The Broken Pipes is an obstacle, firstly introduced as the third obstacle on American Ninja Warrior 9 in Kansas City.
It consisted of two spinning logs and a small spring-loaded circle (sometimes was referred as the dancing stone or the bobble head), that was placed between the logs.
Competitors must run across the first log, which spun on an axis, and must jump to the second log which also spun in an axis. Once the competitors reached the second log, they had to run to reach the landing platform, in order complete the obstacle. To make the obstacle harder, the second log was placed slightly on the right, potentially throwing competitors off due to vision misjudgment. Also, competitors were allowed to use their hands while attempting this obstacle.
The Broken Pipes was one of the most brutal obstacles on American Ninja Warrior 9. Many competitors were either thrown off from tripping on the bobbing spring in the middle. To avoid a misstep, some competitors tried to cautiously ram into the spring, and then continued sprinting across the second log.
During Kansas City qualifiers, 33 competitors fell on this obstacle, including notable competitors like Adam Arnold, Jimmy Choi, Christopher Lange and Cassie Craig. Even some competitors that completed it, such as Lance Pekus, were barely able to get past it. In Pekus' case, he made an incredible save at the end when his foot almost tapped the water.
It was just as deadly during Kansas City finals, with eight more competitors falling on this obstacle. By shocking coincidence, it was proven to be fatal for the "Windy City Warriors" (a group of competitors, composing of Brandon Mears, Ethan Swanson, Dan Polizzi, and Tyler Yamauchi), with only Tyler Yamauchi completing the obstacle out of the four. It was also notable that this obstacle led to the second time, neither of the "Towers of Power" (Brandon Mears and Dan Polizzi) advanced to Las Vegas national finals, behind the Salmon Ladder during American Ninja Warrior 5's Baltimore finals.
Competitors' Success Rate
- All results based on the NBC broadcast and external information found
- The Broken Pipes has a similar function to the Danchigaubou from KUNOICHI 7. However, the logs from the Danchigaubou didn't spin when the competitors stepped on them, while the logs from the Broken Pipes would spin (similar to the function of the Burasagari Maruta or Kaiten Tsutsu).
- The Broken Pipes shared several similarities with the Snake Crossing from American Ninja Warrior 7's Pittsburgh qualifying course, in which:
- Each of the obstacles was a balance obstacle that utilized some sort of balance object midway through (Snake Crossing used three dancing stones at the start, midway, and end of the obstacle, while the Broken Pipes used a spring-loaded circle at the middle of the obstacle).
- Each of the obstacles had two balance platforms, with the second one slightly relocated.
- Each of the obstacles had only one competitor who did not attempt it, with both of them failing the first obstacle respectively (Luciano Acuna, Jr. on the Quintuple Steps and Devin Harrelson on the Floating Steps).
- Each of the obstacle was on a city finals course that used the Floating Monkey Bars as the eighth obstacle.
- The Broken Pipes had a similar knockout rate with the Log Runner from American Ninja Warrior 8's Oklahoma City qualifying course (whether during city qualifiers or city finals). However, several female competitors could get past the Broken Pipes (e.g. Maggi Thorne and Sarah Schoback), while no female competitor could get past the Log Runner in Oklahoma City. Both were also attempted by Lance Pekus (with him barely getting past the Broken Pipes, unlike with the Log Runner), as well as several other competitors who competed in Oklahoma City (e.g. Mitch VeDepo and Kyle Mendoza).
- The Broken Pipes had taken out the most number of competitors than any other obstacle during Kansas City finals. Becasue of this, the Broken Pipes was one of the obstacles that contributed to Kansas City finals' zero finishers, making it the second time in American Ninja Warrior history, a city finals course was devoid of finishers (after American Ninja Warrior 8's Philadelphia finals).