It’s interesting to see what people used to do for whip tricks, where pretty much everyone did very similar things and now with creative whip performers like Dante and Chris Camp there’s a lot more variety in whip performance!
Inspired by the old newsreels I tried opening a bottle of champagne (OK, it was sparkling wine) with a bullwhip…it’s pretty dramatic:
P.S. FYI the video in the last post isn’t 100% legit. While technically the soda is sealed, I altered the cap and the bottle and resealed it with a bottle capper. Still it looks great!
Yesterday I was out at the park cracking whips and I tried something I’ve never done before. In the middle of a simple crack combination I rolled the whip overhead. Until now I’ve only done whip spinning / rolling on my side or in front of me.
This little discovery for me let to a lot of fun and experimentation. Now I’m positive I’m not the first person to think of it, but I have never thought to do parallel to the ground and above my head before.
The two crack combination that I was doing it with is side arm and overhead crack, with the wrist roll in between.
Here’s a quick video I made of it:
If you’ve never tried it before go out and try it, I have a lot of fun playing with it!
I’m always amazed at the lack of training that many people have when they pick up a bullwhip and try to crack it! Number one priority is protecting your eyes, you need to wear safety goggles/glasses! However a quick search of the term “Bullwhip Fail” on youtube found tons of videos and virtually everyperson’s eyes were not protected!
The next thing that drives me crazy is how many people think that they instinctively know how to crack a bullwhip. In fact they will tell you they know how, but are lying! Cracking a bullwhip is not something you can automatically do…and if you think that because you can snap a towel that skill translates to a bullwhip you are 100% wrong!
I found a couple bullwhip videos that I think illustrate what not to do. Here’s the first one:
In the video above the guy is trying to have some sort of form besides simply dishragging the bullwhip. However he’s missing the follow through after the point where the bullwhip is supposed to crack.
Imagine someone playing baseball and they are batting. If you watch any sort of baseball you’ll know the batter follows through with their swing after the bat has made contact with the ball. Once the ball has contacted the bat and taken the energy from the swing the batter could technically stop the swing, but they all follow through. Why? Because if they forced a stop they could injure themselves…same with cracking a bullwhip, you don’t do a follow through you can injure yourself like the person in the above clip!
There are a couple of things that I find hilarious about this next clip:
First of all for the overhead crack he’s wildly swinging it over his head without purpose. Cracking a bullwhip is like dance, you need to move with intention. Notice about halfway through the video his body language get’s more “angry” and his swing gets crazier and crazier. That’s not good, whip cracking is all about control. He claims to have learned to crack a whip in school…but any competent teacher would tell you not to crack the bullwhip in front of you like he did at the 46 second mark. Finally the title of the video is “Pretty Cool Things I’m Pretty Good At” cracks me up! It should be, “Pretty Cool Things That I’m Incompetent At”!
Heck take the movie the Blues Brothers, even Belushi has proper form when he cracks in the famous Rawhide Scene:
So what I’m trying to say is if you are new to cracking a bullwhip finding a local bullwhip cracking group or whip cracker to learn from is a good idea. If that’s not an option there are tons of videos (DVD’s and online) that will teach you proper form. Bullwhip cracking is a sport has risks built into it and there’s now way to avoid it, but through proper training and safety (like goggles) you are reduce that risk!
Here’s a little five crack combination. Here’s the breakdown:
1. Reverse underhand crack
2. forward flick
3. second half of a fast 8 (reverse flick immediately following the foward flick)
4. Forward underhand crack
5. Circus crack
After the circus crack you can immediately go back to the reverse underhand crack and repeat the whole combination.
Here’s a video of it:
One of the challenging things about this is that you really have to pay attention after the first crack and be ready for the forward flick. If you wait you long you’ll turn this 5 crack combination into a six crack combination. What will happen is the whip will start a new hairpin turn after the first crack (reverse underhand) and will crack while it’s aligning itself up for the forward flick, adding an extra crack. Personally I don’t like the extra crack, but you can put it in there to get some bonus noise.