Meents aims for world record front flip in a monster truck

Meents aims for world record front flip in a monster truck

Published Jun. 11, 2015 5:32 p.m. ET

Tom Meents, with 11 world titles, is already Monster Jam's most decorated champion. He was the first to attempt and complete a single backflip in his truck, then he upped the stakes by completing a double backflip.

Now he's got a new stunt to try, and should Meents pull it off, he'll set a mark recognized by Guinness World Records for the first front flip in a monster truck.

Meents will make his attempt Saturday night during Monster Jam's ''Path of Destruction Show'' at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

''When I was a young kid in school, you could order a book of world records through the school, and I always dreamed there was some possible way to get in there,'' Meents said. ''You just didn't know what that idea was that could get you a world record.''


This idea came to the 47-year-old after he'd already crossed stunt after stunt off of his list. He'd grown up hoping to be a stunt man, hanging out on the corner with hand-made wooden ramps that he used to test his limits.

That hasn't changed through a decorated career in Monster Jam.

''I still want to push the limits and push this sport past the other limits of other motorsports. I love my job and I can't get enough of it,'' Meents said. ''The 11 championships, I love every part of that, but grabbing people's attention and showing them something new, that's a thrill.''

To pull off the front flip in his Max-D truck, Meents will have to launch from a special ramp and make a full rotation forward before landing.

The planning for this stunt began six months ago, and has been exclusively what Meents has been working on for the last three months. He guesses he's unsuccessfully attempted the front flip a dozen times in preparation, but each flip was done to provide data to help plan the project.

''Some of the early attempts were basically huge fails,'' said Meents, who admitted his Max-D truck is a ''massive beast'' that weighs more than 11,000 pounds when fully prepared and stands 10 feet tall. It is 12 feet wide.

''It's complicated to make it do a complete rotation in the air. On all other backflips and double backflips, we land where we take off,'' he said. ''This one, the first time ever, we're doing the front flip but doing a forward rotating front flip on a special built mechanical ramp, will land back on the tires and continue on.''

He figured he has a ''50-50 shot'' at hitting the flip, and pulling it off will require him to perfectly hit the ramp and launch at the exact height needed. If he fails, he'll likely keep after it.

''You won't get the same thrill if you do the same things every day when you wake up,'' Meents said. ''But you'll get a better thrill if you continue to push yourself and push your team.''