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What do you think of the new first obstacle of the Qualifying course?

Matt and Akbar introduced the Shrinking Steps in the Facebook Live session with Zuri Hall.

Last night the Los Angeles Qualifiers for season 11 of American Ninja Warrior were taped. No spoilers, but we’ll say this: It was wet, it was cold, and the Ninjas faced some new challenges.

The weather absolutely did not damped the spirits of Ninja Warrior’s intrepid hosting team! Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila hopped on Facebook Live with all their usual enthusiasm on display.

Matt and Akbar are LIVE revealing a brand new obstacle with our brand new sideline reporter, Zuri Hall!

Posted by Ninja Warrior on Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The main goal of the chat was to introduce us to the new sideline reporter, Zuri Hall. You can learn more about her here. She’s genuinely excited to be part of the team and had QUITE the first night to break her into the Ninja Warrior world.

Before Zuri joined them, Matt and Akbar briefly pointed out that there was something new behind them at the start of the course. That’s the new first Qualifying obstacle, the Shrinking Steps.

The Shrinking Steps are five ascending platforms, with slanted sides, and, you guessed it, they decrease in size has you progress. Seems pretty straight forward, right? Think again. We watched the Steps in action last night and the Ninjas need to hit these with speed, purpose, and confidence.

The slanted sides almost create a false sense of security. They make the platform look larger, but if your foot hits one of those edges, your momentum and balance take a solid hit.

Last season’s Floating Steps allowed competitors to decide on their preferred strategy. There was the single step bounding, the double or triple step, and the “launch and cling,” where competitors would leap to one, carefully rearrange themselves and leap to the next.

That can’t happen with the Shrinking Steps. You have to hit them hard and fast and leap to the rope. Also, keep an eye out for that water, it’s closer than you think with this new arrangement.

What do you think of the new first obstacle? Is it an improvement from the Floating Steps? Let’s hear your thoughts!

PS: Matt briefly mentions something called The Power Tower in the broadcast and, oh geez, you’re going to want to hold on tight for this one... We’re trying to get permission to tell you more about is ASAP!