Few players have contributed more to the yo-yo community and in so many ways as Takeshi Kamisato.
Born in Wahiawa, Hawaii (take the H2, Exit 8) he started throwing a yo-yo in early 2001 and over the years he has brought his unique genius to every facet of the yo-yo world.
His yo-yo modifications sent yo-yo design in new directions. His tricks are some of the most unique and most difficult ever created.
Churning out fast-paced high-energy clip videos, his signature style of video making raised the bar.
Along with Takeshi's incredible yo-yo skills, he is also one of the world’s best spin top players. A juggernaut in the skill toy world, Takeshi has done demonstrations across the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, England, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, and Japan.
Often accused of being the nicest guy in the yo-yo community, his passion for life is infectious. Check out his IG @takeshi_kamisato for more exciting content!
Takeshi, tell us about some of the yo-yo modifications/designs you’ve done.
Oh man, that's tough. The "recessed sticker" was one of the first mods I did and by far the most successful design credited to me. The initial idea was more general though; recessing a yo-yo's response system. The idea came to me in 2002 when Frank Difeo showed me one of his KonKave bearings. The idea of pulling the string away from the response was what gave me the idea to place the response away from the string. I recessed all kinds of response systems like, recessed o-ring, recessed starburst (not to be confused with just a negative starburst system, which is more of a flush starburst design), and of course the recessed sticker. The recessed sticker was the easiest and most effective design to implement when modifying stock yo-yos, so that's what I did the most of and what really took off. So the idea came in 2002 and the popularity of it spread through modifying stock yo-yos through 2003-2004, and I think the first production yo-yo to incorporate the recessed sticker design was the Underdog in 2005.
The weight ring on the inner slope of the yo-yo came to me in 2003. I sold a few of these mods at Worlds and US Nats that year, but weight rings that fit nicely on the inner slope of a yo-yo were hard to come by at the time, so I never really made too many. Although I tried to convince a couple companies to put the design into production, I certainly can’t take any credit for the design’s popularity. The dozen or so yo-yos I modified like this in 2003 didn’t seem to create any kind of demand. Around 2005 a company did release a yo-yo incorporating that weight ring design, but I didn’t play a part in its production.
The original Exit 8 (monometal) was designed back in 2005, but we didn’t actually start working towards getting into production until 2009 and it was eventually released in 2011. By then that design element of a concave inner slope of the yo-yo just above the response system had been implemented in a few other production yo-yos.
Tell us about the original Exit 8 vs the new eXit 8.
The original Exit 8 was my vision for my ideal play in a small bearing yo-yo. Keeping in mind that the way a yo-yo plays is very much personal preference, the shape, the weight distribution, the response... just what I always wanted :) The story of the name though... oh man, this is kinda silly, but... Rafael Matsunaga and I were cruising around in Hawaii, I was showing him around the island, and we got to talking about possible names for my signature yo-yo. Eventually I just started naming random stuff I saw. That's when we rolled up on the highway exit to my hometown of Wahiawa and I jokingly said, "Exit 8! Hahahaha... wait... that's not too bad." Rafael and I laughed, but he agreed that it wasn’t too bad of a name, so it stuck. The new bimetal eXit 8 design is my vision for my ideal play in a large bearing yo-yo.
What can we expect from the eXit 8 2019 design?
"I selfishly designed the eXit 8 with what I want in a yo-yo. The size, the shape, the weight distribution, string gap... everything is just the way I like it. Every element was decided on with functionality and playability in mind. It's just a coincidence that it's also aesthetically pleasing. I love it and I hope that others will too."
Release date, specs and price?
MSRP starts at $74.99! Two new colors will be release at the US National Yo-Yo Contest in Philadelphia on July 6-7!
Weight: 65.8 g | Diameter: 52.50 mm | Width: 42.70 mm: | Material: A7075/SS
From Bryan Jardin...
Since 2004, all I want is to be on Duncan. Takeshi is one of the many reasons why. His yo-yoing, the mods and other skill toys that you can imagine, he can do it all and I’m pretty sure he has his own tricks in each category. He’s one of those guys like, “I just want to be Takeshi when I grow up!”
2011 is the year I met him. It is so cool that instead of being a fan boy, he welcomed me and treated me like one of his family. Up to this day, I look up to him, and I think he’s created a huge impact to the yo-yo community, not just me.