Category Archives: Hunting Whips

Cowwhips.com Relaunch

Stop by and see the newly remodeled Cowwhips.com!
New look, new products, and new lower prices on standard 16 plait bullwhips!

 

Rhett

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Whip Basics DVD Sale!

Do you want to learn to crack whips like a pro?

Buy the Whip Basics DVD series and let whip coach Robby Amper show you how!

I have just lowered the price of the Whip Basics 3 disc compilation to $45.00 with shipping included to U.S. addresses!

For more information or to order your set, please email me at Rhettswhips @ Yahoo . com.

Click here to see video clips from the series!



Toheti Cane: Durable Material or Brittle Junk?

The dreaded scenario goes something like this:

You’re at a whip practice and inadvertently leave your whip bag on the ground. Some very inattentive person comes walking up, doesn’t see your bag lying there, and steps right on it. Simultaneously, you hear a loud “crack,” but it doesn’t come from the popper of the Noreast nylon bullwhip you were just volleying, rather, it comes from inside your whip bag, from a toheti cane handle snapping in two like an old crusty chopstick. You resist the urge to yell at the idiot who just stepped on your bag, but you also want to kick yourself for being foolish enough to leave the bag lying on the ground in the first place. You regret not opting for a fiberglass handle on your nylon stockwhip. When you get home, you promptly fire off an angry email to that Rhett Kelley guy who made the whip…

This humorous, very exaggerated scenario demonstrates what I’ve read online about toheti cane whip handles becoming brittle over time and breaking if tread upon inside of a whip bag. What I want to do is examine the claims I’ve seen on the web that stockwhip handles made of toheti are prone to breakage. To be specific, I want to look at the probability of breakage with half plaited, unskinned cane handle. Now as a matter of personal opinion, I’ve always liked the looks of a half-plait cane handle whip and I believe they make an excellent handle for a stockwhip. However, this is not a discussion of what’s “best” or the most aesthetically pleasing. Such discussions are subjective, based largely on personal opinion, and of no real value to me.

I’ll be the first to admit that I do have a dog in this fight. I use a variety of materials on for my stockwhip handles, but cane is my favorite and seems to be preferred my diverse customer base. In the age of the internet, people do lots of research and form opinions based upon what they read. In light of some of the claims out there, some may shy away from my half-plait cane handles as a result of reading that cane can become brittle and break if it is tread upon.

When I started making stockwhips, it wasn’t long before I got some cane to use. I didn’t know what to expect before I got it, but I had read that compared to hardwood, toheti cane was preferred by Aussie stockmen because it was less apt to break, splinter, and injure a rider if he/she fell from a horse onto the handle of the whip.

Cane Cross Section

When my first cane shipment arrived, I was amazed at how light and durable it seemed. Sometimes the cane needs to be straightened a bit, and again, I was amazed at how even when place it over my knee and applied all the pressure I could muster, it would not break! It reminded me somewhat of one of those black plastic combs we carried in our back pocket in grade school. A look here at the cross section reveals that the cane is nothing like either bamboo or hardwood. In my estimation, this is what makes it so tough and flexible.

Before writing this article, I contacted and consulted with a number of my whipmaking friends Down Under. Having just over a year’s experience using the material, I didn’t want to make claims about anything based off of my limited experience alone. Each agreed that perhaps a shaved down, full plait cane handle might be subject to break if not steel lined, but that the chances of an unskinned, half-plait cane breaking from someone stepping on it is virtually nill.

One of my Aussie friends -who is a renowned whipmaker with decades of experience- tells me that only on extremely rare occasions has he seen a piece of toheti cane that would break easily. He theorizes that it was probably as a result of someone harvesting an already dead piece of cane and putting it into a bundle. No doubt, this can probably happen from time to time, but any alert whipmaker with a pulse could probably spot it and cull it out before making a handle from it. He also told me that he recently had a redhide stockwhip come in for repairs; he made the whip over 25 years ago and the handle “was still as good as new.”

I did a bit of experimenting with a very thin and very ugly piece of cane that I culled out of a shipment I received about a year ago. This piece has been left out under the shed and exposed to the elements in ways I hope my whips never are. I put it through a series of tests and got my son to catch the clips on video. I hope this demonstrates that there’s not much to worry about as far as breakage when you buy an unskinned, half-plait cane handle:


An Explanation of New Price Structure

Before I begin accepting orders again, I want to post a brief explanation of my new price schedule.

For years I have tried to be somewhat of a “low price leader” among nylon whipmakers. (I guess working for Walmart Logistics for 14+ years has had an effect on my business philosophy.) While my prices have crept up some over the past 9 years, a survey of other whipmaker’s websites recently showed me that have been charging far less than some of my competitors on comparable whips. Things have even gotten to the point where some of my customers have suggested that I am not charging enough for my whips.

Keeping my whips affordable for my cowboy clientele is still very important to me. I have always tried to keep my cow whip prices within an acceptable range for them. This concern has been the main thing that kept me from raising my prices already. While the price of my whips in the “sport cracking” category are a good bit higher, my new prices are relatively the same for the whips most commonly ordered by cowboys from Florida (12ft and 14ft cow whips).

For example: With the new schedule, my 12ft cow whips are only $12.00 more. 14ft cow whips are only $4.00 more…  However, these prices are now a much better value than in the past because they now include a choice of several exotic and laminate handles! No more paying extra for a fine exotic handle unless it’s one of the very expensive African species.

Another change is that my bullwhip price schedule now groups woody bulls and regular bulls together. As with the cow whips, there is no additional charge for an exotic handle on a bullwhip unless an expensive African species (white and black ebony, blackwood, or gaboon ebony for example).

If it seems I am being greedy or that my price increases are too steep, I would like to recommend the following article by Steve Huntress. I think he makes some great points on why a quality nylon whip doesn’t always have to be dirt cheap:

Quality Isn’t Cheap & Neither Are Nylon Whips.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or post them in the comment box.

Thanks!

Rhett


New Product: Nylon Hunting Whips!

This product is no longer available. Please see http://marksnylonhuntwhipsthongs.com for all your synthetic hunting whip needs.

I am pleased to announce that I am now making nylon hunting whips!  This is in response to the requests I have gotten for them over the last 3 years. At present, my nylon hunt whips aren’t exact copies of the traditional English whips, but over time I plan to work with the design for those who may want a synthetic hunting whip that’s more traditional in appearance. The whip shown here is a 6ft with grip made from water buffalo horn.