The Pipefitter is an obstacle, firstly introduced as the fifth obstacle on American Ninja Warrior 8 in Atlanta. Competitors are required to:
- Climb a pipe, leaning at a 45-degree angle, 16 feet in the air,
- Then, they must hang across the first hanging pipe.
- Then, they must swing from the first hanging pipe to the second hanging pipe, which is 4 feet away and a foot higher than the first hanging pipe.
- Then, competitors must grab the third hanging pipe (also leaning at a 45-degrees angle), and finally make a dismount to the landing platform to advance.
Using legs on the first and second hanging pipe will result in disqualification.
This obstacle was proven to be challenging for competitors, as the pipes were a massive test for competitors' forearm and bicep strength. The four feet transition to the second hanging pipe was proven to be the main challenge on the obstacle. Notable competitors that failed the obstacle in qualifying included Nick Patel, Drew Hendry, Calle Alexander and Brittany Reid.
During Atlanta finals, the first pipe was made steeper to climb. The first two hanging pipes swung less, making it more difficult for competitors to gain momentum to make a transition between the pipes. The third hanging pipe was also the same size as the first two hanging pipes. Competitors were still allowed to use their legs to grab the third hanging pipe. Only 2 competitors failed the obstacle in the Atlanta finals: Brent Ruffin (who completed the obstacle in qualifying) and Chris Moore (who failed the obstacle during qualifying).
Other Season Appearances
American Ninja Warrior 9
However, competitors were not allowed to use their legs on all of the hanging pipes. As the result, the obstacle was proven to be harder than during Atlanta qualifiers on the previous season, as many top competitors failed on this obstacle during San Antonio qualifiers, including Tremayne Dortch, Barclay Stockett, Nate Burkhalter, and Kenneth Niemitalo (who completed the obstacle during Atlanta qualifiers on the previous season).
Also during San Antonio qualifiers, there were fewer completions on the obstacle, with there only being 16 clears. However, there were also fewer falls on the obstacle, with there being 14 victims on the obstacle. In total, exactly 30 competitors attempted the Pipe Fitter, meaning every competitor who attempted the obstacle advanced to San Antonio finals.
During San Antonio finals, the obstacle had the same specification as during Atlanta finals. From there, several competitors (e.g. Thomas Stillings and Nicholas Coolridge) dismounted the obstacle early, by skipping the third hanging pipe entirely. Only Sam Ballard and Blake Devine failed on the obstacle.
Ninja Warrior UK
On Ninja Warrior UK 3, the Pipefitter appeared twice during the season.
- Firstly, as the fifth obstacle in Heat 3, and was called as the Pipe Climber. It featured 3 pipes instead of 4 (by reducing the number of middle hanging pipes from 2 to 1).
- Also, just like the Floating Tiles on the same season, the chains that supported the pipes were also given the red area, meaning competitors were allowed to grab the chains (if they grabbed the chains outside the red area, they would be disqualified).
- Unlike on American Ninja Warrior, competitors were allowed to use their legs on all of the pipes.
- As the result, the obstacle was proven to be much easier, as only one competitor failed (that competitor was disqualified for grabbing the support chains outside the red area).
- Secondly, as the eighth obstacle during the finals' Stage 1, and was called as the Three Logs.
- It featured 3 hanging pipes, with the first pipe was angled downward, the second pipe was straight, and the third pipe was angled upward.
- Just like the Pipe Climber in Heat 3, the chains that supported the pipes were also given the red area meaning competitors were allowed to grab the chains (if they grabbed the chains outside the red area, they would be disqualified), as well as competitors were allowed to use their legs on all of the pipes.
- Only one competitor failed on this obstacle.
On Ninja Warrior UK 4, the Pipe Climber returned once again as the fifth obstacle in Heat 3. This time, the obstacle was made similar to the Pipe Fitter from American Ninja Warrior. However, competitors were still allowed to use their legs on all of the pipes, but were not allowed to grab any part of the support chains (including the black area that covered the chains).
Australian Ninja Warrior
The Pipefitter appeared as the fifth obstacle in Heat 4 on Australian Ninja Warrior and Heat 2 on Australian Ninja Warrior 2, with a similar specification and completion rule from American Ninja Warrior 8. However, just like on Ninja Warrior UK, the obstacle was called as the Pipe Climber.
On Australian Ninja Warrior 5, the Pipe Climber appeared as the third obstacle in Semifinal 3. This time, some changes were made to the obstacle:
- the angled pipe was made less steeper,
- the second hanging pipe was placed lower and made longer,
- the last hanging pipe was replaced with a trapeze bar from the Trapeze Swing, and
- competitors were allowed to use their legs in all hanging pipes.
Ninja Warrior Poland
On Ninja Warrior Poland 4, the Pipefitter obstacle appeared fifth in Heat 2 and Heat 6. It consisted of three pipes. In Heat 2, one participant was disqualified for this obstacle due to his foot being pushed forward with the chain from which the first pipe was suspended. In Heat 6, one competitor fell on the third pipe. In total, the obstacle eliminated 2 participants.
- The Pipefitter is inspired by the Carrie Furnace of Pittsburgh, which was the backdrop of the Pittsburgh qualifying course on American Ninja Warrior 7.
- It was revealed that the Pipefitter took over 200 people to assemble.
- The Pipefitter is very similar to the log of Bungee Road, even using the "no lower body" rule on the smaller pipes and the last pipe (on American Ninja Warrior 8, the small pipes were only affected by the rule).
- The tactic in which competitors used on the final pipe by grabbing the pipe with their legs is notably similar to Kevin Bull's technique on the Cannonball Alley during American Ninja Warrior 6's Venice Beach finals.