Whip by Franco Zoccali

What makes a whip crack?

A whip cracks because the end of the whip breaks the sound barrier, causing a miniature sonic boom. It may not seem like it, but the cracker of the whip can accelerate past speeds of 900mph! Check out this video by SmarterEveryDay on the subject.

Does it hurt if you get hit by a whip?

This is a tricky question. Being hit by a whip can definitely hurt: a whip cracked in the right way can cut a soda can clean in half! If the whip hits you before it’s about to crack, it can easily leave a welt, bruise, or even break the skin. Because of this, it is advised that you wear thick pants to protect your legs, and a wide-brimmed hat and glasses to protect your eyes and face when practicing.

Are whips legal?

This depends on the laws of your province/state/territory/etc. In North America, whips are generally considered “novelty items,” similar to juggling clubs and even umbrellas! Therefore, they are not illegal to have or use on your person, providing you are being respectful and not causing any disturbances. On the other hand, whips can be quite loud and dangerous, so if someone asks you to stop or go somewhere else please do so politely and respectfully. While whip cracking is definitely a fantastic pastime, for someone nearby who is enjoying peace and quiet the hobby can seem like quite a nuisance!

Is there an age limit?

No! In some Australian whip cracking championships, there are peewee divisions hosting competitors as young as one year old! Whip cracking is a hobby that can be enjoyed by anyone, and we encourage of all ages and abilities to give it a try. With that being said, if you are under 18 please ask your parents or parental guardians before purchasing and using a whip!

How much does a whip cost?

Other than the initial purchase of your whip, participating in the sport requires no other serious payments or costs. At most, you will end up buying twine or string to replace the cracker on your whip every so often!

As for the price of your whip, this can vary by maker and whip type. If you are interested in learning how to buy a whip, please visit our “Buying a whip” guide. In general, a decent beginner whip could cost anywhere from $100 – $200.

Is it a sex thing?

No! While whips may carry a sexual connotation in some circles, sport and hobby whip cracking has nothing to do with sexual activities or BDSM. The types of whips sport and hobbyists use in the modern day can be quite dangerous, and as such have no place in the bedroom. Further, whips created with sexual intentions tend to have more than one “tail” on the end, and are not meant to be cracked in the same way that sport whips are.