So you want to go to a dama event?
So you want to go to a kendama event, but you don’t know which one to choose and you have no idea what to expect. I get it, I was once there too, wondering what the experience would be like. Below are the questions that I had when I first considered leaving my small kendama world and heading to a bigger one.
Where can I find a kendama event to go to?
There are two main categories of kendama events, local and global. Local events are typically hosted by a local store or a local kendama pro. This means the best way to find out about them is to follow the social media channels of your favorite store or local pro. Global events are typically hosted by a big company in the kendama world. The good news is, if you follow any kendama related social media channels, you’re sure to hear about the big ones months before they happen.
What should I expect at a local event?
Local events typically feature small contests, like ladders, or mini-games. If a pro kendama player is there, they’ll typically run some of these games and just hang out and jam dama. Bring a ken and a sharpie and the pros will sign your kendamas too. Most local events are a few hours long.
Are the pro players nice? Will they talk to me?
One of the best things about the kendama community is the pro players. Unlike a lot of pros that play other games, kendama pros are super approachable and really love interacting with new kendama players. While they are truly friendly, typically there are a lot of people trying to snag a game of ken or an autograph, so just keep in mind that they usually only have a few minutes to spend with each person at an event.
What’s a global event like?
The big events are the ultimate kendama experience. They typically center around competition and have big time prizes for the winners. At the Minnesota Kendama this year, Zack took home $3000, a collection of amazing kendamas, and a trip to Japan for the Kendama World Cup. Most of the big kendama companies come out and setup booths or tables to sell their product to the hundreds of die hard players and thousands of spectators. The big companies also bring their pro players to compete which means that you have access to your favorite players for the duration of the event. This can be anywhere from 2 days to 7 days and since everyone typically stays at the same hotel, the amount of time spent with your favorite kendama players is typically huge.
We’ll break down each of the events below in future articles, for now, here’s a list of the big ones. Feel free to comment if you feel we’ve forgotten a major one.
Big Event List in order of size of competitors and spectators:
Kendama World Cup – Japan
Minnesota Kendama Open – Minnesota, USA
European Kendama Open – Netherlands
Sakura Classic – California, USA
Catch and Flow – Japan
Rocky Mountain Rumble – Colorado, USA