When James Stewart jumped into the professional racing scene, many were in awe of the "Bubba scrub." His ability to keep his speed up while flying low off jumps put him seconds ahead of his competition with each lap. Since then, riders from the pro ranks down to the amateurs have created their own variations of a scrub, because if you're not scrubbing, you're getting lost in the dust.
Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Red Bull/KTM's Jessy Nelson is one of those riders with a signature scrub. The young Central California resident is not afraid to get aggressive on the takeoff, which in turn keeps him low to the ground and shaves seconds off his lap times. We spotted Nelson out at Glen Helen demonstrating a textbook scrub, and we decided to question him on his technique.
Approach: You're going to want to hit the jump with twice as much speed as normal, because you won't clear the jump if you don't. That way, you can turn off the lip and push your momentum forward so that you can scrub off the face.
Body English: A lot of people use their arms and just flick their bars around. I think that's more of an East Coast thing, because you see that style a lot back there. For me, I think scrubbing is a lot more in the legs and knees so that you can get the bike turned down, but you do use your arms a bit to turn the bars.
Coming Back: To get the bike straight again, you pretty much have to have the throttle on the entire time and pointing your front-end in the direction you want to land. The forward momentum should bring you back around.
Practice Makes Perfect: Many people think you can go slowly like a whip and scrub—it's not a whip. You're not going to want to crank one out your first time because you have to be going really fast. If you're new to scrubbing, a few things can go wrong: Your front-end can knife off the face, or you can also lose your rear-end and come into the landing sitting sideways. Both options are never good, so practice and be careful.