Category Archives: Whips

Proceed with caution, but let’s proceed!

Just as I figured, Tuesday’s post A Plea for Integrity made some waves.RK Brand

Judging from the number of views and visits to this blog, it was probably the first “semi-viral” thing I’ve ever posted here. I received a number of emails and Facebook messages asking about the identity of the whipmaker I wrote about in the article. Whip crackers wanted to make sure they did not (or do not) buy from the person and whipmakers were assuring me that they weren’t the ones doing anything unethical. Everyone was seemingly as upset as I was when I wrote it.

It would have been easier for me to have kept quiet, but I’ve often found that doing the the easy thing is seldom the same as doing the right thing. One major concern I had about writing that article was the possibility that it could hurt all of us who make synthetic whips. Another concern was that some might see the article as some tacit advertising campaign; that myself and Noreast Whips are the “safe guys” to buy from and all other should be viewed as suspect. I want to assure you that neither of those things was my goal.

The goal was to let folks know that there was an allegation of dishonesty in the ranks and maybe, hopefully, the offender would read it and decide to do the right thing from now on. By now, I’m certain the offender has seen the article and knows that someone out there is on to him. Judging by the reaction I’ve seen, the offender can rest assured that if his identity is revealed, it would almost certainly be a career-ender.

Thinking optimistically, perhaps it was just an isolated incident; a momentary lapse in judgement on the part of an individual trying something new.

We can only hope.

At this point, I want to call for calm within our whip making and whipcracking community. I believe that most of my peers are honest and committed to making the best products they can. As I look around at the craftsmen I know personally, I can’t imagine any of them being willing to sacrifice their name and integrity for a quick buck.

What I hope for most of all is that the plaiter in question –and any others who might be tempted to do the same– will realize that such dishonesty is not acceptable in this small community of craftsmen/women.

We don’t have government bureaucracies regulating whipmakers and telling us how we should do things or handling quality control. I’m a big believer in free markets, so I love that I get to make my living doing business in one of the freest, most unregulated markets on the planet. Being such a small niche market, I think chances are slim we’ll ever see much bureaucratic oversight, but I still think we have to police ourselves so someone else doesn’t have to do it for us. (I’d rather not see Obama create a Federal Bureau of Whipmaking Integrity.)

To the whip buyers reading this:

Here where I live, the Health Department inspects restaurants and gives them a grades either “A, B, C, or U” based on their findings. At times, we have driven by and saw a “B” or “C” placard on the window of restaurants where we have eaten in the past, occasionally even on ones we really like.

My wife’s reaction is to say “Oh, no! Gross! We better not go there.”

My reaction is different: I happen to be a Nationally Registered Food Safety Manager, so I know that once the inspector has come through, most of the problems are corrected on-sight. So in reality, it’s probably better to eat at an establishment the day after it gets a “B” or “C” and made corrections, rather than the day before it’s inspected and still has an “A” on the sign from the last inspection.

My point is this:

If I was ibuyer bewaren the market for a nylon whip, I would personally feel better about the integrity of the synthetic whip market today than 2 days ago. A few days ago, those who were may have been dishonest probably thought they were fooling everyone. Today, they’re not so sure. In fact, I’m willing to bet someone out there may be scared of their mind and is cleaning up their act!

As with all online shopping,  you need to keep your guard up. There’s lots of great whipmakers on the web, as well as a few hucksters. I don’t want to see one bad apple ruin it for all of us.

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Kelley Performance Whips are here!

 

Kelley Performance Whip

Kelley Performance Whips Are Here!

A recent twist on the time tested Florida cow whip design are the so-called “pipe whips.” To my knowledge, these whips were first introduced by a whipmaker named Chris Hall and later popularized by Lauren Wickline of Midwestwhips. Since then, the design has been copied by many others. Now this design is finally available from one of the most trusted name in synthetic whips –Rhett Kelley Whips!

Get the first one FREE!

If you are interested in being one of the first to own a Kelley Performance Whip -and get it FOR FREEvisit the KPW page at my website for more details and to enter. Drawing will be held on Oct 14th, just after noon.


Win a Performance Cow Whip!

I announced on Facebook last week that I am planning to throw my hat into the ring and start producing the ever-popular “pipe whips” popularized and marketed by Lauren Wickline as Performance Hybrid Stockwhips.

I haven’t began working on my design yet, but when I get it completed, I am going to give it away in a drawing.

For details on how you can enter, click the link below:

Win a Performance Cow Whip!


“Is there a discount for matched pairs?”

FCE stockwhips

FCE stockwhip Pair

The title of this post is a question I’ve gotten a few times lately, so I figure it was about time to address it here on the blog.

The fact is, I do not offer a discount on matched sets, there’s actually a fee associated with it. At first glance it seems odd because it is common practice for sellers to offer discounts for multiple purchases. Such is the case with many of the beekeeping supply companies I deal with where the more of an item I buy, the less per item I pay. So in light of that, I realize it may seem counterintuitive to people that I would charge more for a pair of whips.

The reason why I charge more for matching a pair of whips is simple: it takes much more time and focus to make a matching set of whips.  I’m not sure how others do them, but for me, making a set of whips match is not as simple as just making two whips back to back. When I make a matched set, I spend much more time on it and it is more painstaking because I really try to get the whips to be as matched as possible. This means I’m constantly going back and worth between the two, repeating every step as closely as possible. Every step is worked, compared, and sometimes reworked. It’s lots of work… Or, maybe I just stress out about it more than some.

Here’s an example: Right now I have a matched set of 8ft, 16 plait bullwhips on my waiting list. I can make one 8ft, 16 plait bullwhip in a day; two of them in two days, but because it’s a matched set, I’m pretty sure that this order could end up taking me three days. To me, it is only logical to charge a little more for doing a job that will require even more time, skill, and focus to accomplish. I try to keep it reasonable; the most I charge extra is $75.00 for most types of whips and just $25.00 extra on a set of FCE stockwhips because the handles are prefab and I only have to handcraft and match the thongs.

Again, I realize that some may disagree with this policy and that’s okay. I hope that this article will give folks some incite as to why I do charge more on matched pairs. It has nothing to do with being greedy or wanting to discourage two-handed whip cracking.

Thankfully the online whip market is still very much a free market, so no one is forced to buy anything. Those who see the value in what I do will have no problem paying what I ask, those who do not see the value will go elsewhere. Either way, no one is being defrauded.

-Rhett

http://cowwhips.com


USPS adding to wait time

post officeI’ve used USPS Priority mail service almost exclusively for all the years I have been shipping whips. Except for a few minor issues here and there, I have always found the service to be reliable. I never had a whip lost or damaged. USPS provides free boxes that fit most of my whips and the prices are lower than other services. Overall, I’ve found it to be a great value and have come to rely upon it.

Lots of changes have been made recently with the U.S. Postal Service and their website is touting improvements to Priority Mail. Some of the changes and realignments to their sorting centers have actually had a negative impact on the quality of service based upon my experience. Those who receive USPS shipping notifications from me should be aware that this recent decline in service could add a few days to your waiting time. Packages that are supposed to take from 1 to 3 days are now taking from 4 to 12 days. International transit times for my packages are equally abysmal.

I recently spoke with a manager from their consumer affairs division about the lagging transit times and he said that, overall, their transit times are largely within their goals, but that the recent changes USPS made are directly impacting me. He assured me that they are doing all they can to work out the bugs. I could switch to other shippers, but I want to keep prices low.

For now, I guess I just happen to be shipping from a location that’s 4 to 12 days from everywhere. Just keep that in mind when you receive your shipping notification.

everitt mcgill


New bullwhip designs on the horizon

I’m not sure why, but I’ve noted recently that a plain black bullwhip will garner many more “likes” and attention on Facebook than something more flashy looking. That being said, I’ve decided to start promoting my fancier work a bit more than in the past.

Whipmaker Tony Layzell in the U.K. was the man who was graciously helped me with learning a more simple way of doing the designs around four years ago. I’ve done this sort of work when requested in the past, but I never really advertised it much as I always preferred doing the simpler designs.  My personality type likes “comfort zones,” so that’s where I tended to remain.

Now that I’m full time making whips, it does get somewhat dull doing the same old patterns all the time. I also figure my Facebook fans will eventually tire of seeing the same things over and over again when I post whip photos. I will be updating my main website soon to make these options easier to select without having to contact me to make a special request. Here are photos of a couple of recent examples:


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.