Competitors must stand on top of a cylindrical barrel, rolling over a downward-slanted 5.4 meters track. As it descends down the track, competitors must constantly move their feet to keep up with the increasing velocity of the barrel. If they can't, they'll ultimately lose their balance and fail.
Although most competitors rode it out the whole obstacle, some competitors (most notably Yamamoto Shingo) leaped midway through in order to avoid losing their balance, but it also increased the risk of touching the water if unsuccessful.
Although only 3 competitors failed on this obstacle, it famously eliminated Yamada Katsumi in SASUKE 11, when he tipped over on the barrel and landed with one leg on each side, and Shiratori Bunpei in SASUKE 14, when he lost his foot rhythm, slipped, and fell in front of the barrel, causing it to hit him in the head as he fell.
This obstacle was replaced by the Delta Bridge in SASUKE 16, but returned in the next tournament, only to be replaced by the Net Bridge in SASUKE 18 (due to the course renewal brought on by Nagano Makoto's kanzenseiha).
SASUKE 24-27 Version
The Balance Tank returned in SASUKE 24, with a much shorter track (combined with the bumps at the end of the track) and a rope at the end. Basically a hybrid of this obstacle and the Rope Climb from the First Stage. The finishing platform was made much higher, requiring competitors to roll to the end of the track (or reach the bumps) and jump to the rope, before climbing up the rope to get to the platform, in order to get to the next obstacle. It was proven to function more as a time waster, as no competitor failed there.
In SASUKE 25, the rope was shortened. Because of that, Yamamoto Shingo was eliminated when he tried to leap halfway through the track. Kanno Hitoshi also failed the obstacle, by losing his balance and falling backward. This also marked the first time that the obstacle took out more than one competitor in a single tournament (along with American Ninja Warrior 4).
The rope was made longer in SASUKE 26, but the track was angled more downward than before, making it went much faster than in the previous tournament. As the result, the obstacle eliminated Travis Furlanic, who failed by losing his balance on the rolling portion. However, no competitor failed on this obstacle in SASUKE 27.
American Ninja Warrior Appearances
However, on American Ninja Warrior 4, the track was made similar to the first version of the Balance Tank. As the result, the obstacle took out 4 out of 7 competitors who attempted it (Travis Rosen, Brian Arnold, Ahmed Toure, and Flip Rodriguez), in which all of them failed at the rolling portion of the obstacle.
On American Ninja Warrior 5, the track was made similar to SASUKE 24-27 version of the Balance Tank, but the rope was shortened and the finishing platform was placed higher than the previous season. Despite those changes, the obstacle was proven to be much easier than the previous season, as no competitor failed on this obstacle.
Competitors' Success Rate
- All results based on the TBS/NBC broadcast and external information found
American Ninja Warrior
|USA vs. Japan||3||3||100%|