First things first.
Good whips, properly used and maintained, should give long service. Physical damage such as hitting on sharp objects, gravel, concrete etc., being jammed in doors or truck tailgates, or chewed by pets obviously will destroy a whip quickly. Care in three other aspects will help you gain the most from your whip.
1. Dirt and sand embedded in the whip will cause internal wear. Dirt can be washed out with warm soapy water, the whip dried (without heat) and then given a heavy coat of leather dressing.
2. Using the whip with excessive force, as in seeking the loudest possible crack, will cause early breakage of falls and stretch the thong, so altering the taper. The usual and preferred crack is that attained with minimum force. A strong wrist action will over-stress the the junction of thong to butt section on a bullwhip, and will cause early failure near the butt in a snakewhip or signalwhip. Normal use of these whips should employ very little wrist force.
3. Leather dressing is important. A dry whip loses its strength, and one with the wrong dressing may lose strength and/or stretch out of shape. Do not dress a whip with tallow, neatsfoot oil, or any light oils. Use a good cream leather dressing. Pecard Leather Dressing works just fine. Whips stored for any length of time should be kept dry, and in low light conditions. Sunlight can dry out a whip like an old lampshade. Apply a light coating of dressing every 6 months.
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