Advice from Grizzly...
There are obviously many whip vendors out there I’ve not had an opportunity to try out. Some very fine, and some very horrid makers won’t be listed here, unfortunately.
One of the really spectacular things about attending Grizzly’s Bullwhips by the Bay is that there are skilled, experienced whip throwers attending who have their own bags full of custom whips by whatever makers they favor, and many can usually be begged for a tryout. It’s a rare means of finding out, hands-on, what makers or sizes or weights fit you best, before you have to make an uninformed leap into buying your first whip.
Nylon (paracord) whips
Paracord whips are everywhere, many made by newbies but still sold as top price items all over the Internet. It’s hard to make recommendations, but do check for minor imperfections to alert you to a new, rather than an experienced, set of skills in the making. Paracord is popular since it can be washed, and usually costs about half of what a good kangaroo whip costs. While I’m not a fan of paracord whips, and frankly prefer incredibly responsive custom kangaroo whips, a big plus to nylon and marine cord whips is more indestructibility, making them good choices for throwing in environments that might damage or dampen a leather whip. Not a plus is that some nylon whip owners feel that the paracord will stretch so much after a year or two of throwing that it’s rendered useless as a whip, having too much of a ‘wet noodle’ feel to it.
Cosmo Hom has generously provided an 8 foot paracord bullwhip to Bullwhips by the Bay for those wishing to test nylon out.
Marine cord whips
ConZept DeZigns Whips out of the Pacific Northwest, has donated a selection of their marine cord whips to Bullwhips by the Bay. If you're already considering a paracord whip, it’s a great opportunity to test one of ConZept’s to see if you want to spend a bit more than paracord costs, for a better material, more accuracy, and more longevity.
ConZept can be contacted at:
ConZept DeZigns Whips
Many leathers have been used for producing whips, but by far the best is kangaroo hide. There are many makers out there, some I think make wonderful whips, some making whips that are truly bad choices. Feel free to contact me privately if you want to know whether your choice of a whip maker was one of the ones I want to warn against, such as one in Kansas and one at the far end of the country.
The finest whips I’ve ever used are from Mike Murphy, in Perth, Australia (and most of the best whips made today are from Australia). Unfortunately, he’s at least temporarily stopped making whips to go pig hunting, but perhaps he’ll go back to plaiting at some point. For now, I keep my eyes open for used Murphy whips.
My next choice is Peter Jack out of New Zealand. The cosmetic appearance of some of his whips varies, but overall, he makes some of the best and most accurate medium length whips I've ever thrown, and his prices are usually less than for American plaiters. Due to some difficulties with one whip I ordered, I would suggest ordering only Peter Jack whips 4 feet and longer.
The Whip Man
36 Connolly Street