Basic Cracks

The following is a list of basic whip cracks, but keep in mind that “basic” does not always mean easy! This is just a list of different ways to get the whip to crack. Once you have learned some of these cracks, check out our Combination Cracks section to learn how to put some of them together!

(We are currently working on a tutorial series for this section. Until it is complete, we recommend checking out Youtube tutorials by Adam Winrich or April Choi.)

Cattleman’s Crack: A vertical crack done by raising the whip up, over, and behind you, and then bringing it back down.

Snake Killer/Drum Roll: A variation of the Cattleman’s Crack. The whip is brought back up in front of you after being cracked.

Coachman’s Crack: A variation on the Cattleman’s Crack. The whip is brought up like a cattleman’s crack, but the whip cracker waits longer before pushing the whip up and out rather than bringing it straight down. When done with good form, this crack should happen beside the whip cracker’s head.

Reverse Cattleman’s Crack: A variation of the Cattleman’s Crack, where it is performed in reverse. The whip is brought up behind you, and brought back down once the cracker is in front of you.

Back 8 Crack: A variation on the Reverse Cattleman’s Crack, which is the second crack of the Fast Figure 8. With the whip laying out in front of you, pull towards your body with your elbow raising up at a 45 degree angle from the ground. In one motion, bring your elbow back down and use your forearm/wrist to draw a tight loop in the whip. It should crack behind you. This motion can also be thought of as the “crack” motion for the Reverse Cattleman’s crack, except without the upward momentum beforehand.

Overhead Crack: A horizontal crack where the whip is swung around your body clockwise and then cracked by reversing to a counter-clockwise spin (these spins are switched if you are left handed).

Reverse Overhead Crack: A variation of the overhead crack where the whip is initially swung counter-clockwise, and cracked clockwise (directions switched if you are left handed).

Underhand Flick: A crack done by having the whip lying on the ground behind you, and throwing it forward and up.

Sidearm Flick: A crack done by lifting the whip up horizontally behind you and throwing it forward. This crack is typically used for can-cutting.

Overhand Flick: A crack done by bringing the whip up behind you so it is parallel to the ground, and then throwing it forward over your shoulder.

Victorian Cutback: A crack done by swinging the whip out in front of you, waiting, and then pulling it down and back. It is similar to an overhand flick, but done upside down.

Hungarian Pig Drover: A crack done primarily with Hungarian style whips. While swinging the whip around your body, pause momentarily so the thong passes the handle, and then continue swinging in the same direction. This crack can be done after overhead and reverse overhead cracks, or multiple times in a row while spinning in a circle.

Tasmanian Cutback: A crack that happens behind your back, typically after an overhead crack or fast figure 8. With good form, this should look and feel like a Cattleman’s crack behind your back.

Singleton Special: A trick created by Andrew Thomas where the whip is cracked under your feet. While spinning the whip clockwise (if you are right-handed) bring the whip down and behind you. Jump over the whip and pull out away from your body. When the whip has passed underneath your feet, sweep the whip across in front of you.