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Differences in natty Kendamas

Discussion in 'The Sesh' started by Brandon Jensen, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. Brandon Jensen

    Brandon Jensen Slayer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    Might be a misguided question, but

    Why get a Grain theory, or a Craft, or a Homegrown, when you could instead get a 20$ natty maple no name Kendama that should last just as long.

    What is the draw point for kendamas that cost this much. Ive dropped hours onto a Krom quad split, and a sweets Penniman/homegrown tama, so i don't have the most experience with natty's.

    A lot of companies selling point is the paint and the shape. With all natural kendamas, it comes down to the shape and the wood. So i would love some perspectives on why would i should grab some of these high end natural kendamas.

    What makes the shape so good compared to cheaper kens?

    What makes these woods better than others?

    Why drop 100$ when i could instead drop 20$?
     
    Apr 11, 2017
  2. B&A Kendama Klub

    B&A Kendama Klub Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    BHC natty that they use for customs are like $20 but are really great!!!! I don't own any expensive kendamas so I can't help you, sorry
     
    Apr 11, 2017
    Andy Dama likes this.
  3. Sirwillcode

    Sirwillcode Slayer

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2017
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I know some companies hand turn some damas (terra, for example) and the man hours and top notch materials add up to a high price point. But its worth it if you can afford it. I think roddama still has some on the site the he made himself if I'm not mistaken. That may be a point why but not sure if it applies in this scenario.
     
    Apr 11, 2017
  4. Brandon Jensen

    Brandon Jensen Slayer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    So i understand why nicer woods and them being hand turned would make it more expensive, but how much of a difference does a dama being hand turned make?
     
    Apr 11, 2017
    sambarboo likes this.
  5. Giulian Tena

    Giulian Tena Honed Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Some companies have way better quality. Homegrown are made in the US and so at crafts so I think they put a lot of work into them instead of the regular Kendama's. They can be far more durable than most of the other ones. Durability also depends on the wood type. Maple is probably the most preferred wood used for Kendama's because they are really good and are extremely durable.
    Grain theory is about the shape because of they are hand turned and have a different shape that plays very well(as some people say, because j don't have a gt). People who play gts mostly use raw ash which is just the ash wood made into a tama. No sanding to make it smooth. Just raw. They say that it is really good for balance tricks and stalls.
     
    Apr 11, 2017
    sambarboo and Brandon Jensen like this.
  6. kendama duke

    kendama duke Honed Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2016
    Quality is really important. Crafts, homegrowns and some terra damas are made in usa and I think that that's the reason why they're expensive. And I guess the spectra kens also is more expensive to make than regular beech kens? Grain theory's tamas got this raw feeling to it, which helps a lot for grip and they're also good lunar damas, so I guess that is also a reason.
     
    Apr 12, 2017
    sambarboo likes this.
  7. Gavin Elliott

    Gavin Elliott n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2017
    Terra damas are all made in cananda I'm 99% sure:)
     
    Apr 12, 2017
  8. Gavin Elliott

    Gavin Elliott n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2017
    Well the biggest difference in craft, homegrown, GT, Etc. Is quality and durability. The craft, homegrown are both made in the USA and the difference between regular natty doms and these ones is percision And quality control, the doms made in the USA have much higher perfection stadarda than regular natty doms. Companies like GT and terra are hand turned with extreme precision, and are made to the finest of specs. Unlike a massed produced dama that has very low quality control and is made by a machine. These expensive natty's will be much higher quality (lunar/lighthouse balance, stall tricks, over all feel in the hand, playability) and will be able to perform much much better than cheap damas. Another big part is the type and quality of wood, homegrowns, craft, GT, Terra, all use. T9hey use best most durable wood (pretty much only harwoods: ash, maple, purple heart, dark walnut, paduk, Etc.) whereas cheap companies will use beech wood, a soft, much less durable wood. These differences are what you pay for and Are what makes the expesive damas worth the money. These differences are also proof that a cheap dama will not compare to an expensive dama.
    I hope this helped you! :)
    Cheers!
     
    Apr 12, 2017
  9. NicholasPereira

    NicholasPereira Honed Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    Before this thread gets out of control, I'll chime in...

    The "cheap" kendamas are cheap for a reason. There isn't much thought or design work put into them. They use the least expensive woods and make them as quick as possible. The quality control is also almost non-existent.

    On the other end, kendamas such as GT, Craft and RWB have many hours of consideration and design put into them to make them a more playable kendama. They are more balanced and have better initial weight so you don't have to worry about getting a 50g ken and a 100g tama or something ridiculous like that. Each one is made and measured to tight tolerances so you know exactly what you're getting every single time. The woods used are always high quality so the feel is unparalleled.

    Once you get to playing longer and trying more kendamas, you will start to feel and see differences and you'll understand. It's hard to explain to people who are unfamiliar,
     
    Apr 12, 2017
  10. Brandon Jensen

    Brandon Jensen Slayer

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    Mar 8, 2017
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    So you aren't just paying for design and wood, which is a big part of it, but you are also paying for quality control. Putting trust into them that they will give you the best possible dama.

    Does anyone have any firsthand experience with a raw Ash Tama that could shed a little more light?
     
    Apr 12, 2017
    sambarboo likes this.
  11. NicholasPereira

    NicholasPereira Honed Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    Yeah. It's just raw. Straight off the machine the hole is drilled and that's it. Still has the natural grip.
     
    Apr 12, 2017
  12. Nick Lectura

    Nick Lectura Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2016
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Well I have had a bunch of em. They're honestly way different than other ash tamas. The main reason is because the grain pops out due to the tama not being sanded, hence the name raw. I mean they're also raw for playing in general, and its most likely the reason why everybody on GT usually plays raw ash.
    But like Nicholas said, they literally just drill a hole in em and don't sand them down at all. Same goes for raw oak tamas but ash is better :p

    I would also like to add that Grain Theory kendamas are not hand turned, they're made with a CNC machine. Terra Kendamas are handturned, however, and that is why they are the price they are. You're paying for the craftsmanship, time, and effort put into both however.

    It is hard to explain. I would compare it to when you pay for the cheaper version that works just fine rather than getting the nicer one. Take headphones for example. The top level singers and producers don't use the apple headphones when they're in the booth. They use that fancy ish that makes the audio play back sound super good but is definitely way more expensive than the apple ones. The apple ones work just fine, but they are at a level where they need that quality and they are willing to pay for that quality.
    It's the same for damas. When I first started, I didn't see the point in buying the more expensive dama when there were $20 aTacks. Now its 3 years later, and my views have changed. I would rather pay for the quality controlled dama even if it is more expensive. The money is also supporting the US kendama companies as well as supporting the people who are behind the kendamas that I enjoy playing, so I don't mind paying a little bit more to support them.
     
    Apr 12, 2017
  13. lategreat808

    lategreat808 DS Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2016
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    I'm more on the side of middle priced natty kendamas. I have gotten numerous natty Ozoras which were around $40 and they have been my best all around kendamas. They aren't crazy expensive but they still have a high level of quality. I will also say that although I was given a BHC natty, I would gladly pay $20 over and over again for this kendama, cheap but super high quality. I will likely get some high dollar natty's in the future but for now I save my larger expenses for kendamas with a painted tama. I do want to get a GT raw tama soon though.

    Also BLK makes a great natty ken that isn't crazy expensive
     
    Apr 12, 2017
  14. Joel Clayton

    Joel Clayton Honed Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    Location:
    St. George, UT
    the shape of these new kendamas are just very modern and fit most peoples play style. but If you like a 15 kendamas shape and it fits you go ahead and get it!

    but If you like craft, or gt's shape then get those.
     
    Apr 13, 2017
  15. goenKendama

    goenKendama Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    Location:
    Metro Manila, Philippines
    My understanding is that all wood stock is not equal. Some wood is better than others for making kendama; not just the type but the cut, how it was dried (seasoned), where it was grown, etc. The no name natty might not be the best wood. Really good wood costs.

    Depends on how well it's done and how much value you put (and the maker puts) into the time it takes to make a kendama. Check out this video to see a guy make a hand turned kendama.

     
    Apr 13, 2017
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  16. James Hoang

    James Hoang Slayer

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    Nov 8, 2016
    Location:
    San Jose, CA and Milpitas, CA
    I kinda want to add to this thread even though no one really talks in it anymore, but GT uses wood grown in the US. That's why you don't see them using purpleheart or zebrano in any of their kens.

    Homegrowns, RWBs, Crafts, and GTs are made in the US(with the exception of the E1), but each of them slightly vary. Crafts, RWBs, and GTs are made in the same turning factory IIRC, and Homegrowns are made in Minnesota away from them. While I haven't seen any foreign woods used by the former, I know that the Homegrown factory definitely uses woods imported from outside the US. I will make an exception for keyaki though because damn it's a good wood for kendamas.

    So yea there definitely is a good reason for the pricing of each of these kendamas from their respective companies, but it's really just your choice to pick quality kendamas made with precision or kendamas with no quality control over them.


    *Hopefully I didn't veer off-topic
     
    Apr 5, 2018
    goenKendama likes this.