Crazy for Kendama | Events
There's a new craze sweeping lunch rooms and it's not the latest phone. It's kendama, a wooden toy hailing from Japan, and it has young teenagers begging their parents for one. The Post Falls Library tapped into the new trend today and hosted a kendama tournament for local kids to show off their tricks and skills.
Kendama is a wooden toy featuring a ball attached to a handle with two cups and a spike. Players attempt to catch or spike the ball in various methods. Young Adult Librarian, Morgan Chevally, first saw kids using it after school and it wasn't long before her son wanted one too. She is thrilled to see the kids engaged in something that's not screen based. Chevally saw the kids testing each other's kendama skills through KEN, the kendama's answer to basketball's HORSE, so she decided to host a KEN tournament.
“I think it gives a positive outlook on something positive they're already doing,” says Chevally about the first kendama tournament. Over 30 young people were signed up for the tournament in advance and many more turned up to compete for first place. They competed in brackets of four, one person would set the trick and the others tried to replicate it. If they missed they gained a letter and when they could spell out KEN they were out. The winner of the tournament took home a pro-model kendama and a $25 gift certificate to Figpickles.
“I went home and begged my mom to buy one,” says 13-year-old Logan Tillman of his first time he played kendama. Tillman says that all the time he used to spend watching T.V. or playing video games is now spent mastering new kendama skills.
Tillman and his friends Collin Hildreth, 14, Austyn Madsen, 14 and Mykael George, 11, all agree that the kendama is challenging and fun.
“Every time you hit a new trick its so amazing,” says Hildreth. All four boys say that mastering the kendama and learning new skills gives them a sense of accomplishment and excitement. They were more than ready to compete with other kids and compare tricks.
The boy's sentiments only confirm Chevally's praise for the toy. She says the social interaction she sees around the kendama is just the “icing on the cake” to the coordination that they're learning in the process. Judging from the number of children and parents surrounding the tournament ring, she's not the only one who is crazy about kendama.