The player who is behind will always be at an advantage. If you're jumping barrels at the top, the only way you lose points is if Kong throws a wild, which is only going to be 100 points lost for every 1600 points accrued on average while at the top girder. A typical bottom hammer should earn 2500+ points. Let's say on average Kong throws two wilds while you camp the top girder. One bottom hammer will thus recover the points lost for 12 barrel boards, or 4 levels.