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Signal Whip Poppers/Crackers Info

August 1, 2009

As I mentioned in the Whip Terminology (Part 3): Types of Whips post, the traditionally designed signal whip has a popper that is braided directly into the point of the whip, and is therefore not easily replaceable.  So if you own one of these whips, it will need to be sent back into a professional whipmaker in order to replace the popper when the “fluff” has worn down to be too small.

Before you send your traditional signal whip in for a popper repair when the fluff is too small though, be sure to take a close look at the tip of your whip.  Whipmakers will often braid the popper a little bit extra long on a brand new whip and tie an additional one or more knots along the braiding.  This way, when the fluff wears down, you may be able to snip just above the knot and a whole new section of nylon can unravel to become fresh bit of fluff, so that you can wait a a while longer still before neededing a repair.  Do look at your whip closely before you bring out the scissors though, so that you can double check that where you are snipping won’t allow the nylon strands to unravel all the up to where the leather might become exposed.  Just make sure that there is a knot between where you are snipping and where the last leather strands are tapered away.

CuttingNewPopperSignalWhipThe black arrow in the picture above points to one of the little knots a whipmaker may add to the braiding on a new signal whip’s popper.  When the popper fluff wears down too far, the owner of this whip would snip the popper right where the red arrow in the picture is pointed. Then all of the nylon thread will be able to unravel up to the knot that the black arrow is pointing to, and POOF!  Fresh popper fluff.  🙂

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 20, 2010 7:03 pm

    Do we pop a whip? Generally it is considered that we crack a whip so the part of the whip that actually breaks the speed of sound making that cracking noise is considered to be the cracker. I guess it is just me being macho but I love the idea of moving something with my hand and arm that breaks the sound barrier. To pop it somehow diminishes the achievement.

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