Choosing the Length of your Leather Whip
What length whip should you start out with? And there’s no simple answer to this. Some people think it’s for different sized people, they should have different length whips, but my general rule that I came up with is this. I say that whatever whip you pick to start out with, it should be a whip that you can swing around comfortably, easily without straining yourself too much and you can keep it all the way off the ground.
Whatever whip you pick, make sure when you first get it, swing it around your head and feel how it cuts through the air and feel how much effort it takes from your shoulder and your wrist to swing that whip around.
If you feel like you’re really pushing yourself, then the whip may be too short. If you can’t even keep the whip all the way off the ground, it may be too long and heavy for you, because many of the whip cracks, the overhead crack or the reverse overhead crack, the low horizontal figure eight, fast figure eight all require that you be able to swing the whip comfortably so you can transition from crack to crack.
This particular whip is an eight-foot stockwhip, so it has a slightly shorter fall. It’s roughly equivalent to an eight and a half foot bullwhip. This nylon stock whip here is the equivalent to a 10-foot bullwhip.
Good whip-cracking again comes from good whip swinging. If you want your cracks to look effortless, that your whip swinging should also look effortless.
If you find that it looks like you’re struggling with your whip cracking, or it looks like you’re really stressed out or tense you’re cracking your whip, practise swinging it and try to be as relaxed as you can while swinging the whip, and that should help your whip cracking look more relaxed and effortless.
Also, a quick answer about materials, for beginners, I would recommend nylon because it’s way easier to maintain and take care of than leather, but if you’re dead set on a leather whip, then go for it.
Video Tutorial: Making a Bullwhip – Preparing the strands and plaiting the overlay