I admit to not knowing much about Monster Jam® when I first attended my first Monster sporting event years before kids but since have visited the Monster Jam garage, sat in El Toro Loco (getting into a Monster Jam truck is NOT as easy as climbing up a ladder and opening a door!), and know a bit more than I did before my first show!
11 Things to Know Before Going to Monster Jam®
It’s a Competition, Not a Demolition
Each Monster Jam truck is approximately 10.5 feet tall, 12.5 feet wide, 17 feet long and weighs 12,000 pounds but don’t expect for these trucks to get crushed like they would in a demolition derby. Each show consists of eight vehicles (Monster Jam Speedsters, Monster Jam ATVs, and Monster Jam trucks) competing in 6 events including:
- Timed Racing— This obstacle course competition showcases the driver’s ability and the truck’s agility because where the fastest to complete the course is the winner.
- Two-Wheel Skills Challenge— In this judged competition, Monster Jam® drivers have multiple opportunities to perform the best stunt where at least two wheels are in the air
- Donuts— Donuts is probably what you imagined- rotate the truck as many times and as quickly as possible! This judged competition is performed in designated flat areas.
- Head -to-Head Racing— This bracket style racing competition puts trucks head to head as they race along a prescribed course to a finish line. The first to legally complete the course advances in the competition and winners advance until two trucks remain. Every final is exciting because the first to cross the finish line wins bragging rights.
- Freestyle— In this judged competition, competitors perform tricks and stunts throughout the floor area in a designated time
Instead of Professional Judges, YOU Score the Competition
Get your smartphones ready because you and your kids help decide the winner! Monster Jam® fans have the unique opportunity to provide the scores for several competitions. Here’s how the fan judging works:
- Using your mobile device, log into www.JudgesZone.com
- After watching the competitions, you get to score them by moving the “tire” higher or lower
- You have to act quickly since there you have just 20 seconds to submit your score
Your score is added into others from the show and the average is displayed before the next competition. The Monster Jam® truck with the highest average score wins the competition.
There are Rivalries
Monster Jam fans know the rivalry between Grave Digger and Bigfoot but other opposing Monster rivalries go back generations. Regardless of who you’re rooting for, you’re bound to have a good time at the show.
Every Monster Jam® Show is Different
If you think that because you’ve seen one Monster Jam, you’ve seen them all, nothing could be farther from the truth because shows are unscripted, making each one full of unexpected surprises and different.
Monster Jam Drivers are Athletes
You may not think race car drivers or Monster Jam truck drivers are athletes but they are! Male and female drivers are trained athletes who possess both the physical strength and mental stamina needed to compete and the vital dexterity to control 12,000-pound machines capable of doing backflips, vertical two-wheel skills and racing at speeds up to 70 miles per hour. The above video features Krysten Anderson, Grave Digger’s first female driver who also happens to be the daughter of Dennis Anderson who created Grave Digger in 1979.
It’s Worth it to Join the Pit Party
Pre-show Pit Party tickets allow fans to meet the drivers and get autographs and photos. Fans are invited to the pre-event Pit Party before the 1 pm shows on January 26 and 27 to can get up-close-and personal with the Monster Jam® trucks and drivers, take photos and get autographs.
Tickets and Pit Party Passes are available at www.ticketmaster.com. While this requires a separate admission ticket, true fans say the Pit Party is amazing and you should plan to spend as much time there as possible.
Study Up on the Lingo
- Backflip— When the truck does a complete 360-degree flip from a vertical obstacle
- Big Air— Monster Jam® trucks can launch up to 30 feet into the air and travel more than 130 feet. Prepare for lift-off!
- Cyclone— Similar to a Donut, but done at a higher speed
- Donut— Spinning a Monster Jam® truck in circles in one spot
- Pogo— The Monster Jam® truck bounces on the rear tires while standing up into a wheelie
- Power Out— When a driver uses a burst of acceleration to keep the truck from rolling over
- Sky Wheelie— When a Monster Jam® truck stands straight up at a 90-degree angle with the front tires in the air
- Slap Wheelie— When the front of the Monster Jam® truck comes down and slaps itself back into a wheelie
- Stoppie— When the truck noses onto its front wheels, leaving the rear wheels in the air. Many drivers will put the truck in reverse and “moonwalk” it
- Walk It— A one-wheeled wheelie that rocks back and forth between the two rear tires.
- Wheelie— Lifting the front wheels of the truck off the ground and driving only on the rear wheels
Other Things to Know:
- Each Monster Jam® is approximately 2.5 hours long
- Monster Jam® is loud so be prepared by bringing ear plugs or over-the-ear earmuff-style safety headsets to protect ears during the show
- Gasoline fumes and dirt from the show can irritate your eyes. Packing eye drops can help.
Monster Jam® is Coming to Washington, D.C. This Month!
Monster Jam® ® is an unexpected, unscripted and unforgettable, family-friendly motor sport that is coming to Washington, DC for three adrenaline pumping events at the Capital One Arena on January 26-27.
The Washington show will feature eight of the most intense athletes of Monster Jam® and fans will witness a fierce battle for the championship with each competitor contending in customized high-powered vehicles: Monster Jam® Speedsters, Monster Jam® ATVs and of course, the iconic Monster Jam® trucks in six events that will leave fans on the edge of their seats. Here’s the list of Monster Jam® trucks coming to DC later this month:
- Grave Digger
- Scooby Doo
- Nitro Menace
- Monster Mutt Dalmatian
- Pretty Wicked
- Bad News Travel Fast
The 2019 Monster Jam® season will see athletes on each tour battle it out every weekend from January to May to be crowned the tour champion and receive an automatic bid to Monster Jam® World Finals XX that will be held in Orlando for the first-time-ever. Curious to know which Monster Jam® truck is currently in the lead or want to check race standings? You can view them by race here.
For more information on a Monster Jam® near you, please visit MonsterJam.com or follow their social channels:
Feld Entertainment provided 8 tickets as a reader giveaway. No compensation was received for this post. Some images courtesy of Feld Entertainment and Monster Jam.