Scrubbing speed off the face of jumps has changed the sport of Motocross and Supercross. I saw this photo of Jo Jo Keller in Motocross Action Magazine years ago and it had me thinking about the technique most of us know as the "Bubba Scrub".
Here is an absolute classic photo of Jame's Stewart demonstrating scrubbing. As you can see in the photo Nathan Ramsey is taking the traditional approach to the jump hitting it at a steady and consistent speed. James using the scrubbing technique is approaching the jump face at a higher speed and absorbing the "lift" provided by the jump using his legs. He is then turning the bike sideways in order to further deflect the lift of the jump.
The key points to the scrubbing technique are that it lets you approach the jump at a higher rate of speed without worrying about over jumping. It also lowers the trajectory of the rider and keeps them closer to the ground which allows them to get back on the gas sooner. In motocross seconds are huge and add up quick to big leads. Jumping for show and corners for dough is an old saying used in motocross and now you gotta add the scrub to your bag of racing skills.
Photo: Vital MX
James Stewart has definitely taken scrubbing to a new level and because of him it has become standard in racing. As you can see all the competitive Motocross and Supercross racers now use this technique and it has become standard. While I do believe Bubba perfected the technique and made it standard in racing, we cannot forget the original pioneers. Jo Jo was elevating the sport at his time and scrubbing to further advance the sport and most importantly win. Below is a very cool video put together by Redbull with James Stewart showing off his talents in the art of scrubbing.