Forums > Other Toys > Recommended fire whips?

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Hello, everyone!

I recently bought myself a fire whip from a shop that was supposed to have good products, but it did not last long and very bad things could have happened.
I am very disappointed in this and the shop, but I also want a new one! Not too expensive, but at least one that does not brake third time of use.

EDITED_BY: quepasacontigo (1318692044)

Chris_Lu1Chris_Lu1DIAMOND Member
Flow Artist
67 posts
Location: USA


First off, what broke?
A lot of first time users do not realize that the popper/cracker will break after only about 5 uses.
If it's less than this, then it's usually due to improper fueling.
The fall will usually last about 15 uses.

As for good whips, the top of the line that I know of is Fire by Riz; they are the only ones to actually plait their whips. If you can afford them, get them. The poppers that come with these are super loud, but you really need a tight in plane crack.

Second is Karaka whips, and they are weighted very nicely, but it is still just Kevlar rope with some core removed and shot loaded, not plaited. FYI, these are what HoP sells.

Next is Bear Claw Manufacturing, especially their new Fire Whip III. However, their falls and crackers are pretty crappy I've never gotten them to really pop or last more than one burn.

When it comes to the falls and poppers themselves, as a beginner, get the ones from HoP. Theirs are by far the best to start with. Fire by Riz and Bear Claw's are nothing but twisted Kevlar which the diameter and drag ratio to fray (fluid mechanics think Reynoldss number of Mach 1) is very poor. Trust me, beginners get very frustrated when they can't crack a fire whip and 80% of the time it's because the popper/cracker just can't move fast enough. Technique, length, weight and quality can help.

Now the best whip you can possibly have will be plaited. Think the 4-plait or 8-plait nylon or leather whips you see.
The cheapest way the get this is by making one yourself.

HoP sells a 50 ft. roll of 1/2 in Kevlar for $20.00 US after the 15% discount.
A metal tube, a hard wood dowel, cotton sheets, and patience will give you a very nice whip for less than $30 US.
This whip will also be about 11 feet in length if you use all the Kevlar.

But a 10ft plaited fire whip will cost you at least $300 to buy.
With experience you can make 2 of these whips in less than an hours work. I'll try to upload pictures of my old whips I made with the time stamps on the photos later to prove this. Otherwise I still have enough K&Al around I could make a quick tutorial if you really want.

Now, as I said before, and the number one compliant from customers of Bear Claw and Fire by Riz is that the cracker breaks off after 1 or 2 uses. Then they get really mad because of this and write nasty reviews when it's not the manufactures fault.

First off, fuel the whip correctly. There is no need for you to dip the Fall and Cracker in your fuel. Don't believe me? Just try it. You can still get nice fire balls and even better arcs after your cracker breaks off.

(Note: If you buy the fall cracker combo from Home of Poi, RE-TIE THE KNOT!!! HoP does not tie their poppers on correctly and they will fly off with the first crack. Glue it too, just in case. This will also help with not having the fiberglass melt into the Fall or end of the thong since HoP puts fiber glass in their Kevlar.)

Do not dunk your whip, the fuel inside will stay in the whip for just about forever, there's no need to. Instead trail or snake the whip through a painter's tray or planting tray from the end of the thong to the end of the handle. Obviously use the correct fuel. Lamp oil, K, and white gas work well. Lighter fuel will destroy a whip.

Lastly, if you have a long whip, stick with overhead and halo cracks, maybe a flick or two. Every time your whip hits the ground, this will damage your whip. Plus a photographer can then lay underneath you and get pictures of the cracks from underneath, with the recoil of the whip and a full moon. This makes for epic pictures. Ill try to find those too.

If you really dont like to use Hops falls and crackers because of the price, you can buy braided kern-mantel Kevlar rope and make your own. You can use Kevlar thread too, but that will get expensive. Cotton braided rope works surprisingly well. So does hemp. Really it does. I didnt believe this either until a show where we forgot extra poppers or the material to make them, a girl was making necklaces with hemp, we asked for some, and they lasted an entire burn with really great cracks. Plus its cheap as h3ll. You can attempt nylon, but it will melt and elongate but look really cool as long as the whip is in constant motion; actually dont; just dont.

Thats all I can think of for now. Ill try to find pictures of when I made by 11 foot plaited twin fire whips. Otherwise next time Im back home, Ill take pictures of all the different whips and show you the differences.

Hopefully this helps, otherwise if you are still confused, post what about and Ill try to explain further.

Oh wait, burn time.

If you let your whip burn a little longer at the beginning before your first crack, you will heat up the fuel in the whip and the cracks will look much bigger. However, only let the thong burn, and try to burn it flat. Lay it on the ground like a coiled snake is better because (and every fire eater knows this far too well) HEAT RISES!!! Burning with one end higher will damage the whip further. This also means that you should never, ever, EVER, let your whips burn out. Once it stops producing you can do one or two twirling tricks, angel wings, tosses, bells, whatever, but then put out the whip. When youre done, check a bight, (bend) and if your whip is not dyed black, you should still see the original color of your Kevlar in the bight/bend. Otherwise youre burning through your plaiting and burning the belly or even the core. (Id get photos of this too, but that whip is long gone.) The core should never burn; this is why even a cotton core will work with making a whip, its lighter too and will hold more fuel than one with a Kevlar rope core.

Okay, now I think thats all.

Good Luck.

Sorry; one more thing. Not completely on subject, but a pet peeve.
Pose! Dont crack the whip with your other arm glued to your chest like a T-Rex. You can kneel, bend, or even lie down and it will look 10 times more awesome. Plus now you can incorporate a cattlemans crack without touching the ground. (If your local code requires it; check your citys amendments to the NFPA 160.)

Im done for now.

5 posts
Location: Cheshire

Posted: all the way for me there is usually a 2-3 month wait for them and they re not cheap but they are worth it.

CTHobbitCTHobbitBRONZE Member
God Emperor Hobbit
15 posts
Location: East Windsor, CT, USA

Hey Quepasa,

I'm with Shadowlesstyger on most of the post.

I'll add one thing, there's another whipmaker making an actual braided fire whip. He just started advertising last month or so, so he's new to the fire whip arena (not new to whipmaking, he does leather and nylon whips as well).

We worked with him on the development of the product, and it's top notch. I also own two short firewhips by Riz, and agree that his stuff is good quality.


PS - I don't receive any monetary compensation from FCB, so I'm endorsing his product because it's good, not because I get paid.

Chris_Lu1Chris_Lu1DIAMOND Member
Flow Artist
67 posts
Location: USA

So here is a picture with one of the 11 ft fire whips that I made:


and a LED / glow-in-the-dark version:



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