Kendama tricks bring Lincoln woman out of her shell
With her GoPro on a window sill on Hudl’s sixth floor, Ashley Ng grabs her kendama and starts doing tricks.
Ng learned about the wooden Japanese toy that has three cups, a spike and a ball attached to a string about a year ago after looking up yoyo tricks on YouTube.
“Naturally those skill toys kind of mesh,” Ng said. “I saw a kendama video and decided to pick one up.”
She has been practicing tricks and posting videos every day in February as a part of an Instagram challenge called “28 Tricks Later.”
Ng picks up her kendama at least once a day and said it takes a lot of patience to play.
“Last weekend I spent two hours trying to film a trick,” Ng said.
Ng’s coworkers Chanse Strode and Connor Vidlock know how dedicated she is to playing kendama.
“It’s hard,” Strode said. “I feel like there’s a steep learning curve that you’ve got to get over and that only comes with lots of practice.”
Ng will practice every day after lunch and play with coworkers randomly throughout the day.
“It’s always nice to have conversations with coworkers that aren’t around work and kendama has provided that,” Vidlock said.
“It’s humbled me and it shows how good she is by making these tricks look really easy,” Vidlock said.
Ng participated in a kendama tournament in Tennessee last month, and plans to go to another tournament in Minnesota in the fall. She didn’t win any of the competitions she signed up for in Tennessee, but she still enjoyed the friendly atmosphere.
Strode never imagined Ng would go to another state alone to partake in a competition.
“She definitely got out of her shell,” Strode said. “It’s pretty mind-blowing.”