- Changing a cracker
- Changing a fall.
- Whip care.
- Cracking a whip.
- Frequent questions.
All the above topics are answered below.
Changing a Cracker
Use a pointy tool (lacing fid) to get the used cracker off. This tool can be made by grinding down a screwdriver. The tool is also good to get knots out of the fall. It is available on its own or in the Whip Repair & Maintenance Kit available at www.simonmartinwhips.com . For crackers (poppers) I recommend a poly/synthetic string. This gives by far the best crack of any string I have tried. Other strings may last longer, but for the best crack this string is the best. String is also sold through the above mentioned website.
Step 1. Get off old cracker
Step 2. Take the fall around and over itself then put the cracker through the hole
and over the end of the fall.
Step 3. Pull cracker down very tight. And then you can get cracking!!
The Beginners DVD shows you how to tie a cracker as well as other whip maintenance and repairs.
The DO NOT'S
- DO NOT use any oil based product, including neat's-foot oil, on your whip.
- DO NOT leave your whip exposed to the weather day in day out.
- DO NOT crack your whip near or on concrete, gravel, sand, rocks, or any hard object. Try and avoid cracking on wet grass for long periods of time as this will ruin the fall.
- DO NOT roll your whip up in a way it doesn't want to go.
- DO NOT swing on your whip. This is only a Hollywood stunt and will ruin your whip.
- DO NOT put leather dressing on your whips before going out to compete in a competition as you will find your whips will tangle.
- DO give the fall of your whip a heavy coating of leather dressing after use. You don't want it to dry out.
- DO put leather dressing (Oakwood, Jayel or Pecards) on your whip every 4 - 6 months. Do it more often if the whip looks dry at all.
- DO get the knots out of the fall of your whip as soon as they appear. If you don't they become difficult to undo.
- DO take care when cracking your whip, make sure there is no one near you. When a whip cracks the tip is travelling at over 1400 feet per second. That is faster than the speed of sound and in some cases faster than a bullet. If your whip hits anything or anyone when it cracks it is quite capable of cutting flesh and breaking bones. So DO be careful.
Cracking a Whip.
In my first DVD "Beginners Whipcracking and Whip Maintenance" I show how to do 6 basic cracks. From these, a lot of cracks and routines can be learnt once perfected. Below I have taken video clips from that DVD including Cattleman's Crack, Figure 8, and Volleys. From my second DVD (Two-Handed Whipcracking-Level 1) there is my favourite routine, which is also one of my own "Simon's Lightning". These clips should give you the idea how to crack a whip if you've never attempted it before. In whipcracking there are three planes you can crack your whip, by the side, in front, and overhead. If you haven't cracked a whip before start by learning the Cattleman's Crack by the side.
Download these clips:
If you want to learn whipcracking...grab yourself some dvd's, check You Tube, but best of all get along to an Australian Whipcrackers & Plaiters competition.
Frequently asked question.
- What is the difference between a stockwhip and a bullwhip?
A stockwhip has a handle that can be separated from the (thong) main part of the whip. Whereas a bullwhip has the handle and thong all in one.
2. I am a beginner. What whip do you suggest I buy?
If you want a bullwhip I recommend a 6ft, bullwhip for multiple cracking. or 8ft for general cracking and accuracy.
If you want a stockwhip I recommend a 4 1/2ft - 5ft stockwhip for multiple cracking or 6ft - 7ft for general cracking and accuracy. If you are on horseback you would want a 6ft or 7ft stockwhip.
If you just want a beginners whip that you can learn on, then go to www.simonmartinwhips.com and also get yourself a copy of "Beginners Whipcracking & Whip Maintenance". This will help you a lot.
3. What benefits do I get from a plaited belly?
Cheap whips quite often are plaited over paper or rope, and will feel like jelly when worked in. Whereas a plaited belly and other leather layers will keep your whip tight but flexible for its entire working life.
4. What difference does the number of strands on the overlay make?
The price is quite a bit different, but they crack pretty much the same when worked in. An 8plait whip takes longer to work in than say a 16plait whip, because the strands are wider. Basically it depends on how good a looking whip you want. The higher strands look great. My personal choice is a 12plait stockwhip, and a 20plait bullwhip.
5. Why is Kangaroo Leather so good?
Because for its thickness it is the most flexible, strongest, and most durable leather you can get. And because of how thin it is, it makes an excellent and smoothly tapered whip. It is also very aerodynamic which makes a kangaroo whip, crack the best of any whip you can buy.
6. How do you measure a whip?
A stockwhip is measured from where the thong is connected to the handle down to where the fall (tail) is attached. A bullwhip and snakewhip are measured from the knob (where you hold it) down to where the fall is attached.
7. What are the advantages of a stockwhip over a bullwhip?
For stockmen the stockwhip has the advantage of being able to have it slung over your arm, as where a bullwhip will slip off. Also the stockwhip is much easier to learn complicated routines with.
8. What Leather Dressing do you recommend?
Oakwood is available in the Whip Repair and Maintenance Kit. Oakwood is my favourite leather dressing. As well as keeping all leather gear in top shape it is also excellent to be used when plaiting. Jay-el made by Waproo is also a good leather dressing.
9. Do you run whipcracking classes/lessons?
Usually I get one of my staff, but if you personally request me I'll see what I can fit in at the time of your visit. Generally they are 1/2hr in length. POA.