Replacing the Cracker on Your Whip
Making a Cracker
The cracker is a replaceable attachment on the end of a whip.
It is the part of the whip that breaks the sound barrier and makes the cracking noise.
The force required to break the sound barrier will eventually wear out the cracker.
Cracking a whip that has no cracker will not produce the same clear noise and can damage your whip if you continuously crack it.
In years gone by, crackers were made from horse hair but now that string is readily available, it is the easiest material to make crackers from.
The instructions below demonstrate how to make and attach the most commonly used cracker on Australian Stock Whips.
Take two pieces of string about 35cm in length.
Double them over and find the centre of this length and place your fingers either side of it.
(If you are using thick string, you will only need one piece).
These two ends now have to be twisted together.
Hold each end with thumb and forefinger and twist each end in opposite directions as in Figure 3.1
This makes the two lengths then twist together in the same way that rope twists together.
You will find it easier to fasten the loop to something while you twist the two ends separately.
In order to get the string to twist together to make one length, you need to unfasten it and bring the two twisted ends together.
They will now automatically twist together.
The twisted part should be between a half and two thirds of the length of the final cracker.
A 15cm long cracker should have approximately 8cm of twisted part.
When you have twisted it enough, tale one strand of the string and tie a single half hitch around the twisted part of the cracker and pull it tight as in Figure 3.2
There are two common ways to tie a cracker onto a fall.
They both hold the cracker onto the whip successfully.
Method 1 is good for beginners as it is easy to remember, however Method 2 is more commonly used by professional whip crackers.
With both methods, it is advisable to moisten the leather Fall so that the cracker will dig into the leather when it is tied tight and will not come off.