The cracker or popper
What does a cracker do?
A cracker makes the whip crack, without the cracker the whip will not make much of a sound.
When a whip cracks it is moving faster than the speed of sound, which is around 760 miles per hour (340 metres per second), so the sound you hear is a sonic boom.
How do I make a cracker?
A cracker is the easiest part of the whip to make, so you will have no trouble making one because it is just a twisted piece of string, halved, and a knot tied in the end. Have a look at the photos for an example on how to make a cracker.
What size do I make the cracker?
A cracker about 200mm long works well. If you want to make your whip crack easier then make the cracker thinner, the cracker will not last as long but you will feel the difference when you crack the whip, the whip crack will make a sharper sound. When the cracker is worn back, tie a knot about 50mm back from the original knot, cut the original knot off and the cracker is as good as new!
What string do I use for a cracker?
Any strong fine fibre string is good. The most common material used is bailing twine, nylon string, cotton string, or horse hair.
How do I change a cracker?
Changing a cracker on a tube whip or a leather whip can be performed basically the same way. There are however a few different ways to attach a cracker to a whip.
How to make a cracker
Find a suitable piece of string about 500mm and fold it in half, if using thick string like bailing twine, you will need to split the string down to your desired thickness.
Place it on a hook.
Twist the string with your finger and thumb as tight as possible.
Fold it in half leaving one side about 1cm longer, the string should twist up.
Grab the longer string, loop it around the cracker, through the loop and up.
Pull the knot tight.
And your cracker is complete.
How to put a cracker on a tube whip, rope fall
Put the fall loop through the cracker loop.
Put the cracker through the fall loop.
Pull tight and it is done.
How to put a cracker on a leather fall (method 1)
Feed the cracker through the cracker loop.
Put the fall through the loop.
... around and back up.
Adjust the knot and pull tight.
The knot is complete, this knot may take some time to master but when you do it will make your fall last longer and it is easy to undo the cracker. If the knot is done correctly it will never come off while cracking your whip.
How to put a cracker on a leather fall (method 2)
Cut a slit in the fall about 1cm long
Put the cracker through the slit in the fall.
Put the cracker through the cracker loop, pull tight.
Adjust the knot and pull tight, and the cracker is complete. This way is not as good as method 1 because the fall will not last as long and it is more time consuming. However, this method is easier to remember and there is no chance that the cracker will fly off unless the leather breaks.
Click on the bubbles to find out more about the Australian stock whip.