Now, the homemade obstacles constructed by Tristan Kasmer have become the scene for a smaller-scale challenge, the “Backyard Ninja Invitational.”
On Sunday (June 9), about 30 people, most of them kids, will take on the course, climbing and jumping around and over an array of obstructions.
It will mark the second time that Tristan and his wife Brandi have hosted the event.
Running from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. it will start with a special non-competitive event for the youngest kids, the “littles” for two- to three-year-olds, then rising through the age categories until the adults tackle the course.
It is designed so that the degree of difficulty can be dialed down for young competitors, then up.
The first year the event was held, only one person was injured, and that was an adult who suffered a muscle pull while warming up, Brandi said.
“We have mats, and mattresses, to ensure that no one is hurt,” she noted.
Participants are also required to sign a waiver.
Brandi said the appeal of the sport is is the degree of athleticism it requires.
“Its about how well you can manage your own body,” she explained.
“If you miss a grip, you have to react without falling.”
Based on the number of online postings, there are many backyard obstacle courses in the U.S., but Brandi doesn’t know of any in Canada except the one that occupies her own back yard.
Tristan said it started with “a few bars and a few grips” and grew over several years, inspired by the television show.
“I just wanted to train,” he said.
“I thought that [the obstacle courses on the show] looked like fun. I thought other guys are doing their own courses [and posting video clips online], so I might as well built my own stuff.”
It helped, he said, that his home is on a typically big Brookswood site.
Tristan said his design doesn’t attempt to duplicate the elaborate, giant-sized challenges of the television show, but it does aim to recreate the intensity, within reason.
“They have a huge budget and I have a few dollars, so [I thought] what can I build, realistically, with the materials I’ve got,” ” he said.
Filling up most of the yard, the obstacle course describes an “S’ curve of challenges ranging in difficulty from rings and grips, to a climbing wall and a section of oddly-angled tree stumps that require careful stepping, just to name just a few.
“I try to include as much of the back yard as I can,” he said.
Portions of the obstacle course are taller than the first storey of the family house.
Tristan has tried out the Parkour course built in Penzer park in 2017, a few years after he started working on his course, and it meets with his approval.
“Most excellent,” was his opinion, though the challenges presented by Parkour are not quite the same as those presented by his design.
There is a Facebook page devoted to the Langley event that can found by searching for “minorleagueninja.”
Information can also be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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