If kendamas are the best toy than what is next best? Yo-yo, Diabolo, Finger Boards, Devil Sticks, Tops....? I have played just about every skill toy there is to play. I have mastered some but mainly have gotten just good enough to be mediocre. Some are easy to learn and I picked up right away, but most take some serious hand-eye coordination and a lot of practice to master. The spin top is one of these toys.
I played for the first time at an IJA festival in 2011. I had always wanted to learn so I found a pro and had him teach me the basics. After 3 hours of throwing this thing as hard as I could I finally kind of figured it out. Getting the top to spin back to your hand is like landing a lunar flip for the first time. Every time I learned a new trick I got that same feeling i get when I land kendama tricks for the first time. The science behind the toy is one of the crazies parts. I won't go into it... because I don't really understand it, but it is fun to watch happen.
Kuma Films did a really great job filming my friend Takeshi Kamisoto. He is one of the best spin top players in the world. He has traveled the world showing his skills off to thousands of people. The slow motion video makes the top look gravity defying. Pick one up and see how you do!