At BKT, looking to the future is an important part of our brand ethos of “Growing Together”. As part of this, celebrating jobs and industries in which women have previously been overshadowed, undervalued and underrepresented is important to us - this includes some of the major sectors in which we operate, including agriculture and OTR. Today, we’re exploring the progress made over the years to place women front and center of the monster truck industry!
The 1970s saw the trend of the modified truck: heavily modified trucks with oversized tires (sound familiar?) were used for mud bogging and tractor pulling competitions and were predominantly driven by men. However, the monster truck craze truly kicked oﬀ during the 1980s, and 1992 was the year of the first ever Monster Jam® event. Monster Jam events provide a platform for expert drivers to compete in intense competitions of speed and skills – including an array of impressive tricks! Over the last three decades, such monster truck events have evolved into a global phenomenon.
International events such as Monster Jam have hugely popularized the sport, with fans traveling far and wide to witness some adrenaline-fueled action! An important part of that evolution was the introduction of female athletes into the sport.
There are many unfounded stereotypes when it comes to extreme sports, with many believing that women couldn’t ‘handle’ the tough terrains and high adrenaline. However, the doubters couldn’t be more wrong! Just one year after its inception, Monster Jam had its first female competitor, and continues to see more added to the roster.
Two-time Donut of the Year Award winner Kayla Blood spoke very highly of Monster Jam’s progress towards gender equality:
“I want to win fair and square,” says Kayla on competing against men. “I love being able to show little girls watching that they can do whatever they set out to do and to never back down from a challenge.”
The number of female drivers on the Monster Jam circuit is ever-increasing, and fans love to see this representation. Monster Jam famously attracts a diverse range of fans, and prides itself on being family-friendly. This inclusive atmosphere is one of the most marketable aspects of the event and is key to its success.
Furthermore, the fanbase is split approximately 50/50 between men and women, which is likely due to their elevation of female drivers. Not only are women included in Monster Jam, but they also compete at the same level – in the same trucks – as the men, as opposed to a separate series.
Female fans love to see themselves represented out on the track; for many aspiring monster truck drivers, Monster Jam’s inclusion of women is inspirational.
Experts claim that, whilst physical strength and stamina can impact a driver’s performance, the sport predominantly requires mental tenacity and skill. Therefore, there is no reason to separate drivers by sex, as the skillset is not gender-specific, which places men and women on a level playing ‘pit’. Not only that, but female drivers continue to win event, series and Monster Jam World Finals® championships.
The future for female monster truck drivers certainly looks bright. We’d like to give a special shout out to 2022 Monster Jam Arena Series Central champion Krysten Anderson - who was recently featured in our Closer Than You Think series on BKT Network, sharing her journey from fan to fame in the Monster Jam arena. Krysten’s truck, Grave Digger®, uses BKT tires because they are “the winning formula” – and we’d be inclined to agree, especially with her track record! Krysten is currently competing in Monster Jam’s Arena Championship Series West in 2023.
At BKT, we are advocates for diversity and inclusion, and champion gender equality. We are proud that our tires accompany the achievements of one of the most acclaimed female Monster Jam drivers today! And we are set to continue collaborations with women across all sectors we operate within.
Are you looking for your own winning formula? BKT Tires are fit for purpose for any terrain, any challenge, and any gender. Take a look at our range of tires via the BKT website here.