Log Grip (ロッググリップ) is a First Stage obstacle which was firstly introduced in SASUKE 18 as part of the course's renewal after Nagano Makoto's Kanzenseiha in the previous tournament. Competitors must cling onto a vertical log (60 cm in thickness) with their arms and legs, while it slid down a 9-metre track to the landing platform. The log contained many small holes to provide some grip.
The track was similar to the one previously used for Sandan Rolling Maruta, but there were several differences:
- The drops were bigger and the track was longer.
- The drops were closer together, almost eliminating a chance to recover from the previous drop.
It was originally placed as the second obstacle, but became the third obstacle from SASUKE 22 to SASUKE 24, with these three obstacles took its previous position as the second obstacle throughout the three tournaments:
In SASUKE 25, it was relocated again as the fifth obstacle. Due to this placement, competitors would show fatigue while attempting the obstacle, although interestingly, it had much higher clear rate compared to the previous tournaments. However, it was replaced by the returning Half-Pipe Attack in SASUKE 26.
There have been few minor modifications to this obstacle. Originally, like Sandan Rolling Maruta, wires are installed above the track on the top of the log to help the log stayed on the track. However, it was removed in the following tournament.
In SASUKE 21, the actual log was placed lower to the platform and a new mechanism was engineered where once a competitor applied his or her weight, the log would start down the track. This is likely due to the competitors have problem while starting the log when the mechanism was yet to be installed, as the competitors had to push the log to make it slid down the track. The new mechanism make the log much easier to start, but in contrast, competitors would fail more because of the velocity of the log and shock of the drops.
However, the biggest modification came in SASUKE 29, where upon returning to replace Rolling Escargot from the previous tournament, the obstacle now featured two ledges to hang on instead of holes in the previous versions. For male competitors, the ledges were taller than the ledges used for female competitors. This modification made the obstacle extremely easier, as many competitors were placing their hands on top of the ledges, providing an extra grip. As the result, fewer competitors failed here.
The higher clear rate on Log Grip's new version prompts the producers to make it harder by making several modifications in SASUKE 31. The track was made steeper and the drops were much larger than usual, which forced competitors to hold on tightly to prevent themselves from falling off the log. It was revealed later that those who cleared had serious bruises due to these modifications, as the steeper track means the log gains a much higher velocity, with the larger drops providing a greater shake to the leg. To avoid further injuries, it was replaced by TIE Fighter in SASUKE 32.
Competitors' Success Rate
- All results based on the TBS broadcast and external information found.
American Ninja Warrior
The Log Grip made its first appearance on American Ninja Warrior 3, as the second obstacle during qualifying and semifinal, but the log was much thinner and the track was much shorter than the one in SASUKE. During semifinal, the log was rotated to make the handholds were less available. As the result, this modifications tripped up three competitors: Daron Payne, Luis Moco, and Tim Shieff.
American Ninja Warrior 4
Then, the obstacle returned as the second obstacle in every qualifying region on American Ninja Warrior 4. This time, the log was thicker and made out of wood.
American Ninja Warrior 6
After one season hiatus, the Log Grip returned as the second obstacle in Dallas on American Ninja Warrior 6, but with four handles instead of holes (two on each side) and only one drop on the track.
American Ninja Warrior 7
American Ninja Warrior 8
Later on the same season, the Log Grip returned in the form of the Giant Log Grip, as the third obstacle in Stage One, replacing the Silk Slider from the past two American Ninja Warrior seasons. This version had four handles as usual, but:
- The obstacle had a 52-foot long track, with three drops, and a dismount onto a small landing pad floating in the water (similar to the Rope Glider and Silk Slider).
- The log also twisted around at the end of the track.
- Competitors also had to time their landing correctly or let the log stop swinging to land.
This version of the Log Grip was proven to be lethal, as several competitors either lost their grip or couldn't time the dismount properly. Although only 12 competitors failed on this obstacle, it eliminated several top competitors (e.g. Jo Jo Bynum, Brent Steffensen, Jamie Rahn, Kevin Bull, Meagan Martin, Clayton Wolf, Adam Arnold, Alexio Gomes, Erica Cook, and Cassie Craig). However, no competitor fell on it during USA vs. The World 3.
Other SASUKE's International Formats
The Log Grip has been used on several SASUKE/Ninja Warrior's international formats where two different versions of the obstacle were used.
The version in which four handles were embedded in the log (which is similar to the one used in American Ninja Warrior) were used in:
- Ninja Warrior UK, and
- Australian Ninja Warrior
While the version where two long ledges were embedded in the log (which is similar to the one used in SASUKE) were used in:
- SASUKE Ninja Warrior Indonesia,
- SASUKE Ninja Warrior Mongolia, and
- SASUKE Vietnam (which was called locally as Bám Trụ or Ôm Trụ)