Tonight I was looking at the bullwhips for sale on ebay and right now there is on bullwhip that says it’s 100% kangaroo…here’s some of the ad copy:
Bullwhip, 8′ 12 Plait 100% Kangaroo Hide Black
Braided by *********
Handcrafted in the USA
For your consideration is a medium to heavy weight bullwhip. This whip is well balanced and has a 12 plait overlay ending in a six plait fall knot point. The whip is built on an 8in steal handle section and a thin nylon core…
Am I going nuts or does this 100% kangaroo bullwhip have a nylon core!!!!!!! If it’s got a nylon core, it’s not 100% kangaroo.
That made me think of the other places that I’ve read people’s ad copy where they say there bullwhips are 100% kangaroo. Pretty much the people that say that their whips are 100% kangaroo are people selling on ebay…people that in my opinion are trying to overhype their whips.
In my opinion if anyone claims their whip is 100% kangaroo they are 100% full of sh*t!!
If you think about it there are a couple of things that make a bullwhip a bullwhip. Mainly it has a rigid handle. I really can’t think of a way to make a bullwhip with a rigid handle by using only kangaroo. So the very nature of selling a bullwhip makes it impossible to be 100% kangaroo.
I know what you are thinking, “Louie you are nit-picking with these sellers, of course the handle isn’t kangaroo.” Well that is true, but where does it stop? In my opinion if you say 100% it’s got to be 100%, you can’t let any thing slide. Would you buy a bottle of water that’s 100% pure water…except for tapeworm in the bottle (no one counts the parasites)?
If the whip is 100% kangaroo and somehow they magically got the kangaroo handle foundation rigid, then they’d need some sort of binding in there to hold the core to the handle.
Wait, I know! you could wrap the core around the handle then use the plaiting over it to hold it in place. Well you could do that, but if you weren’t very careful your handle would have a lot of wobble to it…and a lot of wobble in the handle is not a good characteristic in a bullwhip. So the 100% roo claim while in this fictional case may be true, it’s a smokescreen to cover a poorly designed whip.
Then you’d come to another problem, how would you get the heel knot foundation of the bullwhip to stay on? Most whip makers use tacks and some sort of string to hold it in place.
Lets say you can magically get the butt to stay on, your next problem will be the fall. I’ve heard of a kangaroo fall being used on a whip (but only from a less than reputable seller on ebay) . I’ve never personally seen a kangaroo fall, or a kangaroo skin that I think would be thick enough to make a decent fall. However I’ll give whoever claims that they have a 100% roo whip the benefit of the doubt on this one and assume they can find some thick kangaroo.
Moving down the bullwhip you’ve got the cracker at the end…hmmmmm, that one has me stumped. I guess you could cut a thin piece of kangaroo and cut the ends till it frayed…but honestly I don’t think that’s be an effective way to make a cracker.
So to sum it all it, even if you could make a bullwhip that was 100% kangaroo, it probably wouldn’t be as good at one that used the best techniques but had other material in it.
P.S. I know there are a lot of whip makers that use the words 100% and kangaroo on their websites, but they usually have something that qualifies it, like 100% Australian kangaroo hide or 100% kangaroo bellies.