Age, what year were you born?
Where are you from and describe where you grew up
I am from Long Island, New York, a lovely suburban area right outside of NYC and minutes from the beach!
Where are you currently living?
I am currently still living on Long Island
When were you first introduced to kendama?
In September of 2008, a few skater friends had found kendama over the summer and brought them into school the first week of my freshmen year. They had everyone in our classes attempting their first big cup and I wanted nothing to do with it; I was one of the only kids who wasn’t eager to try. Later that day, my best friend, Anthony Sirico, calls me and sits on the phone with me for 30 minutes convincing and forcing me to buy one since he was getting one and he needed someone to play with. Eventually after he successfully convinced me, we started looking up YouTube videos of kendama, saw the possibilities, and I immediately became obsessed before ever even touching one. My first kendama, a red TK16, showed up at my door a few days later.
How were you introduced to Sweets?
Matt “Sweets” Jorgenson and I became friends before the Sweets brand was even started just because there were so few of us kendama players posting content online at the time. We would all communicate through YouTube comments and Facebook messages and we built a relationship there, so when the brand “Sweets” was started, it had my full support.
What players did you look up to / inspired you at the beginning and now?
In the beginning, I looked up to Colin Sander, Zack Yourd, Kendama Joe, Jeffrey Van Reeven, Nicolas Schopfer, Alex Ruisch, Matt Nix, Turner Thorne, Li Ho Cheung, and JugglerTakumi just to name a few.
Who are currently your favorite players?
Bonz Atron, Kelvin Wong, Ben Herald
Favorite competition I’ve been to has to be the Kendama World Cup for obvious reasons, but I love and make sure I make it out to Battle at the Border and the North American Kendama Open every single year!
Whats your favorite style of play? Casual, the grind for a banger, freestyle, competition?
Freestyle and casual play are my go-to’s, I’m not too much of a grinder nowadays, but there is a time and place for everything
What trick was the most satisfying grind? / took the longest to lace and film
The elusive Double UFO in my 3rd edit. I spent multiple multiple hours every single day for literal weeks trying to land that trick. Even broke a 42” flatscreen TV in the process.
Colin Sander Edits 1-7
Favorite wood type?
Good ol’ beech wood!
Cushion or sticky clear?
How many kendamas do you own?
Too many to count, probably over 200
What has been your favorite kendama trip?
KWC 2017. My first time experiencing Japan was one of the most memorable trips of my life.
Where do you want to go with kendama?
Everywhere I haven't been yet! Would love to make it out to Europe sometime soon. And if we’re talking metaphorically, I dream of owning a kendama shop/dojo here in the states one day!
What are some of your other passions besides kendama?
Music, although I currently don’t play any instruments too well, I am very passionate about the music I listen to: more specifically conscious hip-hop, riddim dubstep, and all sorts of metal. Baseball and the New York Yankees were also my first true love.