The kendama is one of those little ski community secrets that the common man doesn't usually catch onto. It's fair to say this popular toy became "westernized" in the ski world when JP Auclair was seen playing with it in a video a few years back. Since then, its been mentioned in JP's recent Freeskier Magazine Profile (which is amazing btw) and in JP's Orage cut out at IF3:

Case in point, where JP goes, a kendama goes. Up until about a week ago, I didn't get what all the fuss was about. As an American, I'm sure I thought something along the lines of, "Hey, it's just a Japanese yo-yo." But on a recent trip to JP's place after the Quebec City Reasons stop, I had my first encounter with this toy from the mystic lands of Japan. I spotted JP's old kendama in a basket on a table and asked if I could give it a try. It was challenging, it was fun, and it was so simple in design. I'll admit it, I'm a fan. Today in the mail I recieved my first kendama, ordered off the internet and I've put some good work in already trying to master this sucker. It's not easy. I even put together a short video: Kendama from Mike Rogge on Vimeo.Ok, so this post isn't really about the kendama but I really did get one in the mail today. The truth is, JP's leaving soon and I'd like to take this time to say:1) Good luck to JP and everyone else involved in this project. Its refreshing to see athletes doing for others in need. 2) You guys should check out 3) Be on the look out for some cool news coming from NS about this foundation and how you, the NS community, can help4) Go visit alpineinitiatives.orgThanks,Rogge