Kan Jam Review: How To Enjoy The Yard Like Never Before

Kan Jam has become crazy popular in recent years for one very simple reason: it makes for a great backyard game. If you’re wanting to get the low down about Kan Jam, learn how to play it, figure out what the rules are, or get some advice on which Kan Jam set is right for you, you’re in the right place. Our goal in this Kan Jam review is to answer all of your Kan Jam related questions, so let’s dive in.

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Kan Jam Overview

What is Kan Jam?

Kan Jam is an outdoor game that looks a little bit like disc golf at first glance: you throw a frisbee into a target (in this case, a Kan) and score to win. But the intricacies of this game make it a whole lot more fun (and a lot more accessible for everyone to play). The basic premise is that there are two teams of two people each and two Kans. Each team has to work together to score 21 points – no more, no less.

What’s the Best Kan Jam Set for Me?

Best for Playing Outdoors

Sale
Kan Jam Ultimate Disc Game
  • Kanjam is the perfect game to play with your Buddies on the beach or with your family in the backyard. A great game for all ages
  • Easy to pack and even easier to set-up. Great for camping and tailgating
  • Game set includes 2 portable official goals, a custom-designed official kanjam flying disc and instructions on how to play
  • Made to last with top quality durable, lightweight, and weather-proof materials
  • Proudly made in the USA

Last update on 2019-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The original Kan Jam will probably be your best bet if you have any kind of wide, open space to play it on. You’ll need about 50 feet between each Kan and four willing participants.

This Kan Jam set comes with two Kans you’ll need to assemble (no worries, it’s super easy: you’ll simply insert three plastic tabs into the corresponding holes), Kan Jam decals to put on the Kans, and an official Kan Jam disc. Instructions are included.

The original Kan Jam is larger than the other sets and a bit easier for everyone to play. The distance between Kans allows plenty of reaction time for the Deflector to get situated for his or her deflect and the size of the game makes it great for playing out in the yard at parties, get-togethers, or just when having some general family fun.

This set is portable enough to be carried with you to the beach, the park, or to your neighbor’s front yard (if you don’t like your own). The Kans are lightweight enough that they can be carried without any trouble, but also enough that a direct hit may knock your Kan over. This is frustrating, but not a huge problem.

What We Like:

  • Loads of fun
  • Easy for family or friends to join in on
  • Easy to assemble
  • Portable
  • Nothing more required to play (you don’t even have to have any skill)

What We Don’t Like:

  • Probably can’t play indoors or on water
  • Wouldn’t hurt if it came with 2 discs instead of just the 1, but you can just buy another.
  • Kans sometimes fall over if hit hard enough

The original Kan Jam game is perfect for outdoor play. It’s lighthearted, fun, and as competitive as you want it to be.

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Best for Playing Indoors

Kan Jam Tabletop Mini Disc Game
  • Great Game for All Ages
  • Must have Game for every Dorm Room Rec Room Office and Basement
  • Quick and Easy Set-up
  • Durable High Quality Construction
  • Proudly made in the USA

Last update on 2019-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re looking for some Kan Jam fun but can’t (or don’t want to) take it outside, Kan Jam mini may be a better fit for you. You’ll only need about 16 feet to play Kan Jam mini, so it makes a great game for office parties, dorm rooms, indoor birthday parties, or as an inexpensive substitute for ping pong.

Like the original, this set comes with two Kans, a disc, and instructions. A table to play it on and a good Kan Jam partner are not included.

The mini (and the next variation we’ll review) is different from the original Kan Jam because it can be played in a 1v1 match as well as a 2v2. We go over the rules for these in the Q&A section, but just know that if you can only find one person to play Kan Jam with, you can still get a game in this way.

Get the Kan Jam Mini from Amazon here.

What We Like:

  • Can be played indoors or outdoors
  • Very easy to move around
  • Doesn’t require more than 2 people to play
  • Great for indoor parties, offices, dorm rooms, etc.

What We Don’t Like:

  • A little more difficult to play with 4 people since the Kans and disc are so small
  • Can be challenging to play outside: wind can manipulate the disc and knock over Kans

All-in-all, this is the best version of Kan Jam for you if you’re wanting to bring a game to an office party, keep in your game room, or want to play indoors.

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Best for Playing on the Water

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Kan Jam Splash Pool Disc Game
  • Great Game for All Ages
  • Must have Game for every Pool
  • Quick and Easy Set-up
  • Durable High Quality Construction
  • Proudly made in the USA

Last update on 2019-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Kan Jam Splash is just what it sounds like; Kam Jam on the water. This set comes with two specialized Kans that float on the water, a smaller Kan Jam disc, and instructions.

The water version of Kan Jam can be a little more difficult to play than the land versions: the Kans are smaller so as to not be too tall for players in a pool, the disc is smaller, and it can be difficult to deflect the disc.

One consequence of having Kan Jam on water is that it moves with the water, making Dingers, Deuces, and Buckets more difficult. This is made even more challenging by the small disc that doesn’t glide like a frisbee very well.

What We Like:

  • Specialized Kans that float on the water
  • Able to play 2v2 or 1v1

What We Don’t Like:

  • Kans lack an anchoring system and move with the water
  • Everything is smaller, making the Kans difficult to hit and the disc difficult to throw well

This version of Kan Jam was made to be enjoyed on the water, but some unique drawbacks can make it a little difficult to play. For the full Kan Jam experience, we recommend going with the original full-size or the Kan Jan Mini.

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Things to Know Before You Buy

How is Kan Jam Played?

Once you have two teams of two people, you’ll need to set up your Kans about 50 feet from one another. One member from each team will be standing by both Kans, similar to how you play Corn Hole. The team member who has the disc (the “Thrower”) will throw it towards the Kan where their partner (the “Deflector”) is standing. There are four ways to score:

  1. The Dinger – A Dinger occurs when the Thrower throws the disc and it hits the Kan. 1 point.
  2. The Deuce – The Deuce happens when the Thrower throws the disc and the Deflector deflects the disc so that it hits the Kan. It is not correct to say that the Thrower or the Deflector has “taken a deuce”. 2 points.
  3. The Bucket – Bucket is when the Thrower throws, the Deflector deflects, and the disc goes into the Kan. 3 points.
  4. Instant Win – If the Thrower manages to land the disc inside the Kan (either through the front slot or the top of the Kan) without the help of his or her partner, this is an Instant Win. Game over. Winner winner chicken dinner.

The goal of Kan Jam is to get to 21 points without going over or under. If you’re going to go over 21 after your latest throw, the points are instead subtracted from your score.

For example, let’s say you had 20 points. You toss the disc and score a Deuce – a beautiful 2-pointer. Since 20 + 2 is higher than 21, you instead subtract the score. It becomes 20 – 2. Instead of 22, you now have 18.

If you are playing Kan Jam 1v1, then the scoring looks a little different:

You and your opponent will each stand by Kans opposite each other. If your throw hits the Kan, you earn 2 points. If it goes in through the top of the Kan, you earn 3 points. Once you or your opponent have 20 points, the only way to win is to throw the disc through the top of the Kan.

Throwing the disc through the front slot is an Instant Win, like in 2v2.

What are the Rules of Kan Jam?

Kan Jam’s rules are short and sweet. They’re easy enough to grasp that you can be a walking rule book in under a minute (and don’t worry, we’re not even going to test you on it). Kan Jam’s rules can be summarized like this:

  • Teams flip the disc and call heads or tails to see who goes first. The team that goes last has an advantage since they can decide what they will do with their last throw if the other team to go reaches 21 first (this team can choose to try and tie up the game or go for the Instant Win). Going second is referred to as having “The Hammer”.
  • Each team gets one throw per round. One round is finished when each team has thrown once.
  • If both teams reach 21 in the same round, the game goes into overtime. During overtime, each player throws once and the team with the highest score after everyone has thrown wins. Overtime can be repeated if both teams still have an equal score.
  • Kans should be 50 feet apart (16 feet for Mini or if you’re playing on water). Players cannot cross the front of the Kan when throwing or deflecting. If the front of the Kan is crossed, the points from the throw are negated.
  • No “carrying”. A carry occurs when a player catches, pinches, or otherwise grabs the disc. The best way to deflect is to hit the disc at or into the Kan so that no one accuses you of carrying and negates your throw.

The rules above are Kan Jam’s official rules, but anyone who has ever played Monopoly knows that house rules conquer all. Feel free to twist and turn the rules to your own personal preferences.

Who is Kan Jam for?

Kan Jam started in the 1990s when the founders, Charles and Mitch, threw frisbees at a banged up garbage can. Ever since then, Kan Jam has become a great pick for a party game.

Kan Jam is for anyone who wants to have fun at a get-together, bring the family closer, or spend quality time with those you enjoy being around. There’s no age limit and anyone who can toss a frisbee can give Kan Jam a go. It’s often played on college campuses, at the park, on beaches, in gymnasiums, and in plenty of yards.

Are Kan Jam Accessories Necessary?

Kan Jam does have some packages that are sold with optional accessories. Sometimes it’s an extra disc, sometimes another Kan, and sometimes the accessory is having an American red, white, and blue-themed set.

But the most common accessory (and the one that most people ask about) is the glow-in-the-dark add on. If you decide to go with the glow, you’ll get two Kans, a frisbee with an attached LED light, and LED lights that you can put inside the Kans to light them up from the outside. These lights can change colors and come with a remote to turn them on/off or to change the intensity of the light.

If you have a history of wanting to play party games at night, this can be a fun addition to a Kan Jam set – but it’s not for everyone. If you have a glow-in-the-dark frisbee and portable lights that have some kick to them (two high-powered flashlights work fine), then you have all that you need to make your own nighttime version of Kan Jam.

All-in-all, the nighttime set can be a fun addition but isn’t required to enjoy the game.

Kan Jam Variations

If throwing a frisbee at a glorified garbage can and turning it into a team sport doesn’t sound fun enough for you, there are a couple of variations of Kan Jam that may scratch your particular itch.

For the Mini or Splash set, you can try using a ping pong ball instead of a disc for a more intense game. The same rules can apply for Dingers, Deuces, Buckets, and Instant Wins, but hitting the ball midair will be more challenging.

If you have the full-size Kan Jam set and a football, you can play something like an actual football game between the two Kans. Each time a player throws the ball and hits the Kan, it’s 1 point. Any time a player throws the ball into the top of the Kan, it’s 3 points. There’s an official version of this called Kan Jam Hardcount, but the rules are a little more complex than necessary.

If you are playing a football-ish version of Kan Jam, feel free to mix and match the rules how you like them. Institute a no-tackling rule or a rule that the ball-carrier has to be tackled. Go nuts.

If you’d like to see an actual video of Kan Jam Hardcount being played to give you some ideas, here ya go:

Frequently Asked Questions

How Easily Can I Store My Kan Jam Set?

Storage for Kan Jam is easy. The disc is the same size as a frisbee and both Kans ship as flat sheets of plastic that fold into a circle. The Kans can be disassembled back into a flat sheet of plastic for storage or transport.

Can We Play Kan Jam On The Beach?

Yes! Kan Jam can be played anywhere that you can set the Kans down.

How Can We Make the Kans More Stable?

There are official rules regarding Kans falling, so they aren’t supposed to be anchored down, but we think the game is a little more fun when the Kans aren’t falling. Here are some tactics you might want to try:

  • Drive stakes into the ground in a triangle shape on the inside of the Kan. One stake should be on the same side as the slot and the two other stakes should be on sides opposite of each other. Make sure these stakes are about a foot out of the ground; the objective is to stop the Kan from tipping over.
  • Drill holes on two opposite sides of the Kans to drive a U spike into the ground.
  • Make a cross section of duct tape on the inside of the Kans. If you look at the Kans from the top, the duct tape should form an X shape. Place rocks on this cross section to weigh the Kans down. You could also consider placing a small child on the X to weigh the Kans down, but this sounds like a bad idea, like microwaving a spoon.

What is the Best Way to Keep Score?

Kan Jam gets asked this question a lot, so they made an app to solve this problem. It’s available on Android and Apple. We downloaded and tested the app out for this Kan Jam review and it’s easy to use with no detectable bugs. You can pick who threw last on which team and add or subtract 1-3 points.

If you don’t want to use an app to keep score (sometimes the point of an outside game is to get away from our phones!) then the options are pretty open: call out scores after every toss, count in sign language, use cave art. Just make sure it’s not your notorious-for-number-fudging uncle keeping score.

Can all Ages Play Kan Jam?

Kan Jam is designed with all age groups in mind. As the video above mentioned, you can see eight-year-olds or eighty-year-olds playing and having a good time. All that’s needed is the ability to throw a frisbee and have a good time.

What are the Dimensions of Assembled Kan Jam Objects?

Original: The frisbee is 11 inches across and the Kans are 20 inches tall, 12 inches across.

Mini: The frisbee is 4 inches across and the Kans are 9.125 inches tall, 5.75 inches across.

Splash: The frisbee is 4 inches across and the Kans are 8.7 inches tall, 6.3 inches across.

When unassembled, the Kans are flat sheets of plastic, so storage is easy regardless of the assembled sizes above.

Is There Crying in Kan Jam?

Only if you win.

The Kan Jam Brand

Kan Jam is proud of being a USA-based company since its founding. All of their manufacturing is done in the USA, storage is located in the USA, and their team members can all be found waving the banner of Uncle Sam. The idea for Kan Jam started in the 1990s when the founders were throwing frisbees at trash cans, but the game itself has only been around since 2006.

Since foundation, Kan Jam is sold in over 12,000 retail locations around the USA, 23 countries in Europe, in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a fun, lighthearted, and sometimes crazy game to play outside, Kan Jam may be a good fit for you. It allows several people (or just two) to spend time together, grow bonds, and have fun outdoors.

There are several different versions of Kan Jam like the Original, Mini, and Splash. The one that fits you best will depend on where you want to play, how many people you want to play with, and your own personal preferences. We at OwnTheYard think that the original Kan Jam is probably the strongest out of the options and the one that most people will enjoy – but pick the version that’s best suited to your unique tastes.

There are some accessories you can look into getting: backup Kans, lights for your set, or decals of different sports teams. Those can be fun, but the only accessory that we recommend for most buyers is an extra frisbee. Always retrieving one frisbee after every throw can drag the game down a bit, so it’s not a bad idea to introduce a second frisbee if you have a spare lying around.

Get the Kan Jam Original on Amazon right here (best price).

There’s no other way to say it: Kan Jam’s popularity is due to it being a fun game. It’s easy to learn, hard to master, and can provide a ton of fun for the whole family. The Kan Jam sets can be taken anywhere, played (almost) anywhere, and can help get the family off the couch and into the yard.

Personal modifications are only limited by your imagination. If you purchase a Kan Jam set, let us know what you think in the comments below and feel free to share your favorite variation with us!

Maybe we’ll see you in the Kan Jam world championship. Thanks for reading our Kan Jam Review and Complete Buying Guide!