A well made whip made by a good whip maker will perform no matter what material it is made from...
Many years back before I gave up on the worlds keyboard warriors who stalk the various forums I debated this from the side of nylon.....I was on an Indy forum and should of saved the wear on my finger tips typing for all the good it did. Mind you when you watch that particular forum and see yet another natural tan, 12 plait, 8 inch handled 8 0r 10 foot bull whip receive 30 **Wow comments and see a 72 plait work of art by one of the worlds best if not the worlds best artisan and whip maker get 3 comments the writing is on the wall and you should realise your in the wrong place. I did, I haven't looked on there for years and am the happier for it.
I digress, a habit of mine I know but hey, it's my blog....backed into a corner would I choose a nylon whip over a nice kangaroo hide whip, in short no, but I do very much believe both have their place. Here are a few places where Nylon Whips come out in front of their leather brothers and sisters...
1. Generally a Nylon Whip costs less
2. Nylon is more durable than leather so can take more abuse.
3. Nylon is more resistant to moisture
4. Nylon requires very little if any maintenance
5. Nylon doesn't rot or hold mould and mildew
So, looking for a first whip, nylon can be a less expensive way to learn whip cracking is not your thing, love your whip cracking but your not prepared to take your beautiful and very expensive kangaroo hide whips out in the snow and rain and mud. Everything I type makes me think more and more that both very much have their place in the market. They do!
The other great thing about nylon whips is that it is substantially and I do mean substantially easier to learn how to make one than it is a leather whip, I made the transition from leather to nylon very easily, it really isn't easy to go from nylon to leather as a few have discovered, mistakes are really expensive.
I think I started the ball rolling on Nylon Whip Making many years back with some online tutorials that I originally did for the APWA the internet being what it is they were soon posted all over the net (search this blog if you want a copy) Steve Huntress went next with an e-book followed by Rhett Kelly who did a DVD on how to make a cow whip, I then thought I started so I ought to finish and did the above tutorial, just click the pic if you'd like to buy it. How the internet has changed the world. What was once a closed shop has now opened it's doors to the world.
Those would just be some thoughts and ramblings about nylon and leather, check back soon, there is a whole new product on the market and being used as a material with which to make whips it has a more slender profile, near zero stretch, stronger and more resistant to abrasion than nylon and cheaper it is called Dacron.
It is like finding hens teeth at the minute, reasonably easy in black or white but other colours you have to buy all you see when you see it, I have developed a whole range of Hybrid whips around this new product, look out for announcements in the new year.....
Will Nylon slip to 3rd choice once Dacron becomes available, that's the question