Editor’s note: The print version of this article is available on our Wednesday, March 4 issue of our Colonie/Loudonville paper. A shortened print version of this article is also available on that same issue of our Bethlehem/Guilderland paper due to lack of space but the full version will run in print in the Bethlehem/Guilderland paper’s Wednesday, March 11 issue.
BETHLEHEM — Delmar resident Joseph Carusone may have set a new Guinness World Record on Saturday, Feb. 29 at the Bethlehem Public Library for the fastest time to complete five kendama spikes at 25.65 seconds, beating the previous 50-second record. However, Guinness World Records has to confirm the record attempt within the next four months before it becomes official.
Carusone, 36, said that the organization will take that long to get back to him because it needs to first confirm the logged time and record attempt with eyewitnesses and also deal with other world record attempts.
A kendama, a traditional Japanese skill toy, consists of a handle, two cups, a center spike and a ball with a hole that is connected by a string. Spiking a kendama is when a person maneuvers the ball to have its hole land on top of the center spike with just one hand. Besides being entertaining to watch, it helps the person work on their balance, hand-eye coordination and reflex skills, as well as patience.
Carusone spiked five separate kendamas consecutively, instead of just spiking one kendama five times.
“Technically, I did set the record but [the Guinness World Records organization] needs to confirm it,” he said. “I’ll send all the evidence to Guinness and they’ll review it.
“They said they’ll take about 12 to 16 weeks and once everything is confirmed, they’ll get back to me, saying I have a Guinness World Record,” he added. “They’ll give you a poster-size certificate that you could hang up.” He continued he is not sure whether he would end up in the physical Guinness World Records Book since it has limited space, but he should be on its website.
His record attempt was filmed by some of his attending family members, including his wife, child and parents. Several local well-wishers also came to the library to cheer him on.
No official Guinness World Records representative attended the event because Carusone said he would have needed to pay at least $1,000 for their airfare and lodging. Hence, two local residents attended the library event and used separate stopwatches to track the time and two others — Town Historian Susan Leath and Bethlehem Police Officer James Corrigan — served as official witnesses of the event. A video of the record attempt and their signatures, proving their attendance and that they were eyewitnesses, were then submitted.
But for now, Carusone said, “I feel great, I feel relieved! I’m happy that everything went as planned. Also, my family has always been very supportive with everything I’ve done so it feels great to have them here.”
He noted his 75-year-old father’s attendance meant a lot to him since he was one of the reasons he became passionate about juggling and kendamas. Growing up, he said that his father used to juggle and introduced him to it; over time, this led to his passion for the kendama — spiking it is physically similar to juggling. “My dad taught me how to juggle all those years ago and to have him here now while I set a Guinness World Record is amazing,” Carusone said.
Also, setting a world record has been Carusone’s lifelong dream, as he said that when he was a child, he recalled being fascinated by the Guinness World Records books and how he wanted to be in it one day. When asked what he would hypothetically say to his teenage self when he was still learning how to juggle then, Carusone said, “Keep practicing and one day, you never know. You may set a Guinness record!”