© 2015 by Scorpion Whips
1.) PARACORD (NYLON)
2.) CARBON FIBRE
4.) BALL BEARINGS
Originally designed for the suspension lines of parachutes (hence PARAcord) the use of Type III 550 paracord for whips yields some notable benefits over leather.
It is robust and hardy - not rotting or suffering mildew it can be used in wet weather, can be wiped down afterwards and left to air dry with no protective dressing or maintenance required.
It is cheaper than leather both in basic materials cost, and time required to prepare for plaiting. Packaged on a spool only the removal of the core strands is required before plaiting, compared with the great skill and care required to cut and pare leather lace.
Dyeing of paracord has led to an abundance of colour choices including multiple colours in the same strand (e.g. camouflage patterns pictured left), neon colours and even UV fluorescent colours.
Carbon fibre gives high rigidity along with a fantastic strength to weight ratio enabling a lightweight and very stiff handle.
I have tried some handles which were flexible and did not like the feel of flexing whilst performing cracks.
Personally I believe the use of a modern technical material for the handle compliments the uses of a modern technical material for the plaiting as well as giving a very smart finish.
Aluminium has 2 important properties in this application.
1.) It is very lightweight (~1.6x less dense than titanium and ~2.6 x less dense than steel) - this was important with the cup at the top of the handle being relatively large, a denser metal would lead to an unbalanced feel of the whip.
2.) It naturally forms a protective oxidation layer and, as such, it does not tarnish or rust as with other metals.
A third property is that it is not very hard - this has enabled the engraving of my logo/brand onto both parts which not only identifies my whips but is a nice detail.
I use BBs to carefully weight my whips in the core.
I have iterated through numerous weighting combinations to find what I think gives the perfect balance for my length and construction of whips. However, I appreciate that everyone is different and can potentially adjust their weighting to suit a customer's needs.
I use dyneema to make my crackers for two properties listed below:
1.) It has high abrasion resistance - being also used for personal armour, cut resistant gloves and fishing line.
2.) It has a strength to weight ratio 8-15 times greater than steel!
It is therefore extremely durable. I have only ever changed crackers when they have developed excessive knots during use, rather than through wear.
This forms the foundation for my heel knots.
Sugru is a silcone rubber that is mouldable at room temperature like a putty. It will adhere to almost any material, is temperature resistant from -50 to +180 degrees Celcius and is waterproof.
To ensure it is firmly fixed to the handle, I drill a hole through the carbon fibre tube and aluminium end cap and insert a 2mm stainless steel rod that protrudes by ~4mm either side of the tube. The Sugru is formed around this so I can be sure it will not rotate under the knot.