There’s a strange myth that kangaroo leather is very delicate and if it gets wet it will immediately be ruined. In my opinion this is 100% not true…provided you properly take care of your whip. Water itself is not harmful to your whip. In fact plaiting soap is usually half water and your whip gets coated in this while it’s being made.
In regards to water after your whip gets wet (like if you use it in the rain) you want to dry it off and possibly give it a hit of leather dressing. Mainly this is to combat mold, the water itself in reasonable amounts won’t do anything to the leather. Now if you were to soak your whip in a bath tub for two weeks that’s a different story.
The other thing is people think they need to use a their whip only on a patch of grass with no debris whatsoever. While that’s the ideal situation in the real world that’s almost never the case. My leisure whip cracking happens at a local park and while it’s fairly clear there are sometimes small rocks twigs etc. If you crack your whips into the ground onto these you are risking damaging the strands of your whip. However keep in mind that pretty much every crack when properly executed happens in the air (except for things like the snake killer).
As a general rule concrete or gravel isn’t the best surface to crack your bullwhip on because it’s abrasive. Keep in mind that any abrasive surface isn’t good to crack a whip of any material on (kangaroo, cow, nylon) and that over time it will wear it a lot faster than if you only crack on a gym floor. Some materials like nylon handle it a bit better than leather, but it’s still going to wear it out.
Here’s one of my favorite whip crackers Chris Camp cracking his whip on WET CONCRETE:
Should your whip last a lifetime? With proper care the answer is YES…but then so should a car. Keep in mind that no one drives their car in ideal situations, you could park your car in climate controlled garage or you could actually use it. Sure maybe you’ll have to get a new whip every now and then, but isn’t new whip day fun, and you need at least a few of those during your life time!
So you need to decide what you want a whip for, hang on your wall to look at forever or to actually go out and use. If you pic the latter use it and have fun…just properly maintain it and try your best to minimize using it on abrasive surfaces.