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American Ninja Warrior 9's Nail Clipper in Cleveland

The Nail Clipper is an obstacle, firstly introduced as the eighth obstacle during Cleveland finals on American Ninja Warrior 9.

Competitors must traverse 4 cylinders that rolled back and forth, with 6 ledges in each cylinder.

This obstacle was proven to be brutal, due to being difficult to maneuver around and the grip either slipping or giving out. It took out top competitors like:

Only Jamie Rahn and Joe Moravsky could complete this obstacle.

This obstacle set the second highest knockout record in American Ninja Warrior history, taking out 20 of the 22 competitors who attempted it and giving it almost a 91% knockout rate, moving The Wedge during American Ninja Warrior 8's Los Angeles finals to the third highest knockout record (behind the Unstable Bridge during semifinal on American Ninja Warrior 3 and the Angry Birds during Baltimore finals on American Ninja Warrior 11).

American Ninja Warrior 9's Nail Clipper in Stage Three

Later on the same season, the Nail Clipper reappeared as the third obstacle in Stage Three, moving the Ultimate Cliffhanger to the fourth obstacle.

However, the number of cylinders was reduced to three. Also, the obstacle was not preceded by any obstacle with no rest. As the result, no competitor failed on this obstacle.

Interestingly, among the 3 competitors who attempted the Nail Clipper in Stage Three (Sean Bryan, Najee Richardson, and Joe Moravsky), two of them (Najee Richardson and Joe Moravsky) had attempted the obstacle before (during Cleveland finals).

On American Ninja Warrior 10, the obstacle was replaced by the Crazy Clocks.

Other Season Appearances

American Ninja Warrior 10

American Ninja Warrior 10's Nail Clipper in Dallas

On American Ninja Warrior 10, the Nail Clipper appeared as the eighth obstacle during Dallas finals, which was the same as the one during Cleveland finals on the previous season, albeit a waiting bar was placed in between the Salmon Ladder and the first cylinder.

This time, 7 competitors (Daniel Gil, Jeremiah Morgan, Abel Gonzalez, Thomas Stillings, Josh Salinas, Mathis Owhadi, and Matthew Day) made it past the obstacle, but the obstacle was still proven to be difficult, as it knocked out top competitiors like Brent Steffensen, Karsten Williams, Brian Burkhardt, Barclay Stockett, Andrew Swinghamer, Jon Stewart, Josh Norton, Kevin Jordan, Mike Murray, Elliot Jolivette, and Erik Brown.

Competitors' Success Rate

  • All results based on the NBC broadcast and external information found
ANW Clears Attempts Percentage
ANW9 (finals) 2 22 9.09%
ANW9 (Stage Three) 3 3 100%
ANW10 7 18 38.89%
USA vs. The World 4 5 5 100%
Total 17 48 35.42%


  • The Nail Clipper was one of the eight obstacles that won the first edition American Ninja Warrior: Obstacle Design Challenge, and designed by Calvin Boyce.
  • The Nail Clipper on American Ninja Warrior 10 became the only eighth obstacle on a city finals course on that season to serve as the cutoff for competitors advancing to the National Finals.
  • This obstacle had a similar concept with the Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger, with the usage of moving ledge(s). However, the ledges of the Nail Clipper moved in an axis, while the ledge (the third ledge) of the Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger moved automatically.
  • The Nail Clipper is the second obstacle in American Ninja Warrior history to have a success rate percentage in the single-digit (approximately at 9.10% rate), while the Unstable Bridge during American Ninja Warrior 3's semifinal had the lowest success rate (approximately at 7.14% rate).
  • The Nail Clipper during American Ninja Warrior 9's Cleveland finals shared several similarities with The Wedge during American Ninja Warrior 8's Los Angeles finals:
    • Both obstacles were on a city finals course that used the Ring Jump as the fourth obstacle and the I-Beam obstacle as the fifth obstacle (the I-Beam Cross during Los Angeles finals and I-Beam Gap during Cleveland finals).
    • Each of these two obstacles had only two competitors completed the obstacle (Jessie Graff and Josh Levin for The Wedge, Jamie Rahn and Joe Moravsky for the Nail Clipper). Coincidentally, all of these four competitors have the first name that started with the letter "J".
  • Joe Moravsky is currently the only competitor to complete both versions of the Nail Clipper, as he completed it during Cleveland finals and Stage Three on American Ninja Warrior 9.
  • Though he completed the obstacle twice in American Ninja Warrior 9, Joe Moravsky had even admitted on his Instagram account that the Nail Clipper was the toughest American Ninja Warrior obstacle he has ever faced.
  • During American Ninja Warrior 9's Cleveland finals, the Nail Clipper became the cut off for not only the top 15 competitors to advance to Las Vegas national finals, but also for the top 2 female competitors. 3 female competitors, Michelle Warnky, Jesse Labreck, and Allyssa Beird, reached the obstacle and failed to complete it. While Jesse Labreck's time was fast enough to reach the top 15 (as she finished in 15th place) and fill the first spot for the top 2 female competitors, the last spot for the top 2 female competitors was filled by Allyssa Beird. This meant Michelle Warnky became the only female competitor on American Ninja Warrior 9 to reach the back half of the city finals course (i.e. the obstacles after the Warped Wall), but didn't qualify to Las Vegas national finals.
    • During the past 4 American Ninja Warrior seasons (from American Ninja Warrior 5 to American Ninja Warrior 8), Michelle Warnky qualified to Las Vegas national finals as the wildcard. However, on American Ninja Warrior 9, with the implementation of new rules for female competitors (including the deletion of wildcards, meaning female competitors must qualify to Las Vegas national finals within top 15 or top 2 female competitors during city finals round), since Michelle's time was not fast enough to reach the top 15 or top 2 female competitors, she didn't qualify to Las Vegas national finals for the first time ever, despite it was also her best performance ever during city finals round at that time.

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