Back in April 2019, way before the coronavirus pandemic ruined the possibility of attending most live events, a few of us at Alt_driver headed over to the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas for a day of monster truck shenanigans. You can check out the full results of the two-day event here, but as you can see from the above video, it was one incredibly epic experience. Simply put, if you’ve never attended a Monster Jam event before, you should definitely buy some tickets (when they start having events again, that is).
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 25 years or so, you know that Monster Jam isn’t just some overnight sensation. Having officially been launched in 1992, the live motorsport event tour has spawned everything from a Hot Wheels brand to a slew of different video games.
Now, when it comes to the actual events themselves, it’s more than just massive trucks launching off massive jumps and landing upside down. Ok, that’s definitely a major part of it, but there’s other stuff, too. There are generally four types of contests that take place during your average Monster Jam event: racing, freestyle, two-wheel skills challenge, and donuts.
Racing is just a 1v1 style tournament format, first one to cross the finish line wins, with first round races, semi-final races, and a final race for all the marbles. For the freestyle competition, the driver gets two minutes to perform the craziest stunts possible. That’s where the launching off a massive jump stuff comes into play. On the other hand, the two-wheel skills challenge encourages drivers to pull off their best stunts on just two wheels, such as wheelies, stoppies, and bicycles. Finally, there’s the donuts competition, which is, well, pretty self-explanatory. The more donuts you do, the more points you get.
As if all those competitions didn’t already sound like the best kind of four-wheel excitement, the names of the Monster Jam trucks are basically straight out of a Transformers movie. You’ve got Grave Digger (a fan favorite that dominated the Austin event), Max-D, Rammunition, Iron Outlaw, Monster Mutt, and El Toro Loco, just to name a few.
During a typical Monster Jam season, drivers will compete in shows all across the United States, traveling everywhere from Detroit to Las Vegas. This all culminates in the Monster Jam World Finals, where drivers compete for the racing and freestyle championships. It has often been referred to as the “Super Bowl of Monster Trucks,” and in 2019, it was held on May 10-11 in Orlando, Florida.
The best part about Monster Jam? It’s a family-friendly activity that everyone can enjoy. Bring your kids. Bring your wife, girlfriend, husband, or boyfriend. Bring your cousin Cletus who enjoys throwing back Busch Light seven days a week. You won’t find a more high-octane, red-blooded, God Bless ‘Murica-type event than Monster Jam.
This post was originally published on April 30, 2019.