Written by Karthik Naga aka Mr. Hubby aka daddy #SiennaSkyler (mommy's on "break")
Monster Jam 2018
(January 5th, Spectrum Center, Charlotte North Carolina)
After watching the Disney on Ice’s Frozen show, it would only be fair to attend one that my son would also be extremely excited about. We were blessed to attend a show related to the topic that excites my son the most: vehicles on wheels! Just about every mode of transport that involves wheels (except maybe a stroller) makes Skyler very happy. We knew that our son would have his chance to enjoy the monster trucks at Monster Jam 2018, after being given this wonderful opportunity. Little did we know that it was going to be a treat for the whole family!
Monster Jam is a motorsport competition where huge trucks and ATVs are put to the test by their drivers in various events. Let’s take a look at the competitions that made up this show:
Speed and Skill
The first competition was a pure display of speed and skill by the Monster Trucks. Each truck had its turn to go around the track as fast as it possibly could. As you can imagine, maneuvering a truck that big, with enormous wheels can be a huge challenge. But the drivers were so skilled that we were left smelling the dust (and exhaust fumes), literally, as they rounded the curves close to us.
The fastest driver was Grave Digger, which was exciting for us, since we met him before the show. He was being interviewed right in front of our seats as they tried to get the fans pumped up before the drivers started competing. He might look like just another guy in your neighborhood, but he would show today that he is a highly skilled driver!
Surprisingly, this competition was even more exciting than the previous one. Smaller ATV vehicles were given the chance to go racing around the track, with 3 poles that they had to go around. For anyone that has been to a huge farm, an ATV is an exhilarating thing to drive or ride. There isn’t a landscape or obstacle that is too much or too difficult for an ATV to overcome. So to see these professional drivers racing them as fast as they could, was really a sight to behold.
Once again, the winner was Grave Digger!
The next round was a competition where the Monster Trucks had to perform the most impressive ‘wheelies’. The goal here is to hit a ramp and get the truck perpendicular to the ground while getting up as high as you can in the air. While we see ‘big air’ with bikes and skateboards in competitions, obviously these big trucks are too heavy to go too high. However, it is still neat to see such a huge vehicle ‘fly’ like that.
The winner was crowned in this round by the fans, which made it very interactive for us. We were given a website where we were to give a score from 1 to 10 for each of the trucks. By now, Grave Digger had so many fans that he used that momentum to garner the most support from the fans. He was once again crowned the winner of this round.
For anyone that has been brave enough to go to an empty parking lot with your car in the huge snow storms, a Donut is a thrill (we know you’ve done this at least once in your life..LOL)! The goal here is to spin the monster truck as fast as possible until the driver gets too dizzy, the truck can’t go anymore, or the driver thinks that he/she has a high enough score to win.
After a few failed attempts to make donuts, it was the star of the show’s (Grave Digger) turn. He came out and successfully completed a few impressive spins. Although he wasn’t the one who made the most impressive donuts in the sand, he once again came out with the highest fan score! Although Grave Digger wouldn’t win the next two competitions, he had already gained enough points to be crowned the champion of the whole event… Congrats Grave Digger!
ATV Obstacle Course
This was similar to the race of ATVs in the second competition, except that they had to go up the center obstacle course this time and it was one on one! The winner of each quarter-final advanced to the semi-final round and the two winners in that round, faced off for the final. We enjoyed this one as well, but it was not as exciting as the previous ATV racing where it was pure speed that determined the champion. Also, the previous ATV competition was more of a thrill since there were 4 to 8 drivers at one time instead of just 2!
The last segment was the freestyle competition. Here the drivers were allowed two minutes on an open floor to show off their skills (stunts and tricks) as they drove over two sedan cars and the obstacle course at the center.
While the two cars took a pounding, the most exciting part of the night came when one of the monster trucks wheelied too far up and fell backwards! The truck ended upside down to the cheers of the fans. No one was hurt, but it did prove that driving these trucks and doing these tricks are for the brave professionals, only. Although the first few hours felt like the driver could do anything without flipping over the truck, this truck proved that at some point, gravity and physics can indeed have the last laugh!
Some things to watch out for
The popular racing expression, “eat my dust” comes to mind while watching this event. While we enjoyed the show, it’s quite amazing how much dust actually flies as the trucks drive by, and how far the dust travels. The lowest section is blocked off completely so that people aren’t covered in dust, but even the next section where we were sitting gets a fair amount of dust. We could smell a bit of dust (and exhaust fumes) throughout the night. It probably isn’t too big of a concern, but perhaps not something kids want to be exposed to very often.
The other concern is the noise. The trucks do get pretty loud, so come prepared with some hearing-protection muffs, cotton or even fingers! The kids found it quite loud so we wanted to make sure that they weren’t directly exposed to the noises.
Other than that, it was a highly enjoyable experience. Without a son that is so big into cars, trucks, planes, trains, buses and anything else with wheels, we might have never gone to a show of this nature, but after watching it, I can say that it truly is an enjoyable experience for the whole family! Even our daughter loved it too!
Disclaimer: This is a Media invite sponsored by Hornets Sports & Entertainment. All opinions are solely our own.