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Breaking In a New Whip

August 28, 2009

Whitehide4PlaitOldNewCompare Breaking in a new whip can feel like a daunting, and maybe even frustrating task for a new whip owner.  However, please know that if your whip arrives brand new a little too stiff for your tastes, that’s a good thing.  Seriously!

A well-made whip will be quite stiff straight out of the box, hopefully because it was braided very tightly and with a high quality leather.  But not to worry – this is the type of whip that may last for years, decades, maybe even a century or more.  A well-made whip will take time to learn its user and truly develop its own feel, personality and “life.”  And assuming you have a high quality whip, the whip’s ability to break in properly and develop all of that personality is in your hands as the whip owner.

So, what is the best way to go about breaking in a brand new whip?  It doesn’t matter if you have a stockwhip, a bullwhip or a little signal or snake whip, the answer is still the same: USE IT.  Please do not however confuse this with abusing your whip.  Never use your new whip in a way or style that you do not plan to ultimately use your future broken-in whip for.  Also, never use a leather whip on a rough or abrasive surface (like concrete).  Always try to use your whip on carpet, smooth flooring, or soft grass.

DontBendYourWhipUnnaturallyI wish there were an easier solution to turning a well-made and tightly plaited whip into a faithful and comfortable nicely broken-in whip, but I’m afraid there just isn’t.  The only solution is time and use, and the time you spend breaking your whip in is also the time your whip will spend learning you and your style of throwing or cracking.  Your whip will eventually mold itself for your style, in the memory of its materials and braiding, at the same time as you are learning its balance and giving it the exercise it needs to gain the flexibility and responsiveness of a nicely broken-in whip.

So just be patient, use your whip reasonably, never physically bend or force the thong of your whip at an unnatural angle or in a coil tighter than it is comfortable with, and your whip will eventually break in and become easier to crack while still retaining all of its durability and form.

Check out the Whip Maintenance section on this blog for more information on how to care for your new whip.

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