1

Topic: How to improve aim for target cracking?

Hello friends, i would like to know how does one improve the aim when target cracking.
Target cracking is what i like most and i have seen that most of it is being done with cattleman's crack. I also like to use other cracking methods like the 'flick' (is that the official name?), you know the technique you would use to knock a bottle down.
I can do some impressive feats of target cracking but i lack consistency. How do you improve that? Is it just a matter of repetition? Is there any system that allows one to have a high percentage of succes? Or is it just a matter of practice and let the brain learn hand-eye coordination?

Thanks very much in advance and happy new year!

2

Re: How to improve aim for target cracking?

Hi there, Alejandro!

My suggestion would be to practise as slowly and gently as possible: not too long all at once, but often. It's best always to use the same whip, ideally 6 to 8 feet long. The better quality the whip, the more consistent you'll be able to be. Be careful not to 'muscle' the whip: let the whip do the work. All you need to do is to guide it. Try doing groups of no more than five cracks, rest for a moment, and then try again - but slowly! You can speed things up later on.... Your target is probably best placed at about shoulder height. Above all, be patient, and keep at it!  smile

'Less is often more!'

3

Re: How to improve aim for target cracking?

Yes, you are going to have to practice a lot.  There is no way around that. 

If you turn your whip around and crack it like Anthony DeLongis does,  the loop will be smaller all the way down the whip.  That allows you to place the cracker a little more precisely.   Having a whip with a strait roll out is a must.  I always aim with my thumb.  So where my thumb points is where the crack will be.

4

Re: How to improve aim for target cracking?

I've not done much target practice, but have heard that a high quality whip with a long stiff transition helps.  It helps to roll out straighter I believe.

Here's wishing you find time for the things you want to do, and for the things you need to do.
We see ourselves in our children and hope for a better future.

5

Re: How to improve aim for target cracking?

You're right, Jeff. That's why, when I asked Keanu to make me one of his Tanks, I specified a 12 inch handle and an extra-stiff transition. Here's the short video he made, just before shipping it off to me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AS1YMsuAkU.

'Less is often more!'

6

Re: How to improve aim for target cracking?

Alejandro, its refreshing to read discussion on cracking here, since we are mostly into plaiting lately. It's not much different than a quarterback or pitcher developing muscle memory through repetition of throwing a ball. One thing that I want to point out is don't rely totally on your arm for building the little power needed for the developing crack. If you watch YouTube videos of Robby cracking, then you will see that power starts in his toes. It travels through yours legs, buttocks, hips, ribs, shoulders, arm, wrist, and hand before it ever reaches the whip. However, it does all that in a very subtle and relaxed way without causing your body to flail wildly. If you rely totally on your arm then you will tire out quickly

He died for me, I'll live for him

7

Re: How to improve aim for target cracking?

Slow and steady would be my recommendation. I'm no expert, by any stretch of the imagination, but I always do better when I slow down and really focus on what I'm doing.

There's no easy way to explain the method. It's a little like pushing a gallon of water. You don't just give it a shove and expect it to slide across the table accurately. You constantly push, always in the desired direction, gently and consistently, all the way through the entire motion. Now...if you can translate that idea into guiding the loop down the thong, you've got it.

At least...that's how I do it. I could be way off, but it works for me.

8

Re: How to improve aim for target cracking?

I agree Roy, mostly because I'm better at this than plaiting (I think) so it gives me a way to be helpful! I would suggest starting with the cattleman's crack. The only thing you do is provide the energy for the initial lift, and the guidance of the thong as it falls. You're in charge, but you have to listen to the whip. Feel the correct timing, guide it into the loop, and feel that thong roll out with your thumb. The thumb is the key here. And Mr. Robert is right, gently.

9

Re: How to improve aim for target cracking?

Grant, yes the cattleman's crack or the overhand flick would be best to start with. Alejandro, I must also add that practicing correctly a little will produce much faster results than a lot of incorrect practice. Practice correctly by learning the basics of the crack that Robby preaches about in Whip Basics. Start at the beginning and build a good foundation. Once your mechanics are solid in the crack itself, then move on to the target

He died for me, I'll live for him

10

Re: How to improve aim for target cracking?

Roy Partin wrote:

Start at the beginning and build a good foundation. Once your mechanics are solid in the crack itself, then move on to the target.

Roy speaks excellent good sense!

It is worth regularly returning to the basics, even at the most advanced level.

'Less is often more!'

11

Re: How to improve aim for target cracking?

Robby explains target cracking in his WB videos.  I can't remember which one.  WB V, he explains cracking a bottle cap out from under a cup, maybe that's the one he explains targeting as well. Tips and tricks on how to teach someone how to do it.   There is a lot of practice involved, of course.  I'm not as consistent at it as I wish I was. But we did do dueling whips at Old West in the Hills in which each person stood at one end of the target, that held a paper cup with a glow stick inside.  Holding our whips coiled, someone counted to 3 and we had to crack the cups from a coiled position as fast as possible.    If I had a good formula for aiming, I probably would have done a bit better at that.  I'm trying Bobbi's thumb thing.

Due to rising costs, dirty deeds are no longer done dirt cheap. 
                                                                                    ~Management

12

Re: How to improve aim for target cracking?

Thanks for reminding us, Jessie! I quite agree - and it's impossible to recommend Robby's DVDs highly enough. They are worth every penny. Anyone who uses these as their guide cannot help but improve - and discover how to do all sorts of nifty things they've never even dreamt of trying!  smile

'Less is often more!'

13

Re: How to improve aim for target cracking?

Repetition build muscle memory, so that's a very important thing to do. Just like learning to throw rocks accurately.

You can do targeting with many more cracks than the cattleman's crack. But whatever you do, be sure to get comfortable with the crack itself before going for accuracy. And when you start doing target cutting or wraps, remember that you don't want to make the whip crack at the target -- you want it to crack just before it. The audience will never know the difference.

I also recommend Robby's DVDs. Well worth the investment.


- Pokkis

14

Re: How to improve aim for target cracking?

Whip Basics: A Beginner's Guide Volume II I believe has the target cracking on it.  Super good videos!  You cannot go wrong with them, as long as you follow what Robby is teaching.

Inch by inch.

15

Re: How to improve aim for target cracking?

That said, it's very highly recommended to watch and learn Volume I first.


- Pokkis

16

Re: How to improve aim for target cracking?

Definitely!

Inch by inch.

17

Re: How to improve aim for target cracking?

Thanks guys and girls for your insights.
I will definitely get those dvds. I also need a GOOD whip. I have a 4' paracord whip but it's not an excellent one.
I am sure a better weapon would actually help me become a better whip artist.
Thanks and happy new year!

18

Re: How to improve aim for target cracking?

Alejandro, I'd really encourage you to get a good whip to practise with - ideally a bullwhip 6 to 8 feet long.

But please: it's not a weapon! See Robby's video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnwfFVnzCDI.

There's been a lot of discussion here over the last couple of years about this. I think we're pretty much agreed that whips should NOT be seen as weapons.

'Less is often more!'

19

Re: How to improve aim for target cracking?

I sometimes wonder if the whip's quality doesn't make a difference in how consistently it hits a target.  If the whip is all twisty and wrong, I don't think you can be consistent when hitting targets no matter how hard you try.  Just my opinion...

Due to rising costs, dirty deeds are no longer done dirt cheap. 
                                                                                    ~Management

20

Re: How to improve aim for target cracking?

It's not opinion, Jess: It's fact.

I saw this happen with a couple of my whips: As you're plaiting, there is a natural curve. If you want a straight rollout, you respect that natural curve and keep it top-up on every layer. Failure to do that results in layers fighting against each other for direction of force.

This is why I now mark every layer with chalk.