(July 26, 2019) Despite the recent temperature spike slowing the flow of would-be “Ninja Warriors,” the resort’s new Woodward “WreckTangle” obstacle course at Third Street near the Ocean Bowl Skate Park is proving to be popular with active youth, adults and parents.
Operations Manager Colby Haines said since the ninja obstacle course opened in late May the attraction has steadily gained in popularity, albeit with a recent lull.
“The heat wave slowed us down quite a bit,” he said.
Tourism and Marketing Director Donna Abbott said the advent of the cool early this week saw a return to previous levels of interest.
“Kids were going up and down and having a great time,” she said. “It’s always fun to drive by and see kids there.”
Bob Rothermel, whose Team Productions is providing event management services at the site, said because WreckTangle is unique, there are no obvious parallels to gauge success.
“We have nothing to compare it to so every day is a new record,” he said. “It was slow at first but it’s gaining momentum.
“That heatwave certainly took its toll on us like it did on everyone else in the country,” he said. “When the temperatures broke, we were doing gangbusters.”
Enjoying the milder weather on Wednesday was Nicholas Cluck from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, who brought his children down to confirm their Ninja Warrior abilities.
“We actually came down to see the skate park because we always come down to the skate park,” he said. “We love doing extreme stuff, like biking [and] motor cross, and I watch the Ninja Warrior [TV show] all the time, so this is perfect.”
After completing a second pass through the obstacle course, Gabriela Cluck, 11, admitted said she was initially hesitant due to a fear of heights.
“The first time, I was like, ‘I don’t really want to do this because it was super high up,” she said.
Swallowing her fear, Gabriela Cluck said the course appeared less daunting upon approach but proved far more challenging than anticipated.
“When I was looking at it, I was like ‘this is going to be easy,’ then when I was actually doing it was a lot harder,” she said.
Nicholas Cluck, a longtime fan of the television show “American Ninja Warrior,” was amazed after surveying the resort course.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” he said.
Cluck said the Woodward WreckTangle offers a pastime his entire family can pursue.
“I’ve been wanting to build a little obstacle course for me and my son in the backyard,” he said. “Here you just pay $20 and let your kid do it.”
While adults are also welcome, Rothermel said demographics at the attraction have skewed younger.
“We’re seeing a lot of young children that want to experience being a ninja,” he said.
Haines said ninja participants must be at least 36-inches tall, with the course open to anyone age 5 or over, weighing between 40-250 pounds.
“We get that question a lot,” he said.
Haines also highlighted an upcoming competitive series at the obstacle course.
“We’re looking to introduce the Weekly Race Series,” he said. “Our goal is to start in the next couple weeks and really hit the summer crowd.”
Haines said a timing system was recently installed to enable the weekly competitions, which will incorporate an app to allow participants to link up and compete with other WreckTangle sites nationally and internationally.
“The goal is to see who is the fastest ninja,” he said.
Haines said the numerous WreckTangle courses are all constructed with identical obstacles in the same order.
Abbott said the ninja obstacle course is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day until Labor Day, with weekend-only hours through October, after which first year assessments can commence.
“Once the season is concluded there will be a wrap-up session,” she said.
Regardless of post-season conclusions, Rothermel said the WreckTangle meets one primary resort criterion.
“Ocean City is about memories and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” he said. “It’s another opportunity to make a memory and have a great family experience.”