The Whip
                        Chick Lauren Wickline
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I've come a long way, and I hope I have a long way left to go.  Whether they know it or not, an awful lot of people have helped me.  I just want to say thank you to a few.  And if I left you out... I'm sorry.  I guess I'm just a pretentious jerk.  :-P

Thank you to Paul Nolan for teaching me how to make kangaroo leather whips and for giving me the high bar of his own craftsmanship to aim for as I learned.  And also thank you for being my collaborator, co-conspirator, encourager, and best friend.

Thank you to Joe Strain, another of the country's best whipmakers, for making the first whip I ever bought.  It was a 6ft bullwhip from Western Stage Props.  Because of this, I never had to waste time, develop bad habits, or be fooled by lesser quality whips.

Thank you to Gery Deer who was the first person to hand me a whip and say, "go ahead, try it," and also for teaching me a lot of the fundamentals of whipcracking, including the importance of good form.

Thank you to Adam Winrich for being the first American to dive headfirst into Australian style whipcracking and inspire everyone who meets him - personally or at his Ren Faire performances - to aim higher.  America overall is behind Australia in whipcracking skills, but Adam is leading the charge to help us catch up.

Thank you to Rhett Kelly for staking early claim for synthetic whips on the internet with a good reputation and to Steve Huntress who made the first nylon whip I ever picked up and thought, "Hey, I guess nylon whips actually can crack well!"  And thank you to Dan Trout who had custom ordered that whip.

Thank you to Chris Hall, the inspiration for the Performance Hybrid Nylon Whips that I make today, for making the first pair of nylon whips that I ever ordered/owned.  And then thank you for quitting whipmaking before Paul could also get a pair from you, which forced me to buy my first spool of paracord and start developing my own synthetic whips.

Thank you to Bernardo del Carpio, also one of the best leather whipmakers, for teaching me some of his whipmaking skills and ideas while he stayed with us one summer.  And thank you for showing me the basics of handling a DSLR camera and photo editing too.

Thank you to John Leonetti for inspiring me with his photos and creative spin to dive into the art of photography, and for recommending a great camera for my first DSLR.  Thank you to Jillian Stein for personifying dedication and drive in a creative industry, for encouraging health, and for being John's balance.
 
Thank you to Todd Rex for recommending a great camera for shooting video, and for showing us all what we should have already known - videos of people cracking whips can be more fun to watch when they're shot and edited with a little extra creativity and skill.  And thank you to Michelle Nyree for being a fellow chick with whip skills who loves to practice with friends.

Thank you to Dan Borton for so often being the calm and intelligent voice of reason in this wild time while the economy has sprouted a glut of new whipmakers and the internet has exponentially expanded the popularity and reach of both whipmaking and whipcracking.

Thank you to David Morgan, the man who brought Australian whipmaking traditions to the United States, transformed our idea of what a quality whip should be for the better, and gave Indiana Jones a whip that actually works - no CGI needed.  You hear that, George Lucas?!


Thank you to everyone who has ever bought a whip from me.  Whips aren't cheap, and in our modern world of the faceless internet and job instability, your passion to find a better whip and your trust in me to deliver quality whips on time is the only reason I can keep doing this.  And thanks for telling your friends about me too!

Thank you to Mrs. Amy Fisher, the greatest calculus teacher a girl could want, for challenging and encouraging me to not just pass the tests, but to work harder on logically understanding every problem from every angle before tackling it with gusto.  And check it out - I actually am using math in my everyday life now!

Thank you to Mr. James Yeazell, my high school band director, for giving me (or sometimes at least letting me borrow) all the tools I needed to grow musically, and for providing musical solo and ensemble experiences above and beyond his job description.  Two-handed whipcracking in particular is closely related to instrumental music, and shares a lot of technical similarities that continue to help me learn new routines.

Thank you to my extended family, and to my parents Chuck and Kay Wickline.  My dad for giving me his passion for ideas, mechanical mind, the drive to follow through, and my ongoing love of adventure, action, and sci-fi movies.  My mom for giving me creativity, art, music (thanks to Nana for that one too), and the courage to be a starter.

Thank you to reality, existence, God, the universe - whatever you want to call it or however you want to envision it.  Thank you.  It's pretty amazing that we all even get to be here and living our lives at all.  I'm inspired to make mine as awesome and enjoyable and helpful to others as I'm able!



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