The Broken Pipes is an obstacle, firstly introduced as the third obstacle on American Ninja Warrior 9 in Kansas City.
It consisted of two spinning logs and a small spring-loaded circle (sometimes was referred as the dancing stone or the bobble head), that was placed between the logs. This has similar function to the Log Screw, an obstacle introduced in VIKING 1 that has a similar approach.
Competitors must run across the first log, which spun on an axis, and must jump to the second log which also spun in an axis. Once the competitors reached the second log, they had to run to reach the landing platform, in order complete the obstacle. To make the obstacle harder, the second log was placed slightly on the right, potentially throwing competitors off due to vision misjudgment. Also, competitors were allowed to use their hands while attempting this obstacle.
The Broken Pipes was one of the most brutal obstacles on American Ninja Warrior 9, as many competitors were thrown off from tripping on the bobbing spring in the middle. To avoid a misstep, some competitors tried to cautiously ram into the spring, and then continued sprinting across the second log.
During Kansas City qualifiers, 33 competitors fell on this obstacle, including notable competitors like Adam Arnold, Jimmy Choi, Christopher Lange, Jim Fenby, Cassie Craig, and Steven Moul. Some competitors who completed it, such as Lance Pekus, were barely able to get past it. In Pekus' case, he made an incredible save at the end when his foot almost tapped the water.
It was just as deadly during Kansas City finals, with 8 more competitors falling on this obstacle. By shocking coincidence, it was proven to be fatal for the "Windy City Warriors" (a group of competitors, composing of Brandon Mears, Ethan Swanson, Dan Polizzi, and Tyler Yamauchi), with only Tyler Yamauchi completing the obstacle out of the four. It was also notable that this obstacle led to the second time, neither of the Towers of Power advanced to Las Vegas national finals, behind the Salmon Ladder during American Ninja Warrior 5's Baltimore finals. Like the Salmon Ladder on said season, both Mears and Polizzi were eliminated by the same obstacle, with them both going out on the Broken Pipes.
Australian Ninja Warrior
On Australian Ninja Warrior 2, the Broken Pipes appeared as the third obstacle during the semifinals.
During Semifinal 2, one competitor (Brodie Pawson) used a very unusual way to complete the obstacle. Knowing that he fell on the Spinning Log (a very similar obstacle to the Broken Pipes) during the semifinals on the previous season, he attempted the obstacle by making a huge leap from the starting platform to the spring and then to the landing platform, skipping the logs altogether.
Ninja Warrior UK
On Ninja Warrior UK 5, the Broken Pipes appeared as the eighth obstacle during the semi-finals. However, the obstacle was called as the Spinning Log (due to its similarity to the original Spinning Log that also used as the eighth obstacle during the semi-finals on the previous season).
Due to its placement as the eighth obstacle and most of the competitors attempted the obstacle by using a safe approach, it only eliminated one competitor (Sam West). In his case, he was disqualified after grabbing the end side of the platform to lift himself up from the second log.
Competitors' Success Rate
- All results based on the NBC broadcast and external information found
- The Broken Pipes has a similar function to the Danchigaibou from KUNOICHI 7. However, the logs from the Danchigaibou didn't spin when the competitors stepped on them, while the logs from the Broken Pipes would spin (similar to the function of the Burasagari Maruta or Kaiten Tsutsu).
- The Broken Pipes shared several similarities with the Snake Crossing fromAmerican Ninja Warrior 7's Pittsburgh qualifying course, in which:
- Each of the obstacles was a balance obstacle that utilized some sort of balance object midway through (Snake Crossing used three dancing stones at the start, midway, and end of the obstacle, while the Broken Pipes used a spring-loaded circle at the middle of the obstacle).
- Each of the obstacles had two balance platforms, with the second one slightly relocated.
- Each of the obstacles had only one competitor who did not attempt it during city finals round, with both of them failing on the first obstacle respectively (Luciano Acuna, Jr. on the Quintuple Steps and Devin Harrelson on the Floating Steps).
- Each of the obstacle was on a city finals course that used the Floating Monkey Bars as the eighth obstacle.
- The Broken Pipes had a similar knockout rate with the Log Runner from American Ninja Warrior 8's Oklahoma City qualifying course (whether during city qualifiers or city finals). However, several female competitors could get past the Broken Pipes (e.g. Maggi Thorne and Sarah Schoback), while no female competitor could get past the Log Runner in Oklahoma City. Both were also attempted by Lance Pekus (with him barely getting past the Broken Pipes, unlike with the Log Runner), as well as several other competitors who competed in Oklahoma City (e.g. Mitch VeDepo and Kyle Mendoza).
- The Broken Pipes had taken out the most number of competitors than any other obstacle during Kansas City finals. Because of this, the Broken Pipes was one of the obstacles that contributed to Kansas City finals' zero finishers, making it the second time in American Ninja Warrior history, a city finals course was devoid of finishers (after American Ninja Warrior 8's Philadelphia finals).