Purchasing Your First Whip, and Deciding What Length to Get
Many of you reading this have most likely already purchased one or more whips- this is really for the people who are considering their first whip, or perhaps those who have had a hard time learning with their first whip. I think that getting the right length for you is of far more consequence than whether you get a bullwhip, stock whip, cow whip, etc.- especially when you are just starting out. I have spoken to many people who went too short with their first whip because it was cheaper. This also applies to those of us who are starting out making whips- when I first started, I was shooting for a four foot snake because it was the fastest thing to finish. But if you want to learn to do something well, you need the right equipment. Everyone is different, so when people ask me for a recommendation I tell them a range of 6 to 8 feet is good for most people, and 7 is going to be a pretty safe bet all around. The reason I recommend a longer whip isn’t so it’s more expensive- it’s so that when you are learning, you can have a chance to see and feel what the whip is doing. The whip constantly gives you feedback- if you have good sensitivity, if you’re paying attention, you’ll be able to interpret that feedback and adjust your technique accordingly. If you’ve never cracked before and you try to start out with something like a 4 foot bullwhip, or snake let’s say- the crack happens much faster on a short whip, and you won’t have time to process what’s going on. Not to mention, the longer your whip is the farther away from your face the crack is happening- that’s not a bad thing, especially when you’re a student and maybe you have some bad habits you’re trying to break. Once you’ve gotten skillful at cracking a longer whip, it’s much easier to translate all the cracks and combinations you know down to something shorter. So slow down, relax, and take your time- and have fun.