Now that we’ve decided on our type of whip, it is time to decide the length. The first thing to remember is that a whip’s length is NOT the entire length of the whip (Check out our Whip Length section in the Guide to find out why). All you need to know is that whips are measured based on the main, braided portion of their construction. For this reason, a 5′ whip may actually be 7′ long.
In general, longer whips feel slower but crack louder, and shorter whips crack more quietly but feel and look very fast.
As such, choosing a length depends on what style of whip cracking you are hoping to achieve. If you want loud cracks and dramatic movement, a long whip might be a good option for you. Conversely, if you want to move around quickly and have a lot of cracks in a short time frame, a shorter whip is probably better.
I know this is all a lot to think about, but don’t worry: most whip crackers agree that anywhere from 4.5’ to 6’ is the ideal length for a beginner’s whip. Anything below 3’ becomes very difficult to crack, and anything over 8’ is limited by its immense length and weight. For general day-to-day use and practice, 3.5’ – 7’ is probably the range you should stay inside, and most people tend to prefer a whip length that is similar to their height.