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Coming straight from Japan, the kendama is a wooden toy that is very popular with riders. Between technical figures and a game of skill, this traditional Japanese game has entertained young and old for several years now.



What is a kendama?


The kendama is composed of a handle, on which you have to drop a ball held by a thread. Like a cup and ball, the kendama is fun, but still requires a certain technique.

Present in Japan for several centuries already, it was not until the early 2000s that it appeared in France and around the world, especially in the field of freestyle. Kendama has also almost become a sport , for which many scenes of players are born each year.



How to choose your kendama?


Contrary to what one might think, not all kendamas are created equal. The choice of kendama must take into account several criteria.


The essence of kendama wood

A kendama can be made from different types of wood. The majority of kendamas are in beech , but we also find some in ash, maple, bamboo, walnut, oak, or even mahogany. The choice of wood will have repercussions on several levels.

●The design of the kendama: each wood offers a different visual aspect;

●The texture of kendama: depending on the wood, the Japanese cup-and-ball is more or less rough or soft, and pleasant to the touch;

●The weight of the kendama: each wood has a different density, which makes the toy more or less heavy;

●The strength of kendama: some woods are more conducive to aging, but also more resistant to shocks.


The weight of the kendama

As we have seen, the type of wood determines the weight of the toy, and this is essential for a good practice of kendama . In general, the weight of a kendama is between 130 and 180 grams. The gap seems small, and yet, it offers very different game sensations and handling.

But ultimately, the choice of the weight of the kendama depends mainly on individual tastes. Some prefer a heavy kendama, others are more comfortable with a lighter model. The best is to make up your own mind by trying out different kendamas . The ideal is to find a kendama whose weight of the ken (handle) and the weight of the tama (ball) are not too different.


The type of coating of the kendama ball (tama)

When we talk about the coating of the tama , we are not talking about the color here, but the material that covers the ball. This is decisive in practice, and may vary from one brand to another, or from one manufacturer to another.

●The tama with paint and varnish : the varnish makes the ball smooth and shiny, but it must be recognized that this coating slips a lot;

Natural tama : nothing more traditional and resistant than natural tama, but its handling will be more or less easy depending on the type of wood;

Tama with adherent paint : the paint that hangs adapts to all levels, but be careful with the thread, which can sometimes catch on.

Do you want to discover this traditional Japanese game which requires skill and dexterity? Find at Nomadeshop many models of kendama , available in a wide range of colors.