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Replacing a Kendama String
After getting many questions on this topic, we realized that our original explanation of how to replace a kendama string was not completely clear. We went to the source to find out how it is done, and we present the results in the video below.
Below is our original knot tying article.
How to Tie a Kendama String Knot
Although any sufficiently chunky and secure knot will do, and you can just tie the string around the bead if you want, the official kendamas use a special sort of slip knot to secure the string to the bead and sarado.
You'll need to know how to tie a kendama knot when you replace or shorten your string, or if you need to change the kendama from a right-handed kendama to a left-handed kendama. The big cup (oozara) should point towards your body when the string is held in your dominant hand and the string is hanging straight down without wrapping over the ken/sarado.
Replacing or Adjusting a Kendama String
We don’t know the real name of this knot, but it’s how they tie the knots at the ends of strings on kendamas. It’s a slip knot, in that if you pull the short end the loop will come out and the knot will untie, but it will not untie simply by pulling the long end,which is where the pressure comes during kendama play.
The trick is in tightening the part that in our illustration is the right-hand loop around the pencil. This should be cinched tight before the overall knot is tightened from both ends. A certain amount of adjustment and tweaking is necessary. (Once you get the hang of this, you don’t have to use a pencil to tie it. And of course, remove the pencil before using the kendama!)
The knot can be stiffened and strengthend by dabbing just a smidgeon of white paper glue on your fingers and squeezing the knot with them. You can then trim the stray string to a short length, perhaps 5 mm.
Other knots may also work. If you know your knots, go ahead and try something else.
Kendama String Length
The minimum JKA approved length for an installed kendama string, from ball to string hole in the sarado, is 38 cm (15 inches), 35 cm for junior players (13-3/4 inches). Most players use strings of 39 to 42 cm (15-1/4 to 16-1/2 inches). Anything longer than that is harder to perform tricks with.
Warning: During tricks like the furiken the kendama ball can generate considerable centrifugal force. Test your knot and examine it frequently in the period after you tie it to ensure that it is holding. Kendama, Inc., cannot be responsible for any damage or injury caused by a mistied knot.