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The Circus Crack or the Cattleman's Crack
 
 

1. Start with the whip down or preferably behind you and your arm down straight by your side (the 6 o'clock position).Note – I’m demonstrating with a 6 foot bullwhip and a short 3.5 foot snakewhip (The Pocket Rattler).

 

2. In a smooth motion bring the whip around in front of you, up and over your shoulder.Your arm should stop around the 12 o’clock position, yet allowing the whip to continue on behind you.

 

3. When the whip is pointing back behind you – at around the 9 o’clock position or even pointing down toward the ground (your arm is still around 12 o’clock) – bring your arm quickly forward to the 3 o’clock position.The whip is traveling on a horizontal plane beside you and when you change its direction here it is forming the critical loop that will travel down the whip ending in the sonic boom.

 

4. One thing that I have seen that seems to help with this crack with new whip crackers is to practice the motions WITHOUT trying to crack the whip.Many people simply try too hard, so just try to get the motion down and it will often crack without you intending for it to happen.

 

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The Reverse Circus Crack or the Reverse Cattleman's Crack
 
 
 

This crack is accomplished in much the same way as the regular Circus Crack, only in reverse.

1. Begin with the whip down or in front of you and your arm down straight by your side (the 6 o’clock position).

2. In a smooth motion bring the whip up behind you and over your shoulder.Your arm should stop around the 12 o’clock position, yet allowing the whip to continue forward in front of you.

3. When the whip is point straight ahead of you - the 3 o’clock position or even slightly down, say 4 or 5 o’clock (note that your arm is still in the straight up 12 o’clock position) – bring your arm quickly back to the 9 o’clock position and on down to 6 o’clock.

The whip is traveling in a horizontal plane beside you and when you change directions it forms the loop that will make it reach the speed to crack.

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Below are a few "how to" videos shot by one of my customers:

The Reverse Cattleman's Crack:

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Tips on the Slow Figure Eight:

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Slow Figure Eight Footwork:
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Overhead Crack:
 
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Coachman's Crack: