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Vertical Limit (バーティカルリミット) is one of the most iconic obstacle in post-Monster9 era of SASUKE, which, together with Cliffhanger, making it a feared duo in Third Stage, with one of these two obstacles being responsible for over half of Third Stage's failures since its introduction in SASUKE 28.

In essence, competitors must traverse through a series of flat wall(s) with a 1 cm ledge embedded on the bottom of the wall(s), which is much smaller than Cliffhanger ledge's width. Competitors must cross the wall using the pinch grip or using only their fingertips. It has had three different versions, with Morimoto Yūsuke being the only competitor to attempt and clear all three versions.

First Version

The first version of Vertical Limit appeared from SASUKE 28 to SASUKE 30. In this version, there is only one wall used. The length of the wall is about 6 metres.

The two resting bars at the end of the obstacle would vary in height in its appearances. When it was first attempted in SASUKE 29, the first bar would be at an equal height to the third ledge while the second bar would be much lower than the first bar. This led to Morimoto Yūsuke, who was the only competitor attempting the obstacle at the time, to directly swing to the second bar and used the first bar as support at the end.

In SASUKE 30, the second bar would be raised at an almost equal height with one another, meaning that once competitors reach the end of the third ledge, they must hoist themselves using their legs over the resting bars to clear.

It was not deadly as it looked at first, with only one competitor (Kishimoto Shinya in SASUKE 30) failing it out of four attempts. Probably due to this, it was replaced by Vertical Limit Kai in SASUKE 31.

Kawaguchi Tomohiro attempting Vertical Limit
in SASUKE 30

Kawaguchi Tomohiro attempting Vertical Limit in SASUKE 30, viewed from the side of the obstacle

Second and Third Versions

The second version of Vertical Limit is Vertical Limit Kai (バーティカルリミット改), literally Altered Vertical Limit. The wall was now split into two sections, where the smaller section was placed 30 cm forward to make the transition between the first and second sections more difficult.

The transition proved to be a tough addition to the obstacle, as both Morimoto Yūsuke and Kanno Hitoshi (the only two competitors to attempt this version) showed signs of struggle during the transition, with Kanno running out of gas, possibly due to exhaustion after clearing the Crazy Cliffhanger and was unable to clear the transition.

Morimoto Yūsuke attempting Vertical Limit Kai in SASUKE 31

Morimoto Yūsuke attempting Vertical Limit Kai in SASUKE 31, viewed from the side of the obstacle

Modified Vertical Limit Kai in Navi of SASUKE 32

Urushihara Yuuji attempting modified Vertical Limit Kai in SASUKE 37

Urushihara Yuuji attempting modified Vertical Limit Kai in SASUKE 37, viewed from the side of the obstacle

Due to Morimoto Yūsuke's Kanzenseiha in that tournament, as part of making the course harder in the following tournament, the third version of Vertical Limit, with the name unchanged, was introduced, appearing from SASUKE 32. The differences being there are now three small walls by adding one small wall between the original Vertical Limit Kai's walls, the ledges now facing the opposite direction compared to the previous versions, and it was also tied together with Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger without any break originally (before being changed in SASUKE 35) to make the second half of Third Stage more difficult as a whole.

The distance between the first to second section was 30 cm horizontally, while the distance between the second to third section was 60 cm horizontally. The distance between the third section to the resting bar was 15 cm vertically. In addition, the resting bars after the obstacle would be increased to three with the ones after the first bar being much higher than the first, barring the competitors to use the other resting bars as support to lifting themselves over. These modifications make Vertical Limit becoming one of the many obstacles in SASUKE's history to be modified in three consecutive tournaments.

The first competitor to make it there, Drew Drechsel, fell instantly upon attempting the transition from Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger. With Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger being cleared in its debut tournament, the producers amplified the difficulty and connect this obstacle with Pipe Slider by adding a netting on the green resting bars in SASUKE 33, meaning that the entire second half of Third Stage had no resting point and become nearly impossible. No one manage to clear Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger in this tournament which led the producers to relax the difficulty, deciding to undone this modification in SASUKE 34. Morimoto was able to attempt it in this tournament, but due to the lack of the break mentioned, he fail it soon enough.

In SASUKE 35, with a green resting platform added between Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger and Vertical Limit Kai (which was now named Vertical Limit for simplicity sake), this version was finally conquered by Morimoto after three tournaments. However, it is still brutal, eliminating Drew Drechsel, Kawaguchi Tomohiro (both in SASUKE 35), Matachi Ryo, and Urushihara Yuuji (both in SASUKE 36). However, in SASUKE 37 and SASUKE 38, no one fail it, making it the only two tournaments so far with 100% clear rate for this version. Three of four competitors who clear this obstacle during these two tournaments, being Tada Tatsuya, Rene Kaselowsky (both in SASUKE 37), and Morimoto (in SASUKE 38), went on to attempt Final Stage as well, with Urushihara being the one denied a spot after making mental mistake while attempting Pipe Slider. In fact, Morimoto would achieve his second Kanzenseiha in SASUKE 38.

Following Morimoto's second kanzenseiha, the obstacle remained unchanged. This time, Tada Tatsuya managed to reach the Vertical Limit once again in SASUKE 39 but unfortunately would lost his grip on the third ledge.

Other Appearances

Australian Ninja Warrior

Australian Ninja Warrior 5's Vertical Limit

Side View of Vertical Limit showing the gap between the ledges

On Australian Ninja Warrior 5, the Vertical Limit made its first international appearance outside of SASUKE, appearing as the fourth obstacle in Stage Three. The obstacle featured three ledges, with the first and third ledges on the right side and the second ledge on the left side. Competitors have to do a backwards movement in a similar fashion to a Crazy Cliffhanger transfer in grabbing the third ledge, a feature that has never been introduced before in SASUKE. Due to Zak Stolz failing on the Doorknob Drop, no one attempted the obstacle in this competition.

Competitors' Success Rate

  • All results based on the TBS broadcast and external information found.
Vertical Limit
SASUKE Clears Attempts Percentage
28 0 0 N/A
29 1 1 100%
30 2 3 66.67%
Total 3 4 75%

Vertical Limit Kai
SASUKE Clears Attempts Percentage
31 1 2 50%
32 0 1 0%
33 0 0 N/A
34 0 1 0%
35 1 3 33.33%
36 1 4 25%
37 3 3 100%
38 1 1 100%
39 0 1 0%
Total 7 16 43.75%