Naturally when ordering a whip, one of the first and most basic things you want to know is “how long is it?” There is some debate about how to measure the length of a whip, so what I’m going to do here is tell you how I do it here at Mojave Outliers, which method is generally the standard, except that I will clarify on one point, which is how to measure a signal whip that has a replaceable cracker vs a signal whip that has a braided in cracker–but I get ahead of myself. See below:
Bullwhips and snake whips, both of which have falls, are measured from the butt of the heel knot to the tail of the thong, not including the fall and cracker. So, the TOTAL length of an 8ft bullwhip with a 30″ fall and 10″ cracker would be 11ft 6″ long.
Stock whips and cow whips actually have TWO measurements, one is the handle, and the other is the thong. So to get the total length of, for example, a 4ft stock whip you need to measure the thong, and then add the length of the handle, PLUS the length of the fall and cracker. I.e., a 4ft stock whip with a 20″ handle and a 24″ fall with 8″ cracker would, in total, be 8′ 4″ long, if my math is correct.
A signal whip with a braided in cracker is measured from the butt of the heel knot all the way to the end of the cracker. So, a 4ft signal whip with braided in cracker would be 4 feet long INCLUDING the cracker. (Usually the only time I do braided in crackers is if I’m repairing a whip made by someone else.)
A signal whip (or hybrid signal whip) with a replaceable cracker is measured from the heel knot to the end of the thong, NOT including the cracker. So, for example, a 4ft signal whip with a replaceable 8″ cracker would be in total 4 feet 8 inches long.
And there you have it in a nutshell. If you have any questions this didn’t answer, naturally send me an email and we’ll get you sorted out.