Kendama World Cup in 2015. I have ordered a set, because it is a unique piece of history and has a lot of great features as well. The triple stripe design is Wyatt Bray’s favorite tama design. The stripes are forest green as a reference to the Turner Thorne pro mod tama he used to win. The kendama features really classy KWC themed artwork, and it is only the second kendama made with an all maple construction. Fantastic kendama. Check out my unboxing soon.

Which Kendama USA pro mod should I buy?

That is the big questions. My favorites are the Jake Wiens, Zack Yourd, and TJ Kolesnik models. I don’t count the Wyatt Bray model in that, since it is a bit unique. But that one I like probably the most, and grabbed one for the reasons I talked about.

In the end, it is really about personal preference. If you like the Kaizen style, you can’t really go wrong with any of them. The silk paint on most is great, and I’m sure the new super sticky paint on the TJ Kolesnik model is incredible as well. Pick whichever one you like the most. That may be based on the pro that is associated with the kendama, who they are, what they stand for, and their play style. It may have to do with the features and just the look. No matter what, grab the one that inspires you and that you’ll enjoy playing!


Kendama USA TJ Kolesnik Pro Mod

by Ben on July 18, 2016

Kendama USA recently announced TJ Kolesnik as a new Kendama USA pro. They also released the TJ Kolesnik Pro Mod. This pro mod followed shortly after the announced Wyatt Bray Commemorative Limited Edition Mod. Like the Wyatt Bray model, TJ’s has incorporated into it a lot of “firsts” for Kendama USA. It also has some mainstays of the Kendama USA Pro Mod lineup. It reflects TJ Kolesnik as a player and is a unique and noteworthy Kendama.

TJ Kolesnik Pro Mod

Buy TJ Kolesnik Pro Mod here

All the Kendama USA pro mods are designed by the pro players themselves. They get to choose many aspects of the Kendama, making it unique and a reflection of who they are as a player. The TJ Kolesnik pro model has special artwork burned into the cups, handle, and cup rims. These things are special to TJ and reflect him as a player. Plus they look incredible. The big cup on his pro mod have waves on the rim and an anchor in the cup. These represent the ocean and TJ’s current home city of San Diego, California. The small cup has a snowflake to represent where TJ Kolesnik grew up in Lake Tahoe. There is a compass burned into the handle, representing all the travel and exploration that Kendama allowed TJ to do with Kendama USA. And then of course his signature is also burned into the handle as well. All the Kendama USA pro models use the traditional and well tested Kaizen shape.

Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 11.23.14 PM

There are a few things that set the TJ Kolesnik Pro Model apart from the rest of the Kendama USA pro mods. First, this is the first all Ash construction that Kendama USA has done for any kendama, not to mention a pro mod. Ash is a hardwood, and is excellent in kendamas. Some high end kendamas are made of ash, so that immediately sets TJ Kolesnik’s pro mod a tier above in my opinion. Second, this is not only the first pro mod with 4 stripes, but again, the first Kendama USA tama that has 4 stripes on it. These four strips transition from the natural wood color to darker blues. This is like looking out into the ocean. Not only is this great imagery, but it looks amazing. But the final and best part of TJ Kolesnik’s pro mod, in my opinion, is the brand new Kendama USA super sticky paint. I have heard in the past that the old Kendama USA super sticky paint had a short lifespan. I have no doubt that this new stuff is excellent. Smaller guys like Mr. Sourmash have kept their paint forumals a secret. It is only a matter of time until more kendama makers figure out how to rival this kind of excellent sticky paint. I am sure that this new sticky paint on the TJ Kolesnik pro mod is great.TJ Kolesnik Pro Mod

Buy TJ Kolesnik Pro Mod here

So, with all that said, should you buy the new TJ Kolesnik Pro mod? Looks amazing to me. Of the Kendama USA pro mod lineup, the TJ Kolesnik “Make Waves” mod is probably my new favorite. If I got a pro mod right now, that would be it. As it stands, I need to save up my pennies. 🙂 You can buy it from or from amazon. I like amazon for the Prime free 2 day shipping, but if you don’t have Prime, I would go straight to the Kendama USA store.TJ Kolesnik Pro Mod


A New Kendama Trick Each Day

I’ve been trying very hard to keep up my daily schedule of doing a new kendama vlog each day, featuring a different trick each day. The goal is to do 30 tricks in 30 days, and so far I’m 14 tricks in, and I haven’t missed one yet! It has been a lot of fun, and I’m definitely learning a ton. One neat thing is that I’m learning a lot when it comes down to kendama play, but also with filming myself, making a plan, and keeping to a schedule. Some of my vlogs have definitely been better than others. Or at least I’m more proud of some than others. But I expected that.

Hard Kendama Tricks

I’m just about at the halfway point, and I’m very quickly running out of tricks I can do well and/or somewhat easily. It is going to get pretty hard here in the next few days. Kendama tricks like lunar, bird, and juggle are tricks that I think will open up a lot of new possibilities, but they currently seem just out of reach. Bird I’ve hit a few times, but they seem like luck. Lunar and juggle seem a long way off still. Not sure I’ll be able to hit them before the month is out. I do have a goal to be able to land a lighthouse flip at least once though.

Kendama Collection

My kendama collection is growing faster than I imagined, so I feel like I really need to put the brakes on it before I get too out of hand. I mean, I’ve only just started and have too many kendamas to know what to do with. I have a couple more coming in the mail as well, but there are very specific reasons for ordering those. I will probably be doing some unboxing, or at least attempting it for some of them. The Wyatt Bray Commemorative Model will definitely get a video for itself, as it is a very unique kendama for Kendama USA and I’m sure there are a lot of folks out there that are interested in it.

Kendama Videos and Kendama Reviews

I’m not going to post the videos for tricks 5 through 14 on this post. Seems silly. But I will share a few of them that I like the most here, and then you can head on over to my YouTube Channel for the rest. I plan to make a post or page with my growing kendama collection and some reviews/thoughts on the various kendamas as I play them. It is incredible how many kendama companies are out there, a lot of them making some really quality stuff. I’m still shredding my original green ozora, and don’t plan to put it down anytime soon. Even as I try out some others.

Until next time, shred some dama.



I shot this Vlog on the 4th of July. Earlier in the day I was at a “Kids Zone” in downtown Port Angeles for an event the city was putting on. I had some kendamas and juggling balls there. I had a great time hanging out and showing kids and their parents some kendama and juggling tricks! A lot of them joined in and had a great time too. The event was great, but it sure tired me out! I filmed this vlog a few hours later, hiking down this kinda hidden trail in a forested area not too far from the coast. It was my first time down there, really neat spot. I found this HUGE pipe that ran through the forested area, and it seemed like a good spot to film!

I’m going to continue to do a Kendama vlog once a day for the whole month of July. At this point I’ve only been playing Kendama for about 3 weeks, but I’m hoping that this vlog will show some improvement and I can give some of my thoughts along the way.


30 Tricks in 30 Days – Around Japan (3 of 30) – Kendama Vlog

July 6, 2016

In this vlog I talk a little bit about my failed attempt at an unboxing video. I got some great stuff from Kendama USA that I wanted to show off. But in the end it was pretty terrible. You can see some of the Tributes and classics I got in the last vlog where we […]

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Kendama Vlog – To the Beach! 30 tricks in 30 days (Big Cup to Spike)

July 5, 2016

My latest vlog takes the family and I to the beach! We had a lot of fun. I played some Kendama and tried to film a bit. In the end the tricks were a bit lame, but a documentation nonetheless. I think the video of the kids is much better stuff. I also brought my […]

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