Category Archives: just for fun

Win a Kelley Performance Whip

A few days ago, I posted an article about our apiary fundraiser.

Since then, I’ve added a special contribution perk for whip enthusiasts: If you claim the win a whip perk for a contribution of $10 or above, you will be entered in a drawing at the end of our campaign for a custom Kelley Performance Whip of your choice.

At the time of this writing, 4 out of 50 entries have been claimed so the odds are still really good. I have capped the number of entries at 50, but you can claim the perk more than once to increase your odds of winning! One donor entered twice already.

Thanks for whatever you do, even if it’s just sharing this post with someone who may be interested.


The Tool Whip

A few weeks ago I was working on my truck. I picked up a Craftsman screwdriver and got to looking at it’s classic, almost iconic grip. All of a sudden the idea hit me: This would be an interesting grip for a bullwhip. That is, in a “novelty” sort of way. I had never seen anything like it before.  This prototype is built to the same standard as all of my 16 plait  woody bullwhips, but with a Craftsman handle.

It is now for sale on eBay.


Austrian Whip Cracking Contest

I have no clue what they’re saying, but I like the sound they’re making!

Sure, the cracks aren’t as elaborate as in Australian style whip cracking, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I think the differences in whip cracking  between cultures are something that ought to be recognized and celebrated even though one style may be more elaborate than others.

[Edit: One of my Facebook page members posted this link for some background on what this is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aperschnalzen]


I would love to get a line up of guys like this using 12ft cow whips. The sound would be deafening!

Thanks goes out to Pete Gamble of Pic-N-Mix Circus for finding this.

-Rhett Kelley

Rhett Kelley Whips, LLC.

http://cowwhips.com


Whip Maker Meme

Gotta laugh a little.
Whip Maker Meme


Respect Outdoors Trip

Cordell and I just returned from a father/son fan appreciation trip complements of the Respect Outdoors TV show that airs on The Sportsman Channel. Host Robert Arrington took us on an amazing trip to Panama City, FL. where we got to check out the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base.

The next 2 days we spent fishing Red Snapper and Amberjack fishing 40 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico. Robert has fished all over the world and says that he’s never seen such great fishing. The Leveral family of Family Tradition Charters in Panama City put us on some great fishing action. The trip was being filmed and will appear on an upcoming episode of Respect Outdoors.

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I first became acquainted with Robert a couple of years ago when he contacted me about purchasing a 12ft cow whip. If you watch his show regularly, you can sometimes see Robert cracking  the whip I made for him. Below is some fun footage I took of Robert Arrington cracking one of Cordell’s cow whips on the stern of the fishing boat “Best Bet.”

It’s not often opportunities like this come along. I really appreciate Robert Arrington for selecting Cordell and I for this trip. We had a great time, ate some great seafood, caught some nice fish, made new friends, and made memories that will last a lifetime.

Contact information for Family Tradition Charters:

Capt. Leveral Raffield

850-235-4610

850-819-4610


RK Cow Whip on TV this week!

Check your listings, find the Respect Outdoors show on The Sportsman Channel, and set your DVR. This week you can catch a glimpse of the 12ft cow whip that I made for Robert Arrington, host of the Respect Outdoors show! From what Robert has told me, this may not be the only time the whip is on the show. If you get a chance, check it out!

-Rhett


The Whip That Started it All!


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:


Paul and Lauren Crackin’ a 20′ RK Cow Whip

Paul Nolan and Lauren Wickline of Midwestwhips.com recently got their hands on the 20ft cow whip I made for “Cowboy Steve.”

(Photos used by permission)


Snow Cowboy

We had a very rare Winter storm here in Georgia yesterday evening. The snow started falling around 5 pm and lasted well into the night. My kids and I stayed out in the dark and made a snowman, a “snow cowboy” actually. His name is Larry and as you can see, he prefers to use nylon whips because the snow doesn’t bother them at all! 😉