It's kind of funny, but it seems like many kendama players have developed a routine when they pick up a fresh, new kendama. Obviously when you first open that new package, there is that exciting feeling of checking out what you just purchased. Aside from that, others will do various things such as: weigh their kendama, measure string length, take pictures, and more.
A ton of kendama players have Instagram profiles because they like to show off kendama. Fortunately, kendamas are works of art. They all look pretty cool. Its common to do a quick photo session of your new kendama before it gets all bruised and shredded from playing. After you've beaten it to a pulp, you can look back fondly upon the freshness of your favorite kendama.
Also fairly common, many choose to weigh both their tama and ken. Some prefer to have at most a 10 gram difference between the two. For example, you may have a tama that is 80 grams, and a ken that is 70 grams. Some say that they prefer closer ranges in weight because they can 'feel' it in spacewalks and other tricks. Others disagree and think that you should be able to jam a kendama regardless of the weights, and that it can get to your head if you think about it too much.
In order to do certain tricks, like juggles, you will need a bit more string so that you have more room to do the trick. To do this, you can put the tama on the spike and pull the string below the base cup. Typically people shoot for between 3 and 4 fingers fitting below the base cup. Some may prefer longer, especially if they want to do something crazy like a 7 turn jumping stick or 10 turn UFO.
If you have a problem with your spike becoming dull too quickly, or prefer to keep your kendama as maintained and fresh as possible, then you may too be a part of the kendama players that glue their spikes. Typically it is just a light layer of glue spread thin over the spike. This creates a little enamel for your spike and protects it from dulling too soon. You can reapply when you feel it is necessary, but it usually lasts a while.
There is no faster way to understand your kendama than trying a few different types of tricks. If you are skilled, you may like to try various tricks that test each different part of the kendama, such as a lunar, gunslinger, stilt, bird, or more. Ideally, you can get a feel for how your kendama will sit in different tricks and how it responds to testing its balance. Others, who aren't too worried about banging up a kendama, may choose to do some yank spikes.
Nothing is infuriating as dropping a kendama, especially over concrete or asphalt. Those battle scars last a lifetime, and if you would like to, you can avoid them from occurring by playing over grass or carpet.
Developing your routine will come down to what you prefer and what you like. It will come over time and may end up driving your friends crazy, especially when you come to them for more glue. Regardless of your routine, make sure you enjoy your new toy. Have a good time jamming!