After a wonderful weekend of rope and whips, it has occurred to me that I have never actually written anything on my blog about whips or whip play.
So let me start with a few tips and safety:
- They can cause considerable pain and damage. A bullwhip is more than capable of slicing flesh and breaking bone. My first steps into using a whip (about 4 years ago) was closely watched by a friend of mine who already had many years of experience. If possible, try to have someone around you during your practice that knows what they are doing.
- You need to realise that you are going to whack yourself on the arms, legs, back of the head, neck and shoulders. It goes with the territory until you learn how to control a whip effectively. Even after years of practice; you will still nick yourself on the odd occasion. Get used to it.
- The cracking sound you hear is the tip of the whip (suprisingly, named ‘the cracker’) traveling at over 1400 feet per second and causing a mini sonic boom as it breaks the sound barrier. It will pick up dirt, grass or gravel from wherever you use it and have a tendency to fling it through the air. DO NOT aim it at people during practice.
- Including an arm’s reach, a 6 foot whip will travel in a circle covering about 10-12 feet in every direction from you (this means you are in the dead center of a rather large sphere which is full of things to break and people to hit), so be very careful where you swing it. Always be aware of what is behind you as a whip will travel backwards before it goes out in front of you. Also look out for overhanging tree branches and electric cables. Always check for clearance.
- Anyone can buy a toy but it is never the toy that is dangerous. The only truly dangerous thing about a whip is the person who wields it. Do not be stupid.