The Stair Hopper is an obstacle, firstly introduced as the ninth obstacle on American Ninja Warrior 8 during Philadelphia finals. Competitors must move a 4 feet free-moving bar, along a set of rails (3.5 feet apart), down four drops which alternate the heights of drops of either 5 and 10 inches. This includes a small gap to clear when attempting the second and fourth drops. After that, competitors must jump the pipe up four times with also alternate heights of either 5 and 12 inches, to keep on the tracks. Similarly to going down the drops, there are two gaps (over the first and third jump), in which competitors must avoid falling through. The gaps make jumping the bar much harder, because they must jump it from a greater distance and have no rail to help keep the bar in place. Once up the four jumps, the competitor must slide the bar along a slightly longer set of rails, and step over to the platform.
It proved to be incredibly difficult obstacle, taking out many top competitors (including Jesse Labreck, Najee Richardson, Jamie Rahn, and Geoff Britten). Among 10 competitors who reached this obstacle, only two competitors (Joe Moravsky and Chris Wilczewski could complete it). Ultimately, both of them gassed out at the final obstacle (the Invisible Ladder), making Philadelphia finals the first time in American Ninja Warrior history, that no competitor could complete the city finals course.
The Stair Hopper returned as the ninth obstacle on American Ninja Warrior 9 during Los Angeles finals, which had the same specification from Philadelphia finals. Once again, 10 competitors reached this obstacle. However, unlike on Philadelphia finals, 6 competitors could complete it (including Charlie Andrews, Josh Levin, Adam Rayl, and Flip Rodriguez).
- It is basically a combination of the Pipe Slider and the Bar Hop.
- The function is somewhat similar to the Pipe Slider in the first season of American Ninja Warrior.
- Unlike the Pipe Slider, in which the pipe is in the track already, competitors must put the bar in the tracks first before attempting the obstacle.
- The idea started out as steps up, then down, but the producers like to make this obstacle more harder, so they flipped the design upside down.
- With Geoff Britten failing the obstacle on American Ninja Warrior 8's Philadelphia finals, it became the first obstacle he failed to complete on American Ninja Warrior, since the Jumping Spider in Stage One on American Ninja Warrior 6.