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. This might seem confusing at first, but it is simply because whips can get damaged and certain parts may need replacing, fixing, or modifying throughout their lives. Because of this, whips are measured by the part that is irreplaceable, or only repairable if the whip is taken apart. In other words, a whip’s measurement is based on the main or most important part of the whip. (Check out our Whip Length section in the Guide for some examples of this.)
Now that we have that information, we can decide how long we want our whip to be. 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.