The Third Stage (stylized 3RD STAGE, later 3rd STAGE) has no time limit, allowing contestants to go at their own pace. Contestants are allowed a certain duration of rest between obstacles during which they can apply "sticky spray" or chalk to improve their grip. While the first two stages focus on speed and agility, this course almost exclusively tests one's upper body strength and stamina. Out of 3,800 overall competitors and 470 Second Stage competitors, 224 have attempted the Third Stage. The Third Stage is so grueling that, on average, someone passes it only every other competition, and with the exception of SASUKE 1, 3, 8, and 24, the success rate has been 50% or lower in every other competition, the former being relatively easy, and the latter three due to the fact that the stage had remained the same for a few tournaments (e.g. the stage had remained largely the same from SASUKE 18 to 24). This rate has been 0% in 17 out of 37 competitions as no one passed it. The Third Stage has only been passed 39 times, and only six competitors have passed it more than once. The stage has featured in all but one competition, SASUKE 19, as nobody managed to complete the Second Stage in said event.
The Third Stage began as a three obstacle balance and coordination stage, however with the addition of particularly the Pipe Slider in SASUKE 2 and the Cliffhanger in SASUKE 4, it would become the most grueling stage, focusing on upper body endurance. Indeed, most obstacles, with rare exceptions such as the Floating Boards, can only be conquered using upper body strength alone.
The SASUKE 5-17 Third Stage remained fairly similar in its format, albeit with the addition of harder obstacles, most notably in SASUKE 14 where three new obstacles were put in place of the Pipe Slider's first track following Nagano Makoto's third consecutive Final Stage appearance in SASUKE 13, which in turn meant that no one cleared until SASUKE 17, the fourth tournament that these obstacles were present.
Following Nagano Makoto's kanzenseiha, the course was completely redesigned, including drastic changes made to the Third Stage. All obstacles except the Arm Rings were either new, returning, or modified, most notably the modification of the Cliffhanger into the Shin-Cliffhanger. Despite being introduced in SASUKE 18, the obstacle was not passed until SASUKE 21 (by Takeda Toshihiro) and subsequently the stage was not cleared until SASUKE 22 (by Urushihara Yuuji). The Shin-SASUKE Third Stage still holds the record for causing the most straight Third Stage endings to a tournament, at four (SASUKE 18-21).
Following Urushihara's kanzenseiha in SASUKE 24, the course was once again redesigned for the following tournament. Again, all Third Stage obstacles but the Cliffhanger were new, with the Shin-Cliffhanger being replaced by the Ultimate Cliffhanger, with twice the ledges and jumps. Despite having been deemed almost impossible, three men cleared it in SASUKE 27, albeit following a streak of eight straight failures. Two of the three men who cleared the obstacle cleared the stage, while the one who didn't, Hashimoto Koji, failed the new Chain See-Saw.
Following SASUKE 27 and Urushihara's second kanzenseiha, the course was revitalised, now bringing back some older obstacles such as the Curtain Cling and Rumbling Dice for the SASUKE RISING tournament. The Cliffhanger was once again modified to the Crazy Cliffhanger. This obstacle took out all three Third Stage competitors in SASUKE RISING and made multiple failures for competitors from SASUKE 28 to SASUKE 31.
In SASUKE 29, new rules were given for this particular tournament. For the first time, a timer was instituted, as only the person who finished the Third Stage in the fastest time would be allowed to advance to the Final Stage, regardless of whether any other competitor cleared the stage to make selections for the SASUKE ASEAN Open Cup easier to decide. These rules would be undone the following tournament, and was not used ever since.
Following Morimoto Yūsuke's kanzenseiha in SASUKE 31, the course was heavily modified rather than a complete redesign, with the return of the Flying Bar and modifications of past obstacles such as the Sidewinder R which is modified into Sidewinder R Kai then once again modified the next tournament into Sidewinder Kai. Just like in competitions after a kanzenseiha, the Cliffhanger is modified once again to the Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger. To make it even harder, it is followed immediately with the Vertical Limit Kai, but in SASUKE 33, it was also linked with the Pipe Slider which means there are no more resting points in the last half of the stage. This latter change was undone in SASUKE 34; even so, only Morimoto cleared the Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger, and could not even advance past the first ledge of the Vertical Limit Kai. Deeming this combo almost impossible, it was decided for SASUKE 35 that there would be a resting platform for competitors between the Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger and the Vertical Limit, enabled Morimoto to clear that tournament, as well as in SASUKE 36.
SASUKE 32 and SASUKE 33 had very bad weather conditions, which caused the obstacles to be very slick; affecting the performance of competitors, which was especially noticeable concerning the Flying Bar, which was not helped when an attempt to anchor the obstacle to the scaffolding only made the obstacle more difficult than ever. As a result, in SASUKE 34, in case of bad weather, a long white cloth was placed above every obstacle in the stage to eliminate this problem. In subsequent tournaments, this precaution for bad weather is implemented.
TBS Obstacle Names
+ - This obstacle leads directly into the next, without any break.
Third Stage Results
|1||4||6||66.68%||Kawashima Takayuki - Yo Takashi - Hasegawa Ken - Omori Akira|
|2||2||9||22.22%||Tanaka Hikaru - Omori Akira|
|3||5||6||83.33%||Yamamoto Shingo - Matsumoto Minoru - Yamamoto Tatsuya - Yamada Katsumi - Omori Akira|
|8||2||4||50%||Jordan Jovtchev - Kane Kosugi|
|12||3||10||30%||Asaoka Hiroyuki - Shiratori Bunpei - Nagano Makoto|
|17||2||8||25%||Nagasaki Shunsuke - Nagano Makoto|
|23||2||7||28.57%||Kanno Hitoshi - Nagano Makoto|
|24||5||7||71.43%||Hashimoto Koji - Lee En-Chih - Urushihara Yuuji - Takahashi Kenji -Okuyama Yoshiyuki|
|27||2||10||20%||Matachi Ryo - Urushihara Yuuji|
|30||2||9||22.22%||Kawaguchi Tomohiro - Matachi Ryo|
|37||2||8||25%||Tada Tatsuya - Rene Kaselowsky|
G4 Obstacle Names
|Comp #||Third Stage Obstacles|
|1||Pillar Path||Propeller Bars||Eye of the Needle|
|2||Pillar Path||Propeller Bars||Chain Swing||Pipe Slider|
|3||Super Vault||Propeller Bars||Chain Swing||Pipe Slider|
|4||Super Vault||Propeller Bars||Arm Bike||Cliff Hanger||Pipe Slider|
|5||Propeller Bars||Body Prop||Arm Bike||Cliff Hanger||Pipe Slider|
|6||Propeller Bars||Body Prop||Arm Bike||Cliff Hanger||Pipe Slider|
|7||Propeller Bars||Body Prop||Arm Bike||Cliff Hanger||Pipe Slider|
|8||Propeller Bars||Body Prop||Arm Bike||Cliff Hanger||Pipe Slider|
|9||Rumbling Dice||Body Prop||Globe Grasp||Cliff Hanger||Pipe Slider|
|10||Rumbling Dice||Body Prop||Globe Grasp||Cliff Hanger||Pipe Slider|
|11||Rumbling Dice||Body Prop||Globe Grasp||Cliff Hanger||Pipe Slider|
|12||Rumbling Dice||Body Prop||Globe Grasp||Cliff Hanger||Pipe Slider|
|13||Rumbling Dice||Body Prop||Curtain Cling||Cliff Hanger||Pipe Slider|
|14||Rumbling Dice||Body Prop||Curtain Cling||Cliff Hanger||Jumping Bars||+||Bridge of Destiny||Devil's Swing||+||Pipe Slider|
|15||Rumbling Dice||Body Prop||Curtain Cling||Cliff Hanger||Jumping Bars||+||Bridge of Destiny||Devil's Swing||+||Pipe Slider|
|16||Arm Rings||Body Prop||Curtain Cling||Cliff Hanger||Jumping Bars||+||Bridge of Destiny||Devil's Swing||+||Pipe Slider|
|17||Arm Rings||Body Prop||Curtain Cling||Cliff Hanger||Jumping Bars||+||Bridge of Destiny||Devil's Swing||+||Pipe Slider|
|18||Arm Rings||+||Arm Bike||Curtain Swing||Cliffhanger||Jumping Bars||+||Bridge of Destiny||+||Spider Flip||Gliding Ring|
|19||Arm Rings||Globe Grasp||Devil Steps||Cliffhanger||Jumping Bars||+||Ascending Climb||+||Spider Flip||Gliding Ring|
|20||Arm Rings||Globe Grasp||Devil Steps||Cliffhanger||Jumping Bars||+||Ascending Climb||+||Spider Flip||Gliding Ring|
|21||Arm Rings||Globe Grasp||Devil Steps||Cliffhanger||Jumping Bars||+||Ascending Climb||+||Spider Flip||Gliding Ring|
|22||Arm Rings||Globe Grasp||Devil Steps||Cliffhanger||Jumping Bars||+||Ascending Climb||+||Spider Flip||Gliding Ring|
|23||Arm Rings||Globe Grasp||Devil Steps||Cliffhanger||Jumping Bars||+||Ascending Climb||+||Spider Flip||Final Ring|
|24||Arm Rings||Rope Junction||Devil Steps||Cliffhanger||Jumping Bars||+||Ascending Climb||+||Spider Flip||Final Ring|
|25||Roulette Cylinder||+||Doorknob Grasper||Floating Boards||(Ultimate) Cliffhanger||Swing Circle||+||(Bungee) Rope Climb||Flying Bar|
|26||Roulette Cylinder||+||Doorknob Grasper||Cycle Road||(Ultimate) Cliffhanger||Swing Circle||+||(Bungee) Rope Climb||Flying Bar|
|27||Arm Bike||Flying Bar||(Ultimate) Cliffhanger||Jumping Ring||+||Chain See-saw||+||(Bungee) Rope Climb||Bar Glider|
Challenge Obstacle Names
|Comp #||Third Stage Obstacles|
|28||Rumbling Dice||Iron Paddler||Crazy Cliffhanger||Curtain Cling||Vertical Limit||Pipe Slider|
|29||Rumbling Dice||Iron Paddler||Crazy Cliffhanger||Curtain Cling||Vertical Limit||Pipe Slider|
|30||Rumbling Dice||Iron Paddler||Drum Hopper||Crazy Cliffhanger||Vertical Limit||Pipe Slider|
|31||Drum Hopper||Iron Paddler||Sidewinder||Crazy Cliffhanger||Vertical Limit||Pipe Slider|
|32||Drum Hopper||Flying Bar||Sidewinder||Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger||+||Vertical Limit||Pipe Slider|
|33||Drum Hopper||Flying Bar||+||Sidewinder||Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger||+||Vertical Limit||+||Pipe Slider|
|34||Drum Hopper||Flying Bar||+||Sidewinder||Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger||+||Vertical Limit||Pipe Slider|
+ - This obstacle leads directly into the next, without any break.