What Are They
Whip meetups are an excellent opportunity for whip crackers and makers to get together, learn from each other and to show off a bit. They are are informal, relaxed, and free to attend. In many cases this can be an excellent chance to try whip cracking for the first time, as well as a chance to try different styles of whips from different makers. All skill levels are welcome attend but don't expect a formal class.
Meetups and are usually organized by an individual that is simply trying to grow the whip cracking community in their area.
Most people at meetups are more that willing to talk, teach, and share. But keep in mind, some whips can be very expensive or perhaps old and fragile, so you should always ask before handling someone else's whip.
How to Organize a Meetup
Probably the most important thing to understand is that you don't have to be an expert to organize a meetup. You just have to have a desire to see the sport grow, and be willing to invest some time and maybe a little bit of money.
- "My first few "meetups" were just me meeting with a friend or two that had bought a whip from me. They were not so much organized as they were just a get together with a friend. Later on I realized that there must be other people in the area that I might not necessarily know but that might be interested in joining in. I started mentioning it on Facebook and eventually we had a small group of regulars. We try to meet monthly now." - John Cantin
Keep it Interesting
If you're going to do meetups on a regular basis, try to keep it interesting for your regular participants. Whip based gamesare a great way to add excitement to an event. Performing as a group the latest is another great activity.
Consistency is Key
If you're thinking about organizing a meetup don't bother just doing one. Like many fringe activities, there's not a whole lot of whip enthusiasts out there. It will take some time to get the ball rolling. Make sure to create a schedule and let people know about it as far in advance as possible.
Get the Word Out
Facebook has several whip cracking groups, create a Facebook event and announce it... then announce it again. Get a gmail account just for your meetups, get some business cards printed up with your name and the gmail account. Use the new gmail account to maintain a mailing list to announce your event. Give the cards to the others that are attending your meetups and ask them to help spread the word.
Be careful about your location. It's not unusual to attract attention when cracking whips in public areas. If you do get an audience make sure they are staying a safe distance away from you. Be especially aware of small children and pets, they frequently are unaware of the possible danger of wandering to close.
- "We typically meet at a very large city park. Although we position ourselves far away from the pavilions and playgrounds, we inevitably end up attracting the attention of the other park patrons. We've gotten together about a dozen times now and have never had any issues with of the park visitors or city employees. If they come to talk to us we make sure to be polite and friendly with them, occasionally we'll even teach them how to do a basic crack or two." - John Cantin
How to Find a Meetup
Right now (2022) the most active whip cracking community online seems to be on Facebook. There are several Facebook groups where meetup organizers will announce their events. Join "Whip Cracking Enthusiasts", "The Whip-Cracking Community", and "Bullwhip Tricks" to keep up to date on events.
Who are They
The following people maintain mailing lists for their area, and will send out email announcements about upcoming events.
- John Cantin - "I organize meetups in the North West Suburbs of Chicago about once a month. When the weather permits we meet outside at a park. In the winter months I organize occasional events with a limited attendance at indoor facilities."