The Story of how Tubewhips were designed and made.
While traveling outback Australia, Nathan bumped into Mick Denigan from Mick's Whips and Leather Goods at the Mindil Beach Markets in Darwin, Northern Territory who was giving one of his famous whip cracking performances. Keen to have a crack at the whip himself, a Mick's stock whip was bought and many cracking techniques were learned over time. Cracking a stock whip wasn't all that interested Nathan, he wanted to be able to make a stock whips himself but finance for leather was hard to come by.
The original Tube Whips' humble beginnings started when Nathan lived near the Nymboida Canoe Centre for several years on his travels around Australia. Tubing on Goolang's white water at the time was great fun especially when a chain of tubers was formed and sent down the rapids. Although inner tubes are reasonably robust, the sharp rocks of Goolang Creek were no match for the already worn inner tubes. A pile of discarded tubes, ready to be taken away for landfill, sparked the original idea of making the first inner tube whips.
The Nymboida Canoe Centre, home of a white water facility in northern New South Wales, used to recycle inner tubes from cars and trucks for the pleasure of their customers who tube downstream on these. Once these tubes become irreparable, Nathan thought he may be able to recycle them once again and cut the rubber tubes into strips to create his specialty... The original "Tube Whips".
Tube whips were not only great for beginners but also for the intermediate and advance whip crackers. These whips stood up to any amount of rain, hail or snow. The sound it produces was equal to, if not better than your average leather whip. Tube whips were a strong, durable and affordable, making them a what was a great gift for any whip cracking enthusiast.
Most of the handles were made from 19" environmentally sustainable Imported cane with a half plaited tube overlay. Other handles were made from local hardwood timber, dried and either hand turned on a lathe, or simply sanded back and used as they were, keeping their original natural bush look which made them unique. Bailing twine was and still is used for the crackers which comes now in different colours.
Sadly Nathan has now stopped making tubewhips because the innertubes of car tyres were getting harder to find where he lives in the Northern Territory. He now recommends using his new stockwhip made out of a special vinyl which is also an original idea of Nathans, as it is not only an excellent recreational pastime but also a great focal point for discussion among whip crackers around the world.
hopping on the tubes causes them to push into the rocks underneath.
The tubes get a battering each time they go down Goolang Creek.
The rocks eventually puncture the inner tubes beyond repair.
Our whips used to implement the 3 R's. Reduce, Re-use, Recycle. Check out the over sized 12m tube whip.
Two finished tube whips, one complete with handmade wood handle and the other plaited cane.
Click on the bubbles to find out more about the Australian stock whip.