Best Whips For Two Handed Whip-Cracking
The sport of whip-cracking is continually growing, which is a good thing for whipmakers all over, both those who build synthetic whips & others who construct leather whips. For many of us who’ve enjoyed whip-cracking for any length of time, the thought or desire to learn two handed whip-cracking routines is a cool thought. If you watch any of Adam Winrich’s Youtube videos where he uses two whips, then the thought has probably crossed your mind. But what whips are the best for two handed routines, & can a person really get good results from a fairly low priced pair of whips?
Before getting into the different types of whips used in two handed whip-cracking, I think it’s good to note that when you’re first learning to crack a whip, learn to crack with both your dominant hand & non dominant. You should feel just as comfortable cracking with one hand as you do the next. Learning to do this from the start will yield greater & much faster results when you venture into the world of two handed cracking. Now let’s talk about the whips used in two handed routines.
The most commonly known whips used in two handed cracking are stockwhips. This type of whip has been made famous by Australians, & is the type of whip used in Australian whip-cracking tournaments. In my opinion, these are the best whips for this type of whip-cracking. They’re light in weight, have a fast action & because of the keeper transition from handle to thong, create sharper angles & quicker transitions in various planes around the body. The longer handle, called the stock, gives the user more leverage than a shorter handled bullwhip, requires less arm movement & strength and, ultimately, is an easier whip to crack. If you have any intention of becoming a competition whip-cracker, then I suggest learning two handed whip-cracking with a pair of stockwhips.
Performer type whips, a.k.a. pipe whips, have become incredibly popular over the past several years. These whips feature a handle made from pvc pipe, in which the whip thong is inserted at one end & tied off in the same manner as is used on cowwhips. Adam Winrich showcases the use of these whips in his renaissance fair performances, as seen in some of his videos. These whips are very light weight, have longer handles like stockwhips & crack very easily. They are an excellent choice to go with when deciding what whips to learn double handed cracking. Because the handle & thong can be separated, the whip thong can be changed out when needed, or in the case where the handle is broken & no longer usable.
A pair of bullwhips with long handles is another popular choice for people learning two handed cracking, especially here in the US, where the bullwhip has been more popular throughout history than the stockwhip. A pair of bullwhips with 12 inch handles will normally be less expensive than a pair of stockwhips of comparable length, & will give good results to the user. Bullwhips aren’t as fast as stockwhips, which can be beneficial to someone first learning to crack two whips at a time. A pair of 12 plait nylon bullwhips with 12 inch handles is another good choice for learning two handed cracking. This option, when using nylon, is less expensive than a pair of stockwhips or a pair of pipe whips.
The last option I’ll mention here, which isn’t a bad choice in the least, is a pair of Catalyst Bullwhips from Noreast Whips. The Catalyst Bullwhip, though considered to be an entry level whip, has proven to be a good performer in two handed whip-cracking routines. For under $200, a whip-cracker can get a pair of Catalyst Bulls & start learning to crack two whips at a time. In considering a pair of whips from Noreast Whips to use in two handed cracking, this option is the least expensive & the one I would suggest you use if you’re unsure of what to get, or if you’re not confident that two handed work is something you’ll stick with over time. Watch this video of a recent 2012 customer of Noreast Whips, in which he performs with a pair of Catalyst Bullwhips.
Most people looking to get into two handed whip-cracking will never reach the skill level of a World Champion whip-cracker like Ben Hughes, or even that of Adam Winrich, but that’s ok. Learning to use two whips at a time isn’t impossible to learn, & something I feel that most people can learn. We’re all different & learn things at different speeds. With some time, you can learn to put together some two handed whip-cracking routines that will entertain your friends & family, & possibly inspire more future whip-crackers.