We hope you're as excited as we are for the European Kendama Championships taking place on the 1st and 2nd (Friday and Saturday) of July, 2022! Players from around the world will travel to Leiden to participate and enjoy the biggest European Kendama event. Want to know all about this event? In this comprehensive article we'll break down everything you need to know, so you will be prepared leading up to this event!
1. Important EKC stuff first
Before we begin informing you about all the details, we want to get some of the important stuff to you right away:
If you are planning to come, a place to sleep is the first thing to take care of. These are in high demand and you have the best chance for an optimal place to sleep if you take care of this as soon as possible. For more information skip to "How to arrange your stay"
1b. Supporting the event
There's a multitude of ways for you to support the event. Please read all about them in the "How can I support and contribute?" section.
Europe used to have a yearly big event called the European Kendama Open (EKO). The last edition was held back in 2018, in Romania. Nick Gallagher and Bonz Atron came out from the US and occupied first and second place in both Pro Division and Freestyle. Tiblex took third place in Open style competition (Pro Division) and Joris Schweppe took third in Freestyle, both becoming the highest placed Europeans and the last European champions of the EKO.
The rights to hold this event were then transferred to a party in the Netherlands. In November 2018 they announced that they would host the EKO in May 2019. However in January a message came out that “Due to unexpected circumstances we will set a new date.” The date never came out and the party had held on to their rights to host the EKO, practically discontinuing the event indefinitely.
KROM Kendama wasted no time and announced on the 1st of April 2019, exactly 2 months before their event, the EKC in Copenhagen. The event focussed on being a freestyle “Catch & Flow” style tournament. Wyatt Bray took first place, Rolf S. Ganer took second and Bonz Atron took third, making Rolf the European Champ of 2019. Check out a full run of Bonz to catch a vibe of what the energy of this years EKC might be like:
And get some more hype checking the recap made by Frederik Moller
Fast forward to 27th of February 2020, KROM announced EKC 2020 for Copenhagen yet again. This was about the time covid started to hit and we had no idea a lockdown would happen. One month later they announced:
“We’re sad to announce that the EKC will be postponed until further notice. With the current situation regarding COVID-19 being uncertain, we do not feel responsible continuing to plan an event that may end up being cancelled due to health risks.”
From then we didn’t hear about EKC ever again…
Until the 8th of April 2022, when Teodore Fiorina resurrected the @eukendamachamp instagram with the announcement of #EKC2022 on the first and second of July in Leiden, the Netherlands.
A week later, on April 15th, Teo announced the GT-EU film coming out as a fundraiser for the EKC. Anyone who wishes to see it can donate to receive a full quality digital copy of the 25 minute Kendama film in order to support the budget of this year's EKC. If you haven’t yet done so, you can donate and receive the film on the eukendamachamp website
Now, at Kendama Senses, we couldn’t be more stoked that the event is going to be in our home country. Hosted by Teo we can be sure the event will be a success. More about Teo later. With everyone stoked on Kendama and in need of attending in-person events again after this lockdown, there will be more people and more stoke than ever before!
2d. This is what I can expect:
☑️ The biggest European Kendama event to date
☑️ The best players gathering and seshing Kendama with you
☑️ Days full of competitions for every level
☑️ Video premieres of the biggest brands
☑️ Vending of (pre-release / limited edition) Kendama products and accessories
☑️ Food and drinks to buy at the venue
☑️ Having a great time with the homies
☑️ Sweets Kendamas LIVESTREAMING the event
☑️ Meeting new friends
☑️ Not believing your eyes about the tricks you see people do
☑️ Good public transport connections to anywhere, so easy to reach
☑️ Hanging out in one of the most beautiful cities of the Netherlands
3a. Why does EKC matter?
A thriving Kendama scene benefits us all. I imagine a world where in every city there are groups of people seshing Kendama, regularly coming together. Always having others to play with is for me the number one improvement to make to our Kendama scene. For many it’s their number one problem: not having others to regularly play with, it takes away part of the fun and caused many not to continue their Kendama journey.
But strengthening the Kendama community and industry isn’t something that we want to wait for to happen, nor is it easy to accomplish. Teodore knows this all too well and initiates this world-class event. It paves the way for new players to join and see what our community is like and creates more hype in the current community to keep playing and take Kendama more seriously. He envisions a world in which Kendama players realise they can pursue Kendama more seriously, rather than seeing it as a side-hobby. This event is a step he puts towards that goal.
3b. Why is this a big deal and should I attend?
This is the pinnacle of Kendama culture.
Whether you are interested in Kendama or you are a player, here you will experience what the Kendama culture is all about (hint: the experience you’ll have can hardly be put back into words)
Meeting other players of all levels is a truly beautiful experience. Connection with so many other players is a lot of fun. There will be a lot to be inspired by and we’ve always heard from others and felt ourselves that after an event, Kendama brings even more joy than ever before.
4a. Who is hosting EKC?
This years EKC is organised primarily by Teodore Fiorina, professional Kendama player for Grain Theory. Over the past years, Grain Theory has helped Teo to travel and attend many events all over the world, allowing him to connect with many prominent people in the Kendama scene. His experience professionally pursuing Kendama and his vast network within the scene allow him to be very well suited to organise this event. Resulting, for example, in Sweets traveling from the US to the Netherlands to livestream the event.
Among Teo there following people will make up the EKC team:
- Alexis Noel from Nativ Kendama and Kendama France
In charge of all designs for the EKC
- Jack Roberts Community Ambassador and player for Kendama London
In charge of the EKC discord and wil be busy during the event day
- Ole Wohlenberg Pro player for Kendama Israel
In charge of the volunteers and brackets during the event
- Chiara Ravinetto
In charge of keeping Teo in check
4b. MC during the EKC
During the EKC there will be a number of people behind the mic to spice things up for the crowd. The EKC will feature none other than:
- Nick Padeberg
Nick has been MCing in the EU scene for as long as most players can remember. Hyping up the crowd as he expresses his mindblownness about what he's seeing
- Bram Komen
Bram made his entry as an MC during the FEB19 event from Kendama Senses, where he replaced Jordi van Velzen to show how it's done. His humor, accuracy and enthusiasm sets a real vibe.
- Ben Cante
Ben is no stranger behind the mic as the coolest kid on the block. Last time we saw him as an MC was during Baguette Cup #2 and boy did the crowd enjoy his presence.
The last MC for the EKC has yet to be announced. It's likely to be some kind of mystery guest that will blow everyones mind.
4c. Which famous players will attend the EKC?
Let's start by looking who has joined the EKC Discord (Which you too should join following this link)
- There's a user called @htimSxelA, which is surely Alex Smith from Canada, co-founder and owner of Terra Kendama
- We see @AKA_Kendama aka Wouter, Netherlands' finest Kendama craftsman and OG player
- @davide leonardi who is one of Italies most stylish Kendama players and sponsored by KROM
- @jokbert aka jok aka albert from Finland. Sponsored by KROM and one of the best freestylers out there with an incredibly unique style
- @kendalex aka supernog73, Netherlands most famous and OG player, Legend for Sweets
- @nickgallagher42, If there's one person I'm sure you know it's gonna be Nick Gallagher. One of the best players in the world, from the US and sponsored by Sweets
- @semyon booth aka Semy one of Deutschlands most relentless Kendama players, sponsored by Kendama ISR
- @Tiblex_18, the romanian prodigy constantly breaking records, recently hitting trip trip trip kenflip to spike and first to hit 50 tap.
- benjamin mastek aka Benji, newly sponsored by GT and freestyle master
This is just from a quick scan of the Discord, expect well known teams sending out their top players to this event, there's players not yet in the discord and players with unknown nicknames. EKC will be packed full of high level players from all over.
The event will take place in Wibar. Wibar is an iconic club in Leiden and the venue of the Kendama events SKS and MKS (which had about 150 attendees).
Wibar will also supply you with food and drinks. Although you should bring your water bottle to stay hydrated while playing Kendama, for snacks, pizza or any drinks, Wibar will have it all. If you would like to have any other snacks, drinks or food of your own, you are urged to leave the venue and come back after consuming.
Picture from More Kendama Shit (MKS) 2019, in Wibar, Leiden
This is a list of the recommended sleeping locations that are shown in the discord, it includes 3 campings and 3 hotels. Make sure to book as soon as possible:
This is a list of the recommended bars/restaurants that are shown in the discord:
5c. Extra activities around the event days (before/after)
There will be some sessions before and after the event which we will post here. Check the planning here
- 14th until 17th of July is Baguette Kendama Cup in France
The European Kendama Championships will be held the first and second of July. Which is on Friday and Saturday. Around those days there will be more activities. When they are known, we will put them here. The best way to stay up to date with the activities taking place on and around those dates, be sure to join the EKC Discord here.
Planning will be updated as more details become known!
|July 01 - Friday 11AM - 5PM||Event day|
|July 02 - Saturday 11AM - 8PM||Event day|
|July 03 - Sunday||Chill day in Leiden|
6c. Timetable of event days
7a. How to arrange your stay?
If you want to come to the EKC it's important that you plan your stay as soon as possible. We will share with you the options that you have:
- Decide if you want to stay only for the event or you want to spend more time before and after the event days
Around the event days there will be a lot of players hanging out in Leiden. This is a chance to have an amazing time together with other players and we would highly recommend you to atleast arrive Thursday and leave on Monday.
- Find out what travel options you have
If you aren't able to come together with others by car, we would recommend coming by public transport, as the Netherlands and Leiden are very accessible with public transport. If you come by plane, Leiden is the first stop by train from Schiphol airport within 20 minutes.
In the #transportation tab of the EKC Discord, there's more info, even such as how to rent a bike for during your stay!
Note: If you come by car, there's free parking available at Wibar!
- Find and book a place to stay
This is a Google Maps list of possible places to stay
Find all up-to-date information under the #lodging tab in the EKC Discord channel
The recommended place to stay is Camping Stochemhoeve, where a lot of Kendama players will stay. This, however, will require you to bring your camping gear.
- Buy your entry ticket for Wibar
Buy your entry ticket ahead of time here. It really helps the event if you don't wait until the end.
- Register for your competition
If you would like to join any of the competitions, register here ahead of time.
- Create a copy of our checklist
Add your personal to-do's and start working your way through the list!
7b. How to be prepared?
You’ve got to prepare for the event in order to have the best time possible. Most importantly, make sure you have a place to stay ahead of time. As it is peak-season, all the best and cheapest spots will be gone earlier than you would expect.
We made a checklist for you to use so that preparing for the event becomes and orderly and satisfying process.
Also make sure to practise the tricks. You can find them here.
7b. How do I navigate through NL?
If you are traveling through the Netherlands, the goto option is the 9292 application.
Google Play (9292 Travelplanner)
Apple store (9292 Travelplanner)
This app connects all the possible transportation options together and shows you the possibilities.
If you are coming from abroad and travelling to the Netherlands by public transport, you can best check NS International. In this app the trains from abroad and Dutch trains are integrated so you can best see your travel options.
7c. How are the Covid restrictions?
If you travel from within the European Union / Schengen area, there are no more covid restrictions.
If you travel from outside of the EU/Schengen area, please check the government website here.
7d. How can I support and contribute?
There’s multiple ways in which you can support.
- Show up to the event: Get your 2-day entry ticket ahead of time and also register for the competition ahead of time here. Doing this ahead of time really helps the event.
- Donate to the fundraiser and get the GT Film here
- Get other people to come as well
- Share information about the event on social media, for example, repost relevant posts from the @eukendamachamp instagram
- Sign up to become a volunteer here
- Share the Sweets Kendamas livestream with friends and family that will not attend. Invite them to take a look during the event (https://www.twitch.tv/sweetskendamas)