Everyone starts playing kendama somewhere. It could be from seeing kendama on TV, in a YouTube video, or even on a shelf at a store. Most often what happens, however; people start playing when they are gifted a kendama for the first time.
In Japanese culture, generosity and gifting is very important, so it's no surprise that these same qualities can be found within kendama culture. For example, Tamotsu Kubota, Founder of the Global Kendama Network (GLOKEN), once traveled across Japan with a duffel bag full of kendamas. His goal: spreading joy and kendama awareness to the youth of Japan, gifting one kendama to every school he visited along his journey who would accept his offer of a kendama workshop/demonstration. Not only that, being gifted a kendama is also how many of the Sweets Team got started.
Nothing quite compares to the excitement on a new player's face when they receive their very first kendama. We believe in kendama's value and we want everyone to enjoy playing kendama, but also, one of the biggest things we focus on is spreading kendama love to those who don't know about it yet. Entry-Level kendamas are just one of the many ways we try to eliminate barriers into the game for new people. The Sweets Starter is our solution for the perfect gifting kendama; it plays just as well as any other, but at an extremely accessible price point!
In the past, we've had the Radar Series on our previous shapes, but it has been a little while since we updated our introductory line of kendamas. With the opportunity to shake things up, we went with a brand new name, a brand new design, all on the new-and-improved Amped Shape. A new generation of kendama players can now get started without any worries about cost on our best shape to date!
Most who we expect to get these models are people who have never played before, so we put a lot of time into thinking about what is best for the design. One of our Lead Designers, Matt Paulsen, took our feedback for the new line and returned with the design for the Sweets Starter. He put "Sweets Kendamas" all over the ball and we went with it! Let's face it, how do you find kendama without knowing the word "kendama"? We thought it was perfect; anytime someone new sees a Sweets Starter, there's no question where they can find one and what they need to Google when they get home.
The whole lineup currently includes six classic color options; Green, Teal, Pink, Red, Purple, and White! No matter what color you choose, you always have a bright white, trackable tama hole and a dot around the top of the ball, which helps with locating the hole and makes spiking for the first time so much more achievable. The string is just a bit shorter on average for the Sweets Starter models in comparison to other models on our site. We found that new players don't need as much string as our pros ask for on some of their models, but the string is still long enough to be perfect for all styles of play.
Every single Sweets Starter is made from Full Beech wood, a staple favorite kendama wood that wears in beautifully and has just enough durability to get you going. In addition, every one is finished with Sticky Clear, which adds the perfect amount of tackiness and is an ideal choice for learning tricks for the first time.
The box is simple, clean, easy to read, and includes all of the information you could need to get started. Inside, you'll find two sticker sheets, a large sticker with a ton of instructions for how to play on the back, and a small sticker sheet, including a chart that helps you learn how to catch the ball in the cups and numbered stickers you can place in each cup to help new players cement the foundations. On top of all of that, there's an extra string always in the bottom of the box, just in case you ever need a replacement.
Giving the gift of kendama can change a life. Kendama can make you new friends and create unexpected opportunities, both for personal growth and self-confidence. At a breezy $25 price point, it's a perfect gift, whether it's for yourself or a friend.
We always hope to have these available in our shop so new players can get into kendama with the best equipment you can find for a more affordable price, so let your friends know that the Sweets Starter is here!