The Pole Maze ( ポールメイズ ) is an obstacle, introduced with the course redesign after Nagano Makoto's kanzenseiha in SASUKE 18.

Competitors must grab a pole leaning against the starting platform and vault to the other side. The pole was anchored in the middle of the water pit, and the top of the pole must be guided through a track above.

It was essentially a mix of the Pole Jump and the Rope Maze from VIKING. In SASUKE 19, the maze was lengthened and changed to make the obstacle harder to navigate. It functioned as a time waster, as many that had cleared it with difficulty, timed out on later obstacles. On average, it took out 3-4 competitors for each tournament it was in. It was never a serious threat and was replaced with the Circle Hammer in SASUKE 22.

Other Appearances

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SASUKE Vietnam 3's Pole Maze

Đường Zig Zag (SASUKE Vietnam's official name for the Pole Maze) appeared as the first obstacle in Stage 3 from SASUKE Vietnam 1 to SASUKE Vietnam 5. The track was slightly different from the original, and a red pipe was added at the end to block the pole, but it almost doesn't work at all.

However, unlike in SASUKE, due to its placement as the first obstacle in Stage 3 (since the stage had no time limit to complete it), competitors were only allowed to return to the starting platform up to three times if they failed to generate enough momentum to vault the pole. If they did it on the fourth time, they would be disqualified. This rule came to play, with Phạm Thế Hoàn on SASUKE Vietnam 2 being the first and so far, the only victim of this rule.

Sskvn4 pole maze landing

The dismount of the Pole Maze on SASUKE Vietnam 4.

On SASUKE Vietnam 4, with the first ever attempt of a woman in SASUKE Vietnam's Stage 3, which was made by Olivia Vivian, the producers gave her a special rule that she was allowed to return to the starting platform up for as much as she wanted to.

Also on that season, the producers had once again changed the track layout a bit. But much important, the red bar was pushed much forward, made the dismount larger than ever compared with previous seasons. As the result, a unique way to fail this obstacle was presented when two American competitors, Mike Needham and Greg Schwartz, failed on the dismount to the landing platform after using a wrong technique to swing their body from the pole.

SASUKE Vietnam 5's Swing Ladder-0

The transfer between Pole Maze and Swing Ladder, SASUKE Vietnam 5.

On SASUKE Vietnam 5, the obstacle was modified. Instead of reaching the landing platform, competitors would have to reach the next obstacle, the Swing Ladder. Also, the red bar was pushed back to the original position. Despite to these changes, no competitor failed on it.

Competitor's Success Rate

  • All results based on the TBS broadcast and external information found
SASUKE Clears Attempts Percentage
18 33 37 89.19%
19 40 43 93.02%
20 60 63 95.24%
21 54 58 93.10%
Total 187 201 93.03%
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