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FAQ: How are Whips Measured?

July 21, 2009

How are the different types of whips measured?  Well, it first depends on the type of whip… sometimes it seems as though the measurement systems were created just to make life a little more difficult for the folks who have to make a decision on what length to buy, but in some ways the length measurements actually make a bit of sense.  You’ll notice that the most common ways of measuring whip lengths below do follow a pattern – they tend to really only measure the thong + any not easily interchangeable/replaceable parts of the whips.  So for example, the stock whip has a few easily replaceable or interchangeable parts – the handle (aka the crop), the fall, and the popper.  Therefore, the only part of a stockwhip that is commonly included in a statement of the length of the whip is the thong.  Bullwhips however, do not have replaceable or interchangeable handles – so the handle is included in the measuring of the whip.  So as convoluted as the measurement system might look, once you get used to it, there is some amount of logic behind it all.

Please let me also point out that these measurements are only the most common ways we’ve seen whips measured – they are not the only way.  So before you order a whip, it never hurts to double check with the whipmaker to be sure you fully understand how that particular whipmaker measures his or her whips.  I’d also like to thank Rhett Kelly because I most definitely did steal a part of the following diagram from his website in order to expand upon it and modify it to include the other types of whips so that I could include this nice visual here on this post.

How are Whips Measured?

I hope that helps to clear things up a bit, and give everyone a starting point when we talk about whips and lengths of whips.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 24, 2010 2:53 pm

    Cool. My web designer originally made that chart. I’m too computer illiterate to do it, but thanks for the hat-tip anyway. 😉

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