Release Date: 2018
The Kaizen Shift is one of two mainstay KendamaUSA shapes. Released in 2018, it saw a major upgrade from the previous Kaizen 2.0 shape.
In addition to more defined edges, the Kaizen Shifts features larger cups all around, and a wider sarado to keep up with the modern shapes.
The sarado is thick, increasing its weight and therefore causing lunars to improve. For those who have played the old Kendama USA stuff, you would have experienced that the lunar balance was not the best. This has all changed.
While the spike saw an increase in length, it is still slightly shorter compared to their competitor brand's kendamas. That being said, the benefit is that over time the sarado does go down and while other brand's which have longer spikes may end up in an unplayable state, the Shift ends up in a state that is honed for jamming.
This boils down to personal preference - mine is for longer spikes, and therefore I sanded mine down after receiving it.
Definitely a shape I recommend you trying at least once, as it is representative of the standard today.
Also, it so happens to come with a ton of beautiful tama designs to pair with!
Technical Details (done by manual measurement):
Base cup/balance hole? - NO
Overall Uniqueness Score: 7/10
Definitely unique, worth trying at least once in your life - however no super off tangent modifications are made to the ken.
Honed Media Review: