Announcements

February 13, 2017

0 comments

Posted in


How to Host a Kendama Event

How to Host a Kendama Event

If you've never hosted a kendama event before, it can be both stressful and overwhelming. There is a lot to take care of, but if you break it down into simple steps, it becomes pretty easy. As a matter of fact, it really isn't that much different from events you may have planned before, such as a birthday party or even a get-together for friends. Let's break it down into five questions: Who? What? When? Where? How?

Who?

You want as many people as you can to come to your event, because the more the merrier! Kendama is a community, and if you want to make more friends and have a good time, you want as many people to join as you can. In order to find kendama players near you that could be interested in your event, try going through Instagram or Facebook and looking for friends of friends. You can look for profiles that are tagged in your friends' pictures and find new people! I'd recommend making a list of names and their social media handles so you can reach them in the future. Another option is checking to see if there are kendama communities for your state or city. Two examples are the “Indiana Kendama Community” or “Kentucky Kendama Players” communities on Facebook. These would be great resources to contact players near you. In addition to finding attendees, you will need to let them know of your event. Once you have all of the details, I recommend posting in these groups, and sending personal messages or direct messages to each person from your list. Not everyone will be able to make it, which is another reason why you want to over-invite.

Sol Summer Tour Stop: Marietta, GA!

What?

Your kendama event can look many different ways; it can be a regular “jam session,” a structured event, a series of mini games, or anything you can dream! To help you decide, you can usually relate this decision to how long you want the event to be. If you want to shoot for a two hour event on a Saturday, then maybe its best just to get the group together to hang out and socialize. If an eight hour kendama fest sounds fun, then you will want to have structure. By structure, I mean a series of activities that will happen over the course of the day. You can start off with mini-games, then follow up with a K.E.N. Tournament, then finish with a freestyle event. The advantages of structure is that you control the flow and attention of your event, it will last longer, people have more fun, and it is easier to get prizes.

When?

Planning your event mostly depends on your attendees. If every person you invites is busy on a Tuesday night, don't plan your event for a Tuesday night! The weekends are usually the easiest for everyone, so that may be a good starting point. As for a time, you can kind of feel it out and ask others what they think. You might also need to be concerned about getting kicked out of the park past a certain time. Be aware of where you play and what is expected of you in terms of time!

Where?

Where you host your event might be the hardest component of hosting an event. If the weather will be good, it is almost always a good idea to host your event at a park or outdoor location. Something like that is very beneficial because it is free. If the weather won't be good, then you will have to look to have your event in a venue. This makes things a little more complicated. You can try to squeeze into someone's garage, or maybe inside of a city meeting area, or even rent a venue. If you rent a venue, do not feel guilty about charging money at the door to cover that cost.

For example, if a venue costs you $200 for a few hours, and you can have twenty people come, then charge $10 per person to come and hang out. Nobody will mind, and it reduces the stress of hosting an event.

In addition to considering where, you need to think about how far of a drive it will be for everyone to meet there. If it is too far, you might scare off some people from going to the event. Usually kendama players are willing to make the drive, however. Battle at the Border, our flagship annual event, hosted kendama players from over 21 states on January 7th 2017!

Battle at the Border 2015 Prize Sponsors

How?

Try to plan best you can. If you're doing a tournament or speed ladder, come up with tricks relevant to the difficulty and type of tournament. Try to keep it well rounded and fair. Remember: it is all for fun! A nice addition to any event is prizes. It might surprise you, but many companies like sponsoring events. We have sponsored probably one hundred events, groups, clubs, etc. It helps small companies get the word out about what they do, who they are, and what they sell, and it helps large companies promote products and support the kendama ecosystem. When you have covered the other four questions, you can compile the details and send an email to each company you can find and ask them to send prizes. Some will send one kendama, some will send a few. Out of respect for the companies, do not keep any prizes for yourself. It is generally frowned upon to win prizes from your own event as well. If you end up having left over kendamas from your event, pass them on to beginners or someone who has never played kendama before.

Be sure to take pictures and make an edit of your event! It will make it even easier to promote, get more players interested, and convince more companies to send you prizes in the future. Remember to encourage good sportsmanship and to have an even better time.

February 07, 2017

0 comments

Posted in


Why Are Kendamas So Popular?

Why Are Kendamas So Popular?

Kendama hasn't always been popular. Of course, it only arrived in the West a couple of hundred years ago, but it stayed fairly dormant. In the past ten years or so, it has become increasingly popular. The game is picking up steam in communities of young adults, teenagers, and occasionally kids. After picking up and trying it, it is easy to see why it is experiencing so much growth. It is both easy to understand and not too difficult for a beginner to learn some tricks. In addition, if you remain interested, you will find yourself pulled into the deep end when getting involved with the deeper aspects that kendama offers.

Community

Kendama does an exceptional job of creating a community. On its own, kendama is interesting and fun, but when paired with friends, it becomes an exciting social experience. At one time, it acted as a sort of adult's drinking game, where missing a trick meant you had to drink more. While not the main reason communities exist today, it is a testament to the fun you can have by playing kendama with others.

Others realized this and began to host events, which fostered communities and competition, the crossroads in which kendama fostered friendships and good times. There is nothing greater than making a new friend through nothing but a shared love for the toy, despite all other differences. It unites people!

Competition

Competitions can be very exciting and very intense. In between events, kendama players practice to hone in on many types of tricks, not knowing which will be required of them at their next event. When another event rolls around, they are ready to test their skills, especially against their friends. If the tricks aren't hard enough, added difficulty comes from athletes competing on stage in front of tons of people. The pressure can often get to your head and hands.

For those that overcome and take away victories, there are often prizes. Prizes can range from some new strings, to a free kendama, to even a free Spikeball set, which we gave away at the past two Battle at the Border competitions. Minnesota Kendama Open has even awarded a free flight to the Kendama World Cup in Japan.

Fun

At the end of the day, kendama is just fun. Great satisfaction can be found when landing a trick you've never learned before. It is very rewarding to progress in the craft. It's a great reason to hang out with people. It helps teach you to be focused. All of these come together to culminate into a very good time.

If you've never played kendama or tried kendama, you need to try it at some point! If you know someone who plays with one, ask to borrow or hang out! You might develop a new hobby or maybe even enjoy yourself!

January 24, 2017

0 comments

Posted in


Why You Should Go to Kendama Events

Why You Should Go to Kendama Events

Kevin DeSoto lacing a trick at Battle at the Border 2017

If you've played kendama before, then you know how social it is. When playing alone, you can focus, challenge yourself, and improve your game. You can watch edits, film your own, and grind for hours. However, many people practice so that when they get together, they can show off and win in different games. Many practice to become better within the community itself. The kendama community is composed of many different types of people, and you can find yourself in a group of individuals that you might not have had it not been for kendama to unite you. No matter the skill levels, it is always enjoyable to surround yourself with other kendama players.


Liam Rauter winning the Open Division at Battle at the Border 2017

That's the beauty of a kendama event: you get to go, make new friends, share positive vibes, listen to music, jam kendama, and sometimes win prizes. Kendama events exist to bring everyone together to have a fun time.

Sol Kendamas Lace Space Video Contest Results



The Sol Kendamas Lace Space Video Contest was a huge success. We want to thank everyone who took the time to go out and film an edit for our contest. There were so many great edits, awesome tricks, and most importantly, some of the coolest lace spaces we've seen! The Sol Kendamas Team has spent the past few weeks reviewing all of the entries, and we have finally made a decision. Each player chose their top five favorite edits from the contest. From that, the overall winners were decided.

4th Place:
Vlatko Pavisic




3rd Place:
Kendama Klub



2nd Place:
Ryan Plourd



1st Place:
Ben Lowe




All of these entries really encompassed what we were looking for in this contest. Make sure to go give them some love in the comments section of theirYouTube videos! There were also several entires that came very close to placing. For that, we would like to recognize and award the following entries for honorable mention. 


Gabe Frampton


Doris Cvetko


Will Mar


Tanner Johnson


Cameron C.


Jackson Andrus


Keegan Sablan

Nicholas Campbell


Kelvin Wong

Dama in the D3 Wrap-Up

Dama in the D is an annual kendama event held in Wyandotte, Michigan by Glowfish Studios and the Downriver Kendama Team. Dama in the D3 took place at the Downriver Council for the Arts.
Below is the flyer with further details.
Sol Kendamas was one of sixteen sponsors that provided prizes for the event. We had three representatives attending the event from three different states. Kevin DeSoto, Sol Pro, flew from Las Vegas, Nevada to compete. Chad Covington, Sol Kendamas Owner, flew from Kentucky to compete. Aaron Mullins, Sol Flow Team Member, drove from Riverview, Michigan to hold it down for the locals. We also had the opportunity to vend at the event. Chad captured everything from the weekend of kendama in the video below. We hope you enjoy the video, and we hope to see you next year!
 
 

MKO Wrap-Up

minnesota kendama open 2015

The Sol Kendamas team found themselves at the 2015 Minnesota Kendama Open this year. It was incredible. It was the first time that our team got together (minus Aaron!) and jammed together. And yes, of course, we did manage to sneak some kendamas through the airport. 

Cal Nassar got to compete in his first ever free style competition, and it wasn't easy. He faced some of the free style legends: Dave Mateo, Thorkild May, and Jake Fischer. He made it through the first round, beating Kristian Aynedter at the judges' discretion. It was tough, and Cal wasn't able to take home the trophy, (congrats Jake!) but he clocked in some serious experience. He'll be ready for the next competition for sure.

Wesley Carkonen also showed up in the Open Division. Every big name was in the house, and the competition was intense. Wes made it into the top 32 of players, which is a great accomplishment. Joshua Groves ended up beating Wes in the next round, with nerves at an all time high. The young slayer is going to grow up ready to take all the titles.

wesley_carkonen-and-cal_nassar

On Saturday, we had the opportunity to release our new standard-sized ken-only options. You can find them online here. They're available for a limited time! Be sure to cop a new ken.

We're very thankful to have the opportunity to travel to Minnesota for the most epic kendama event of the year. Big ups to the guys at Sweets Kendamas, and of course, the man himself. Matt took good care of us. Thank you very much!

Sweets Kendamas

Here's to another year of dama!

August 24, 2015

0 comments

Posted in announcements


Who is KendamaNorway?

Starting a community is never an easy task. The guys over at KendamaNorway are working hard at doing just that. They aim to build a community in a country that really hasn't seen kendama. These guys found us on the internet, and helped us bring our kendamas to a new country! We wanted to hear about their story, and help them find some support! Without further adieu, the interview:

What is Kendama Norway?
Kendama Norway is the name of the only Norwegian Kendama team. It consists of Elias Salbu and Kim Fredrik Moberg.

What was kendama like in Norway before you two started a group?
Out of what we know, there were about 5-10 people practising the Kendama in Norway, before we started.

Now, there are about 20-30 people lacing tricks around the country (that we know of).

What was your plan for growing Kendama in Norway?
Well, we didn't know any other Norwegian people that knew what kendama was, so we felt that we had to do something about it. We created Kendama Norway. To make things grow, we found out that the least we can do is to practise the dama in the middle of our town. This way, people would see us, wonder about what we do, and there you go, another person that knows what kendama is.

How did you find Sol Kendamas?
We knew about the bigger brand like Sweets and Kendama USA, but we wanted to let other companies reach outside-US countries as well. And we came across Sol Kendamas. What was extra facinating, was that they started in kind of the same way as me and Kim.  Two guys being passionate about something. And doing something about it.

How are people responding to seeing this new toy?
People are very interested with the kendama. They stop, look and ask. They also compare it with a yoyo or a diablo, but we tell them that this is much cooler so...

What goals/plans do you have for the future of kendama in Norway?
Honestly, as of right now, we don't have huge plans. We want to get better, spread the scene, and make Kendama Norway bigger. 

Do you have any tips for other people in the same situation?
Always have big goals! Being open, kind, and share what your hobby is in every open situation!

Final comments:
Our hope and dream is to walk around where we live and hear the sound of "clacks". We feel that we are getting a step closer every day.

Thank you Sol Kendamas for helping us out! We feel honored!

Be sure to go check the guys out at KendamaNorway at the following places:
Facebook: KendamaNorway
Instagram: @kendamanorway
Youtube: Kendama Norway