What whip should I buy for my 1st whip?
Most people will tell you a 6' or an 8' Bullwhip or a 4' or 6' Stock whip. Any one of these will be excellent choices. Every whip essentially takes the same motion to crack regardless of the desired routine, but depending on the type of whip and the length used the mechanics and timing will vary slightly. Some types and lengths will make certain routines easier to master. For instance, lets compare a 4' bullwhip and a 10' Bullwhip. If we are to examine the vertical circus crack, the 4' will take less time to bring a round before you reverse the direction and will require a crisper cast with smooth wrist. As for the 10' with the same vertical circus crack, it will take longer to bring it around, longer to cast, and while a crisp cast with a smooth wrist should always be desired...due to the long length it will have more "forgiveness"(for lack of a better word) for lesser polished technique. As for the side arm horizontal flick...again the 10' having more weight and length will make it more effortless to get a crack while the light/shorter 4' will need a more refined skill to get a crack effortlessly. Also, having a shorter whip will help facilitate more complex and quick paced routines. If you are leaning towards more complex routines I recommend the 6' Bullwhip or the 4' stock whip. If you are wanting to enjoy casting longer flowing individual cracks go with the 8' Bullwhip or the 6' stock whip. Even if you are considering buying just a single whip and plan that it will be your 1 and only, I want you to consider that this never happens. So, I recommend you think about your 1st two choices and pic what is calling you to be your favorite as you consider that in a few month(or sooner) you will order your second choice.
How often should I apply leather conditioner my whip?
There are a lot of factors that make it impossible to give an exact rule or schedule. Due to climate, storage, frequency of use, and terrain it is used on there will be no one answer for everyone. I can give some guidelines though. I recommend conditioning the fall after every lengthy session. It takes most of the kinetic energy and abuse so it will need to stay supple. The handle being stationary rarely needs conditioner. The transition area and beginning of the thong is similar to that of the handle since there is less flexing then the rest of the whip so, it may only need conditioner a couple times a year. The rest of the thong sees more action should need treatment more regularly as in bimonthly. Closer to the fall hitch may need inspection monthly. Again all of this will very depending on the frequency of use. If you end up storing you whip in a temperature controlled environment for a year+, I recommend conditioning the whole whip every 6 months. If you have stored it for 6 months+ you should inspect it and probably apply conditioner and allow it to soak in overnight before cracking. Leather is skin and like our own skin you are able to feel it to detect if it is dry. Slide your hand down the whip occasionally and if you notice dryness apply when and where needed.
How are your whips constructed?
There are hundreds of styles of whips. Each have similarities, but construction can be very different. I only offer a small variety of the most common whips that are sought after currently and to describe each will be a small task in itself. I will briefly describe general construction. Every whip has a tapered core made of 1-2oz. kip. A bullwhip will have a steel spike(or spring steel for target whips) as foundation where the core attaches, stock whips will have a core with keeper, and a snake whip will have a lead shot loaded core. The core will have a 4 strand kangaroo belly braided over it. Then a 1-2oz. kip bolster will wrap around the finished belly to give a fresh canvas for the next layer. Depending on the whip this process will repeat(kangaroo belly then kip bolster) and then a kangaroo overlay will finish the braiding process. Knot foundation will be made and then the desired knot(s) will be tied on.
Are your Indiana Jones Whips Screen accurate?
There are several reasons why "Screen Accurate" is hard if not impossible to recreate. First off, in every Indiana Jones movie there several whips made and a few different models used in each movie. The lengths varied from 6' - 16'. Indiana Jones carries a 10' , but he cracks an 8'. they also used the longer whips with steel cables as a core to swing from and to be dragged under & behind a truck. Whips are handmade and like any other craft no two masterpieces are the same. Even trying to get handle dimensions vary due to hide thickness, strand width, and transition knot placement. Matching the color of the hide is another problem because even though they are made with a natural color kangaroo hide(The Raider), hides will vary because every kangaroo lived a different life and there are natural color variations as well. Even trying to look at a freeze frame of the movie is impossible because depending on the lighting a whip can easily look a few shades lighter or darker. The hide also darkens after the whip is made as well and will darken faster depending on use, sunlight, and conditioning. But rest assured, we can make you a "Raiders Style" whip by placing a kip core on an 8" spike with 2 kangaroo bellies, 2 kip bolsters, top it with a 12 plait kangaroo overlay that ends on a 6 plait fall hitch, lead load the heel knot, and place 5x4 knots. We will make a "Raiders" Whip for you the way we love to make a raiders whip. If you want to have it modified with some personal specifics, just contact us directly and we will be happy to help make you dream whip a reality!
Answers to commonly asked questions can be found here. If you need more information, us the contact form in the About page to send us a note, and we'll get back to you as soon as possible with an answer.
Can I swing from your whips?
The whip used in Raiders had a steel cable core and the cable was securely attached to an enforced beam. If you were to take one of our whips...or one of the whips by any top quality whip maker, and wrap the end of the whip from a "crack" it would wrap around with the fall. The fall is a slim piece of cowhide and is not able to hold the weight a an average sized man. If the thong itself was able to do the wrapping it may be possible. We don't endorse or condone any one risking their health by attempting unsanctioned stunt-work with our whips because one could get injured and it could damage the whip. So, could a whip hold you weight if you were swinging(if wrapped securely with thong)?...yes. Could it damage the whip?...yes. Is it dangerous as well as lead to injury to attempt such shenanigans?...Most certainly YES! But, if you happen to be on an archeological quest and there is a GIGANTIC boulder rolling toward you and will definitely crush you and lead to an unavoidable demise should you risk it?...YES!!!
How can I get better at whip cracking?
This is a general question and it can be generally answered with Practice! Another thing that makes it a general question is there are many...many different ways to crack a whip as well as different type of whips to crack. Single handed whip cracking is different then double whip cracking. Trying to develop whip cracking patterns and routines are a different skill then targeting, wrapping, or party tricks. I will say this as for developing routines, break the routines down to the individual cracks as well as linking just a the first 2 cracks, then the first 3, then the first 4, etc... As for targeting, you have to aim for something, and aim for a finer(smaller) point on the target is the only way to improve any targeting weather it be firearms or archery. I recommend leaves or weeds as the best natural target. For card cutting, get a cheap hard plastic tubing from a local hardware store as well as the appropriate brackets and screw it into a tree, then saw a slit in the part f the tubing that sticks out away from the tree and get a cheap deck of cards from a dollar store to place cards in the slits to target cut. This also works well for wraps. If your trees have low branches and it makes it difficult if not impossible to use them then get a 4x4 that you can bury in the ground like a fence post and make sure the top of it is near chest level. This will also help to use as a great candle stand to practice snuffing. What ever you do, always make sure you wear protective gear(eye goggles, long sleeve clothes, and a hat) when attempting any new routine in a safe and open environment with nothing to obstruct the path of the whip...tree branches, pets or people, power lines, etc...
Why should I buy a whip from Trinity Whip Co. instead of from someone else?
Because you haven't bought one yet! LOL. There are many great whip makers out there. Whip makers are a unique community. Most companies are in competition with each other. Whip Makers are different. For one, most of us know each other one way or the other. There are not a lot of professional Whip Makers out there. There are a lot more amateurs or hobbyists. Whip Making is a craft. It is Artistry. Every artist uses similar supplies and makes similar pieces, but they are as unique as the artists themselves. There are MANY ways to make the same whip. Everyone has their own perspective of how a whip should look, feel, and perform. Everyone is at a different stage in their process as they explore and perfect there unique perspective. Everything an artist goes through while making their art in one way or another is imbedded in there art. A part of a creator's genius is always found in the things they create. A part of there life and essence passes on as their art is an extension of themselves. Whips are a unique because they are performance pieces. Whips are functional art! Whip Making is a process of limitless potential that never has a ending point. Here at Trinity we enjoy the gift we have been given and are passionate about improving our skill and the masterpieces we create. If we every stop improving or if we ever stop Loving to make these masterpieces...We will retire. As long as you are investing in us...you will be getting our best work yet!
Are All Whips and Whip Makers the Same?
Altough this country was founded on a concept that God made all men inherently equal...this doesn't hold true for whips and whip makers. There are to many factors to describe every detail when comparing a cheaply made whip from a 1st time enthusiest to a high end top quality whip made from a honed full time Whip Maker. Before we get much further on this topic... though I think that discussing some things here may offend how ever unintenionally, what ever I write here needs to be written.
Lets begin with materials. Nylon and Kangaroo are the two most common materials whips are made of. Nlyon paracord is a strong and light material that that requires little care or matainance. Kangaroo Is strong as well but a heavier material that requires some care and attention. Every form of art requires both science and astistry... I feel that Nylon will tilt more to a science in spectrum while Kangaroo leans more towards the artistry. Reguardless how you look at the previuos statement the issue of quality comes down more to who is making it and how are they doing it.
It is amazing how even though all whip makers use generally the same materials, thier methods and construction may vary signifcantly. Even though top quality whip makers share similar aspects and taper...they whips are usually consrtucted very differently.
Nylon for instance, being a synthetic material, most nylon makers will use other synthetic materials in an attempt to replicate their kangaroo counterpart. Most nylon whip makeers use differnt types of tape for bolster material. Common materials for such are Duct Tape, Athletic Tape, Electric Tape( a.k.a. Black Tape), sinew binding, and I have even heard of some makers trying to use Kip Leather as well, While Some Makers swear by some of these mterials other makers claim that these mterials are substandard and won't age well. All of which effect the performance of a whip and longjevity.
Reguardless of materials Internal construction is a major factor as well on performance. How long the bellies are braided, how long the belly tails are, and how long the bolster material spans the whip all effect taper as well as rollout and other "kinks" that make or break how a whip flows when casting. Another major factor is the tention used while braiding the bellies as well as the overlay dictates smoth and acurate casting as well.
A lot of quality Whip Makers get annoyed and are casually concerned about are the rookie whip makers that are not very enthusiastic about making whip or even bothering to improve their education as well as technique and are in it for the wrong reasons. A first time buyer that buys his first whip may be turned off completely if their first purchase is made from such a whip maker and could easily taint their opinions of whips and whip cracking in such a way as to sour them from ever getting into the sport and building another whip ever again. That is the most unsettling aspect in my opinion is losing the ability to grow the social conscience and population of the whip comunity by a amauture whip maker talking up their product to make one time sale to an uniformed buyer and discrditing the whole community for them to make an immediate dollar or two. Whip Making is a long game not a get rich scheme. It takes a lot of trials and errors as well as willingness to learn and expiriement. The effort to become a high level/ highly reguarded Whip Maker is niether a quick, easy, or cheap endevor.
Most any purchase you make comes the golden rule of consumerism..."You Get What You Pay For". In the act of buying a whip is usually no different. Spending $75 on a cheap nylon whip or "stuntman" leather whip on eb@y when you compare the prices of a Nylon from a reputably Nylon Whip maker which could easilt start off at $175+or high quality Kangaroo which starts out at $400+ ...you should understand via common sense...you are getting what you pay for!
Why are Whips so Expensive?
There are several reasons why the cost of Kangaroo Whips are "expensive". 1st off we will look at the materials. Any whip 8' and longer requires 2 Kangaroo Hides. Depending on the size of the hide even a 6' will require more then one. The longer the whip the more Kangaroo and Kip hide required. I am currently working on a 3-Tone 16' 16 Plait and it has consumed 4 hides alone. The Sinew, Lead Flashing, Kip Hide, Spike or spring Steel Foundation, Fall Material, and sometime other items...all add up to more $$$.
Now we can look at the Whip Makers tools as well as wear and tear on them. Using only a sharp knife saves some over head...there are Blades, Strops, Stranders, Spliters, French Edgers, Shellack, Braiding Soap, and many other items while some are one time purchases...they all have a reflection in over all cost and will eventually get replaced as well. Don't forget overhead in the shape of electricity, air conditioning/heat, rent, etc. Also, living expense varies from location as well from property,rent, or even materials.
Now lets look at the whip makers time. Most whip makers rate of completion is a whip a day. Making a 6' Bullwhip will take between 6-8 hours on average and every 2' added may easily add another hour or two as well. It is more to prep and 3 layers more of braiding. So, a 12' whip may take 12-14 hours to complete(give or take). Now think about your work day...how much is a 12 hour workday worth to you in your life? Plait count also adds to not only material, but also preparation time. 24 plait vs. 12 plait will have more hide and waste and having twice the strand count will take twice as long to complete the overlay preping(sizing, matching, beveling, splitting the rough off). but also almost doubles the amount of braiding.
Lastly, let's look at the craftsmen skill. How many whips and how many years has the Whip Maker invested in their career as well as invested in books and other educational resourses. In normal Jobs, don't longer running employees deserve pay raises? Also, until a "Whip Maker's Union" gets established(LOL)...insurance is not provided...there are no benefits.
I am sure there are more reasons to consider, but I believe I have mention most of the main points. Bottom line is that a superior product requires superior materials and a superior Craftsman and it doesn't come cheap.
What qualifies a Whip Maker as opposed to some one who makes a whip?
I thought I would add this as I have heard several hobbiest ask this .
Fist off I want to discuss the definition of what a professional Whip Maker is vs. a Hobbiest or Enthusiest. This is primarily a finacial question. Just because one sells their whips reguardless of cost or profit, that is not grounds for being a proffesional. I would define a professional as one who can support their livelyhood or at least half of their income via profit from making whips would qualify one as a professional Whip Maker. Hobbiest whip makers general make whips in their free time and generally make 1 or 2 whips a month(depending).
I would say that one who makes a whip isn't a whip maker. I would say just because you make a whip and sell it doesn't qualify either. I would say that the moment you find a passion to want to make whips with an honesty to improve and seek to make the impossible "perfect whip" with extreme determination...that is the start. When one realizes the financial, chronologic, and physical burden and makes the educated and enlightened spiritual decision to pursue reguardless of the cost...you are a whip maker. When your hands hurt and blister, when pieces of your flesh get sliced off and you shrug it off effortlessly as you tape or cover it up as you continue despite the pain with renewed focus as you attempt to just keep the blood from hitting the leather...you are a whip maker. When you recognize that there is more about whips that you will exponentially NEVER know then you will actually ever know...you are a whip maker. When you make your current masterpiece of functional art and all you see and think about are the slight imperfections that even other whip makers may not even notice...you are a whip maker. When you don't have to even think about making whips or have to motivate yourself to make a whip and when you feel more awkward not making whips as well feel a sense of freedom and state of naturalness when making a whip...you are a whip maker. When you are doing anything else and all you can say is...I would rather be making a whip...you are a whip maker.
I have been a Martial Arts instructor as my primary Income for 20 years. Through the years I have had many original quotes and definitions I have crafted via help from the Holy Spirit. One that I feel holds over to whip making is this...When asked what is a Martial Artist, I say "A Martial Artist can problem solve In action." I feel the same holds true for whip making or any other skill set.
How can I find other whip enthusiasts in my area?
There are differnt whip website to learn about whips... where you can find other whip enthusiasts, but there is no website about finding them and connecting with them. This is why I recently created the facebook page titled "The Whip Community". This page is dedicated to to help Whip Crackers, Whip Makers, and Whip Enthusiasts to find and reach out to others in their area. One of the main goals is to help people find Whip Meets or Events in their area and if there isn't one available...then I am there to help you get started in creating one! I believe by connecting Whip Enthusiasts and creating Whip Meets is the best front line approach to getting other bystanders aware and interested in our world. If we don't share the unique bueaty and our passion with others...they simply will never know of it and find that it is a option to change their lives. In these Meets there is so much that can be done like showing shareing other whips in each others collections, learning and mastering new routines, targetting, wraps, grabs, other whip tricks and with a trained profeesional you can learn how to use a whip for self defense. Whip Cracking is a fun exersize that gets out in the sun while expressing yourself artistically. Above all I hope that there will be friendships created that will last a lifetime full of fond memories!
You may not need a facebook account to see what is going on, but you will need an account to join. All you need to do is click on the trinity logo below and it will direct you to The Whip Community facebook page.