If you’re new to whips, choosing the right one might be difficult. Especially if you’re not completely sure of what you might want or need.
The information gathered below will hopefully answer some of your questions and give a pointer to what style and length of whip thats just right for you. But as always, if you have any questions whatsoever, contact us and we’ll try our best to help.
There are many types and styles of whips but generally there are three main models: Bullwhips, Snakewhips and Stockwhips.
Being the style of whip carried by Indiana Jones, Catwoman, Zorro and numerous Cowboys on screen, the Bullwhip is probably the most famous model of whips.
A bullwhip has a rigid handle (normally 8-12” long) that transitions into a flexible thong that ends with a fall and cracker. Most commonly bullwhips are 6-12ft long.
Bullwhips are very popular, and for good reasons too as they are very versatile. They lend themselfes very well to beginners who want to learn their first few cracks, but they’re also great for both targeting and slow cracking routines/combinations. And being the most recognizable whip (thanks to all the heroes and villains on screen) it tends to be the style that most people know and want.
If you’re a beginner looking for a whip a bullwhip is a great choice. For learning the basic techniques I recommend getting a 6 or 8ft whip. Shorter bullwhips have a bit faster action and it might be difficult to find and correcting mistakes when learning.
Snakewhips are very similar to a bullwhip but lacking a handle, which means they are fully flexible all the way through. Snakewhips are generally shotloaded. Meaning they have a triangular shaped bag of fine lead shot in the core. This makes it a bit heavier to make up for the loss of leverage that a handle would provide.
Snakewhips are great fun to crack and are easy to pack. Now what do I mean by that? Being fairly short (normally 3-6ft) and lacking a rigid handle, snakewhips can be coiled to readily fit in a backpack or a large pocket.
If you want to be able to easily bring your whip along for all of your adventures a snakewhip would be a top option.
For a beginner thinking about getting a snakewhip I’d recommend going for a 6ft model. If you have a bit of experience cracking whips and want something to carry with you or use in confined spaces a 3ft snakewhip would be perfect.
One thing to keep in mind however is that snakewhips do many things very well, but they are not the style of whip to use for routines and fast multiple cracking patterns.
Coming from Australia the stockwhip is designed to work very well when hearding cattle from horse back.
The handle (or the “stock” as it’s called) and the thong is actually two seperate parts, connected by a keeper. This provides for a distinct look that makes it stand out from the bullwhip or the snakewhip.
Being a light whip the stockwhip gets its energy from the leverage that the long handle provides.
Other than moving cattle, the stockwhip is great at fast, advanced multiple cracking patterns and routines. Most competitor whip crackers use stockwhips for this specific reason.
Recommended for those who wishes to learn complicated routines and/or really explore the posibilitys of whip cracking.
Note: I don’t offer stockwhips today but will gladly point you to some fine makers who do if you decide that a stockwhip is the right whip for you.