The Wingnuts is an obstacle, firstly introduced as the third obstacle on American Ninja Warrior 9 in Daytona Beach.
Competitors have to jump a trampoline and must grab a ledge, which is shaped like a wingnut, and must swing horizontally to grab the second ledge. Then, they must repeat that to the third ledge, and swing to the landing platform to advance. The trampoline and the first ledge is parallel to one another.
The obstacle was proven to be surprisingly difficult for many competitors, taking out many notable competitors like Jo Jo Bynum, Caleb Watson, Casey Suchocki, Adam Grossman and tons of others with the total of 40 competitors failing the obstacle. One of the main flaws with many competitors were due to weak laches/technique. A few competitors also fell due to rushing/hitting the Plexiglas on the wingnuts. During Daytona Beach finals, only two competitors failed on this obstacle.
The Wingnuts returned on American Ninja Warrior 10 in Philadelphia. The obstacle remained the same from the previous season, except it was being moved a position forward to the fourth obstacle, after the Broken Bridge (coincidentally, both obstacles were used in Daytona Beach course on the previous season).
On American Ninja Warrior 9, a variation of the Wingnuts, named as the Wingnut Alley, appeared as the fifth obstacle in Stage Two, replacing the Double Wedge from the previous season. On this obstacle, competitors have to:
- Jump from a trampoline and grab the first wingnut, which was perpendicular to the trampoline.
- Then, they must swing horizontally to grab the second wingnut, which was 11 feet away from the first wingnut.
- After that, they must swing again and grab the third wingnut, which was perpendicular to the second wingnut, causing competitors to switch their momentum.
- Then, they must repeat that to the fourth wingnut, which was also perpendicular to the third wingnut, once again causing competitors to switch their momentum.
- And finally, they must swing 12 feet to the landing platform to advance.
This version of the Wingnuts was proven to be ruthless and brutal, as it eliminated almost every competitor who attempted it, in which:
- Some of them failed to generate enough swing and momentum to make a transition from one wingnut to the other (e.g. Thomas Stillings, David Campbell, Brian Arnold, and JJ Woods).
- While others failed to generate enough swing and momentum to the landing platform (e.g. Jamie Rahn, Daniel Gil, Flip Rodriguez, and Adam Rayl).
This obstacle shockingly took out Drew Drechsel, as he overshot the distance from the third to the final wingnut, slightly injured his elbow and resulted in him not having enough swing and momentum to reach the landing platform.
As it wasn't difficult enough, during USA vs. The World 4, the Wingnut Alley was modified by reducing the number of wingnuts from 4 to 3, making the gap between one wingnut to the other was much larger. As the result, the obstacle took out Sean Bryan from Team USA, when he failed to generate enough swing and momentum to the landing platform, slammed his back to the side of the landing platform, and fell into the water.
Competitors' Success Rate
- All results based on the NBC broadcast and external information found
|ANW9 (Wingnut Alley)||3||27||11.11%|
|USA vs. The World 4 (Wingnut Alley)||2||3||66.67%|
- The Wingnuts was one of the eight obstacles that won the first edition of American Ninja Warrior: Obstacle Design Challenge, and designed by Kevin Carbone, who also competed in Daytona Beach as a walk-on competitor (since he didn't get a call to compete), and most notably, he beat his own obstacle creation and finished the Daytona Beach qualifiers course.
- According to Kevin Carbone, the obstacle's name was brought up from his father's impression on the obstacle's appearance. His father (Jerry Carbone) commented that the obstacle "looks like a wingnut".
- The original design of the obstacle is that there are six bars and must be swing horizontally to grab the next bars.
- Kevin Carbone made a reference to the Hunger Games imagining the amounts of competitors "ghosts" fly up into the air, acknowledging the high amounts of competitor fell on this obstacle.
- For the third straight American Ninja Warrior season, the fifth obstacle of Stage Two was a modified obstacle from the city qualifiers/city finals course, as:
- On American Ninja Warrior 'Crashing the Course', the Wingnut Alley was entitled the 'Staggered Wingnuts, but in the actual broadcast itself, it was called the Wingnut Alley, similar with the relationship with the "Down Up Salmon Ladder" being entitled the "Double Salmon Ladder".
- The Wingnut Alley on American Ninja Warrior 9 had the same completion rate to The Wedge during American Ninja Warrior 8's Los Angeles finals, with 11.11% of the competitors who attempted the obstacle completed it (3 out of 27 competitors completed the Wingnut Alley, and 2 out of 18 competitors completed The Wedge).