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One of the coolest things that we love about Kendama is it's versatility; with so many possibilities for tricks and different paths you can take towards learning how to play Kendama, it produces different results for nearly everyone. Whether or not you are competing against other Kendama players, since Kendama is a personal game just as much as it is a social game, every Kendama player's journey is entirely unique to themselves.

One unique experience we recently came across was that of Dave Wadden's, a YouTuber who's been challenging himself to learning a variety of new skills over the past month, such as learning how to do Keepie-Ups, learning how to throw cards, and many more. What caught our eye was one of his most recent uploads to the Kendama Subreddit, titled "How to Whirlwind on the Kendama: Challenging Mike Boyd".

In this video he made as a challenge for Mike Boyd, a popular YouTuber known for his videos in which he documents himself learning a variety of skills, Dave succeeds in landing a Whirlwind in less than 3 hours of playing Kendama, which could be considered a world record by some standards! Dave created the video with a main goal of landing a Whirlwind even though he hadn't even played Kendama before, which is a lofty goal to shoot for if you've never done any of the components that make up the trick, let alone any Kendama tricks at all.

While most people who start playing Kendama begin by simply trying tricks that seem achievable, Dave's approach is fresh and unique in that he documented his experience from the very beginning, before he even picks up a Kendama to try for the very first time, with the end goal of landing a trick that takes most people much longer to even feel comfortable attempting. 

It's astounding that such a difficult trick can be achieved in such a short amount of time and represents how quickly someone can pick up a skill, and at a speed way beyond their own expectations, much like the messaging behind many of Mike Boyd's videos.

If you’ve spent any amount of time playing video games or consider yourself a gamer, you might have heard about a certain subculture of gaming called “Speedrunning”. If you haven’t, here’s a succinct definition of the term “Speedrun” from Wikipedia:

A speedrun is a playthrough of a video game—either in its entirety, or respecting a select portion thereof (a specific level, for instance)—performed against a timer, and with the solitary goal being the completion of said objective within the lowest possible time. In many instances, players will choose to impose additional goals and/or limitations regarding a given speedrun—such as collecting all key items throughout said playthrough, playing while blindfolded, etc.

Matt “Sweets” Jorgenson, our founder, is a big fan of Speedrunning because it provides an even bigger challenge to accomplish while enjoying some of his favorite titles live on our Twitch Stream, such as Super Mario 64 or AltF4. He’s already beaten these games before on prior occasions, but grinding towards a new personal best time provides him with new strategies to learn and new skills to improve on. On top of that, Speedrunning adds another layer of pressure on Matt to perform well, and when he achieves a better time than he’s had prior, it’s always plain to see how exciting that moment is for him. 

Speedrunning provides a fresh new challenge to players who already love a game, but want to get even better. It also provides a layer of pressure to the game, which makes an even more intense experience for both the players and the audience.

As a concept, a "Speedrun" can be applied to any game in many different ways and Kendama is no exception. You can see already see elements of Speedrunning in Kendama Competitions and challenges, such as Speed Trick B or Speed Ladders, wherein you complete a list of tricks provided as quickly as possible.

 

 

In summary, Speed related challenges are a fun and refreshing way to challenge yourself with Kendama and there are a multitude of ways of doing it; even ways we don't usually consider! We hope some of these challenges we've covered here provides you with inspiration to impress yourself and improve your fastest times!

Click HERE to learn more about Speed Trick B!

Check out some of our Trick Tutorials on our YouTube Channel for something new to learn; you could even try timing yourself to see how long it takes to land it. You can also find videos of Speed Ladders that we've created for competitions in prior years HERE for even more speed challenges.