Category Archives: Leather whips

Rhett’s Budget Priced Nylon Whips

As a nylon whip maker, I often have people coming to me to buy whips who are new to whip cracking. I think that happens because people just starting out are sometimes are conscious of the cost of getting into whip cracking.

Short 8 plait bullwhips made from kangaroo leather can start at around $250.00 from better known makers. For longer whip with higher plait counts, it could reach $600 or more. For someone just getting into the sport, and for those on a budget, it’s sometimes difficult to justify spending so much. Therefore, well built synthetic whips offer a great value. The material costs are much less for the maker, so the savings is passed on to the buyer.

At one time, I prided myself on having lowest prices on my whips even among synthetic whipmakers. These days, due to the economic forces of supply and demand, the prices of my whips do tend to be higher than some of my competitors. That being the case, I still have some whips that are priced for those on a budget, so there’s no need to sacrifice quality or taking the chance of buying a cheaply made whip on eBay.

If you’re someone looking to get a nice whip at a low cost, consider these:

“FCE” stands for fast, cheap, and easy. This model was designed specifically to be a budget whip that could be used by sport whip crackers or cattlemen working in tight spaces. With prices starting at just $95.00, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more durable hand plaited whip for less money. They’re used by performers, sport whip crackers, and cattlemen alike.

Like the FCE, my 12 plait nylon bullwhips were also designed to be a budget whip. Made to the same standard as my proven 16 plait design,  Prices for these begin at $115.00 and they have been a very popular model since I introduced them last year.

These are the whips that I’m probably most known for around the world. Compared to come local sellers that can be found here and there, my cow whip prices aren’t the cheapest; but on the global whip market, they’re still quite a deal. Prices for these start at $105.00.

If there’s anything I can do to help you decide on the right whip for you, feel free to contact me using the form below, or by visiting the Contact Page on my website.

Truth in Advertising

Pinocchio The internet whip market is really one of the freest markets there is today. People can freely buy and sell all over the planet. Every whipmaker is free to market his or her wares in whatever way they see fit and charge whatever price the market will bear.

Thankfully, there’s no Federal or U.N. Whip Agency overseeing what we make or how we make it. In having such a free market, I think we have to police ourselves so others won’t have to.

With that idea in mind, I want to touch on the topic of truth in advertising.

For now, I’m withholding names to protect the guilty, but I’m hoping a few whip buyers will read this and be more alert.  Better still, maybe the guilty sellers out there will read this and have a change of heart.

I recently started keeping a small inventory of items on eBay. I hoped perhaps it would get me more established in a market I’ve not really taken advantage of over the years. To me, eBay is a real mixed bag when it comes to whips. Over the years I’ve seen hucksters succeed there, while a few really good whipmakers couldn’t seem to make a go of it. You’ve got some great stuff being sold right along side of rubbish, and unfortunately, lots of people can’t seem to tell the difference.

There’s nothing at all wrong with “talking up a product.” In marketing, sellers are supposed to do that. No whipmaker in their right mind is going to advertise a whip with a line like “Eh, they’re okay. I guess.” I could nick-pick about claims I see about whips sounding like cannons, but I think (hope) most customers recognize such things as the hyperbole that they are.

What I’m talking about are those who make claims that are plainly false in order to deceive unsuspecting customers. That’s what really irks me!

I’ve watched one eBay whip seller for a while. He’s on the 3rd seller I.D. that I know of… In a recent listing with his new seller I.D., he states that he’s new to selling whips eBay, which is flatly untrue. In addition to that, he can’t seem to figure out when he started making whips. At one point the date was coincidentally the same year as I started making whips. In another place, it says that he’s been making whips for “going on a decade.”

So which is it? 22 years or less than 10?? 1991? or 2003-2004?

I don’t expect someone to know the exact day they started a new hobby or craft, but there’s something fishy if they can’t decide which decade they started.

Another inconsistency I’ve seen is great swelling claims of having made “[insert random number] thousand” of nylon whips on one listing and then another “[insert random number] thousand” of nylon whips on another listing. An unsuspecting customer may not think anything of this, but it sets off all sorts of warning flags for me.

A while back I did some math with the claims I saw on one eBay listing. If I recall correctly, it came out that in order to support the claim, he had to be making something like 750 whips per year in order for it to be possible! That’s 2 whips per day. While I won’t say that’s totally impossible, I’d say it’s highly improbable. From other information I’m aware of, I’m almost certain our unscrupulous seller just picked a large, random number in order to fool people about his experience.

The most prolific whipmaker I know of in the USA is Krist King. He has many retail outlets selling his nylon whips and they are literally everywhere. He tells me he produces an average of 12 or 13 whips per week, depending on what kind he’s making. I believe that claim because I’ve seen evidence of it over the years. With the particular eBay seller I have in mind, I’ve seen no evidence to support the outrageous claims that have been made.

Personally, I see nothing to be gained from making boastful claims of having made “[insert random number] thousand” whips or something when I know it’s not true. I’d rather be known for quality instead of quantity anyway.

I don’t understand why some people can’t just be real. What’s wrong with being honest about your experience and doing your best to make a good product? Why not be proud of what you’ve actually accomplished instead of trying to deceive people into thinking you’re something you’re not?

In closing, I hope whip buyers will take time to evaluate some of the claims they see. Compare listings and see if the seller is being consistent in the stories he or she is telling. If a seller won’t put his real name on his product, that should be a red flag right there.

If you see claims of thousands of whips having been made in a certain period of time, break out a calculator and see if the numbers look realistic. There’s far too many good sellers out there for you to be doing business with shysters.

Watch a Master Make a Bullwhip

Whipmaking master, Bernie Wojcicki of Em Brand Whips, has recently made his whipmaking DVD footage available for everyone to see on Youtube.

Bernie works with leather, but lots of the basic plaiting and construction techniques can be used with nylon. I purchased his DVDs a number of years ago and gleaned many things that helped me improve my nylon bullwhips.

Here is the first of the 3 videos on bullwhip making that Bernie has now made available:

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!

Beware of Self-Proclaimed Masters!

Something I have been noticing over the last couple of years is really starting to bother me. I’m seeing novice whipmakers on the web and on eBay trying to peddle whips that look like garbage all while proclaiming themselves to be “master whipmakers.”

I’ve been making nylon whips for the better part of 20 years now and I still won’t assign to myself the title of master whipmaker. Why? Because I am always learning! I haven’t mastered all there is to know about whipmaking, so why give myself that title? If others want to call me an artist or a master, I am okay with that: people are entitled to their opinion of me, good or bad. All I do is make the best whip that I know how to make.

Frankly, I believe it is dishonest for a person to self-assign himself the title of master while turning out a product that looks like it was made by a beginner. I’ve seen some of these self-proclaimed masters turn out whips with horrible tapers, lumpy thongs, jacked-up looking turksheads, and big gaps in the plaiting. These are mistakes of a novice, not the work of a master whipmaker.

Here’s a tip for you, something you can apply to crafts of all kinds: A master won’t have to tell you he’s a master, his work and reputation will speak for itself. Some of the most talented craftsmen I know -true masters- are the most humble people I’ve ever met. They’re awesome at what they do, but their ego is not over-inflated. When you look at their work, you can see it was made by someone who knows well their respective craft; they don’t have to say a word. So when you come across a self-proclaimed master -buyer beware!

2009 in Review

As 2009 now comes to a close, we witness the passing of what will be remembered as a tough year for lots of people. But even in a difficult economy, I’ve seen that people continue to buy whips; thus 2009 was a great year for my business. I had many wonderful customers who provided me with plenty of whip orders to fill even when the hours at my job were lacking. In this final post of the year, I would like to highlight some accomplishments and say thanks.

Here’s some highlights from 2009:

  1. got a long overdue makeover.
  2. Developed my own line of Australian stockwhips.
  3. Saw all-time record ordering volume in April and July.
  4. Redesigned the bellies and fall hitches on my bullwhips.
  5. Successfully entered the nylon Indiana Jones bullwhip market.
  6. Started this blog!
  7. Added new options for cow whip handles: Stratabond and exotic woods
  8. Affiliated with the Whip Basics Project: WBSR Whipmaking Team and DVD distribution.
  9. Began making deer leather and experimenting with leather work.
  10. Resurrected my line of wood handled bullwhips.
  11. Saw my son begin his journey as a whipmaker.
  12. Made lots of new friends!

As you can see, 2009 was a busy year. I’m looking forward to what 2010 has in store.  I appreciate all the customers who helped make it possible. Thank you so much! You’re the best!

Happy New Year!


Hanging out with Joe Driver

Yesterday I was very blessed to have Joe Driver come over for a visit. Joe is one of my best friends as well as a fellow preacher and maker of nylon whips.

Joe drove over and preached at our church Sunday. After lunch, we got together for a little whip cracking.  After that, I showed him my leather making projects and how I turn handles on the lathe. The great time of fellowship seemed to come to an end much too soon as Joe had to leave around 3:30pm in order to make it home at a decent hour.

Joe’s website is If you need a nice nylon whip without waiting very long to get it, I highly recommend you give Joe a try. His prices are the same as mine and he backs his work with a guarantee that’s hard to beat.

Here’s Joe with my 6ft Aussie stockwhip made by Simon Martin. Joe was really excited about getting to crack this whip as he and Simon are friends as well.

Here is Joe and I throwing a couple of bullwhips. Joe has my 6ft latigo woody bull made by Skip SanSoucie. I’m cracking a 7ft woody bull made by Drew Schrag. (The Schrag whip is on loan to me from one of my customers.)

It was really great to get to see Joe again today. Getting to hear him preach was icing on the cake. We don’t get to hang out nearly enough. I look forward to doing it again soon.

Beating the Waiting Lists

ebony handle cow whipOne of the hardest things for me to do is tell an excited whip buyer that he/she will have to wait three months for a whip. Yet, this is something that I have to tell people quite frequently. In the past, I’ve been a far as 7 months behind on orders. Right now, I’m running around 3 months behind. Many of the plaiters I know are as far, or further behind that I am.

Don’t let the long waiting list discourage you; a plaiter with a waiting list isn’t really a bad thing. It normally means he’s a plaiter who’s work is in demand. If his work is in demand, that is a good indication that his whips are pretty good. Most whipmakers work alone, so you’re getting a custom handcrafted product, not something mass produced in a sweat-shop. Juan Valdez may be able to pick all the coffee beans in Columbia, but a good whipmaker can only plait one whip at a time. lol!

If you contact a plaiter and find he has 200 whips in-stock and ready to be sold dirt cheap, there may be a reason for that! (Of course, he could be a great plaiter who just doesn’t sell lots of whips, so don’t think that no wait = bad whip, because it may not…)

Here’s a few tips, from my experience, that will help you out if you’re looking to get a whip:

  1. The worst thing to do is wait until the last minute to order! Order well ahead of when you need the whip. Even if a plaiter has a long waiting list, you can sometimes get a whip made for a special event/occasion if you give him enough notice.
  2. Whip sales tend to fluctuate with the rise and fall of the mercury.  That is, orders come in like mad during the Spring and Summer when it’s warm. With the exception of the Christmas season, orders tend to slow down during the Fall and Winter when it’s cooler. After Christmas, is normally the best time to get a whip quickly from me.
  3. Ask about a rush order. It may be that the plaiter will prioritize your order if you pay an additional fee. Some plaiters may not do this because they feel it’s unfair to other customers, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. I do this on a very limited basis… (I once had a man offer me an extra $100.00 to make his whip ASAP! –and he got it ASAP!)
  4. If the plaiter won’t/can’t budge on the wait time, ask him to refer you to another whipmaker who may be able to accommodate you. If the plaiter you’re dealing with is a decent person, he ought to have some friends (or even an apprentice) to whom he could refer you. I do this on a regular basis.
  5. Find a retail outfit that sells whips.  You won’t get a custom job and you may pay more, but you won’t have to wait.
  6. If all else fails, I guess eBay is an option, but not one I would recommend too highly. Sure, there’s certainly some good plaiters who sell whips there.  But for every good plaiter you’ll find, it seems there’s more than a few hucksters on there that are trying to peddle a piece of 4th rate rubbish. Just be very, very careful.

I hope this helps. Again, it won’t apply to every whipmaker and there may be some ideas I have overlooked. When at all possible, just plan ahead and order directly from a reputable plaiter.  As I stated in an earlier post, now is the time to be thinking about Christmas orders. For some whipmakers, it may already be too late. Plan ahead and avoid disappointment.

New Stockwhip from Simon Martin

Recently, as part of a swap between myself and Simon Martin, I became the proud ower of a new 6ft, 4 plait Aussie Stockwhip made by Simon Martin himself. As you may know, Simon works exclusively with kangaroo leather, so I was elated when he agreed to make this whip for me. I already have a fancy roohide stockwhip, but I’ve always wanted an authentic work whip. Simon really made me a nice one and I have enjoyed cracking it. Here’s some pics:

My new whip!

A roohide keeper with a grapevine pattern:

The Handle is covered in black kangaroo leather also:   

Thanks for everything Simon!

The Quest Ends!

I finished the quest for homemade bark tanned deer leather this weekend. Here’s a picture of me with the hide. After I finish tanning the next one, I will start trying to make a cow whip out them.