KanJam Review – An Instant Win For The Beach
Sun is shining.
Just grabbed a cold one from your cooler.
You’re tired of swimming.
The next time you hit the beach with this game it’s a guaranteed great time with friends and/or family.
One of the best beach/tailgate/anywhere games you’ll find. This game is timeless.
What is KanJam?
Kanjam is like playing washers or cornhole, but is played at a much faster rate….with Frisbees….and with trash cans??
….AND your partner can assist your throw to get your team points.
Sounds crazy, but this game is quite simple and very addicting.
You only need 4 people to play this game (two teams of 2), 2 Kanjam cans, a Kanjam Disc, and a beer (optional).
Equipment & Setup
- 2 durable and portable goals (the round kans are flat sheets of hard plastic that can be linked together with tabs)
- 2 KanJam decals for the goals
- 1 official KanJam flying disc. (You’ll want 2…more on that below)
First things first,
Stand up the goals 50 feet apart from each other on a flat playing ground.
Who Goes First?
By the official KanJam rules it’s considered to be an advantage to go last, but our team didn’t understand that due to the Instant Win! part of the game. Because of this we found it to be an advantage to go first.
Although we did see how some would want to go last as they can see what kind of points the other team scored so they have something to shoot for.
Players flip the disc to determine what team will go first. Heads being the top of the disc, and tails being the bottom side that faces the ground.
Whoever wins the toss can choose whether or not they want to go last (going last is known as The Hammer).
- What is KanJam?
- Kanjam Rules
- KanJam Game Set Variations
- KanJam – Brief Summary & Overall Review
How To Play
You need 4 players (divided into 2 teams of 2) to play. Teammates will stand across the playing area from each other at opposite goals.
Partners will alternate being the ‘thrower’ and the ‘deflector’ every time the disc reaches a goal.
The thrower from Team 1 throws their disc down to the goal where their teammate (the deflector) is. After that throw is completed the deflector from Team 1 will now become the thrower. Once they throw the disc back towards the other goal, and the round is complete for that team the disc goes to the other team for their round.
KanJam is played to 21 points (without going over) much like washers.
There are 3 ways to score points, and 1 way to instantly win the game:
- 1 point (DINGER) – A player throws a disc towards the goal, and is inaccurate. If the deflecting teammate of theirs can ‘hit’ the inaccurate disc towards the goal, and it strikes it before hitting the ground the team gets 1 point.
- 2 points (DEUCE) – A player throws a disc towards the goal and is accurate. They strike the goal in some way (without help from their teammate) before the disc hits the ground.
- 3 points (BUCKET) – A player throws a disc towards the goal, and the deflector slams it into the Kan. This is known as a Bucket, or Slam Dunk and a team gets 3 points for this.
- Instant Win! – At any time during the game a team can win the game instantly by throwing the disc through the small slot on the front of the goal.
The opposing team does not get any sort of ‘redemption’ or ‘last throw’ to try and save the game (hence the word instant).
Here’s a short video of what game play looks like (you only need to watch up to 1:35)
Going over 21 is absolutely possible, and deductions are made for a team if they go over.
If Team 1 is currently at 20 points, and the thrower directly hits the goal that would be 2 points.
However, because 2 points would put them at 22 points (which is over) you subtract the amount that would have been scored from their current total. Subtracting 2 points from 20 would put that team back at 18 points.
Deflecting & ‘Carrying’
This is the most important part of KanJam to familiarize yourself with.
You will be doing this (deflecting) quite frequently.
There are certain ways that deflectors can ‘hit’ the disc towards the goal, and there are certain ways that are not allowed.
- Stopping the disc mid-air to drop in can (obviously)
- Palming the top or bottom of disc mid-flight to alter flight pattern
- Pulling the disc
- Double hitting the disc
ANY sort of contact with the disc that directly controls its flight is illegal.
If both teams reach a score of 21 then the game goes into overtime.
Overtime consists of each team (and every player) getting 1 throw exactly. It’s pretty common for KanJam games to go into multiple overtimes.
A Perfect KanJam Game
While it’s awesome to get an Instant Win! A Perfect KanJam game can be accomplished when 1 team scores 21 points with only 7 throws. That would be 7 Buckets in a row.
There’s a few upset situations that can happen to the team throwing the perfect game.
If the team with the perfect game has 21 points, and the opposing team has The Hammer and they score an Instant Win! it is no longer a perfect game.
In addition, the opposing team can also throw a perfect game with force the game into a nail biting overtime!
Throwing & Release
Official rules state that any male player over the age of 12 must throw behind the goal’s front edge. It’s illegal for someone’s arm to release the disc ahead of the front edge of the goal.
Obviously if you’re not playing in an official KanJam tournament some of the rules can be altered to what works best for the family or friends.
You can put women and children at a closer distance to throw, and also physically disabled may need to be closer as well.
Do what makes it enjoyable for everyone.
KanJam Game Set Variations
There are a few variations to KanJam. These are all available for different settings.
While the standard set can be played on the beach or grass / any hard surface the other below are good for playing inside, in the water, at night, and there are some good college tailgate KanJam sets.
This is best for indoor play, or for areas that can’t accommodate the 50 foot space to play the standard size.
The mini comes with a smaller disc and goals. The only differences in game play here is that you can instantly win if you score the mini disc through the top part of the goal, and you can also just play 1 on 1 as you’re much closer than the standard set, and don’t need a deflector teammate.
You can put the KanJam mini set on a table top or any elevated surface. One of the aspects we found kind of aggravating with the mini was learning how to throw such a small disc level, and without it being ‘wobbly’.
Because of this, we didn’t find this as fun as the full size game set, but it definitely fits the bill for a ‘rainy day’ type game if you don’t want to play cards or a board game.
Although playing KanJam on the water has a nice ring to it we found this set to be our least favorite of all the KanJam variations.
When you play this game in the pool the water makes it tilt constantly from side to side, and front to back. The purpose of this game is to be aiming at something, and be quite accurate as well.
If you’re the type to take games seriously like we do then this variation isn’t for you, but if you don’t mind the game setup to interfere just ever so slightly with how well you can actually play then this may be your favorite!
We feel like there could be a few modifications to this set to keep it still on the water.
Some sort of length of rope attached to the bottom of the goal with a weight on the end on the bottom of the pool would have been nice so we didn’t have to continually push or guide the goal back into place.
Although this variation wasn’t our favorite (overall), we did like the size of the KanJam Splash. It seemed bigger than the KanJam Mini (because of the floating base).
Plus, you do get the added benefit of being able to stand in the water on a hot summer day with this set. There’s always that.
KanJam Illuminate Glow Kit (Upgrade Accessory)
This was an excellent add on accessory kit to the standard set.
The illuminate glow kit helps you modify your current standard setup so you can play when the sun goes down.
- Great for nighttime Kan Jam Action
- A Fun Way to Extend your Kan Jam Playing Time
- Quick and Easy Set-up
- Great Accessory for the Kan Jam Game
- Made in the USA
It comes with 1 glow in the dark disc, 2 light pods that you can put at the bottom of each goal, and 2 glow in the dark decals you can put on your kans. You can put them over the existing decals, or you can put it beneath the instant win slot instead so you have one on top and bottom.
We liked how we could modify our existing KanJam set with this pack, but the black goals kept us from seeing the goals as clear as we wanted to.
The goals included in the Illuminate game set (just below) was our favorite because they were translucent, thus allowing more light from the pods to come throw the walls of the goal.
KanJam Illuminate Game Set
In addition to the translucent goals included in this game set (mentioned above) we loved the light pods on this one as opposed to the light pods in the ‘Illuminate Glow Kit’.
These seemed to be much higher quality, and they have 9 different color combinations with adjustable brightness so you can always switch your game up!
The Ultimate KanJam Pack
If you like the look of the black kans, and you don’t picture yourself playing in the dark too much, but will still put it to use – this is the KanJam pack for you.
KanJam College Sets
And to top it off – these college KanJam sets are a must have next time you are tailgating with your buddies.
They look really nice with the white kans, and the school’s logo on the front. These come with 2 discs instead of 1 if you are looking for quicker game play while tailgating outside the stadium waiting for your team to play!
Browse through these to see if your team has one!
KanJam – Brief Summary & Overall Review
This game’s tagline is “it’s anyone’s game”. We found this to be for the most part true as long as players can throw the disc.
This game doesn’t get old!
Not only does it appeal to all ages, but it comes with hassle free equipment. It’s easy to put away, and doesn’t lack quality so this game will continue to last for many games to come.
We’ll definitely be adding this to our arsenal of our other timeless games like cornhole and washers.