All you really need to play kendama is to have one, but there’s a bunch of items out there that you can also have to make things easier on yourself.
Today, we’ve got a list of items to make living your best kendama life even more possible: the most essential kendama accessories that every player needs!
Extra String Packs
“Oh no - my string broke and I left my spares at home!”
Strings never break when you expect them to, so you can avoid this terrible scenario by throwing an extra string pack in a pocket for safekeeping.
Our SixFinger String Packs come a little long and always come with a Stringing Tool and an extra Metal Spinner Bead, everything you need to change out a string on the fly.
Once you’ve changed out your string to a new one, you’ll probably want to make sure that the length feels right. Having a small pair of crafting scissors stored away for this occasion can be a major lifesaver. You can usually find a pair of scissors like these at any craft store or easily online.
If you’re worried about carrying scissors or if you CANNOT have sharp objects with you, we’d also recommend opting for a “Yarn Cutter Pendant” (example pictured above). These circular cutting tools are made for cutting yarn but can slice through kendama string just as easily. Plus, since the blade is almost entirely blocked off, they are 100% safe and allowed on airplanes. They are great for adding to your keychain or attached to your bag.
If you’re on a mission to land a trick and your ken chips, in some cases, that’s when you stop and go home for the day. If you’ve got a spare ken with you, however, you can string it up and keep going until you succeed.
Kens usually wear out more quickly than a Tama does, so having an extra ken or two can always be helpful if you’re in a pinch or if you just need a change in how things feel. In fact, playing a honed tama on a fresh ken is one of the best ways to play kendama!
What Ken you have set aside is entirely up to you - we’ve got a lot of Ken-Only options to choose from in our shop right now if you need one!
Since the tip of the spike is often hitting against the tama, it will become more and more blunted over time as you break a kendama in. Having a flattened spike can be helpful for learning some specific tricks, but it can also make spiking more difficult.
With that being said, having some sandpaper in your bag can be great for light reshaping of the spike when it gets too flat. For light reshaping, our team generally recommends that you start with 400 grit and then move up to 600 for finer sanding. We wouldn’t recommend using anything lower than 300 grit, as it may take off way too much wood from the spike.
If you go to your local department store and purchase either a roll or several sheets and cut them into smaller strips, you’ll have enough to last you for quite a long time. Since you only need a small amount, these strips will store neatly and easily in any small pocket.
Coop Straps, created by our very own Cooper Eddy, is a kendama holster that snaps around the handle of the ken so you can attach it easily on a bag or your hip. It’s a nice step up from having to hang the kendama around your neck and gets it out of the way if you’re moving about.
If your kendama is all you need to carry, then this might be all you need!
Some players like to apply a layer of superglue to the tip of their spike in order to keep it sharp for a longer period of time. This method does work to preserve the spike for longer, but it’s important to also note that doing this may cause your tama to wear in slightly faster. Keep this in mind when you are deciding whether or not you want to glue the tip of your next kendama!
Overall, it can be a nice item to have handy and takes up very little space in your bag.
Since wood has a lot of variance in density and can slightly swell and contract, sometimes the cups on a ken can become a little loose. The “Sticky Note” method has been around for a long time and is great for fixing your ken if this ever happens to you.
If your cups ever get loose, you can grab a sticky note, tear a small piece of the sticky area off, and place it between the sword and the cups before you settle them back into place. Usually, the adhesive from the sticky note and the small amount of extra thickness from the paper is just enough to help keep the ken more snugly connected.
A great alternative to sticky notes is a small roll of Double Sided Tape. With adhesive on both sides of the strip, Double Sided Tape can be used in the same way you would a sticky note and adds even more stickiness to the equation without making the pieces permanently locked together.
If you need a new way to store your kendamas, the Dama Claw might be your perfect solution. With two ways to secure this hook to hang your kendamas, you can use this in the car, at home, or even at the office! The Dama Claw includes 2 adhesive strips if you can’t damage the surface, but each one also contains a set of nails to get a more permanent solution.
We sell Dama Claws in singles, 10 packs, and 25 packs, so you can hang up one kendama OR your entire collection of kendamas.
We wear clothes every day, so why not rep your favorite brands and do it in style? Kendama apparel can also be a great icebreaker for new people who don’t know what kendama is - sometimes you can get people introduced simply by them asking about what you’re wearing.
No matter the season, there’s something in our Apparel Section that’ll keep you looking great! We're always rotating out old designs for new styles, so make sure to snag something you like while it's still available!
An over-the-shoulder style sling bag or a fanny pack is usually big enough to carry everything you might need, even if you want to bring an extra kendama along.
Obviously, the more you plan to bring, the bigger your bag will need to be, so having a couple of different-sized bags in your closet can help you change things up as needed.
With some of these things handy, there's no question that you'll be ready for anything!
What is your favorite kendama accessory? Which one that we mentioned was your favorite? What kind of kendama accessories do you want to see from Sweets in the future? Let us know in the comments below!