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  • Question about shinai

    Hi, I am new to Kendo and was wondering how long the traditional bamboo shinai usually lasts. I was also wondering if the cracking of the shinai means that it needs to be replaced. I have filled the crack with wood glue, but I don't see this being a good long-term solution.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Originally posted by lancerwilliams
    Hi, I am new to Kendo and was wondering how long the traditional bamboo shinai usually lasts. I was also wondering if the cracking of the shinai means that it needs to be replaced. I have filled the crack with wood glue, but I don't see this being a good long-term solution.

    Thanks!
    Actually, gluing the shinai is not even a good short term solution. It's actually quite dangerous to use, particularly when practicing waza with a motodachi. If only one bamboo stave is cracked, then it can be replaced, rather than buying a new shinai... some other kendoka may have extra staves, ask around. But, if your only options are buying a new shinai, or having your shinai break again over someone's head, buy a new shinai. Oh, and bamboo splinters suck way worse than normal wood splinters...

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    • #3
      cracked/splintered shinai is UNFIT to be used. Filling the crack with glue is not a solution at all. It is still quite dangerous as it will crack again within hours of use. The reason that this is so dangerous is that these splinters may go into people's eye, etc. during practice. Do not use it. As Kendokajim said, get a replacement stave from anyone you know or get a new shinai (obviously save the good staves from the old one so that you can use them in the future.)

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      • #4
        Sounds great, thanks.

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        • #5
          How often do you find yourselves raplacing shinai or shinai staves?

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          • #6
            You should always buy 2 shinais, so you have a spare one and eventually parts to replace one of the other. I usually have to replace parts every 6 months. There's many web sites with instruction on how to take care of your shinai. That helps to keep them longer

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            • #7
              Originally posted by lancerwilliams
              How often do you find yourselves raplacing shinai or shinai staves?
              Depends on how fast the bamboo dries up. Bamboo is grass so when it becomes dry, it becomes brittle. Then, it loses flexibility and begins splintering and/or cracking.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Hai_hai
                Depends on how fast the bamboo dries up. Bamboo is grass so when it becomes dry, it becomes brittle. Then, it loses flexibility and begins splintering and/or cracking.
                That's a problem with living in the Texas panhandle, it is always very dry here. I soaked my first shinai in oil per some instructions I found on wfkendo.com, but within the first 3 weeks of actually using it to make contact it cracked.

                I guess I'll just have to keep a few of them in stock.

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                • #9
                  just use good quality shinai oil as often as possible to try and get as long life as is poss from your bamboo.
                  And heed the other guys advice re: replacing split staves.

                  phil

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lancerwilliams
                    That's a problem with living in the Texas panhandle, it is always very dry here. I soaked my first shinai in oil per some instructions I found on wfkendo.com, but within the first 3 weeks of actually using it to make contact it cracked.

                    I guess I'll just have to keep a few of them in stock.
                    Maybe you hit very hard too. Or hit on the metal parts of men. Or the quality of shinai is really bad...

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                    • #11
                      I'd have to say, that unless your buying very poor quality shinai, or not treating them properly when you first get them, that I'd look at how you are hitting. I have one student who has been playing for sometime, and was breaking a shinai almost every practice. I fixed his hitting and he hasn't broken one now for almost a month :-)

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                      • #12
                        Thank you guys very much for your good advice. I really appreciate it.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by phil h
                          just use good quality shinai oil as often as possible to try and get as long life as is poss from your bamboo.
                          And heed the other guys advice re: replacing split staves.

                          phil
                          Oh please.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dave Fowler
                            I'd have to say, that unless your buying very poor quality shinai, or not treating them properly when you first get them, that I'd look at how you are hitting. I have one student who has been playing for sometime, and was breaking a shinai almost every practice. I fixed his hitting and he hasn't broken one now for almost a month :-)
                            I think you were probably right Dave. I bought my first shinai from amazon.com, who gets them from karatedepot.com. I thought it was a pretty good shinai (like I'm some expert). Yesterday I received the my new shinai that I ordered from e-bogu.com, and man what a difference! I think I know where to buy them from now on.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lancerwilliams
                              I think you were probably right Dave. I bought my first shinai from amazon.com, who gets them from karatedepot.com. I thought it was a pretty good shinai (like I'm some expert). Yesterday I received the my new shinai that I ordered from e-bogu.com, and man what a difference! I think I know where to buy them from now on.
                              But remember how you hit affects things just as well. I had brought over some very nice quality shinai from Japan when I was on holidays, and he was chewing through one stave a night so...

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