Complete Whip-Cracking Basics | Caleb Martel | Skillshare

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Complete Whip-Cracking Basics

teacher avatar Caleb Martel, Musician and Whipmaker

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

20 Lessons (51m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Types of Whips

    • 3. The Cattleman's Crack

    • 4. The Reverse Cattleman's Crack and Slow Figure Eight

    • 5. The Fast Figure Eight

    • 6. The Overhead Crack

    • 7. The Reverse Overhead Crack

    • 8. Basic Tricks with the Cattleman's Crack

    • 9. The Sidearm Flick

    • 10. The Overhead Fast Figure Eight

    • 11. The Coachman's Crack

    • 12. The Snake Killer

    • 13. The Underhand Flick

    • 14. The Body Wrap

    • 15. The Tasmanian Cutback

    • 16. The Breakaway

    • 17. The Overhead Flick

    • 18. The Sydney Flash

    • 19. The Volley

    • 20. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

 In this class you will learn how to handle a whip properly.I will teach you all the fundamentals of whip-cracking,all the single cracks,targeting,and some tricks and combos.If you would like to order a quality nylon whip,be sure to check out my etsy shop.

Meet Your Teacher

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Caleb Martel

Musician and Whipmaker


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1. Introduction : Hi, my name's Kail Martel, and in this class I'll be teaching you everything you need to know to get started on whip cracking. I'll teach you the basic cracks. Well, some combos and tricks you can do with the bull whip. And I highly recommend that during this classy wear protective eyewear, because of which can be dangerous if you're not careful with it. So grab your with and let's get cracking. 2. Types of Whips: okay, Before we actually start tracking lips, I'm gonna show you some of the basic types of Webb's. So obviously, the most common is the boy. No, I don't have any good bullwhips with me right now. I sold them all, so I'm gonna use my old one. Uh, this is just a five foot bull whip with, I believe about an 11 in channel, and you'll notice that with any whip that the song, which is the flexible part, it always tapers. Now, this doesn't have such a good taper, but you can kind of see it does a little bit, uh, song of this with tapers better. She starts out thick, and you can see how thin it gets there at the end. But what sets a bullet apart from other whips, the handle and the transition to the phone. Okay, so the transition is going from the handling, and a bull whip has a sturdy transition. It's, uh you can't just spend it right Half their a good bull whip will, actually, when you hold it straight up like this, little wanna kind of stay up like that. And a bullet has a solid handle, usually between eight and 12 inches. That's the most common. Some have 14 even 16 and channels for targeting. But and a bowl with is fairly heavy. Um, there's two main things that set whips apart, and that's a handle. The leverage and wait. And either one will guide the capable, which is guided by some weight on some level, a decent man blank. Then, at the end of a whip, which is at the end of the song, you have what's called the fall. And that's simply where you attach the fall, which is on a nylon with just a piece of pear accord. They usually around two feet long, and then you have the crackers. And that's what makes all the cracking sounds on A with that here. So the next type of which is a snake with on you can see there's no so with is guided by the weight. So snake with has always made heavier shot loaded, filled with lead or BBC bullets are, too, but non tomatoes, heaviest snake and a snake with he had the end, not the hell, not just like a bull whip. And then the whole thing is a song that tapers down to the fall hitch fall and the crackers , and the next one is a stock with, which is my personal favorite on the stock with is extremely lightweight, and so it is guided by trans by leverage with a long handle. This handle is 16 inches. A lot of them are 16 or 18 inches, the most common length, so you have the handle or the stock. But then here, instead of a transition, you have a joint and their two keepers or loops. So the song of the whip has a loop on the end and the handle does, and you just interlock those. And so that joint makes it easier to guide the whip when you're doing fancy cracking routines. Um, so just like a bullet that has the hell not. This is a high plateau handle stock with you. Grade it for about half the length, and then the The song is much thinner than a normal whip and course. It tapers down very thin to fall hits, and then this has a tapered vault because a taper again is what makes a whip crack. So the more taper you haven't lived the better, and then just standard cracker. Then another type of with is the performance hyper with and, as the name implies, hybrid called hybrid because it's kind of a cross between a full within a stock whip or cow . It has a handle that's made out of PVC instead of wood or quarter inch steel rod, like a bullet has just a steel rod. Um, this handle is 20 inches, and, uh, this is a bit thicker than most of the 1st 1 I made. Ended up making it too thick. More money. They're about the same diameter as a stock quit. But, uh, long is the same, like on a stock with, and you have the CDC handle he'll not braiding. But the transition is what such it apart. You can see there. This song has two strands of hair record that I fed throughout hope here and tied on. So it's kind of a joint similar. So it's kind of a cross between stock within a bullwhip for that transition so good with what kind of whip would be recommended for beginners? Uh, that's what for beginner is a bullet between maybe 5 to 7 feet. Six football, which is the most standard, uh, or a stock with between four and 16. So get yourself a good stock with about five or six feet on that first or performing title . They're very good for beginners as well and course bullet stock with and performance hybrid whips good for beginners. But they're all you know. They're used by many professionals as well. Now, I don't really recommend the snake with for beginners simply because there's no handle to guide it. And it's a little bit more difficult to learn cracks without the handle. So, um, that's what you'll hear a lot of, uh, what crackers recommend, so let's move on to the first crack. 3. The Cattleman's Crack : learn is called the cattlemen's crack. And it looks like this well in front. It's a very simple crack. All you want to dio is you have the whip down beside you, remember? Toe, hold it down towards the end here, and you're gonna have it straight down the side and make sure the which is out behind you. So then you're gonna bring it up like this, and it's easier to picture a clock. So, man, just so I started six oclock. Bring the handle up to about 12 o'clock and you can angle it back a little bit too about one o'clock. And you want to make sure the whip comes back down behind you, and then all you do has fallen back down and bring it down past six. For beginners. I had trouble, like many other people just stopping right here. But it's actually easier. Just follow back through a little bit past behind your legs and you want to make sure when you bring it back down, you don't just drop your on. I'm used to follow back out when you get to come back and you could hear the crack right about what? And again to get a whip to crack, it has to roll. So you're just creating old. I see starting to lose. And so when I jerk it out, that follows all the way out to yet just like that. And you want to make sure, too, that your risk cocks back as well. A lot of whip cracking. A lot of it is done with risks. My risk back, I'm exaggerating a little bit. And then and then it's just practice that, And whenever you're learning these cracks, a good way to test. If you have the master yet feel do 10 times in a row, so and, of course, when you start out learning, you're gonna be hitting yourself. So again, make sure you're wearing protective. I wrote about hitting yourself and getting it cracked time. So that's it for the cattlemen's 4. The Reverse Cattleman's Crack and Slow Figure Eight: all right, so now that you learned the cattlemen's crack, next crack you want to learn is the reserve. Cattle is just a cattleman's crack, but done so you have to without in front of you. Then you bring your arms up like the whip, come out in front of me this time like this, and then cast it out behind on. Bring your arms back down to your leg and again. If you want a picture clock beside you, you'll have six oclock bringing up to about 12 o'clock, even a little bit. Past Have I like to have my handle pointing out five ways like that looked down in front of you, passed it back out like that. So once you've learned that you could do your first combo crack, which is known as the slow Figure eight, and all you're doing is combining the two cattleman's cracked. So you start off with your standard one. And like I said before, it's easier to just drag your arm all the way back. We'll just continue that motion reversed. So after you do that, continue dragging ocean up would what, and he had the source figure range, So it's very simple combo to learn. Let's smooth 5. The Fast Figure Eight: All right. So before we learn another crack, Um, well, you'll be learning another crack for this. But this is another variation on being fast on this figure. Eight, but it's fast figure. Looks like. Okay, so what I'm doing there is I'm doing the cattlemen's. But instead of bringing it down and back up around, I'm just bringing the whip back up like this and creating a quick move there, just jerking it back like that. So what? You're and the handle is going to come down, and then you're gonna start and dragging like that, and you're just gonna create a sharp motion there, just like that. So you kind of jerking your elbow down, which in turn, brings this up, make like a windshield. You see the loop forming there so that you have that. Then after that, you can see my wrist comes up. Well, just like that. So practice this crack separately. First you get, then combine it with 6. The Overhead Crack: Okay, so now that you learn the 1st 2 basic cracks, you're gonna learn those tracks again, but over your head and we'll start off with the overhead crack. And basically, that's just cattleman's crack. But instead of dying, you just do it. Okay? So start with the whip out beside you. If you're right handed, have it out here, right? You're gonna swing the whip, handle around like this, and you're just basically getting the whip. Come around, form a loop over your head. Okay, so around once the whip comes out front about here, you're just gonna reverse that motion. Remember, don't just stick your arms straight out. Need to continue the whole motion back around. They make in art, bring it around front. So, right, about soon as I see the whip about here, that's when I pull my arm. Backer, can you just continue our backed out side? All right, so keep propping this crack and we'll go to the reverse overhead. 7. The Reverse Overhead Crack: All right. So reverse overhead. Looks like this. All right, so this time you start with the whip to your left side, okay? And you'll bring the handle around same motion, but on the other way, So bring it around, Have to handle pointing back around to your left and get this song to swing to make a loop over your head like that. And then you're just gonna kind of snap the whip handles back Kind of like that kind of angle Mind down just a little bit. A little bit. So go on. Right about where I see this song with Just come into my view Just like with the overhead As soon as it comes into my view forming a loop That's when I snapped back around It's the same with this way only on the officer shot. Okay, so once you have those two cracks down, you can do the slow overhead. Figure eight. And just like with very you can do that. It's the exact same thing. Just done over. Can you? The motion back 8. Basic Tricks with the Cattleman's Crack : Okay, so now that you know the cattlemen's crack, uh, there's a few tricks you can do just with that one crack. And, uh, you take a water bottle and just laid on the ground and then tossed it up, Tried to hit it, set it up, try to knock it down. I want to learn the died on click Do that. Right now we're focusing on tricks with the countenance crack. So, uh, I recommend you get blocks, Acosta, get it pretty cheap. And, um, you can make I made a stand here out of PVC. It's just a big T. And I put a clip along here. Target work like you. And whenever you're targeting something like this trick is to bring it up, bring it up from the cattle and bring the handle of just beside gonna point. Bringing up just died like this. When you come down from the crack, you bring it up right beside and shifted over just enough to come down on that and you can see how many pieces you could get off one length. And then, of course, you do. Tricks cutting cost us law holding it so you could hold the stick it out past your shoulder or even out your mouth so you can do it in front of you beside you. So others tricks there. You could do with just a cattleman's crack. So try this out. The accurate you can get with targeting like this. 9. The Sidearm Flick : Okay, so now that you've learned debates, cracks, uh, made notice with what's different about them is each of those cracks you're forming will loop with by bringing it one way and then changing direct, actually, two main sets of cracks ones where you changed direction of the lips, and those are obviously the easiest to get a form. But then there's another sect called the place, and absolutely you get the underhand for the side arm or the over. So with these tracks are harder to learn. Still, because when we do them, you're not changing direction to formally have flick your wrist just right to get a loop. Send down because when you change the direction, performing a whole news like that and that travels down, whereas this way you're only getting a loop like this. It's not making a whole. So it's a little bit harder to get a nice tight lead to go all the way down to win, so we'll start off with morning sidearm flick. I recommend that you practice flicks at the same kind of your learning other cracks because they could take a long time. So the easiest way to start is to have to work out in front of you, and it's bringing up and then to do that, or you could start off just behind you. So what you're gonna be doing is just gonna be sending the whip straight out and you'll have your handle up was on like this. You're gonna have your call back a little bit coming out and that once your arm comes out about full reach may be right about here. That's when you flip your wrist, OK, like that E. So what you're doing is you're starting off by throwing the Web. I haven't it like this. You're basically descending the handle straight out, like this case with song of the whip whips actually coming out like that. All right, so want to lick your wrist that tends song out a little bit faster than the handle, and that's starting the booth and I find and you want to make sure you don't want to have your arm out like this. It can be done, but it's very hard to, so keep your elbow in. Don't keep it pinned to your sides, but keep it kind of close. It's like that. My elbows elbows almost trying to come out first. Bring it on. Okay, so I find it a little harder to do a flip that's more across your body. So if you're right handed, don't try to be doing flicks a little bit off. It could be done. But it's hard to learn because that we're bringing it out straight for a little bit to the right handles coming out and flick. Then that gets a title you find doing it a little bit to the right. Like that kind of gets Haider doing it that way, which is already over here. So it's not gonna need come over much doing it that way. It doesn't form at title moving one. A nice, tight lead to form to get a good crap. 10. The Overhead Fast Figure Eight: Okay, so now we do the same thing, But in the overhead. So the fast overhead figure eight. Make sure you don't back your head. All right, so we'll do the overhead, and then once you come around, you're just gonna do the same motion have handle right about here, and you're gonna kind of it won't be vertical like this, but can you just kind of yank the handle almost as if you're swinging that. So So when I do it, it's not like this kind of angle a little bit. Okay, So you have that practice get back like that, and, uh, we're learning these overhead crack might want to wear a hat. You're more likely to hit your head. Okay, so that's the fast overhead. Diggory and fast Figure eight Vertical combined. 11. The Coachman's Crack : all right. This next crack is known as the coachman crack, and it's very similar to the cattlemen's looks like this. Okay, it's the same motion as the cattlemen's. So basically bring it up and form the loop. But instead of bringing your hand straight down like that when the whip is right about here , you're actually gonna let the whip come all the way. Inform the loop and you're actually gonna usually your arm back little bit far. And instead of bringing your hand down, you'll jerk it back Emotions. Okay, so Okay, so it's very similar, but you're allowing more time for the whip to curl back up. And sometimes it's easy to think of it as jerking upward and then back down. Okay, So work on that. It makes for a nice finish after doing gumball these. And when you get into a two handed whip cracking 12. The Snake Killer : All right, now we're gonna learn a crack that's called a snake, and it looks like this. All right, So basically, all I'm doing is I'm doing a series of kind of like cattleman's cracks just hitting the ground. So you're going to start off with the cattlemen's crack. Gotta bring your arm down ground right before it hits the ground. You bring your arms back up around like this Once it comes around you, I kind of see get straight back behind me and I down. It's like another catalyst practice. Just doing it one crack and swinging it around. All right, So you want to jerk your hand up just before the crack of just before trialing it out? Another cracking? You're just gonna be snapping your wrist back back. You want to practice your catalyst cracks. Having laid out in front of you on the ground Practice for it. You can build up speed. Way to practice. Just once you could do to crack, get a bottle of soda can or something strode on the ground and just keep hitting it over and over again every time you hit it, jump like in the fall or even late summer one leaves start to fall. I just like to target leaves just one after the other. Just anything to build up accuracy and your stamina and, uh, next will learn your first body. 13. The Underhand Flick: Okay, so this flick that we're gonna learn is all the understand So, uh, you with flicks ground Keeping the whip from traveling out to side like that? Because with the flick, you're not changing direction to get a so it's hard to keep a nice tight loop when you're casting the wood about because with the flicks when you cast it out, want the whip to fall down So you start out with back behind you and when you're first learning this, you might wanna kick your back foot out of the way so you don't with the back of your leg you can vent. Do it without having to worry about that. You're gonna bring your arm out as far you can before the rest, just like with any other flick. Okay, so have my palm of my hand pointing out and I'm just dragging it out. And then once my arms as far as it can go, just giving it a little bit, okay? And sometimes if you're when you're combining it with other tracks, have it out in front of you. Bring it up and then do something like that kind of in between a side arm you're gonna have out in front of you. Bring your arms back, and then I'm gonna bring the whip out a little bit make there and then your arms going to kind of come down, travel little diagonally a little bit like that. So sometimes easier to kind of get the wit to jump down and just back up, Uh, easiest to do, combined with the cattlemen's so 14. The Body Wrap: Okay, so this time we're not gonna learn a crack. Gonna learn technique body. It's very simple. All you do is swing around, but it wrapped around your body and slowly unwrap it as it okay, over and over again. Rapid that. I like to do this with a killer. Do that one more crack, Get creative with straight into that wrap around your neck. You're brave enough. Another type of rap is to finish off the series of practice. Once you start learning routine just like that, just bring it up. I like, finished with with an underarm click. And bring your hand up like you get a pledge and then you just let go. Let the wheat rot around like that. Then, of course you do. You have with across you and you just bring it around, wrapped around your neck like that. Then finish around the rest of your body. I like that. Get creative with your own types of crops. That could be something to do for the class project. Um, you know, get yourself. You know, you come up with some fancy looking body wrap obsession with a bunch of other cracks that would be great to see a video. That too. So, uh, yeah, you learn more cracks. Just see where you can through body writhe. 15. The Tasmanian Cutback: All right. Now we're gonna learn the Tasmanian cut back. Okay? So it's basically just the cattlemen's crack well done behind the back. Make sure you can do the cattlemen's straight in front of you like this. And then so you can start with the whip straight out this way. Bring it up. It's like for the cattlemen's. Once it gets back, pull it down and back out. You can start with a cross like this. Do that. Notice how I'm angling to handle. When I do that, I don't want to point the handle in towards yourself. Let us or yourself. And you know how much you bend over. That doesn't matter. You could do it straight so you can even do it where you're doing it straight over your traveling truck behind you. So, uh, you could do like a small combo do the cattlemen's degree. That second crack makes that crack. So something like that, Then you can see what other crops you combine it with. 16. The Breakaway: All right, so now we're gonna learn a combo, and this is a combination of three cracks, and this combo is known as the breakaway. Looks like this. Okay, so we're going to do overhead over the past degree, and then after that, do this. This I'm not doing the second overhead. I'm actually bringing it down almost in the regular fast figure. So you have overhead angling handle this way. Right after that crack. That means, uh, practice static. You need to just do the second crack to the fast degree. Cattleman's just like that. So, again, overhead Cattlemen's. 17. The Overhead Flick: Okay, so now we're gonna learn overhead. Click like this. And this is probably the hardest type of flip to dio. But don't worry, just keep practicing and you'll get it so you can start off with the whip in front of you. Bring it around, back down or just behind you probably gonna hit you back lot. So instead of doing it straight like that, uh, you can kind of do it just a little bit That keeps you from getting your back. That All right, so I found it easier to start in front of you. So you start with that, you have it out in front, bring it back like this, but you don't bring it up and make you don't wanna go. I want to bring it up. Once it's about about straight back, then you're gonna do flick most. So instead of continuing Arc, you're gonna travel with pants, bring the whip hand straight with your risk, talk back like this with your elbow coming out first, and then find a cat kind of hard to do a slower just like that. And then, of course, when you have a behind you, it's the same motion just without swinging it back. So just go straight. I believe you complete videos of slow motion here. So, um, you sure and do that, especially for the clicks? Might be able. Might be able to see a little bit easier. What exactly my arms doing? I can only go so slow to get the crack because faster crack. So I didn't do that. So, like I said, flicks are one of the harder are the harder cracks learn, so don't get discouraged. They just keep practicing. 18. The Sydney Flash: Okay. Another combo that we're gonna learn is one going at Sydney Flash. And it was something like this. It's a simple crack. Basically, you're gonna start with an overhead click. Okay? And if you're still having trouble with the overhead flick, you can start with variation of it by swinging around like you're gonna do an overhead. Only you just keep coming around, inflict forward a lot of beginners, find that easier. You I'm gonna come back, snap back, like in the past. Figure eight. You have the cattlemen. And in that second crack, you're gonna do that after the overhead. Okay, Just like that. Once you snap, that back will be coming up and finished with catalyst so overhead into the reverse. And you can also get on underhand clicking there right after this crack. You can do an underhand there just before cattleman. So this crack makes a nice combo with the break a leg. So you have this. And then when you do that last track of the breakaway, that's the first track of 19. The Volley: Okay, Now we're gonna learn, which is what's probably the hardest crack that changes direction. Um, this is known as the Bali. Okay, so this crack could be done continuously as long as you want. Um, so basically on doing cattlemen and while I'm doing a fast figure eight to start off and you're just continuing, Okay. So once you get that a second crack from the fast figure eight, instead of bringing it back down, you'll just go back to do another crack just like that. Like the second. Okay, so it's best to think of it as a windshield wiper just going back and forth, forming loops. Okay. Basically, like you're basically doing a bunch of coaching cracks one after the other. So the best way to learn the volley to be able to do it multiple times is to do one crack out of time. So start off with faster, great cracks. Then just go to three and then four and five and so on. Don't move on to a higher number of cracks until you can Do you know, for when you could do that fire and then, you know, as you work your way up to try. And then if something like that happened, you get stuck on that and just keep working at it. And, uh, this could be done. Uh, you might want to start off learning beside. And then, of course, this could be done with the other side overhead. This is, uh, one of the best cracks for changing planes. But, uh, when you're doing it once the angle handle angle, you don't want to be perfectly straight. Want to hang out just a little bit? Not much, because if it's too street, we're gonna wrap around your wrist back, pointed out, angled out too far. It's gonna wanna rob around keeping an angle about like that. So once you learn that you can build up, you can kind of see my elbow is helping a little bit like a counter 20. Final Thoughts : Well, congratulations made it to the end of this course. So by now, you should be very familiar with how to handle a whip, do all the basic cracks and some basic targeting. And, uh, I love to see a video of you send in a video doing targeting or combos you come up with. I love to see that. Uh, so I'll give you a couple ideas. We'll just in different ways. You combine some cracks. Way talked about combining the breakaway and Sydney Flash. You can throw a volley in there. And when you do that Sydney Flash, you could just volley and from the volley could go into Tasmanian cut back. So for this fast figure eight you have and the second crack can go into like that, of course, you can do underhanded into cattleman's. We went overhead. Something like that. Just, you know, with the body. Thank you for watching this class. I hope you enjoyed it.