Competitors must stand on top of a twelve-sided barrel, rolling over a downward-slanted 5.4 metres 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.
Three competitors failed on this obstacle, being Yamada Katsumi in SASUKE 11 (when he tipped over on the barrel and landed with one leg on each side), Shimizu Hideaki in SASUKE 13 (who lost his balance on the barrel), 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).
Despite the damage, this obstacle was replaced by Delta Bridge in SASUKE 16, but possibly due to its high clear rate, this obstacle was brought back in the next tournament. However, due to the course renewal brought on by Nagano Makoto's Kanzenseiha, it will once again replaced, this time by Stick Slider and Net Bridge.
After a hiatus of six tournaments, Balance Tank returned in SASUKE 24, now modified with a much shorter track (combined with the bumps at the end of the track) and a rope at the end, make it basically a hybrid of this obstacle and Rope Climb from First Stage. In addition, the barrel is now cylindrical compared to the previous version. 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 before by losing his balance and falling backwards, 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. These modifications made Balance Tank become one of nine obstacles in SASUKE's history to be modified in three consecutive tournaments, with the others being Jumping Spider, Flying Chute, Half-Pipe Attack, Bungee Rope Climb, Rolling Escargot, Vertical Limit, Sidewinder R, and Fish Bone.
The modification proved to be effective, eliminating Travis Furlanic, who failed by losing his balance on the rolling portion. However, no competitor failed on this obstacle in SASUKE 27. This, combined with Urushihara Yuuji's second Kanzenseiha in this tournament, making it replaced by Spider Walk in the following tournament as part of the renewal.
Competitors' Success Rate
- All results based on the TBS broadcast and external information found.
American Ninja Warrior
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, Flip Rodriguez, Brian Arnold, and Ahmed Toure), 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
|USA vs. Japan||3||3||100%|