Balancing A Whip

Whip balance goes a bit further than just weighting a whip. It’s also another topic which is subjective to the whip-maker building the whip. You may have heard the phrase, "a perfectly balanced whip." Well, I’m not sure that there is such a thing as perfect balance when it comes to whip-making. I’m sure that others will disagree, but the term "balanced whip" may not mean the same thing to every whip-maker or whip-cracker. It seems to me that it’s a relative term, holding different meanings for a number of people.

Famous whip artist Gery Deer has been quoted as saying, "If a whip cracks, then it’s balanced." When speaking of balance, most people refer to the end of the handle (transition)  as a reference point. By allowing the whip to rest on your forefinger, one can gauge whether a whip is nose-heavy or butt-heavy.  Although I’ve not handled one of the newer Indy IV bullwhips made by Terry Jacka, many others who own a version of his movie whip have told me that they are very nose-heavy bullwhips. This allows the whip to accomplish throws & volleys very quickly & easily. In contrast, a David Morgan bullwhip is more butt-heavy, throws a bit slower & differently, yet cracks easily. Each type of whip feels very different in the hand. Yet it doesn’t mean one whip is necessarily better than the other, or better balanced. I believe it has more to do with the preference of the whip-maker or whip-cracker.

Whip balance is as relative as the weight of a whip. Some people like slow, heavy whips, while others prefer lighter, faster whips. Some enjoy a whip that’s nose-heavy, whereas some opt for one that has more weight loaded in the butt of the handle. Whatever the preference, as long as a whip cracks easily & consistently, then the balance point of a whip in relation to the end of its handle doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not a well-constructed or well-balanced whip. If it cracks, then it’s balanced well enough.

~Till next time, Steve.

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