The Unstable Bridge (アンステーブルブリッジ) is a Second Stage obstacle that was added to SASUKE 23 course replacing the Swing Ladder as the fourth obstacle. It became the third obstacle in SASUKE 24 with the Stick Slider's removal.
The obstacle featured two wooden planks to swing from. Both planks measure 60cm wide and 1.8m long. The first one would hang by four metal chains, held by one in each corner. The second plank would hang from only 2 metal chains, each down the center of the plank, one at each end. This would force the plank to easily lop-side to either the left or right side if the contestant either did not transfer from the first plank correctly, or if they lost their balance while maneuvering across to the other end.
Similar to the Delta Bridge, a competitor must hold onto to both sides while crossing. While crossing the first plank, competitors must use momentum to reach the second plank. On the second plank, competitors must reach the other side while keeping both ends even.
This obstacle proved to be much harder than the Swing Ladder. Although the obstacle can be beaten by those who take their time on it, like many other Second Stage obstacles, the timer forces people to rush through, causing many failures. In its first tournament, it eliminated American qualifiers Richard King (who failed the transition to the second plank) and Brian Orosco (who failed trying to reach for the ending platform) and SASUKE 22 finalist Urushihara Yuuji (who lost his balance when reaching the other side). In SASUKE 24, it eliminated Kawaguchi Tomohiro, and Sato Jun in SASUKE 25.
From SASUKE 24 forward, it was placed as the third obstacle, replacing the Stick Slider and immediately following the Salmon Ladder. The obstacle's previous position as the fourth obstacle was taken by the revamped Balance Tank.
From SASUKE 28 forward, the obstacle was placed after the Swap Salmon Ladder, but the second board was taken out, only the four-chained board remained. This version proved to be much easier, as no competitors failed or even showed signs of struggling. It was removed in SASUKE 31, in favor of the Salmon Ladder Kudari.
American Ninja Warrior Appearances
The Unstable Bridge was also used on American Ninja Warrior 3, as the eighth obstacle on semifinal course, immediately following the Salmon Ladder. However, this obstacle proved to be much brutal than the SASUKE version, as only Ryan Stratis could complete the obstacle (likely due to the fatigue from the other competitors), which made it the highest knockout rate of any obstacle in American Ninja Warrior history (taken out 13 of the 14 competitors who've faced it, making a 92.86% knockout rate). The Unstable Bridge was also used as the third obstacle in Stage Two on American Ninja Warrior 4 to American Ninja Warrior 7, after Double Salmon Ladder. Several top competitors had been eliminated from this obstacle, including Paul Kasemir, Brian Arnold, Noah Kaufmann, and Drew Drechsel (twice). On American Ninja Warrior 8, it was replaced by the Wave Runner (which was a combination of Unstable Bridge and Hourglass Drop).
Competitors' Success Rate
- All results based on the TBS broadcast and external information found