* What is the difference between a signal whip and a snake whip?
Believe it or not the answer is very simple. As you can see from the picture on the left a signal whip has a braided in cracker. The snake whip has a fall with an easily removable cracker the same as a bullwhip or stock whip.The reason for this is that signal whips where originally designed for dog sled racing. This is important because when the dog sled musher (the person steering the dog sled) was not using the whip he would hang it around his wrist and it would drag in the snow and ice. If they used a leather fall in the whip it would freeze up rather quickly and as soon as they cracked the whip it would more than likely break. How ever when the cracker was made out of nylon and braided in this was no longer a problem.
The disadvantage is that when the cracker wears out you have to have a new one re braided in. This does take a while though because the signal whip's cracker is usually sectioned off by knots. When the fuzzy part of the cracker wears out you simply cut off the knot and it will unravel to replace it's self. On most signal whips you can do this about 4 times before you have to have it replaced.
Because of blood born diseases like Hep. C and HIV there has recently been a lot of discussion about how to make signal whips with removable crackers for SM play. Some whip makers have back braided loops into the nylon cracker or made other strange modifications to the whip. I am here to tell you there is no need to custom design a new kind of signal whip with a removable cracker. You can very easily modify a signal whip your self so that it will have a removable cracker.