Ben Hanes-Callis

Ben Hanes-Callis

How long have you been playing?

I started playing kendama nearly 5 years ago. I originally saw it years before that through a Franky Morales skating edit and it'd always been in my mind to eventually get one for myself. Then Jack Roberts came across one in a shop one day. From there I just slowly got into it and eventually became hooked.

What's your best kendama memory?

I've had so many great memories for different reasons. I guess if I had to choose one it would have to be when Ben and I took a trip to Leiden for SKS. I came 4th in my first Open and I just remember being on stage fighting to get into the semi finals. Me and my opponent hit switch double J-sticks back to back 3 times and the crowd was just going crazy.

What’s your favourite trick/what do you wish you were better at?

I've always been hooked on stalls, I just love the feeling of doing Birds, Handlestalls, wing etc. I also love being creative with Arm bounces. I'd love to be more consistent with late flips in-between tricks. I can do singles consistently but as soon as I go for doubles and triples things don't end well.

What is kendama to you?

At first kendama was just for me to be better at it than my friends. Now it's all about the socialising and meeting loads of people from all around the world just to play with this small bit of wood. Kendama is great to just get away from everyday things. Stressing about work, take that stress out on kendama. Bored of watching TV, pick up a kendama. Forgot to do leg day at the gym, pick up a kendama.

Who are your biggest influences in kendama?

My biggest influences have to be my mates Jack Roberts and John Craswell. We started playing kendama together and just feed off each other progress. We always wanna land something new first.

Favourite bite?

It would have to be either gammon, egg, chips and peas or I'd go for my mums home made lasagne.

Fun Fact?

I'm pretty good at balancing things on my chin, like a dining chair for example.


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