Certainly not every Kendama is suitable to be bought as a beginner. Kendama is a difficult game that gets more and more fun as you learn more. A Kendama that makes the game a bit easier and more accessible is therefore very important. Fortunately, you don't have to buy an expensive Kendama to get the right one in your hands. The right Kendamas are available from only 20€ and therefore it is not smart to buy a bad Kendama that costs less or the same amount. In this article I will explain what you should pay attention to and what options you have.
By reading the article you will find out why I recommend the following:
Here you can find the Kendamas with the best price / quality ratio that we recommend to beginners. Choose the additional options glued tip, roller bearing and long rope for the best experience.
What should we pay attention to with a Kendama?
For a beginner, by far the most important aspects of a Kendama are the shape and the coating (clearcoat) on the ball (tama). For the shape it is all about the handle (the Ken) where the cups are large enough. It is also important that the point is and remains sharp and that you use a good string that does not tangle. In this article I will explain all this further. Finally, the solutions are listed and I list some Kendama recommendations.
What are the most common problems novice players experience with their Kendama?
Without knowledge of the tips from this article, you are guaranteed to run into these problems as a novice player:
- Cups are too small
- Ball is too smooth
- Point becomes flattened quickly
- String is too short
- String gets tangled
- Serado goes loose from the Sword
For each of the following points I will explain how this works in practice and how this can be solved. Points 1 & 2 are solved by the choice in Kendama, for this I will show suitable Kendamas. Items 3 to 6 are solved by some adjustments to the Kendama. Kendama Senses offers these adjustments as a special service.
1. Cups are too small
Smaller cups on the Kendama mean it is more difficult to catch the ball. Larger cups means catching faster and more often, which means more confidence, more fun and more progress. The difference between the small and large cups becomes even more apparent as the player learns more tricks such as the Lunar. Our website usually sells new and quality Kendamas. All Kendamas from 20€ and up have a correct, large shape
2. Ball is too slippery
It is useful for the clearcoat to be non-slip. As soon as you start balancing the Ken on the Tama with Lighthouse and Lunar tricks (the Lighthouse can already be learned in the first weeks), it is important that you have a grippy ball. Almost all clearcoats are suitable for this, except for the smooth ones glossy and natty tama's. Also the rubber clearcoat, also known as silk and grip, can be slippery. Glossy is a smooth coated layer and natty means that the wooden ball has no coating layer at all.
How do you know which clearcoat you are dealing with?
You can filter the products on our website. This way you filter by clearcoats on for example "sticky", "rubber" or for more high quality products on "rhino" and "cushion".
3. The tip flattens out quickly
A flat Kendama point (spike) makes it more difficult to get the Tama on the spike of the Ken. Whatever level the player is, keeping the point in the right shape is important for everyone. The spike flattens from the impact of the tama and when the ken falls to the ground. Once the spike is flat, the game is less fun. Our proven solution is special glue on the tip. The glue acts as a protective layer, so that the glue takes the impact and the wood does not. This keeps the spike sharp. Should the glue wear out because of the tama or because it falls exactly with the tip on the ground? Then we put another glue layer over it. If necessary, we sand the spike first and then glue it to keep the perfect shape! Do you buy a Kendama once? Then it is wise to click on the extra option "Glued point" on the page of the Kendama that you purchase. For 1 € extra your Kendama will be a lot more durable . Do you play multiple Kendamas? Then it is more convenient to use our Iron Tip Kendama Glue, the same as we use to glue your spike.
4. The rope is too short
With few exceptions, all Kendamas from the factory have a non-flexible and short string, even the newer Kendamas. Do you buy a Kendama once? Choose an extra rope on the product page. Do you use multiple Kendamas? Then it is useful to have a whole roll for use.
5. String gets tangled
If you've ever played Kendama before (or yoyo for that matter), you know how annoying it is when your toy gets tangled up.
You cannot resume your trick and must first correct the string before you can continue.
Some Kendamas have a plastic bead that keeps the rope in the ball and often entangles the rope. The solution is a small metal roller bearing. Is this option present at the product? Then you are most likely choosing an older Kendama and it is wise to choose this add on. Is this option not listed? Then the Kendama already has it.
The combination of the roller bearing and a flexible string ensures that the Kendama will become much less tangled. Experienced players are jealous of the new players who no longer have to deal with this problem because of this popular solution!
6. Serado detaches from the Sword
Every player has experienced it: you try a trick 10x and the Serado is loose again. Press and onward .. And after 10 more times the same problem.
The ken consists of the spike and the cups and in some cases these always seem to separate from each other. Our Utility Kit contains a piece of beeswax. You heat the wax with the lighter, smear it on the spike where the cups normally sit and then press the cups back on the spike. Now the cups no longer come loose from the spike! The Utility Kit also contains all kinds of other useful things such as the roller bearings, glue, rope and more.
A simple wooden toy, I thought! But after getting a little more experience with it, there are a few problems that I did not even realize at first, and over time I also found solutions again. Because of this, it has been quite some information in this article about your first Kendama purchase.
We have seen the following solutions:
- Buy a Kendama with big cups for better playability
- Use a Tama with a good clearcoat to make the tricks easier to master
- Glue the Spike so that the Spike will last through the Kendama it's lifetime
- Use a longer and flexible string
- Use a roller bearing in the Tama, instead of a regular bead.
- We put some beeswax under the Serado to make sure it stays in place.
Too long; do read (TLDR):
Here you can find the Kendamas with the best price / quality ratio that we recommend to beginners. Choose the additional options glued tip, roller bearing and long string for the best experience.