Those with enough skill to complete the First Stage then take on an even more grueling set of obstacles in the Second Stage. 348 competitors have ever reached the Second Stage. Like the First Stage, the obstacles alter throughout the competitions, but all hold to the same principle: if the competitor makes a single mistake they fall into the water below. The obstacles determine the time limit, and it is usually between 50 seconds and 100 seconds, the only exception being SASUKE 28 and 30 where the time limit was 135 seconds and 110 seconds respectively. The Second Stage is known traditionally as a speed stage, with a more fast paced theme and generally a shorter time limit than the First Stage, the only exceptions being the 7th-11th competitions, and the 28th and 30th. More recently, the Second Stage has contained almost exclusively upper-body testing obstacles, particularly after Nagano Makoto's kanzenseiha such as the Salmon Ladder and Unstable Bridge.
Unlike the First Stage, which has always required the competitors to hit a buzzer at the end of the course to stop the clock and pass the course, the Second Stage did not have a buzzer at its end until the 8th Competition. Before then, the competitors simply walked through an open gate to stop the clock. From the 8th Competition onward, the buzzer opens the gate, which was likely introduced after SASUKE 7 where James Okada passed through the gate with just 0.1 seconds left but there was some ambiguity as to whether he had actually made it in under the time limit. If the competitor busts open the gate without hitting the button, they are disqualified (as shown by Paul Hamm in SASUKE 14). In addition, the course judges can hold the gates closed if a competitor committed a foul earlier in the Second Stage that would result in their disqualification, such as using the Chain Reaction gloves on the Spider Walk as Mr. "SASUKE" Yamada Katsumi had done in SASUKE 12. (See Yamada Katsumi's Glove Disqualification for more details.)
On average, 10 to 15 competitors attempt the Second Stage on each competition. A record 37 competitors attempted the Second Stage during SASUKE 4. Also during SASUKE 4, a record 11 competitors cleared the Second Stage. During SASUKE 5, however, only three men made it to the Second Stage due to new, tougher obstacles in the First Stage. In SASUKE 19, neither of the two qualified competitors cleared the circuit (a fall and a timeout on the Salmon Ladder), marking the earliest end of a SASUKE competition. The following competition was almost as bad, with only three men attempting the Second Stage, and only one advancing. Interestingly, the rate of clears in the Second Stage is around 46%, in comparison to the First Stage's clearance record of less than 13%.
During the early tournaments, the Second Stage was strongly deemed to be more difficult than the Third, and it was arguably in these tournaments that time was the most centred aspect of the stage. The time limit stood at just 50 seconds, with a large proportion of failures due to competitors rushing on the Spider Walk to secure a clear without running low on time.
The layout and time limit of the original Second Stage remained relatively consistent, however was heavily modified in SASUKE 7 following a 100% clear rate in the previous tournament. The time limit was raised to 90 seconds and was even raised to 100 seconds in the next tournament due to torrential rain, but would soon be reduced to 65 seconds for the later tournaments. The new incarnation remained similar from SASUKE 7 to 17, with the only changes throughout this period being the Balance Tank and Metal Spin, both of which considerably increased the Second Stage's difficulty (the Metal Spin took out 7 of the 15 who attempted it in SASUKE 16). The Delta Bridge replaced the Balance Tank in SASUKE 16, but the Balance Tank returned for the following tournament. Although the time limit was now significantly higher than before, time outs were not uncommon, with a total of 11 time outs from SASUKE 7-17.
After Nagano Makoto's victory in SASUKE 17, the course became less time-orientated with the limit raised to 95 seconds. The new Salmon Ladder required great upper body strength and became responsible for making the Second Stage as formidable as ever, ending the tournament in SASUKE 19 where no competitor could defeat the obstacle. Only two competitors, Yamada Kōji and Lee En-Chih, timed out from SASUKE 18-27. Another considerable addition was the Unstable Bridge in SASUKE 23, which also took out a considerable number of competitors in its debut. The following tournament, it was placed directly after the Salmon Ladder with no rest. The course remained almost the same up until SASUKE 27 even after Urushihara Yuuji's first victory in the 24th competition, the only change being the Slider Drop and modification of the Salmon Ladder to the Double Salmon Ladder.
The newest Second Stage, introduced in SASUKE 28 after Urushihara's second victory, saw a major revamp, bringing back the Spider Walk as a Second Stage obstacle and featuring SASUKE's first ever swimming obstacle, the Backstream. The Double Salmon Ladder was modified into the Swap Salmon Ladder, and only the four chained bridge remained following the Unstable Bridge's modification. The Wall Lifting was modified as well into the Passing Wall. The time limit was also raised to its highest ever, 135 seconds. With many believing this Second Stage to have been too easy (the three competitors all cleared with well over 10 seconds left on the clock despite going seemingly slowly through the stage), the time limit was majorly reduced to 90 seconds for SASUKE 29, and the Backstream now featured far more powerful jets. Resultantly, out of the 17 competitors that made it as far as the Backstream, 13 timed out (11 timed out on the Backstream while a further 2 timed out on the last obstacle, the Passing Wall), a record for the number of time outs in one tournament, and the fastest time of just 5.14 seconds left on the clock is the lowest time remaining for any fastest time on this stage. This tournament was controversial as the producers were using competitors' failure on the obstacle experimentally to find a suitable power for the jets (i.e. after Hashimoto Kouji's run the jets were reduced after the first two competitors could not get past the obstacle, but increased after Takahashi Kenji's run). For SASUKE 31, the Swap Salmon Ladder was replaced by the Salmon Ladder Nobori followed by the Salmon Ladder Kudari, following several disqualifications in the previous tournament, notably Takahashi Kenji who was disqualified despite a technical error that would have otherwise allowed him to clear that section. This proved to be much easier and less time consuming as 6/8 competitors who cleared did so with over 10 seconds remaining. After Morimoto Yūsuke's kanzenseiha, while the First Stage for SASUKE 32 was considerably modified to increase the difficulty (as expected the tournament after a kanzenseiha), the Second Stage was arguably unintentionally made easier as it was left the same albeit with the addition of the Gyakusō Conveyor which no competitor showed struggle with and addition of 15 seconds to the time limit. The Wall Lifting was also made easier as the first wall, which previously only had two small handholds, was changed to the format of the second and third wall. Resultantly, for only the second time ever (first being SASUKE 6), there was a 100% completion rate on the stage, with 6/8 clears with over 10 seconds remaining and 2/8 with over 20.
TBS Obstacle Names
+ - This obstacle leads directly into the next, without any break.
G4 Obstacle Names
+ - This obstacle leads directly into the next, without any break.
|Comp #||Second Stage Obstacles||Time Limit|
|1||Spider Walk||Hammer Dodge||Conveyor Belt||Wall Lift||50.0|
|2||Spider Walk||Hammer Dodge||Conveyor Belt||Wall Lift||50.0|
|3||Spider Walk||Hammer Dodge||Conveyor Belt||Wall Lift||50.0|
|4||Spider Walk||Hammer Dodge||Conveyor Belt||Wall Lift||50.0|
|5||Tackle Machine||Spider Walk||Hammer Dodge||Conveyor Belt||Wall Lift||50.0|
|6||Ledge Walk||Spider Walk||Hammer Dodge||Conveyor Belt||Wall Lift||50.0|
|7||Chain Reaction||Brick Climb||Spider Walk||Hammer Dodge||Conveyor Belt||Wall Lift||90.0|
|8||Chain Reaction||Brick Climb||Spider Walk||Hammer Dodge||Conveyor Belt||Wall Lift||100.0|
|9||Chain Reaction||Brick Climb||Spider Walk||Hammer Dodge||Conveyor Belt||Wall Lift||80.0|
|10||Chain Reaction||Brick Climb||Spider Walk||Balance Tank||Conveyor Belt||Wall Lift||85.0|
|11||Chain Reaction||Brick Climb||Spider Walk||Balance Tank||Conveyor Belt||Wall Lift||80.0|
|12||Chain Reaction||Brick Climb||Spider Walk||Balance Tank||Conveyor Belt||Wall Lift||70.0|
|13||Chain Reaction||Brick Climb||Spider Walk||Balance Tank||Conveyor Belt||Wall Lift||70.0|
|14||Chain Reaction||Brick Climb||Spider Walk||Balance Tank||Metal Spin||Wall Lift||67.0|
|15||Chain Reaction||Brick Climb||Spider Walk||Balance Tank||Metal Spin||Wall Lift||65.0|
|16||Chain Reaction||Brick Climb||Spider Walk||Grip Hang||Metal Spin||Wall Lift||66.0|
|17||Chain Reaction||Brick Climb||Spider Walk||Balance Tank||Metal Spin||Wall Lift||65.0|
|18||Downhill Jump||Salmon Ladder||+||Stick Slider||Net Bridge||Metal Spin||Shoulder Walk||95.0|
|19||Super Jump||Salmon Ladder||+||Stick Slider||Sky Walk||Metal Spin||Wall Lift||80.0|
|20||Downhill Jump||Salmon Ladder||+||Stick Slider||Swing Ladder||Metal Spin||Wall Lift||90.0|
|21||Downhill Jump||Salmon Ladder||+||Stick Slider||Swing Ladder||Metal Spin||Wall Lift||80.0|
|22||Downhill Jump||Salmon Ladder||+||Stick Slider||Swing Ladder||Metal Spin||Wall Lift||80.0|
|23||Downhill Jump||Salmon Ladder||+||Stick Slider||Unstable Bridge||Metal Spin||Wall Lift||70.0|
|24||Downhill Jump||Salmon Ladder||+||Unstable Bridge||Balance Tank||Metal Spin||Wall Lift||85.0|
|25||Slider Drop||(Double) Salmon Ladder||+||Unstable Bridge||Balance Tank||Metal Spin||Wall Lift||95.0|
|26||Slider Drop||(Double) Salmon Ladder||+||Unstable Bridge||Balance Tank||Metal Spin||Wall Lift||95.0|
|27||Slider Drop||(Double) Salmon Ladder||+||Unstable Bridge||Balance Tank||Metal Spin||Wall Lift||90.0|
|28||Cross Slider||Swap Salmon Ladder||=+||Unstable Bridge||Spider Walk||Backstream||Passing Wall||135.0|