Last year we had the opportunity to add our first player from the United Kingdom (UK) to the team. It started with a conversation on Facebook and I instantly knew that Ben was the right person for us.
Fast forward 6 months later, we successfully released a first batch of his pro model - selling out all 40 units in the first 2 hours (the fastest we've sold anything out ever!)
Today, we'd like to share more about the Dad behind the dama - Ben Pycroft.
J = Jon, B = Ben
J: Tell us how you got started with kendama and the journey since
B: I first came across kendama at a previous job when a colleague pulled it out while we were on break. I had a go and got big cup and a spike after a few attempts and have been hooked ever since. Sadly he doesn't play anymore.
Shortly after finding out about it, I had surgery on my knee and used kendama as a means of physiotherapy to get movement back in my knee after being locked in place for 6 weeks after the op.
Since then, it's been a means of staying active at home (especially in 2020) as I tend to squat A LOT when I play. It also serves as a meditation of sorts when I'm by myself. It helps me find my zen and inner peace. Not to mention the amount of people I've met playing kendama - for that I'm truly grateful.
J: Is there a big kendama community where you're from?
B: Where I live now (Exeter) there's around 6 of us that play kendama. But across the UK there's well over 300 players now, a lot of new players came into the scene when covid/lockdown hit and it's slowly growing, which is amazing!
J: How do you connect with other kendama players? Is there anyone you'd want to shout out to?
B: We have a few different group chats for the UK scene that I try and remain active in daily. Facebook groups are also a good way to keep in touch with with the players I otherwise wouldn't be able to. I also DM with quite a few players from across the globe on an almost daily basis.
There's too many people to shout-out, so I'll just shout-out everyone that I've met through my kendama journey, you've all influenced me in some way and I'm stoked to have met each and every one of you.
J: What's the dream?
B: The dream was always getting my own pro mod and taking home a plaque from the KWC. But it'll take a LOT of hard work to make it into the top 30 at KWC with all the insane slayers that get out there. Only time will tell though but one of two dreams fulfilled isn't bad, right?
Especially considering I never thought I'd be getting my mod at all. I'm still blown away by this in all honesty!
Ben is a community leader and a role model in the kendama scene. We are proud to call him a member of the Cereal Kendama family. After the successful drop of his first pro mod, we are working together on a restock and finally going to KWC one of these years.
Follow him @piedama for the sick heat <3