Speed checks: scrubbing speed off

Sound advice on how to manage your speed without the need for brakes…

So you’re rolling downhill fast. How do you slow down or at least keep your speed under control?

Well, you scrub. That is, to shave off some of the acceleration via traction. You drag your back wheels into the slope for a fraction of a second.

This involves making a small turn and straightening your trailing leg momentarily, pushing your grippy tyres into the surface (grass, leaves, dirt etc) to ‘scrub’. You’re not necessarily pushing down into the ground, more across. Take a look.

Watch here as Mr Tom Kirkman rolls quickly down a grassy slope and makes a left turn. He throws in a tasty scrub to check his speed for the next bit of the run…


It’s a controlled pushing-out of your boards back-end, like a rally car going round a corner for a sec, then bringing it back.

Stay upright & balanced  and this mini-drift will open up all sorts of new terrain for you to ride…


Of course this manoeuvre can be done on a smaller scale with mini-scrubs, left and right.

Get used to pushing your back leg out both ways for those milli-seconds of valuable speed scrubbing.


Mr Jasper James, an avid freerider, made a short tutorial on speed checking so check that out now..

So get a load of practise in and soon you’ll be able to scrub speed like a pro, like a Kirkman or Stelzer-Martlew: Watch & learn how this technique can be used to control speed where it really counts, when motoring through trees on the freeride.. These next two vids showcase the skills of (amongst others) the lesser-spotted Jessop, a speed monster who’s epic control skills earned him first place in the Downhill as well as overall Masters Champ in the ATBA-UK’s National Series 2013.

Of course sometimes the technique can result in catching an edge and up-ending to face plant! Ergo, always wear safety gear while learning new stuff and shredding woodland 🙂