Below is a list of common and not-so-common questions with just a hint of levity in places.
(Updated 24 Sept. 2013)
1. Do you have any whips in stock?
Normally I don’t. The whips I make are usually custom designs for individual customers. I seldom have any inventory and if I do get an extra whip made, it never lasts more than a couple of hours before it’s sold.
2. How long does it take to get a whip made?
I normally make whips on a first come, first served basis. There are times when whips are needed for time sensitive projects and the customer will request a rush order. The fee starts at $35.00 and goes up depending on the situation. In the past I’ve had customers offer me as much as $100.00 extra to get their orders out the next day.
3. Why do I have to pay up front for my order?
I’ve learned that this is a common practice with most whipmakers today. In the past I didn’t require any payment or deposit to get on my waiting list, but I found that I had a high number of cancellations and people “forgetting” they had placed an order when I was ready to start the whip. Some seemingly ignored my attempts to contact them on occasion. Requiring payments up front ensures the buyer is serious and that I won’t have them forget about the order or ignore me when it’s time to make the whip. If you need to cancel, you get your money back.
4. What type and length of whip should a beginner start with?
I normally suggest either 6ft bullwhips or 6ft cow whips. I would suggest checking out the new FCE stockwhips or 12 plait bullwhips as they are a more affordable line of whips for those just starting out.
5. What length of whip is good for use on horseback?
Most often I sell Florida cow whips for use on horseback. Florida “cracker cowboys” typically order 12ft cow whips. Cowboys from other regions often order 8ft cow whips.
6. How many colors can I get in one whip?
I like to work with 3 colors or less in one whip, but I have occasionally made whips with more. I once made a bullwhip for a rodeo clown and there were 6 colors in that whip.
7. Why won’t you make bullwhips or snakewhips shorter than 5 feet?
Update July 2013: Upon further reflection and at the request of stage performers who need shorter whips, I have decided to once again offer bullwhips and snakewhips in 4ft lengths. However, It is my understanding that very short whips are commonly used in the fetish scene and I prefer not to make whips for that purpose.
8. Will you sell a whip that’s not waxed?
I’ve done it twice so far. I really believe dipping nylon whips in paraffin wax is beneficial. Florida crackers have been waxing nylon whips for decades. A waxed whip is totally impervious to getting wet and the wax helps the nylon fibers to resist abrasion and wear. That being said, I am not totally opposed to sell you an unwaxed whip if you really want it. It would be like selling a cake without icing, but I’m here to make you as happy as possible.
9. Will you marry me?
I’m already taken. My wife Diana and I just celebrated 17 years of marriage in September 2013. Sorry ladies.
10. Do you make 20 or 24 plait whips?
Not at this time. I prefer to make 12 or 16 plait whips.
11. Do you make Dacron or Polyester whips?
I have used polyester in the bellies of my whips in the past, but for now I only make nylon whips.
12. Do you make leather whips?
I do not make or sell leather whips or leather falls.
13. Do you sell Performance Hybrid Stockwhips?
I make the Kelley Performance Whip. It is my own version of the popular hybrid stockwhip / pvc handle pipe whip design. The pipe whip design has been attributed to Chris Hall and was later refined and popularized as the “Performance Hybrid Stockwhip” by Lauren Wickline of Midwestwhips circa 2009. Since then the hybrid whips have become tremendously popular and have been copied by many others. I decided to jump on the bandwagon in Sept. 2013.
14. Do you sell wholesale?
Not at this time, but I do entertain the thought from time to time.
15. Do you offer discounts for multiple whip orders?
Generally the answer is no, but I will handle specific volume discount requests on a case by case basis.
16. Can I change/cancel my order?
Yes, you can change it as much as you’d like, but I really hope you will limit that as much as possible as it can get confusing and time consuming. You may cancel your order at any time and a refund will be issued. That being said, my time as a whipmaker is valuable, so only place an order if you are serious about having me make a whip for you. To spend time taking orders and have them end in a sudden cancellation is time wasted for me.
17. I’m a whipmaker too. Will you sell my whips on your site?
Right now I only sell whips on cowwhips.com that I make, but in the future I might be interested in selling quality whips made by other plaiters in a separate section of my online store. Send me a picture of your whips and we’ll see. Please understand, my standards for what I will sell on my site are very high.
18. What is your least favorite country song?
That’s easy: “Redneck Crazy.” It’s a ridiculous song. I loath it. I turn off the radio whenever it comes on. That song is so stupid it should not even be protected speech under the 1st Amendment.
19. Will you donate a whip to my cause or event?
Most often I donate whips to sport whip cracking events to be given as prizes and given away in raffles. Sometimes I am not able to do so, but I will consider donation requests if asked. It is good practice to submit such requests with an explanation of how the whip will be used in writing or in an email. I suggest avoiding form emails that begin with “Dear whipmaker” or “To whom it may concern.” Please do not be offended if I am not able to make a donation.
20. Will you post a link on your site to mine?
I don’t have a place for links on cowwhips.com, but I’ll be happy to add a link on my blog at Rhettswhips.com if you will kindly return the favor on your site/blog. My blog gets anywhere from 100 to 200+ hits per day. You may be able to get your business on Cowwhips.com through a new option we are offering via paid advertisements. Contact me for more details.
21. Do you teach whipmaking in person?
I am willing to do it, but it isn’t cheap; that’s why I created the whipmaking DVDs. If I must travel overnight to teach, the cost will be $250.00 per day, and expenses for travel, room and board will also be required. Local classes or trips not requiring overnight stay would cost less. Contact me for more details.
22. Can I come to you to learn to make whips or can I visit you if I’m in your area?
I do not offer whipmaking classes or visitation here at my place of business because I work from my home. As a family, we have decided that we would rather not have such visits. However, if you ever happen to be in southeast Georgia and would like to meet, let me know and I will see if we can meet for some whip cracking or coffee at a neutral public location.
23. Will you make a flogger or cat of nine tails for me?
No, I will not. (See question #7 as well.)
24. Is there a discount for matched pairs?
No. Matched pairs actually cost more. Please see this article on my blog for more details.
25. What is the longest whip length you will make?
My web store presently has limits on the whip lengths I will make. I’ve made several 20ft and 17ft cow whips over the years. These whips are 16 plait with 2 bellies, so they cost more. They are available.
26. Who’s the best whipmaker (nylon or leather)?
Only God knows that answer. I don’t get into those debates because they’re so subjective and based upon personal opinions. Every whipmaker has strengths and weaknesses. All I know is that I make the best whip that I know how to make. Tomorrow I will probably learn something that will help me make a better one.