Which Kendama is for me?
Kendama types are mainly divided into 2 groups: The Slippery Tama type or the Tacky Tama type.
It is easy to differentiate them just by touching the Tama.
Slippery Tama kendamas are used by players who are just starting out as these are more affordable as compared to their Tacky counterparts. Usually these Tamas will be glossy and will be harder to do balance tricks like Lighthouse and Lunar.
Tacky Tama kendamas are used by players who are looking to practice their balance tricks with ease. Tacky Tamas make tricks like Lighthouse and Lunar easier to do than their Slippery counterpart. Also, there are various forms of Tacky Tamas. They could be Rubber coated, sticky matte painted, glossy painted, etc.
Stringing Your Kendama
With the Sarado BIG CUP facing you, and the string holes on the top, insert Stringing Tool into the Sarado String hole on the left if you are RIGHT HANDED, and on the right if you are LEFT HANDED (1.1). Then insert string into the Stringing Tool (1.2) and pull the Stringing Tool down, forcing the string through the Sarado String hole (1.3).
Insert the String Tool through the Spike (2.1) and then insert the string from the strung Sarado into the String Tool (2.2) and pull through (2.3). Next, tie a knot at the end of the string (2.4) big enough so the string does not escape from the Spike String hole. Then put the Sarado and Spike back together and push the Sarado down making it nice and snug (2.5).
To string the Tama, insert the String Tool through the top of the Tama String hole (3.1), insert the remaining string through the String Tool (3.2) and pull through. Next, insert the String Tool through the Bead, and insert the string through the String Tool (3.3) and pull through 3.4). Lastly, tie a knot at the end of the string and ensure the bead is not able to fall off (3.5) and you are good to go!
Gluing Your Kendama Tip
Grab some Super Glue from the Supermarket or DIY store and grab some paper towels before you start your gluing session. Before you glue your Kendama tip, always remember to invert your Ken to add the glue, and don’t add it when the Ken is upright!
Squeeze Glue Droplet
Before adding the glue to your Ken tip, squeeze out a drop of glue first before applying it to your Ken. Don’t squeeze the glue out onto your Ken tip directly as this may result in having too much glue on the tip.
Tip to Glue
Next, bring your Ken tip to the glue tube opening, and touch the droplet of glue.
Squeeze out a little more glue, and then spread the glue evenly around your Ken tip.
To end off the gluing session, let your Kendama hang inverted as your glue dries so that the glue does not drip down your Ken. Leave it to dry for an hour or two, and you are good to go!
Kendama String Length
2-Finger Length is the most traditional string length that is used by the Japan Kendama Association (JKA) when taking their Grading Tests.
3-Finger Length is the most commonly seen string length in the Kendama world. This length give enough lee-way for tougher tricks like Juggle, Multiple-turns, etc. 3-Finger Length strings are allowed for most Kendama contests around the world.
4-Finger Length is usually seen on Kendamas used by players who do lots of multiple juggles as this string length allows for very comfortable juggles.
ANYTHING MORE OR LESS
If your string length is longer or shorter than 2 to 4-Fingers, it is out of the norm. But if it works for you, then go for it. Do note that there are various contests around the world that will not allow string length longer than 4-Fingers.
Kendama Wood Types
There are many other types of wood used in Kendamas. Types such as Mahogany, Cherry, Hickory, Rose, etc. Some exotic wood types are really cool, unique and hard to come by. If you do find them, definitely add them to your collection!