Swab Combo cops Best Trick at Kendama Battle

KOLOA — Matthew Myerson, 13, captured the Best Trick trophy, a new kendama, during the first Kendama Battle 2012, Saturday across from Sueoka’s Store in Koloa.

Jaeda Dabin, coordinator of the kendama tournament, said Myerson, the youngest of all the winners, took the award with his Swab Combo.

Nui Wong, 21, topped the beginners division, with Levi Otsuka-Luis, 14, earning the intermediate division trophy. Stanley Chock, 16, topped the advanced division.

Jaeda said with the success of this first kendama tournament, she will host another tournament in the same location on June 9.

“We had a blast today with all the people who turned out for this event,” Dabin said. “It’s nice to see so many children also share the love of this sport as my son Darrell does.”

Entry fee is $15 and prizes will be available.

Jaeda said kendama is a wooden toy made in Japan in the 1860s to train soldiers, school hildren and others in concentration and hand-eye coordination.

The wooden handle is called the “ken” and the ball, labelled “tama,” or “dama,” is attached to the ken by a string.

Darrell Dabin, Jaeda’s son, discovered kendama after visiting a friend who had returned from a Mainland visit where he had received the strange wooden toy as a gift.

Not knowing anything about this new contraption, Darrell started researching kendama, learning how to play with this wood toy.

Darrell, an avid skateboarder, started taking this new toy everywhere, honing his skills at every opportunity, and started gathering a following. Other children were amazed at what kinds of tricks can be done with the simple toy.

He contacted his idol, kendama pro Gus Carsten, who hooked him up with Kendama-Co, which offered Darrell the honor of representing the company and name in Hawai‘i.


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