Old School Sundays with Robert Peterson / Did he invent scuffing?

Bold title I know, but take a look at this weeks OSS with Curb Dog Robert Peterson! At 4:06 Rob does a backwards squeakers on/wheelchair whatever you care to call it? No one else at this 1986 AFA contest in Columbus Ohio was scuffing according to Danny Sirkin who was there at the contest. As far as I know and Danny knows, no one ever gave Robert credit, let’s discuss this one….

23 thoughts on “Old School Sundays with Robert Peterson / Did he invent scuffing?

  1. Thank you Jefe Sirkin ! Been hooked on your Bmx Flatland Junkies You tube channel for a while now . Rad to see its YOU behind it , had no idea it WAS you , haha . This particular installment brings back some real nostalgia for me . I still have a picture of Robert Peterson , I think they used to call him the master of balance , right ?? Hes hopping in this wheelchair position , I never ever knew he actually SCUFFED the wheelchair , let alone busted a WHIP when he went back to the position after scuffing ! Bruuuuuuuuv , THIS really stokes me . Crazy to just now find out that he scuffed waaaaaay back in 1986 ! 1986 ! I think , not sure , youre correct , Danny …….Guess he did invent scuffing ?! I know I cant recall anyone but Tim Tracy , SLLLAAAAAAMMMING backyards @ Golden gate park , in I think ….Ummmmmm………Mid 1988 ?? Respect to them both cause I use / STILL use the technique of scuffing in 99.9999999999% of my riding today in 2018 , hahahaha. Hell , man………..It even took me like YEARS just to learn how to scuff PROPERLY , haha. I was SCHELPING there for a while , haha. Like totally ankle crooked SCHELPING , UGLY style ! Yup , I always have , been , will continue to scuff , haha. I mean , I WAS doing FUNKY CHICKENS in my runs @ both 2015 and 2017s Voodoo Jam events …..With a SMILE and PRIDE , hahahahaha. Damn , I guess Peterson did invent it , unless someone knows , has seen otherwise .

  2. there’s been discussion of who did the “backyard” first, Aaron Dull vs Tim Treacy, also in 1986 but not sure if before or after this contest…

    • I was curious, I know Tim Treacy did the backyard, Aaron Dull was in the mix somewhere too. I think Rob is scuffing but its the evolution of the trick, he’s using the brake the same most people do when they start I know I did then you improve and use it less. This just got me thinking after Danny Sirkin sharing the video. I could see Rob, Tim and Aaron all at Golden gate park learning this technique, seems feasible to me. Its so rad to see this footage all these years on.

  3. I always thought that Peterson’s lesser-known teammate Oleg Koenig was credited with inventing scuffing. There was a how-to for a trick by Oleg called the Insanity Roll in freestylin’ mag which was half squeaker half scuffing. We need Maurice Meyer to chime in here.

  4. OK, I’ll be the contrarian. It’s hard to tell by watching this old grainy video (I think I saw a UFO in there, too), but I don’t think he’s actually “scuffing”.

    You can see him kick more than once and *then hit the brake as needed* – and that’s kinda how backward squeakers were. I used to do them, and if you were in on-lock in the balance point, you could just keep kicking and not have to hit the brake for correction after every kick, only occasionally – but that’s a different thing than actually dragging your foot backward on the tire to control it (the equivalent of tapping the brake).

    I have no dog in the fight; if Robert were to say he was actually scuffing, then I would certainly take his word for it. I rode a CW back then, and loved that guy – tried to learn as many of his tricks as I could.

    Incidentally, it was weird how “kick-brake, kick-brake” turned into scuffing once we all saw or heard about the technique. I distinctly remember funky chickens starting out as a kick-brake trick. After the locomotive / backyard tricks hit, funky chickens became a scuffing trick. Like, overnight.

    #scuffgang is a dangerous cult, get out while you can

    • There’s no “fight” for your dig to be in. This is merely a discussion. People will see what they want to see. Some see scuffing. Some don’t. From what I’ve seen, most of the people talking about this right now are claiming this is scuffing in it’s earliest form before the technique evolved. I couldn’t care less, however. It’s just cool to see some real footage of someone using this technique before it was the norm and it’d be nice for Robert to get some credit for bringing it before the judges seemingly before anyone else ever did. Also, is it a cult if only one person is in it?

        • “…many people are saying…” 😉

          Heh. Yeah, I get it. And I’m all for Robert getting credit, because he was a rad dude. We should ask him – it’s debatable, but his word would settle it for me.

          I think calling it proto-scuffing might be the scholarly, scientific approach. There were definitely some later mutations and natural selection involved.


    • You are absolutely on the right track—-that trick by Oleg was definitely creative for the time, and years later would morph into a switch-bitch, but he was not scuffing. Robert was scuffing in that (doing a wheelchair) but Tim Treacy was already scuffing before this contest. Several other riders were doing basic scuffing at this point in time too.

      • I will have to disagree – Foot on tire kicking in any form to propel forward is scuffing . The technique may be rudimentary, but to me it is still scuffing.

  5. Aaron Dull credits Tim Tracey as inventing scuffing but can’t put a date on it. One thing for sure, more tricks came out of the The Golden Gate Park scene than anywhere!

  6. This discussion is more important to the sport’s history than coming up with a definitive “answer.” All the names mentioned above (along with others) should get credit for contributing to what became scuffing.

    And, I’m sure those boys in York PA weren’t being left behind…

  7. I’ll put my 5 cents into this. He was the first to do the ‘Peterson’. I wonder if whoever did the Funcky Chicken liked Kfc. Sometimes I laugh at the names of the tricks and sometimes wonder, what those not into flat would think,& that’s basically when edits like this come up lol.

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