The Hourglass Drop is an obstacle, firstly introduced on American Ninja Warrior 7, serving as the fifth obstacle in Venice Beach. It was essentially a redesign of the Unstable Bridge, with a mini trampoline in the middle of the boards. It is arguably one of the hardest obstacle in American Ninja Warrior history.
Competitors must traverse through an hourglass-shaped board. Then, they must drop onto a mini trampoline, and if they had enough power from the mini trampoline, they would grab the second board, which was a wavy-shaped board and looked like an 'S'. Both boards were supported by a metal structure (one at each end), which would force the board to lop-side to either left or right (similar to the Unstable Bridge's second board).
During Venice Beach qualifiers, it proved to be a very difficult obstacle, as competitors not only found it hard to get bounce from the mini trampoline, but were even disqualified for not grabbing the second board or grabbing the support structure. It had been able to eliminate 29 out of 36 competitors in Venice Beach qualifiers, and an additional 12 out of 30 competitors in Venice Beach finals. This became only the second time, the fifth obstacle had to be cleared, in order to guarantee a spot in Las Vegas finals, with the other being in Northeast region finals on American Ninja Warrior 4. Several top competitors like David Campbell, Brian Kretsch (due to injury from the Tilting Table), Yen Chen, Jessie Graff, Dustin Rocho, and Travis Weinand failed on this obstacle during Venice Beach qualifiers, as well as Alan Connealy during Venice Beach finals (ironically, Alan Connealy completed this obstacle during Venice Beach qualifiers, and his failure made him finished in 16th place, i.e. one spot short from Las Vegas finals).
The Hourglass Drop made its second appearance on American Ninja Warrior 8, as the eighth obstacle during Indianapolis finals. However, the trampoline was placed before both boards. Therefore, competitors had to drop from a waiting bar after the Salmon Ladder, and landed on the mini trampoline, attempted to grab the first board, and then transferred to the second board, in a similar fashion to the Unstable Bridge. Naturally, the difficulty in this version of the Hourglass Drop came from the drop to the trampoline and the transition from the first board to the second board. The drop was higher than the Venice Beach version (at 11 feet), which could create higher force for competitors to bounce. The Hourglass Drop was still the toughest obstacle in Indianapolis finals, taking out several competitors like Matt Wilder, Andrew Yori, Tyler Yamauchi, and Dan Banura, but a total of 8 competitors could get past it (including Meagan Martin, Brian Arnold, Ian Dory, and Jake Murray). With 8 out of 16 competitors being able to complete it, the Hourglass Drop during American Ninja Warrior 8's Indianapolis finals had a decent 50% knockout rate. Later on the same season, a modification version of this obstacle (called as the Wave Runner) was used as the third obstacle in Stage Two, immediately after the Down Up Salmon Ladder, except there was no trampoline and the second board was replaced with the pyramid-shaped one.
The Hourglass Drop returned on American Ninja Warrior 9, once again as the eighth obstacle during San Antonio finals, with the similar specification from Indianapolis finals (except with the addition of one waiting bar after the Salmon Ladder). It proved to be just as deadly as ever, taking out 18 out of 24 competitors who attempted it, including Barclay Stockett, Tremayne Dortch, Brandon Pannell, Jonathan Horton, Josh Salinas, Nate Burkhalter, and Abel Gonzalez. It had a decent 75% knockout rate.
Competitors' Success Rate