Whip Cracking

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Posted by Dan Borton from pm085-00.dialip.mich.net on May 17, 1998 at 21:46:50:

In Reply to: Bag information and whip holster posted by Max Schulte on May 17, 1998 at 01:52:55:

: Thanks a lot, Dan. A first version has already been made. However, I'll
: probably add a section giving a detailed description of the bag.

: Whip holster: It would be just great if you could provide additional
: information or a address where to get this thing from. From what I've
: seen I'd say it is dark brown, probably distressed black, cowhide
: about six or seven inches long and maybe an inch wide. Snap fasteners
: were used in the movies for quick opening.
: I have been desperately trying to find a similar piece but couldn't
: find one. Some days ago I was fed up with searching and made one
: myself out of an old rifle sling. Rivet equiptment wasn't available so
: I used stud pressers for it. Please tell me how yours turns out when
: you get it.

: By the way, Dan, I've got a technical question concerning whips and
: whipscracking. I recently watched LC again to see the scene where young
: Indy falls into the wagon with the lion. He takes the black whip (I
: was astonished when you told me it was a dyed Indiana Jones whip) and
: tries to swing it hitting himself. Then he produces some nice cracks
: and scares the lion away.

: After studying the description of the 'Forward Crack' in the Bullwhip
: FAQ I tryed it with a short rope just to learn the move. The wrist
: movement is very similar to the one while casting a fishing rod.
: Anyway, you have to get the whip of the ground in order to make it
: crack. However, during the Indy-lion scene he just wobbles the whip
: in front of him a little bit in order to get the 'crack'. Is this
: another whipcracking technique?
: Incidentally, we can see Indy using his whip in the marketplace fight
: scenes in Cairo as well (He tosses Marion onto the barrow with the hay
: and then uses his whip to defend himself). Harrison Ford definitely
: used the 'Forward Crack' there.
: I had a closer look at all these scenes again as Dale told me that he
: got some clues on how to use his whip from the movies and also from
: the 'Making-Ofs'.
: Anyway, thanks again for your help...

: Regards,
: -Max

Max, About the whip holster, After taking comparative measurements with the whip, bag, and strap, ect from photos, we came up with it being around 3/4 inches wide, brown to dark brown cowhide. The belt loop is about two inches and the strap is 6 inches. Like the jacket it looks like it was weathered. While it may not be exact, hopefully its going to be the closest thing next to the ones in the film. I will let you know how it turns out. Mark Allen also sells a variety of whip holsters, including one similar to that used in the Indy movies. Its one of the Items he carries, that is not listed in his Catalog. I have not seen it, so I can't comment on how it looks.

Regarding your questions on Whip cracking. Many of the common cracks involve motions similar to casting a fishing line or throwing a ball. The first crack Young Indy does when he "cuts" his chin is actually a variation of an overhead crack. Normally its done by swinging the whip out circling it over head then reversing the direction. For the movie stunt they brought the whip up, but instead of circling it, they reverse the direction which causes the whip to cut back down at more of an angle.

Another technique is used for the next few stunt cracks young Indy performs. Its not a forward crack, although you might be able to consider it a variation on the forward crack. Be warned thought, It is not recommended that you crack a whip that way. Because of the underhand arm motion involved, the whip flies back up and cracks towards your face. It makes it really easy to hurt your self. Many first time whip crackers make this mistake, because its an easy crack to do and its fairly loud.

After you have learned all the basic cracks you can, put them together into a spectacular performance like the one Harrison Ford used in the whip fight at the market place in Raiders. Not only does he use a forward crack, but several other techniques as well. Hope this helps


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