Paul's tips on learning the art of cracking a whip.

Throwing a bullwhip for the first time.
Many people want to know what kind of grip and where on the whip should they hold it. There are many opinions about this.
To start take a comfortable stance, kind like throwing a punch weak foot slightly forwards and dominant foot slightly back.
Grip the whip like you are shaking hands, your little finger should close around the ball of the whip on the end at the half way point, you do not need a death grip because with slight pressure the ball will keep the whip from sliding out of your hand. If you notice the whip will come with a bend built into it adjust the whip so the bend goes towards the ground in a straight line. Most people when doing this the first time will tend to want to throw the whip away from there dominant hand and away from there body. This causes the whip to hit there body from behind when thrown. You want to start the whip back so it moves in a motion from your weak side to your strong side . A good trick is to lay the whip out in front of your weak hand and take the shake hands position with your strong hand on the handle look down at the tip your strong hand should be at about the 8 o'clock point at the tip of the whip with your weak hand this is where you want to throw the whip slightly across your body. Bend your elbow to start bringing the whip up cock your wrist at about 11 o'clock and when the ball not the handle or tip of the whip gets to 12 o'clock push your hand out from your body to 11 o'clock and break your wrist with a snapping motion. As soon as the whip tip goes by your hand bring your hand down to your waist. This will keep the whip from rebounding into you. Do this slowly a few times with no intent to pop the whip get a feel for the whip laying out in a straight line as you move it. You want the tip to move in a big circle from the ground at about 7o'clock to behind you at about 2 o'clock. And not in a lazy snake like double curl that will make a noise behind your head when you attempt to throw it forwards. A whip will form a half loop when brought forwards in a throwing motion. You want to aim about the length of the popper above the target the loop will decrease because the whip tapers its this that speeds the whip up to its terminal velocity. If you try to force the loop down the whip with strength alone you will find that you waste a lot of effort. Start the motions smoothly this will help you not over work the whip. Nothing in the world is more frustrating than trying to throw a whip and not being able to make it work. Usually it's all a timing issue and not a strength issue. If you have trouble try this, relax and just toss the whip from front to back like you were picking a cup off a table you don’t want to spill what’s inside. For the forwards stroke imagine a nail that’s almost all the way in you just need to tap it down flush with out leaving a hammer head mark ,a firm stroke not a death stroke .

Author Paul Keith


© 2006 Victor Tella

Bullwhip (HOME) / Site map / Contact Us