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The Backstream (バックストリーム) is an obstacle introduced in the Second Stage, as the fifth obstacle with the course redesign in SASUKE 28, the tournament after Urushihara Yuuji's second kanzenseiha.

This is the first obstacle in SASUKE that allows the competitors to touch the water to progress, as usually, touching the water in any fashion results in disqualification.

The obstacle is a large swimming tank, 10m in length and 2m in depth, in which the competitors must swim through the tank to reach a ladder and move on to the next obstacle. There is also a series of jets toward the end of the obstacle, designed to disrupt their progress to the ladder.

As such, the Second Stage's starting line, every competitor who advanced to the Second Stage must wear swimming goggles on his/her head, and use them while attempting this obstacle.

Although all competitors to attempt the obstacle cleared it in SASUKE 28, it helped slow down Matachi Ryo enough to time out at the Passing Wall.

In SASUKE 29 the jets were more powerful, resulting in the biggest pressure for the competitors. The jets were later reduced after Hashimoto Koji's run and increased after Takahashi Kenji's run. However, the obstacle was still deadly, as 11 out of the 21 who attempted the Second Stage failed there, including 5 former finalists (Okuyama Yoshiyuki, Hashimoto Koji, Urushihara Yuuji, Matachi Ryo, and Yamamoto Shingo), while it slowed a further two finalists (Lee En-Chih and Nagasaki Shunsuke) to the point where they timed out on the Passing Wall.

In SASUKE 30, the jets' speed were reduced. As the result, a few competitors failed there. However, it did cause Yamamoto Shingo to swim to the side of the pool (as the result of inhaling some water) and it also slowed Urushihara Yuuji and Morimoto Yūsuke to time out on the Wall Lifting.

In SASUKE 31, the obstacle was moved to the sixth obstacle, with the Spider Drop becoming officially counted as an individual obstacle (rather than as the part of the Spider Walk).

Following the kanzenseiha of Morimoto Yūsuke, the obstacle would be slightly modified in SASUKE 32. Compared to the previous tournaments in which only one machine is used to generate the currents, an additional machine was also added to form stronger current. In addition, the length of the obstacle was reduced from 10m to 9m. With the introduction of the Reverse Conveyor, this made things hard for competitors to attempt due to them being inundated with the water from Backstream.

In SASUKE 36, it was mentioned by the commentators in broadcast that the depth was reduced to 1.5m. Also, an interesting failure occurred where Drew Drechsel completed the obstacle, but went too fast going down the slide immediately after the obstacle, en route to the Reverse Conveyor, resulting in him sliding off course.

In SASUKE 38 while not highlighted during broadcast, there was a handle placed at the end of the pool to aid competitors in getting to the ladder due to safety reasons.

Other Appearances

SASUKE Ninja Warrior Mongolia

SASUKE Ninja Warrior Mongolia's Backstream

Battur attempting the Backstream

On SASUKE Ninja Warrior Mongolia, the Backstream made its first international appearance outside of SASUKE, appearing as the fourth obstacle in Stage Two. In terms of design, the obstacle consists of a swimming pool dug on the ground compared to a swimming tank.

The obstacle served as both time and energy wasters for the competitors. In addition, there are instances where competitors may walk in the water due to the pool being not deep enough for them to swim onto.

Back View of the Reverse Conveyor with the Backstream

Compared to SASUKE, once competitors attempt the Reverse Conveyor, they can directly fall into the pool of the obstacle when competitors failed.

Competitors' Success Rate

  • All results based on the TBS broadcast and external information found
SASUKE Clears Attempts Percentage
28 4 4 100%
29 6 17 36.30%
30 13 17 76.47%
31 10 11 90.90%
32 8 8 100%
33 7 7 100%
34 14 16 87.5%
35 6 6 100%
36 14 14 100%
37 8 8 100%
38 9 9 100%
39 12 12 100%
Total 111 129 86.05%

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