How do I set up an obstacle course in my backyard?
Ninja warrior may have started as an obscure Japanese tournament, but it has exploded into mainstream Western culture with television shows based on the competition. Many young kids hope to challenge Mount Midoriyama one day just like the athletes they see on TV.
Backyard ninja courses allow children to start their training on a variety of different obstacles. They are designed to be easy to set up and rearrange and, most importantly, are made with solid safety components.
Our top recommendation, the Slackers NinjaLine Intro Kit, is ideal for beginners and includes rings, rope knots and monkey bars. If you want something more advanced, keep reading to find out about some other great options.
What to know before buying a backyard ninja obstacle course?
Backyard ninja obstacles courses include a slackline that you attach all the other obstacles to. In most kits, you can use the line independently like a tightrope. It is a great way to improve balance and core stability.
Most ninja courses come with at least three types of obstacles. However, some may contain as many as six or more.
Gymnastic rings hang from a small rope and have a carabiner on the end that you use to attach them to the central line. They are usually coated with plastic or rubber to provide a comfortable grip.
Nylon knots also consist of a carabiner on one end but have a fist-sized knot of rope on the other. In place of knots, some courses opt for a smooth ball instead. These are harder to grip and require greater hand strength to get a secure hold.
An alternative to balls and nylon knots, cones are slimmer on the top and get thicker toward the bottom. Most will find these even more challenging to hold onto than the other two types of grips.
Unlike those found on traditional playgrounds, the monkey bars on ninja obstacles courses hang from a rope. This allows them to swing freely, adding to the challenge. The bar itself is usually made of wood. The monkey bars also attach to the main line via metal carabiners.
Less common obstacles include items such as traverse rings, climbing rope and T-bars.
When considering the weight limit, you must look at the capacity of the obstacles themselves, rather than simply that of the slackline. These are usually the weakest points and will determine how heavy a child should be using any particular course. Always choose a course with a weight limit well above that of the intended users.
Features to look for in a good backyard ninja obstacle course
Variety in obstacles
The obstacles determine the difficulty and entertainment of a course. The more obstacles in a given course, the harder it will be, and the more training will be required to complete it. You should note that you can add additional obstacles to your course that aren’t part of the initial set as long as the slackline is long enough to accommodate them.
Because children will be hanging from ninja courses regularly, it is crucial to choose one made from high-quality materials that can withstand strain and abuse. Suppose you plan on leaving your course set up outside for extended periods. In that case, you should also consider how well any given set of materials will withstand exposure to the elements.
Obstacles courses need to be installed at least a foot higher than the height of the tallest user. Buying a kit that comes with a rope or ladder is a smart option if you don’t want to provide your own.
If you plan to take your course to the park or let your child take it to a friend’s house, look for a set that includes a bag. This also doubles as a handy place to store the components so they stay organized when not in use.
How much you can expect to spend on a backyard ninja obstacle course
You can find introductory courses between $75-$100. Full-featured sets with a large variety of obstacles can cost $150 or more.
Backyard ninja obstacle course FAQs
How can I ensure my obstacle course is safe?
A. Ninja obstacle courses should only be set up over grass, sand or dirt and never hard surfaces like concrete. They should also never be set up by children. Ensure that you or another adult installs the course and double-checks all the components to ensure they are securely connected. You should only use obstacle kits under adult supervision.
What tools are needed to install a ninja obstacle course?
A. Most kits don’t require any tools for installation. The slackline attaches to trees or other supports using ratchets, and the obstacles connect via the included carabiners.
How do I arrange a ninja obstacle course?
A. You can set up the obstacle course any way your child wants. Periodically, alter the arrangement of the obstacles to make it more fun and challenging.
What is the best backyard ninja obstacle course to buy?
Top backyard ninja obstacle course
What you need to know: This is an excellent choice for beginners that comes with three fundamental obstacles that are easy to use but hard to master.
What you’ll love: A storage bag makes it easy to take the kit on the go, and it is endorsed by ninja warriors worldwide.
What you should consider: It doesn’t include a ladder or rope to climb up.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top backyard ninja obstacle course for the money
What you need to know: Ideal for multi-kid households, this set includes two slacklines that can be used independently when you want to set up two separate courses.
What you’ll love: The sheer range of obstacles it comes with surpasses almost all others.
What you should consider: It can be challenging to organize because of the number of components.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: It’s a comprehensive kit with a 55-foot slackline and some hard-to-find obstacles.
What you’ll love: The length makes it very challenging and great for building muscle stamina.
What you should consider: Placing the obstacles in position can be time-consuming.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Brett Dvoretz is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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