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The Salmon Ladder (サーモンラダー) is a Second Stage obstacle that was introduced into the course with the course redesign in SASUKE 18.

Despite being in the Second Stage, this obstacle required a tremendous amount of upper-body strength.

Competitors must grab a bar, which was resting on two parallel walls. The walls had seven sets of rungs for the bar to rest on, with gaps in between each rung. Once the competitors' feet leaved the mat, the landing mat from the previous obstacle like the Downhill Jump was taken away.

Competitors must use their momentum and upper-body strength to climb the ladder, by raising the bar from rung to rung.

From the first to the sixth rung, the gaps between rungs are equidistant. Once they reached the sixth rung, they must raise the bar to the seventh rung which has a larger gap than the previous rungs. The bar was not bound to the wall in any way.

After reaching the final rung, competitors must negotiate a final gap and land the bar onto two declining tracks in a "V" shape (called as the Stick Slider, which was counted as an individual obstacle).

If competitors used their feet to touch the sides (as Nakamura Satoshi did in SASUKE 23), they would be disqualified. (see Nakamura Satoshi's Disqualification). They also would be disqualified if they grabbed one of the rungs using their hands (as James Sclar did during American Ninja Warrior 4's Northwest region finals).

Prototype

Salmonladder02

A tester practised the Salmon Ladder

Prior to the final version that was used in SASUKE 18, the Salmon Ladder had seven sets of rung equidistant from each other.

Therefore, there was no larger gap between the sixth and seventh rungs, but this also made the transition from the seventh rung to the Stick Slider significantly harder. This proved troublesome for the testers, as the TBS broadcast shows several of them failing the transition to the Stick Slider.

This in turn as a result, had the seventh notch placed higher to make the transition to the Stick Slider easier, but it did have the downside of the introduction of the infamous large gap between the last two rungs.

SASUKE 21-23 Version

After Okuyama Yoshiyuki's failure of the Stick Slider in SASUKE 20, the producers added small stoppers to the ends of the bar to prevent the bar from sliding off of the track again.

While it made the Stick Slider easier, it arguably also made the Salmon Ladder more difficult, due to the appearance of the stoppers which added more weight to the bar. Levi Meeuwenberg (who beat the Salmon Ladder in SASUKE 20) failed there in SASUKE 21. In his post-run interview he said, "I don't know if it was my technique... but [it] definitely felt different."

SASUKE 24 Version

In SASUKE 24 the Stick Slider was removed and the Salmon Ladder was connected directly to the Unstable Bridge without a break point, therefore the competitors must make it only to the seventh rung before facing the next obstacle.

Competitors' Success Rate

  • All results based on the TBS broadcast and external information found
SASUKE Clears Attempts Percentage
18 3 6 50%
19 0 2 0%
20 2 2 100%
21 4 8 50%
22 5 5 100%
23 11 16 68.75%
24 11 12 91.67%
Total 36 52 70.59%

Double Salmon Ladder (SASUKE 25-27 Version)


After Urushihara Yuuji's kanzenseiha in SASUKE 24, the Salmon Ladder was modified again, this time evolving into the Double Salmon Ladder(ダブルサーモンラダー).

It consists of two parallel wall sets, the first wall set has four sets of rungs which are equidistant from each other while the second wall set has five sets of rungs and a large gap in between the last two rungs.

Competitors have to climb the first set from the back, turn their body around, and then transfer to the second set of parallel walls by jumping from the first wall set to the second. After climbing up the second wall set, they go directly into the Unstable Bridge.

Vlcsnap-14728869

Comparison between the Salmon Ladder (left) and the Double Salmon Ladder (right)

The transition caused an interesting failure in SASUKE 25. When Urushihara Yuuji attempted the obstacle, the left side of the bar failed to stick to the second wall leaving him hanging on the bar vertically with a side stopper stuck on one of the rungs. Ultimately, his foot touched the water, thus eliminating him. In SASUKE 27, the caps on the end of the bar were removed.

DSL100SSK25

Urushihara Yuuji hanged on the bar of the Double Salmon Ladder, SASUKE 25

Competitors' Success Rate

  • All results based on the TBS broadcast and external information found
SASUKE Clears Attempts Percentage
25 8 10 80%
26 8 10 80%
27 16 24 66.67%
Total 32 44 72.73%

Swap Salmon Ladder (SASUKE 28-30 Version)


The next incarnation of the Salmon Ladder was introduced in the SASUKE 28 Navi as the Swap Salmon Ladder (スワップサーモンラダー).

Like the Double Salmon Ladder, it consisted of two parallel wall sets, however:  

  • Both were an equal distance away from the water.  
  • There was a total of five rungs, three on the right side and two on the left side.  

Similar to the jump in the Double Salmon Ladder, competitors must jump from one rung on one side to another rung on the other side. However, when progressing up the ladder, they must also jump upward as well as clear the gap. The first two rungs are at equal height.  

Unlike the previous generations, the Swap Salmon Ladder's rungs automatically switched sides of the wall, generally switching to the reachable side when the competitors was swinging on the opposite wall, and on the back side when the competitors was on the rung directly beneath it.  

This prevented the competitors from climbing the Salmon Ladder vertically. Upon reaching the top rung, competitors must move immediately to the Unstable Bridge.  

Due to safety reasons, any competitor that landed the bar unevenly (with only one side of the bar on the rung above) would no longer be able to correct it and immediately be disqualified, as was proven by Takami Toshiharu in SASUKE 29, when he landed the bar lop-sided and was not allowed to continue his run. Though the rungs that have already been passed can be retracted back to its previous position, the operators have a difficult time moving the rungs back especially when the competitor attempts the obstacle in a fast pace.  

This was officially announced as a new rule in SASUKE 30, where it was proven to be lethal, as it ended the runs of many famed competitors like Nagano MakotoTakeda Toshihiro, and even controversially ending Takahashi Kenji's 100% clear rate of the Second Stage.  

SSL1SSK29

First Transition

SSL2SSK29

Second Transition (third set of rungs move to its position)

SSL3SSK29

Third Transition (fourth set of rungs go to its position)

SSL4SSK29

Final Transition (last set of rungs move to its position)

Competitors' Success Rate

  • All results based on the TBS broadcast and external information found
SASUKE Clears Attempts Percentage
28 4 5 80%
29 17 20 85%
30 16 23 69.57%
Total 37 48 77.08%

Salmon Ladder Nobori / Salmon Ladder Kudari (SASUKE 31- Version)



Due to the controversy of the Swap Salmon Ladder in SASUKE 30, the Salmon Ladder was redesigned once again. This time, it was changed to the Salmon Ladder Nobori (サーモンラダー 上り) and Salmon Ladder Kudari (サーモンラダー下り). It was first demonstrated on TBS's official YouTube, making its proper debut in SASUKE 31.

It was revealed in the broadcast that each rungs are 40 cm apart, it was lowered to 38cm in SASUKE 34.

Much like the Double and Swap Salmon Ladders, the Salmon Ladder Nobori and Salmon Ladder Kudari consist of two parallel wall sets. But unlike these variants:

  • The wall sets and rungs of the Salmon Ladder Nobori and Salmon Ladder Kudari do not face each other.
  • To get to the second wall set, competitors have go up the first wall set consisting of five rungs, then swing to the second wall set consisting of four rungs.
  • There are two bars on both obstacle, one for each wall set.
  • Each wall set is considered as an individual obstacle.

Competitors have to reach for the second bar instead of transferring the first bar to the second wall set. From there, competitors have to go down the rungs instead of going up.

Once they reach the bottom of the second wall set, they must swing to a sloped landing platform to clear the obstacle, making this the first Salmon Ladder variant where there is no obstacle directly preceding it without a break zone.

To prevent competitors to transit downward from the top of the second wall set, a screen wall is set up barricaded between the landing platform and the top rungs, forcing competitors to jump down to the last set of rungs.

Unlike the Swap Salmon Ladder, if the bar went lopsided, they are still allowed to continue attempting the obstacle, with a identical fashion of the regular Salmon Ladder.

The first wall set counts as the second obstacle, while the second wall set counts as the third obstacle in SASUKE 31. Therefore, each wall sets are individual obstacles.

Competitors' Success Rate

  • All results based on the TBS broadcast and external information found

Salmon Ladder Nobori

SASUKE Clears Attempts Percentage
31 13 14 92.85%
32 8 8 100%
33 9 13 69.23%
34 20 24 83.33%
35 8 8 100%
Total 58 67 86.57%

Salmon Ladder Kudari

SASUKE Clears Attempts Percentage
31 11 13 84.62%
32 8 8 100%
33 7 9 77.78%
34 17 20 85%
35 8 8 100%
Total 51 58 87.93%

Salmon Ladder Jūgo Dan (Final Stage Version)


The Salmon Ladder Jūgo Dan (サーモンラダー15段), with "Jūgo Dan" referring the number of rungs (excluding the starting rung), made its debut as the second obstacle in the Final Stage in SASUKE 32, with 20 rungs, lowered to 16 from SASUKE 33 onward including the starting rung. The height of the obstacle was 7 meters, and the space between the sets of rungs was 1.2 meters apart, due to the fact that this obstacle came after the Spider Climb in which the space between the walls were also 1.2 meters apart. It was referred as the Salmon Ladder (サーモンラダー) since its debut until SASUKE 35.

In the first three tournaments since its debut, due to the difficulty of the Third Stage, this version of the Salmon Ladder (along with the Final Stage) was not attempted. However, in SASUKE 35, the obstacle was attempted for the first time by Morimoto Yūsuke. Although he could complete the obstacle, he lost too much time correcting the bar, as the bar kept uneven for several times. As the result, he later timed out about 5 meters short from the goal.

Competitors' Success Rate

  • All results based on the TBS broadcast and external information found
SASUKE Clears Attempts Percentage
32 0 0 N/A
33 0 0 N/A
34 0 0 N/A
35 1 1 100%
Total 1 1 100%

American Ninja Warrior Appearances

ANW2 Salmon Ladder

American Ninja Warrior 2's Salmon Ladder

ANW4 Salmon Ladder

American Ninja Warrior 4's Salmon Ladder

ANW5 Salmon Ladder

American Ninja Warrior 5's Salmon Ladder in Venice Beach

ANW6 Salmon Ladder

American Ninja Warrior 6's Salmon Ladder

The Salmon Ladder appears as the seventh obstacle in all semifinal/city finals courses on American Ninja Warrior, except on the first season. However, between American Ninja Warrior and SASUKE version of the Salmon Ladder, there are several differences:

  • There is a trampoline added at the starting platform. Therefore, competitors must jump from the trampoline and grab the bar. In some city finals courses, there is a run-up before competitors can jump to the trampoline.
  • Competitors must reach a minimum number of rungs, before making the transition to the next obstacle:
  • The gap between each rung is shorter than SASUKE version (currently, the distance between each rung on American Ninja Warrior is 1 foot/30.48cm)

Notable Attempts


Double Salmon Ladder

ANW4 Double Salmon Ladder

American Ninja Warrior 4's Double Salmon Ladder in Stage Two

ANW7 Double Salmon Ladder

American Ninja Warrior 7's Double Salmon Ladder in Stage Two

The Double Salmon Ladder was also used as the second obstacle in Stage Two from American Ninja Warrior 4 to American Ninja Warrior 7, until it was replaced by the Down Up Salmon Ladder on American Ninja Warrior 8.

Several competitors who failed on this obstacle were Evan Dollard, Brent Steffensen, Ryan Stratis, JJ Woods, Grant McCartney, Neil Craver, Jake Murray, and Isaac Caldiero.

Competitors' Success Rate

  • All results based on the NBC broadcast and external information found
ANW Clears Attempts Percentage
ANW4 13 21 61.90%
ANW5 11 21 52.38%
ANW6 14 18 77.78%
ANW7 30 36 83.33%
USA vs. Japan 3 6 50%
USA vs. The World 6 7 85.71%
USA vs. The World 2 7 9 77.78%
Total 84 118 71.19%


Down Up Salmon Ladder

ANW8 Down Up Salmon Ladder

American Ninja Warrior 8's Down Up Salmon Ladder in Stage Two

A variation of the Salmon Ladder Nobori and Salmon Ladder Kudari appeared on American Ninja Warrior 8, as the second obstacle in Stage Two, and was known as the Down Up Salmon Ladder. Its differences between those obstacles were:

  • It was considered as one obstacle rather than two.
  • Competitors had to go down the first wall set, and then up the second wall set.
  • Competitors had to make a transition to the second wall set with the same bar instead of transit to an individual second bar (similar to the Double Salmon Ladder).

The Down Up Salmon Ladder only eliminated 4 competitors (Grant McCartney, Thomas Stillings, Najee Richardson, and Ethan Swanson), as well as Bjarke Tønnesen from Team Europe during USA vs. The World 3.


Competitors' Success Rate

  • All results based on the NBC broadcast and external information found
ANW Clears Attempts Percentage
ANW8 12 16 75%
USA vs. The World 3 6 7 85.71%
Total 18 23 78.26%


Criss Cross Salmon Ladder

ANW9 Criss Cross Salmon Ladder

American Ninja Warrior 9's Criss Cross Salmon Ladder in Stage Two

On American Ninja Warrior 9, a variation of the Salmon Ladder, named as the Criss Cross Salmon Ladder, appeared as the second obstacle in Stage Two, replacing the Down Up Salmon Ladder from the previous season.

The obstacle was similar to the Double and Swap Salmon Ladder, with the presence of two wall sets and having a transition from one wall to another, but unlike those versions:

  • The first wall set had five rungs, with a much larger gap between the third and fourth rungs that forced the competitors to switch to the other wall, and
  • The second wall set had four rungs.

On this obstacle, competitors have to:

  • Move the bar up two rungs to reach the third rung.
  • Then, after reaching the third rung of the first wall set, competitors must make a transfer to the second wall set by jumping from the third rung of the first wall set to the second wall set.
  • Then, competitors must climb the second wall set until reaching the fourth rung.
  • After that, competitors must make a transfer back to the first wall set by jumping from the fourth rung of the second wall set to the fifth rung of the second wall set.
  • Finally, competitors must make a transition to the next obstacle (the Wave Runner), in order to complete the obstacle.

Only 3 competitors failed on this version of the Salmon Ladder (Nick Hanson, Allyssa Beird, and Nicholas Coolridge), in addition of Sebastian Prieto from Team Latin America during USA vs. The World 4.

ANW10 Criss Cross Salmon Ladder

American Ninja Warrior 10's Criss Cross Salmon Ladder in Stage Two

On American Ninja Warrior 10, the Criss Cross Salmon Ladder returned once again as the second obstacle in Stage Two. This time, after completing the obstacle, competitors must make a transition to the Déjà Vu.

This time, the obstacle did more damage than on the previous season, taking out 5 competitors overall, including Adam Rayl and Nicholas Coolridge (for the second straight season).


Competitors' Success Rate

  • All results based on the NBC broadcast and external information found
ANW Clears Attempts Percentage
ANW9 36 39 92.31%
ANW10 24 29 82.76%
USA vs. The World 4 7 8 87.5%
Total 67 76 88.16%

Other Appearances

-37- Salmon Ladder

Australian Ninja Warrior's Salmon Ladder

Tải xuống (20)

SASUKE Vietnam 2's Salmon Ladder

SNWI Salmon Ladder

SASUKE Ninja Warrior Indonesia's Salmon Ladder in Final Stage

SNWI2017 Salmon Ladder

SASUKE Ninja Warrior Indonesia 2017's Salmon Ladder in Semifinal Stage 2

The Salmon Ladder has been used in almost all of SASUKE/Ninja Warrior's international formats, having the same modification as the one used on American Ninja Warrior, including:

  • Ninja Warrior UK,
  • Australian Ninja Warrior,
  • Ninja Warrior Sweden,
  • Ninja Warrior Germany,
  • SASUKE Vietnam (called locally as Thang Cá Hồi, which was very similar to the Salmon Ladder used from SASUKE 18 to SASUKE 24)
    • On SASUKE Vietnam 1, the obstacle was placed as the second obstacle in Stage 2.
    • From SASUKE Vietnam 2 to SASUKE Vietnam 3, the obstacle was placed as the fourth obstacle in Stage 2.
    • On SASUKE Vietnam 3, the number of rung was increased from 7 (during the past two SASUKE Vietnam seasons) to 8.
    • The design for the rungs was similar to the Swap Salmon Ladder or Salmon Ladder Jūgo Dan.
  • SASUKE Ninja Warrior Indonesia.
    • During its first season, the Salmon Ladder appeared as the fifth obstacle during Final Stage. However, competitors were given one special rule to complete the obstacle. Competitors were only allowed to make one mistake (placing the bar unevenly), and they must correct it immediately. If they failed to correct it or made the same mistake twice, they would be disqualified. Competitors were also not limited to reach a minimum number of rungs (after thinking they were high enough, they could grab the resting bars, as an intermediary to the next obstacle, the Pipe Slider).
    • During its second season, the Salmon Ladder appeared as the fifth obstacle during Semifinal Stage 2. This time, the obstacle was similar to the first version of the Salmon Ladder in SASUKE (having 7 rungs, with a larger gap between the sixth and seventh rung). However, competitors were allowed to make the transition to the next obstacle (the Triple Swing) after reaching the fifth rung (just like during American Ninja Warrior's city finals round).
    • During SASUKE Ninja Warrior Indonesia: International Competition, competitors must reached the seventh rung instead of the fifth, before making the transition to the next obstacle (the Triple Swing).