Proponents Of Nylon Whipmaking

It’s commonly accepted that David Morgan has done much to revive the craft of whipmaking here in the United States. His idea to incorporate Australian whipmaking techniques with American methods helped infuse a new energy into American whipmaking. In any online forum related to whips, or which discuss whips frequently, Mr. Morgan’s name is mentioned often. He has without a doubt inspired many would-be whipmakers.

In similar fashion to Mr. Morgan, there are a couple names which frequently rise to the top of discussions in regards to nylon whipmaking. Those names are Krist King & Rhett Kelley. I’ve never met Mr. King, nor have I ever seen a picture of the man. His work with nylon whips is well documented, and in doing an online search for whip retailers, you’ll find many of the products being sold are designed & built by Krist King. He doesn’t have a website of his own, and as far as I know, has always sold his whips through other retailers. I don’t have any contact info for Mr. King, but would someday like to converse with him if possible. I don’t think I’d be wrong in saying that Krist King has done quite a bit in furthering the craft of whipmaking, not just in regards to nylon whips, but in whipmaking in general.

Rhett Kelley has been making nylon whips for nearly 20 years, and in that time, has become widely known & respected. His solid construction methods produce well-handling whips enjoyed by people around the world. Only recently have I enjoyed exchanging emails with Rhett, whom I’ve come to respect & agree with many of his beliefs & practices. He’s helped many with tips on whipmaking, even gave me some help a few years back. He’s a humble, honest & good guy. I feel Rhett has done much to promote the craft of nylon whips, and probably received more criticism about nylon whips being accepted as "real whips" than any of us present-day nylon whipmakers will ever experience. There are other pretty well-known makers of nylon whips, guys like Steve Koliski & Joe Driver. It’s not my intention to slight these men in any way, or lessen their importance in nylon whipmaking. Funny enough, Rhett recently mentioned these same men in a post on his blog. Thanks Rhett, by the way, for the mention & kind words.

Most American whipmakers of today can trace their interest in whips & whipmaking back to David Morgan & Indiana Jones. I say "thank you" to Mr. Morgan for rekindling the interest in whipmaking here in the U.S., as I may not be building whips today if it weren’t for men such as him. In truth, guys like Krist King & Rhett Kelley have laid the foundation for nylon whipmakers of today. To them both I also say "thank you." From time to time, I believe it’s necessary for whipmakers to refresh their memory & appreciation for those who’ve helped further this craft.

~Thanks for reading,


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One Response to Proponents Of Nylon Whipmaking

  1. Blessed says:

    What would you say is the best learner\’s reference for a novice in nylon whipmaking? I have not purchased any books up to this point, because most of the "respected" titles are for leather. The differences between nylon and leather construction are substantial, and I fear that Mr. Morgan\’s book will not be the proper guide for my studies.To date, I have constructed two practice snakewhips, both of which handle well enough. But they are far from what the whipmaking community would consider "right". I still have yet to learn a proper Turk\’s Head for the handle, and my grasp of tapering needs work. My next model will incorporate some form of bolster, to aid in the shape and density of my whips, but I am lost on some of the finer points.I agree with the statements you have made, and would personally love to see the craft and sport revived fully in our country. In the time it has taken me to construct the two whips I have made, I have gained a wealth of knowledge and respect for the art. It is not something that should be done halfway.Now that I have gotten my feet wet, so to speak, I can safely say that the art of whipmaking is something that I am definitely willing to commit to as a lifelong pursuit. There\’s just a draw there that I can\’t resist. There is nothing close to the satisfaction I felt when I cracked them for the first time.Please email me at if you have any suggestions on how I can improve my skills. I look forward to being a part of the community, and know I still have lots to learn.

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