Best Tricks in Monster Jam History
Authored by Samuel Reiman on November 10, 2019
There were plenty of exciting Monster Jam moments in 2019, including the first ever Best Trick Competition! As the year comes to a close, join us in taking a look back at 10 of the coolest tricks in Monster Jam history.
1. The first ever successful backflip
There’s nothing quite like watching a Monster Jam truck perform a backflip! It is an incredible sight to see one of these giant trucks launch into the air, perform a full 360-degree rotation, and land back on its wheels. The first driver who successfully pulled off this stunt was Cam McQueen during a Freestyle run in Jacksonville, FL in 2010.
2. First ever reverse backflip
Backflips are cool, but Monster Jam drivers are never satisfied. They are always thinking: How do I make this move even crazier? In 2017 at World Finals XVIII in Las Vegas, Neil Elliott showed us all how with a backflip in Max-D… in reverse!
3-4. Tyler Menninga’s nose wheelies
The 2 Wheel Skills Challenge is a new competition in Monster Jam, and some drivers have picked up the concept of balancing a Monster Jam truck on two wheels better than others. One such driver is Tyler Menninga, who has been able to balance Grave Digger on its front two wheels for long periods of time on more than one occasion.
5. First ever front flip
You have to bring your A-game when you perform at World Finals. Lee O’Donnell had put together a good run in Las Vegas at World Finals XVIII, but he knew that "good" wasn’t going to be good enough to win. In the closing moments of his run, though, O’Donnell performed a slap wheelie and kept his foot in it. The truck hit a ramp and performed a flawless front flip, giving O’Donnell the victory and making Monster Jam history!
6. Todd LeDuc’s huge air
You’d think it would be hard to get 12,000 lbs. of metal up in the air. A Cessna only weighs 2,500 lbs. and, to take off, it has to be going a certain speed with the flaps at a certain angle. However, Todd LeDuc didn’t care about any of that at World Finals XX. He floored the gas in Monster Energy as he went down the elevated start and sent it over a ramp. The result was a magnificent jump that may have caught the eye of a couple of Cessna pilots nearby.
7. Backflip into a moonwalk
Most of the time when Monster Jam drivers are in the middle of a backflip, they’re probably thinking “I hope this thing lands on its wheels” or “OK, what do I hit next?” But not Ryan Anderson. At Monster Jam World Finals XIX, he was obviously thinking “Alright, let’s turn this into a moonwalk!” and he did, giving him the victory in Freestyle.
8-9. Double backflips
Many times when a Monster Jam truck comes back down to land from a backflip, it is either not lined up square anymore or it has lost its momentum, and the driver has to move on to another stunt. However, Becky McDonough in El Toro Loco and Diesel Dave in BroDozer have both managed to perform back-to-back flips, making two successful backwards 360 degree rotations in one move.
10. Best trick contest
At the inaugural running of the Monster Jam All-Star Challenge in 2019, the first ever Best Trick contest was held at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. Behind the wheel of Whiplash, Brianna Mahon wowed the fans with a slap wheelie followed up with huge flip through the air. While it wasn’t a front flip like she had planned, it was still an awesome move that made history as she held on to win the event!