via Snoqualmie, Washington
- MKO Top 8
- MKO 2015 1st place
- NKR 2015 3rd place
- MKO 2016 3rd Place
- KWC 2016 15th Place
- KWC 2017 11th Place
- Van Jam 2018 2nd place
- MKO 2018 Freestyle 4th Place
- KWC 2018 9th Place
Age, what year were you born?
19, born in 2000
Where are you from and describe where you grew up
I'm from a small town outside of Seattle called Snoqualmie. It's a beautiful place with lots of greenery.
Where are you currently living?
I currently live in Seattle, attending the University of Washington
When were you first introduced to kendama?
I was first introduced to kendama in Fall 2011 because it was a huge fad at my middle school, but didn't give it a chance until January 2012. After rejecting it for so long, I finally took my friend's kendama and after 50 tries of trying to get the ball on the big cup, I finally succeeded. This feeling of accomplishment just pushed me to keep on trying different tricks all through the night, and when I got home, I begged my mom for my first kendama and the rest has been history.
How were you introduced to Sweets?
I was introduced to Sweets Kendamas by browsing the internet for kendama videos when I started playing. I got to see some of their players in action at Battle in Seattle 2012, but didn't really end up talking to any of them until some of them came to Tacoma Takeover 2014.
What players did you look up to / inspired you at the beginning and now?
I pretty much looked up to every pro kendama player in the beginning, but my biggest inspirations were the Wenatchee Kendama Team (WKT), as they were local in my state and had some of the best players in the game when I was starting out. I also have to say that my brother Nick inspired me to keep playing when I first started out, because even though I wasn't conscious of it then, he was the only reason I kept playing in my first couple years when all of my other friends quit.
Now, I am mainly inspired by the Japanese players. They bring a whole new level of intensity to kendama and every time I see it in person it motivates me to keep improving and reminds me that I always have tricks to work on.
Who are currently your favorite players?
Currently, my favorite players are (in no order): Nobu Nori, Nonoka Kyodo, Nic Stodd, and my brother Nick Gallagher. Hanging out with these players is always a good time, and they are also all extremely skilled players who have playstyles that are super fun to watch.
My favorite competition is the Kendama World Cup because off all the players it brings together from all over the world. It's amazing to think that once a year, a large group of very diverse people come together in Japan just because of kendama. It's still so surreal to me.
Whats your favorite style of play? Casual, the grind for a banger, freestyle, competition?
My favorite style of play by far is casual. Kendama is ultimately the most fun to me when I have nothing to stress about and I'm just playing for fun.
What trick was the most satisfying grind? / took the longest to lace and film
My first three turn stilt, triple stilt flip is the trick I always remember as my longest grind. I think I took inbetween 3.5-4 hours to land it.
Nick & Zack: A Kendama Documentary....I'm biased
Favorite wood type?
Maple and Beech
Cushion or sticky clear?
Cushion, but both are fun
How many kendamas do you own?
As of now I probably own between 100-200, but throughout all my years of playing, I've definitely owned 300+
What has been your favorite kendama trip?
This is tied between MKO 2015 and KWC 2016. MKO 2015 is special to me because that's the year I won the competition. KWC 2016 was my first time ever in Japan and every instance of that trip was memorable because I was experiencing so many things for the first time.
I'm on my phone way more often than I'd prefer to be.
Where do you want to go with kendama?
I'd love to go to Denmark, Latvia, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan
What are some of your other passions besides kendama?
I like to eat different food, stay active and sometimes watch TV/Anime whenever I can find a series that I like enough to keep watching.