New Tough Mudder Obstacles Include Fire, Tear Gas, and Claustrophobia

It's a new year, and Tough Mudder has acted accordingly, reinventing its course with tons of new obstacles, and a few choice updates for some old standbys that have been a part of this immensely popular obstacle-course-for-adults since the beginning.

Earlier this week, we sat down with TM's Alex Patterson, VP of Brand, for a chat about what you might have to get through this year on the course. According to Patterson, it was their intention to "completely refresh the Tough Mudder obstacle lineup," not necessarily making it physically harder, but a little more interesting.

Let's see what's new. 

"King of the Swingers"

This bad boy debuted on "World's Toughest Mudder," a timed version of the challenge. Essentially, you're on a big platform and jump out to catch a metal T-bar that's attached to a pendulum, which swings you down and up. At the top, you're supposed to hit a bell, if you can, before falling into the water.

"Cry Baby"

More of a mental challenge, you climb under a flap into a compartment filled with a tear gas-like substance. It's water-soluble and nothing to be afraid of, but it will make you cry and probably cough a little. "It's been carefully reviewed by our medical team," Patterson assured us.

"Birth Canal"

Similar to Cry Baby without the tears, this obstacle features a plastic liner you get under, that has water on top, pressing down on you. To get through, you push the water ahead of you. "Doesn't look like a huge impact obstacle," Patterson told us. And it's not, if you aren't claustrophobic. 


This is like a standard pegboard, except the pegs come off. You start with a peg in each hand and plug the peg into each hole, lifting yourself up little by little, until you go over the wall.

"Arctic Enema 2.0"

Instead of jumping or easing into the Arctic Enema water, as people have been able to do in the past, the revamped version features a slide under a chain-link fence, making everyone enter at the same speed with absolutely no control over the cold water dunk.

"Funky Monkey 2.0"

The new Funky Monkey doesn't have you do the monkey bars up and down, instead it gives people an easier out with a trapeze at the top that swings to a horizontal pole. From there you can go arm-over-arm down to the ground.

"Hold Your Wood 2.0"

The new Hold Your Wood obstacle has more log-carrying, ending in a new feature in which participants must put the log through holes in the wall. Lumbersexual.

"Balls Out"

In this relatively physical obstacle, you need to traverse a colossal slanted wall by swinging from rope to rope, Tarzan style.

"Ring of Fire"

Much like their Vesuvius obstacle, this new one lets you play with fire. Essentially a firepole surrounded by a continuous gas fire, laid out in a circle, it forces you to commit and drop as quick as you can into the water below.

"Dead Ringer"

Borrowing the "A" structure similar to Funky Monkey (inverted "v"), you get through this very physical challenge by using a pair of rings to pull yourself from peg to peg as you go up and down. Better start doing those pull-ups.

"Everest 2.0"

Perhaps Tough Mudder's most famous obstacle, this new version makes team work mandatory. Before, really athletic people could run up this half-pipe and dive for the top lip, which was a pretty good hand-hold. Now, they turned that hand-hold into an impossibly slippery curve, forcing you to work with others to ascend the obstacle.

Ethan Wolff-Mann is an editor at Supercompressor. He doesn't mind playing in the mud. Follow him on Instagram.