In 2020 we released the Elevate shape, our attempt to push the limits of a KWC approve kendama size. It was 17cm tall and had a 75mm sarado. We did not make the ringstall and base cup size to the limit as it would have affected lunar play.
The first version of the Elevate was not perfect. It's sarado was slightly too thin, resulting in a gap when using a 62mm tama. We fixed that in 2021, with a thicker sarado and introduced longer stall points. This both closed the gap and improved the lunar balance with additional wood making the sarado heavier.
Today we are launching Elevate X, a non KWC-friendly kendama that is 10% larger than the Elevate and comes with a whopping 67mm tama. (Don't spike your knee with one of these)
In this blog post, I'd like to cover some of the questions we've received and hopefully inspire you to pick up an Elevate X!
Why make a non KWC-friendly kendama?
One of our favourite things about playing kendama is showing it to others. During demonstrations, we realised that because a kendama is rather small, it may not catch the eye as opposed to using a performing sized kendama (think sumo and XLs).
Yet it would not be feasible to always carry around such a large kendama. We designed Elevate X to be a nice in-between of something you can use to show people kendama tricks and carry around in your bag pack.
In fact, it might be even easier to have someone lace their first trick using this kendama (but more on that later).
Oh god, how heavy is this going to be?
Our first Elevate X's using the Transform style is fully made out of beech. Based on a couple of weighs, we see the ken and tama both weighing in the 105-115 grams range. Again, don't get hit by one of these.
It is easier to land tricks?
The short answer is yes. While XLs may seem harder to play, it is largely due to their weight. Bigger kendamas do make it easier to land tricks as the surface area at which the ken makes contact with the tama or the tama at stall points is increased.
Of course the base shape matters as well - and hence we used the Elevate for this.
Who should be playing this?
Anyone who wants to try something new really. The weight of the kendama is not too heavy such that you would get fatigued easily playing it, nor is it too bulky to carry around.
Our only recommendation is to put this aside when you are preparing for a competition as it will take you some time to get used to a competition friendly shape again.
Is this a one off?
No it is not. We plan to make Elevate X one of the recurring shapes in our product lineup and are working on new designs and woods already.
Because it is large and not the standard competition size, it does take slightly longer to produce and costs more as well. This is why we are aiming to retail it in the $45 to $60 USD range. Bamboo spliced Elevate X's anyone?
We hope that this has helped you understand our shape better. Click the image below if you'd like to get an Elevate X! Much love Cereal fam <3