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Evolution of Design

It’s no mystery that to be successful in business, one must evolve and adapt to the ever-changing consumer demand. Sometimes it’s not necessarily a change in consumer taste, but also recognizing that the things you are currently doing could be done a little better, thus making for happier customers. Stagnant companies become obsolete and ultimately fade away.

Really listening to your customers and evaluating their feedback is critical to ensuring you are offering the right products in the right way.

Over the last 3 years, we’ve completed dozens of large projects across the country. Many of them have gone smoothly, but a few had some bumps in the road, which can be expected with a growing company. The biggest mistake for us on these handful of challenging ones would have been to fight through the challenges and then to ignore them and move on to the next project. However, we have taken away something valuable from every project to ensure that any problems which may have arisen are not repeated on future projects.

As we reflect on ways in which our obstacle designs have changed, below are some updated features we thought were worth highlighting.

  • Mounting of Various obstacles – It may sound simple, but we’ve made quite a few changes to how our obstacles are hung. Two things gym owners want to see with hanging things are flexibility and ease. Obstacles that are mounted should have the ability to be adjusted in some manner, and they should be fairly simple to install.

The Flying Rings – original hanging design versus new hanging design

The flying Rings are a great obstacle, but the original design had a few limiting features. The most significant limiting feature was the fact that we started off welding the drop down sticks to the crossbar. Functionally, they were fine, but it meant these crossbars were not usable for any other obstacle. This wasn’t good for our customers. So, we changed the hooks to a bolt-on design and gave them a cool look as seen in the above photo.

  • Aesthetics – We are big on looks! When we sell a product to a customer, not only is it going to function well and last long, but it is going to look great. We put a lot of effort into creating a “look” to our Ninja line. We want people to walk into a gym and say “Ah, that’s ag Ninja’s stuff.” The Flying Rings pictured above were part of the group of obstacles that we felt needed that extra flare. Additionally, the flying bar trainer is another great example of an obstacle that had a drastic face lift as well as some beneficial material changes.

The Flying Bar Trainer – original design versus new design

The original design of the Flying Bar Trainer consisted of wood and steel mounting pieces. In addition, it was one of those obstacles that had the mounting bracket which prevented variation in the width of the obstacle. In the new design, there is more attention to the aesthetics while also allowing for variation in width.

Below are a few other examples of some obstacles in which we added some of our own touches that are more visually appealing…

  • Functionality – A lot of work goes into the design of a product to ensure that it functions the way we intended. After we design, we manufacture, and then we test it to ensure it is safe. Even then, you really don’t get good quality feedback until it is out there being used on a regular basis. Often times, the product gets into the hands of the customer, and everything is perfect. Sometimes, however, there are minor flaws a customer will point out that they may be able to live with but want you to be aware of for future customers. This feedback is invaluable, and we absolutely welcome it. A few examples of products that have had some design tweaking along the way to allow for better functionality include a few of our obstacles hung by a swing and our slanted steps.

Obstacles hung by a sling – We have a number of obstacles which freely hang by way of a sling. Determining the best way for a sling to attach to an obstacle has changed a few times. After evaluating feedback and testing various methods, we nailed down a good looking solution.

 

 

Slanted Steps – Slanted Steps are a must in a ninja facility, so it’s pretty important that they function well. Version 1 of the steps looked great, but they had a few characteristics which may not be desirable in all training situations. So, we went back to the drawing board to develop a step that was versatile and allowed for ninjas of all ages and sizes to use them.

 

Obstacle Training, in my opinion, will continue to grow and will be around for a long, long time. Methods will change, regulations may change, and customer taste is always a moving target. It’s a mighty fun ride for us, and we know the importance of continuing to evolve so that we aren’t left watching the train leave while we are sitting at the station.

 

Brad Thornton

Chief Operations Officer/Designer/Co-Owner

Brad@InteractiveSportsZone.com

 

 

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AG Ninja Goes to St. George, Utah

AG Ninja is excited to showcase our latest install at Bare Foot Gymnastics in St. George, Utah in June 2019! Bare Foot Gymnastics was looking to expand their facility to include Bare Foot Ninja. After contacting AG Ninja, we custom designed their expansion to maximize their available space while utilizing the most obstacles to cater to multiple age groups and skill levels. After AG Ninja manufactured and installed the equipment, the finished product captured everyone’s attention in the gym! Bare Foot Ninja now offers Ninja classes, and we are excited to see what big things come out of this new facility. Check out the photos below to see the before and after of the installation. Be sure to scroll down to view videos of the obstacles in use!

 

 

 

Check out a demonstration of the AG Ninja Salmon Ladder at Bare Foot Ninja

 

 

Demonstration of the AG Ninja Cliff Hanger – hang on; it’s a nail biter!

 

Are you ready to create your own Ninja facility? We are here to help you every step of the way so that this popular and ever-growing sport can find its way into your reality! Start the process by filling out our 3D gym design form.

 

 

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AG Ninja Goes to Austin

AG Ninja had a blast installing a state of the art ninja facility at Austin Ninjas in Austin, Texas in January 2018. AG Ninja worked directly with Austin Ninja to custom design their available space. From there, AG Ninja provided our own manufactured equipment as well as installation. With multiple obstacles of varying difficulty, this Ninja facility is able to accommodate Ninja trainees of all ages. Notably, Austin Ninja is the training home of Ninja Warrior competitors Rick Hinnant and Damir Okanovic, and it has been an amazing project to watch unfold with real results seen live on ANW! Check out the images below to see the magic come to life in this premier ninja facility!

 

 

Below is a video of Brad Thornton (Chief Operations Officer/Designer/Co-Owner) demonstrating how to tackle the AG Ninja Salmon Ladder at the Austin Ninja facility.

 

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Need a New Ninja Training Curriculum?

New Ninja Curriculum by AG Ninja & NinjaZone

NinjaZone Elite

Brand New Comprehensive Obstacle Training Curriculum

Do you need a new curriculum for your Ninja program?  AG Ninja and NinjaZone have partnered up to create a brand new NinjaZone Elite training curriculum!  As sport obstacle training continues to explode across the country, programs need a more comprehensive curriculum to serve a broader range of athletes.  Now it’s here!

We have created several starter packages to take your program to the next level. However, if you need to customize the layout of your course to fit your space, just contact us and we will use our Ninja design skills to create one just for you!

NinjaZone Elite Starter Packages

Not Yet a Ninja Zone Member?

Become a member and save when you shop on our web site

If you are not yet a Ninja Zone Licensee, you can save on your very first obstacle course purchase with us by signing up.  Just fill out our contact form to let us know you’re interested >>

Already a Ninja Zone Member?

Upgrade to NZ Elite

If you are already a Ninja Zone Licensee, you automatically have an account on our web site.  Login and shop our entire web site with NinjaZone preferred discounts!  (Need Login Info?)

You will need to upgrade your Ninja Zone Licensee account with Ninja Zone to receive the NZ Elite frame-based curriculum.

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Sports Obstacle Highlight – The Warped Wall

10ft_Premium_warped_Wall

Are you ready to beat that wall? We offer 2 types of Warped Walls – Premium and Basic – and several different sizes to choose from for Sports Obstacle Training. This SpOTlight Video shows different age athletes trying to scale our 10′ high Warped Wall.  This should give you a good indication of which size Warped Wall(s) you should consider for your Ninja Training Programs.

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Sports Obstacle Highlight – The Slanted Steps

Slanted_Steps

Some version of the slanted step has been around Ninja Warrior since the beginning. It’s one of those obstacle you just have to have. Our Slanted Steps are custom made out of high quality wood, painted to the color of your choice and come with a gripped surface to prevent any slipping on the step. Each step has velcro on the underside which adheres perfectly to carpet bonded foam.  This SpOTlight Video shows 3 different age athletes demonstrating 3 different techniques, varying from Beginner to Advanced, for navigating across the Slanted Steps.

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Sports Obstacle Highlight – The Unstable Bridges

Low_Unstable_Bridge

One of the staples for Ninja obstacles are the Unstable Bridges  The low hanging wood or plexiglass planks dangle from sling hardware causing motion in all directions as soon as you step on them. The ninja must carefully scale across the plank while attempting to keep their weight distributed in the center of the board. Then comes the true test of leaping to board number two!  The gap between the two bridges can be varied to increase or decrease the difficulty of the obstacle.

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Sports Obstacle Highlight – The Devil’s Bridge

Ninja Training Sport Obstacle - Devil's Bridge

A major objective of our AG Ninja brand is to design products that are not only fun and challenging, but also have versatility. Whats better than buying one ninja obstacle that can function like three and also covers a variety of skill levels? After all, we all want to get our money’s worth when making large purchases, right?

Our newest obstacle, The Devil’s Bridge, is a great example of a multi purpose Ninja Obstacle. We looked at several of our popular Ninja Obstacles and tried to come up with ways to combine them so our our customers don’t have to make unnecessary multiple purchases as their Ninjas progress and require more challenges.

The Devil’s Bridge is a blend of 3 different obstacles:

Ninja Training Sport Obstacle - The Unstable Bridge

The Unstable Bridge


Ninja Training Sports Obstacle - The Devil's Ladder

The Devil’s Ladder


Ninja Training Sports Obstacle - The Monkey Bars

The Monkey Bars


The Result:

Ninja Training Sport Obstacle - Devil's Bridge

The Devil’s Bridge

The Devil’s Bridge is a great obstacle to have on hand if you have broad age range training on your Ninja rig. Here is an example difficulty progression based on varying the configuration of the obstacle.

Beginner

The simplest configuration of the obstacle is designed to function as a set of split, flat monkey  bars. Since each section is hanging from a chain, the obstacle will have some movement, making it more difficult than a standard set of monkey bars. This configuration can be hung low for new ninjas and can slowly be raised as the ninjas progress to add the element and excitement of height. You can also steadily increase the gap between the two sections, allowing for a greater reach.

Intermediate

After a few months of training, your ninjas are going to be ready for a new challenge. Fortunately, the Devil’s Bridge can easily be converted in to an intermediate obstacle – the Devil’s Ladder. This is done simply by reducing hardware on one end of the ladder and increasing the incline. The result will look like this:You can start off with just a slight incline and steadily increase it as the athletes advances.Even decline the ladders if you wish …Advanced

Finally, your advanced athletes can use this obstacle as the unstable bridge. The outside planks of the ladders are a wide wood surface, allowing the athlete to grasp hold and hop along the edge and then do a swing, release and hop to the second ladder.If your athletes master this, then increase the gap between the two bridges …Still not difficult enough?  Stagger the heights between the two bridges to create a more difficult transition.

Sport Obstacle Ninja Training - Devil's Bridge 7
So you can you can get really creative with this obstacle, creating a number of different challenges for your athletes. The key to success with your classes is to keep things fresh and exciting so your kids never know what to expect each time they come in. We are constantly brainstorming on ideas for unique obstacles so keep an eye out on the AG Ninja product page for new additions.

To order this Ninja training obstacle, see the product page here: The Devil’s Bridge