The Wingnuts is an obstacle, firstly introduced as the third obstacle on American Ninja Warrior 9 in Daytona Beach.
Competitors have to jump a trampoline and must grab a ledge, which is shaped like a wingnut, and must swing horizontally to grab the second ledge. Then, they must repeat that to the third ledge, and swing to the landing platform to advance. The trampoline and the first ledge is parallel to one another.
The obstacle was proven to be surprisingly difficult for many competitors, taking out many notable competitors like Jo Jo Bynum, Caleb Watson, Casey Suchocki, Adam Grossman, Mack Roesch and tons of others. A total of 40 competitors failed the obstacle. One of the main flaws with many competitors were due to weak laché/technique. A few competitors also fell due to rushing/hitting the Plexiglas on the wingnuts. The Wingnuts was served as the cut-off for the top 5 female competitors to advance to Daytona Beach finals, with Emily Durham and Adriane Alvord failing the obstacle and placing fourth and fifth places in the top 5 female competitors respectively.
Other Season Appearances
American Ninja Warrior 10
The Wingnuts returned on American Ninja Warrior 10 in Philadelphia. The obstacle remained the same from the previous season, except it was being moved a position forward to the fourth obstacle, after the Broken Bridge. Both obstacles were coincidentally used in the Daytona Beach course on the previous season.
Likely due to its placement as the fourth obstacle, the obstacle did much less damage than during Daytona Beach qualifiers on the previous season, as only 14 competitors fell on this obstacle during Philadelphia qualifiers, and 5 female competitors were able to complete it.
This obstacle was once again served as the cut-off for the top 5 female competitors to advance to Philadelphia finals, as McKinley Pierce was the only female competitor to fail on the Wingnuts and still stay in the top 5 female competitors. However, this instance occurred because Angela Gargano, who was one of the 5 female competitors completed the Wingnuts, had to withdraw from the competition due to injury after dismounting from the obstacle awkwardly and tearing her ACL.
During Philadelphia finals, the obstacle eliminated more competitors than during Daytona Beach finals on the previous season. As opposed to only two competitors fell on it during Daytona Beach finals, 6 competitors fell on this obstacle during Philadelphia finals, including Mike Bernardo and Darion Bennett. On the flipside, McKinley Pierce, who failed the obstacle during Philadelphia qualifiers, completed the obstacle during Philadelphia finals, before failing one obstacle later at the Lightning Bolts.
American Ninja Warrior 11
On American Ninja Warrior 11, the Wingnuts appeared as the fourth obstacle in Cincinnati.
During Cincinnati qualifiers, the obstacle did much less damage once again, as only 10 competitors fell on it, including James Wilson.
On American Ninja Warrior 9, a variation of the Wingnuts, named as the Wingnut Alley, appeared as the fifth obstacle in Stage Two, replacing the Double Wedge from the previous season. On this obstacle, competitors have to:
- Jump from a trampoline and grab the first wingnut, which was perpendicular to the trampoline.
- Then, they must swing horizontally to grab the second wingnut, which was 11 feet away from the first wingnut.
- After that, they must swing again and grab the third wingnut, which was perpendicular to the second wingnut, causing competitors to switch their momentum.
- Then, they must repeat that to the fourth wingnut, which was also perpendicular to the third wingnut, once again causing competitors to switch their momentum.
- And finally, they must swing 12 feet to the landing platform to advance.
This version of the Wingnuts was proven to be ruthless and brutal, as it eliminated almost every competitor who attempted it, in which:
- Some of them failed to generate enough swing and momentum to make a transition from one wingnut to the other (e.g. Thomas Stillings, David Campbell, Brian Arnold, and JJ Woods).
- While others failed to generate enough swing and momentum to the landing platform (e.g. Jamie Rahn, Daniel Gil, Flip Rodriguez, and Adam Rayl).
This obstacle shockingly took out Drew Drechsel, as he overshot the distance from the third to the final wingnut, slightly injured his bicep and resulted in him not having enough swing and momentum to reach the landing platform.
As it wasn't difficult enough, during USA vs. The World 4, the Wingnut Alley was modified by reducing the number of wingnuts from 4 to 3, making the gap between one wingnut to the other was much larger. As the result, the obstacle took out Sean Bryan from Team USA, when he failed to generate enough swing and momentum to the landing platform, slammed his back to the side of the landing platform, and fell into the water.
Other Season Appearances
American Ninja Warrior 10
On American Ninja Warrior 10, the Wingnut Alley returned once again as the fifth obstacle in Stage Two. Just like on the previous season, only 3 competitors were able to complete the obstacle, with 2 of them had completed it before on the previous season (Najee Richardson and Sean Bryan). The other competitor who completed the obstacle on this season was Drew Drechsel, who failed on it on the previous season.
The obstacle was deadly once again, as it knocked out 11 competitors such as Jamie Rahn, Mathis Owhadi, Karson Voiles, Ethan Swanson, and Chris Wilczewski. It also knocked out Iris Matamoros from Team Europe during USA vs. The World 5.
It was worth noting that on this season, less competitors attempted the obstacle, as only 14 competitors had been able to do so. Even still, 4 particular competitors (Josh Salinas, Karson Voiles, Drew Knapp and Jamie Rahn) were eliminated by the obstacle for the second season in a row. Even though the obstacle has a decent knockout rate, the obstacle is replaced by the Grim Sweeper in the next season.
Australian Ninja Warrior
On Australian Ninja Warrior 2, the Wingnuts (named as the Wing Nuts) appeared as the fourth obstacle in Stage Two.
Then, on Australian Ninja Warrior 3, the Wing Nuts appeared as the fifth obstacle in Stage One.
Ninja Warrior UK
On Ninja Warrior UK 5, the Wingnuts (also named as the Wing Nuts) appeared as the fourth obstacle during the semi-finals.
Despite the obstacle eliminated 10 out of 35 competitors who attempted it, the Wing Nuts eliminated the most number of competitors than any other obstacle during the semi-finals. Also, most of the competitors made the transition from one wingnut to the other by grabbing only one side of the wingnut instead of both sides.
Competitors' Success Rate
- All results based on the NBC broadcast and external information found
|USA vs. The World 4||2||3||66.67%|
|USA vs. The World 5||3||4||75%|
- The Wingnuts was one of the eight obstacles that won the first edition of American Ninja Warrior: Obstacle Design Challenge, and designed by Kevin Carbone, who also competed in Daytona Beach as a walk-on competitor (since he didn't get a call to compete), and most notably, he beat his own obstacle creation and finished the Daytona Beach qualifiers course.
- Because of this, the Wingnuts is the only Obstacle Design Challenge obstacle to even be attempted by its creator.
- According to Kevin Carbone, the obstacle's name was brought up from his father's impression on the obstacle's appearance. His father, Jerry Carbone, commented that the obstacle "looks like a wingnut".
- The original design of the obstacle is that there are six bars and must be swing horizontally to grab the next bars.
- Kevin Carbone made a reference to the Hunger Games imagining the amounts of competitors "ghosts" fly up into the air, acknowledging the high amounts casualties during the Daytona Beach qualifiers.
- For the third straight American Ninja Warrior season, the fifth obstacle of Stage Two was a modified obstacle from the city qualifiers/city finals course, as:
- On American Ninja Warrior "Crashing the Course", the Wingnut Alley was entitled the Staggered Wingnuts, but in the actual broadcast itself, it was called the Wingnut Alley, similar with the relationship with the "Down Up Salmon Ladder" being entitled the "Double Salmon Ladder".
- So far, three competitors had completed both the Wingnuts and Wingnut Alley on American Ninja Warrior:
- Najee Richardson: he completed the Wingnuts on American Ninja Warrior 10 during Philadelphia qualifiers and finals and Wingnut Alley on American Ninja Warrior 9, American Ninja Warrior 10, and USA vs. The World 4.
- Drew Drechsel: he completed the Wingnuts on American Ninja Warrior 9 during Daytona Beach qualifiers and finals and Wingnut Alley on American Ninja Warrior 10.
- Jesse Labreck: she completed Wingnut Alley during USA vs. The World 5 and the Wingnuts during Cincinnati qualifiers and finals on American Ninja Warrior 11.
- Both Najee Richardson and Drew Drechsel coincidentally landed as the top 2 competitors during American Ninja Warrior: All Stars Special 3's skill competition on the Wicked Wingnuts, with Drew winning the competition by clearing the 20-foot transition and Najee finishing as the runner-up after clearing the 19-foot transition.
- The Wicked Wingnuts on American Ninja Warrior: All Stars Special 3 break the record for the longest distance transfer for an obstacle in American Ninja Warrior history, with the obstacle being expanded to a record distance of 20 feet apart at maximum.
- When the Wingnuts appeared during the semi-finals on Ninja Warrior UK 5, the co-host (Chris Kamara) nicknamed the obstacle as the "Flying Sombreros", since he thought the shape of the wingnut was more similar to a sombrero hat.