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Old 08-31-2016, 12:46 AM
DKW is offline
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 2,975
Well, now. This year's Stage 1 is turning out to be (Gordon Gekko voice) intriguing...for lack of a better word. I'd like to begin with my early take on the new obstacles.

Snake Hop: Wasn't quite sure what to make of this one. Can't see anything about it that makes it appreciably harder (or easier) than Timbers. Brought out the usual "You CANNOT take any obstacle for GRANTED!" bluster but didn't make a big impact, as it should've been.
Giant Log Grip: I can see how it can be harder than Silk Slider (harder to get a solid grip, can't see directly in front of you). However, there are two ways in which it's easier: There's no risk of being spun around, and you can drop off after hitting the end and swinging back, which looks to me much easier to time then during a full-speed-ahead descent. I'd call it largely a wash.
Broken Bridge: Hmm...don't think this is especially challenging for anyone good enough to make it to Stage 1. It's mostly a matter of staying calm and not screwing up your footing. Maybe tougher than Coin Flip, but I actually think it's a shade easier than Spinning Bridge because the surfaces are cylindrical and not spherical. If Cannonball Alley has taught us anything, it's that spheres drive these athletes absolutely nuts.
Flying Squirrel: Two unconnected bars, with a leap to the same, and with a considerably longer distance to the net. Definitely harder than anything that's been here before. I'm surprised only one person failed on it so far; this really goes to show you how much the level of competition has risen.

I'm going to have to see this again. So much to digest here, including what's looking like a large-scale changing of the guard. The attrition was tremendous, way higher than what I'm used to seeing from even Stage 1, and right now I can't really see why. I remember one year where Jumping Spider took out like 40 competitors; now it seems like nothing special. In fact, no one particular obstacle looks like a killer, not even Warped Wall. Even the clock wasn't a huge factor, with only two timeouts.

We're definitely breaking new ground here; right now, I'm just glad I stuck around to see it. I'm so hooked I don't even have to mute it. Yet.

Oh, and YOU GO, GRAFF! Second best jock Graff after that tennis player! Woo HOOOOOO!

(Um, you all know who I'm talking about, right? I'm not THAT old, am I?)