The Pole Maze ( ポールメイズ ) is an obstacle, introduced with the course redesign after Nagano Makoto's kanzenseiha in SASUKE 17.

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. 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 to SASUKE Vietnam 5.

On SASUKE Vietnam 4, one additional rule was added to the obstacle, in which competitors were 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. However, this particular rule didn't apply for female and special competitors (they were allowed to return to the starting platform up for as much as they wanted to).

Due to its placement as the first obstacle in Stage 3, unlike in SASUKE, no competitor failed on the obstacle during the first 3 seasons. However, on SASUKE Vietnam 4, it took out 3 competitors, including 2 American competitors: Michael Needham and Greg Schwartz. In both cases, both of them fell backwards into the water while trying to make the dismount. Olivia Vivian was the first female and special competitor to complete the Pole Maze on SASUKE Vietnam 4.

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.

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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