Samurai Rig – Advice From Those Who Got Across

By SOLO

If you had the pleasure of racing the short course at the OCRWC this year, you’d remember this baby.

The Samurai Rig

Amazing photo by www.harmdommisse.com

Amazing photo by www.harmdommisse.com

If you have done multiple race series in 2016, chances are this obstacle was not brand new to you – e.g. Savage Race has been known to use this one quite a bit. In fact, some attested that the OCRWC version was far from being the hardest variation – with the logs placed benevolently close together.

Nevertheless, the Samurai Rig gave many racers trouble (at one point, the completion rate for female racers was (unofficially) reported as only 11%).

Here are some specific tips, if you encounter the Samurai Rig (or a similar obstacle).

  1. This obstacle IS doable. It is doable, whether you are male or female, tall or short. Yes, it will require SOME strength. It requires less strength than you think.
  2. The poles and logs are placed WAY closer than they have been in previous races that have used this obstacle. You do not need to reach that far.
  3. Start high. As high as you can. The way the obstacle has been arranged, you tend to lose height as you progress through it – if you start mid-pole, you will slide to the ground before making it to the end. This is the number one reason racers have failed this obstacle.
  4. For the love of all things muddy, you do not need to take off your shoes. Your thigh muscles are plenty strong to hold up your body weight. This is like climbing a tree. Only you don’t have to climb up. Easy peasy.
  5. However… if you are wearing slick athletic gear from head to toes, some skin contact may be helpful – I ended up hiking up my athletic tee around my neck, to create some grip.
picmonkey-collage

Jay Flores

More Strategies From Your Fellow Racers:

  • You just have to keep moving and don’t pause that’s when you slip. Only time I stopped to adjust was on poles that had foot grooves And that you had to be careful because there was mud caked on there. [A. Johnston]
  • I failed it four times before taking off my shirt and getting through successfully. The more ksin you can get to make contact, the better. [K.Parrish]
  • Stay as high as possible with a strong grip. I moved left arm high… hug… second arm… hug. Then legs. Don’t stall too long on any section but maintain controlled grip of the logs. I wasn’t barefoot, though I saw others were. [C. Tazelaar]
  • Climb high, move your upper body to next post while still holding on with legs, move fast, and squeeze the hell out of the posts. I didn’t use the foot holds because they were too close to the ground. [D. Bruns]
sarap

Sarah Pearce

  • “I took shoes and socks off and rolled up my leggings….not convinced it helped. Once I’d worked out to wrap my legs around rather than use my feet to hold me up I did manage it….ripping my arm apart in the process”. [S. Pearce]
brig3

Brigitte Sukel

  • “I got through by placing one leg in front of the pole and one leg around the pole, when you wrap both your legs around you can slide down more easily. And I used my elbows/arms to grab the poles instead of just hands. First pull the next pole towards the pole you’re hanging on, use your elbow as a hook and be quick when you move your legs. And don’t try to hang comfortably but work fast, or you’ll lose strength.
  • I saw some people grab the next pole with both hands and they moved their legs afterwards, but I felt stronger by placing my right arm first, then move my legs and only moved my left arm when I felt secure enough to hang on my legs again”.

Thank you to John Bouwman for sharing this video – he is using mostly upper body strength on the first half of the obstacle, and notice an effective swing over at the end!

Ashley “Weston” Flower getting across, while sporting awesome socks with US flag. She says: “Playing with my kids at the playground really paid off for this one!”

Use those inner thighs, y’all. And enjoy.

Did I miss any tips for this obstacle? Let me know, and I’ll include it. 🙂

Hugs,
SOLO

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Posted November 16, 2016

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