Whipcracking

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Whipcrackers from Traunstein, Bavaria Goasslschnalzer in Tracht.jpg
Whipcrackers from Traunstein, Bavaria

Whipcracking is the act of producing a cracking sound through the use of a whip. Used during livestock driving and horse riding, it has also become an art. A rhythmic whipcracking belongs to the traditional culture among various Germanic peoples of Bavaria ( Goaßlschnalzen ), various Alpine areas ( Aperschnalzen ), Austria, and Hungary (Ostorozás). Today it is a performing art, a part of rodeo show in United States, a competitive sport in Australia and increasingly popular in the United Kingdom, where it crosses boundaries of sport, hobby and performance.

Contents

Physics

The crack a whip makes is produced when a section of the whip moves faster than the speed of sound creating a small sonic boom. The creation of the sonic boom was confirmed in 1958 [1] by analyzing the high-speed shadow photography taken in 1927. [2] [3]

Recently, an additional, purely geometrical factor was recognized: the tip of the whip moves twice as fast at the loop of the whip, just like the top of a car's wheel moves twice as fast as the car itself. [2] [3]

A common explanation is to derive the behavior from the conservation of energy law. However it was noted that the energy is also conserved when the crack sizzles, therefore derivations from purely conservation laws, including conservation of momentum and some others are insufficient. [3]

Based on simulations, the high speed of the tip of the whip has been proposed to be a result of a "chain reaction of levers and blocks". [4]

In 1997, Discover Magazine reported about the possibility of the "whipcracking" effect millions of years ago. As part of the joint computer scientists' and paleontologists' research into the motion of dinosaurs, Nathan Myhrvold, a chief technology officer from Microsoft, carried out a computer simulation of an apatosaurus, which had a very long, tapering tail resembling a whip. Basing on the reasoning described above, Myhrvold concluded that sauropods were capable of producing a crack comparable to the sound of a cannon. [5]

Shows and competitions

Goaßlschnalzen

Goaßlschnalzen, Goaßlschnalzn, Goasslschnoizen is translated as "whip-cracking", from the Bavarian word Goaßl (German: Geißel) for coachwhip. In earlier centuries, the carriage drivers used elaborate crack sequences to signal their approach and to identify them. Over time horse-drawn transport dwindled, but the tradition remained, and coaches practiced their skill in their spare time.

Today the Goaßlschnalzer ("whipsnappers") do concert performances, often as bands that include conventional musical instruments. Whipsnapping is also a traditional sport in Bavaria. There are many whip-cracking associations in Bavaria.

Aperschnalzen

Aperschnalzen or Apaschnoizn in Bavarian is an old tradition of competitive whipcracking revived in the first half of the 20th century. The word "aper" means "area free of snow", and it has been thought that this tradition had a pagan meaning of "driving the winter away" by whipcracking.

British Whipcracking Convention

The British Whipcracking Convention is a place for all who are interested in whip cracking. This ranges from complete novices who have never picked up a whip, through intermediate skills to expert skill sharing. There are workshops for the differing skill levels as well as competitions and targets. The third convention was held in Aldersley Leisure Village, Aldersley Road, Wolverhampton on 14 July 2007.

Australian sport

In the latter half of the 20th century, attempts to preserve traditional crafts, along with a resurgence of interest in Western performance arts and the release of films such as Raiders of the Lost Ark (in which the hero, Indiana Jones, uses a bullwhip as a tool), led to an increased interest in whipcracking as a hobby and performance art, as well as a competitive sport. Whip cracking competitions have become especially popular in Australia. They focus on the completion of complex, multiple-cracking routines and precise target work. Various whips, apart from bullwhips, are used in such competitions. The most common whip used in Australian competitions is an Australian stockwhip, a whip unique to Australia.

In cracking routines, the judging criteria are the presentation and making audible cracks in prescribed moments.

North America

Whipcracking is also a popular sport and hobby in North America, especially in the United States of America. Since the mid 2000's, whipcracking performances have become increasingly prevalent at renaissance fairs, rodeos, cruise ships, and many other venues. Whipcracking competitions are also popular in North America, and a World Championship has been held annually in Los Angeles, California since 2017. The competitions at this event have ranged over the years, and can include speed, accuracy, and general whip proficiency. The "world champion" title is usually awarded based on a combined scoring from the single whip freestyle and double whip freestyle sections.

See also

Related Research Articles

Gymnastics Type of sport that requires a wide variety of physical strength and flexibility

Gymnastics is a sport that includes physical exercises requiring balance, strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, and endurance. The movements involved in gymnastics contribute to the development of the arms, legs, shoulders, back, chest, and abdominal muscle groups. Gymnastics evolved from exercises used by the ancient Greeks that included skills for mounting and dismounting a horse, and from circus performance skills.

Equestrianism The use of horses for sport or work

Equestrianism, commonly known as horse riding or horseback riding, includes the disciplines of riding, driving, and vaulting. This broad description includes the use of horses for practical working purposes, transportation, recreational activities, artistic or cultural exercises, and competitive sport.

Rodeo Competitive sport

Rodeo is a competitive equestrian sport that arose out of the working practices of cattle herding in Spain and Mexico, expanding throughout the Americas and to other nations. It was based on the skills required of the working vaqueros and later, cowboys, in what today is the western United States, western Canada, and northern Mexico. Today, it is a sporting event that involves horses and other livestock, designed to test the skill and speed of the cowboys and cowgirls. American style professional rodeos generally comprise the following events: tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc riding, bull riding and barrel racing. The events are divided into two basic categories: the rough stock events and the timed events. Depending on sanctioning organization and region, other events such as breakaway roping, goat tying, and pole bending may also be a part of some rodeos.

Bull riding

Bull riding is a rodeo sport that involves a rider getting on a bucking bull and attempting to stay mounted while the animal tries to buck off the rider.

Rodeo clown

A rodeo clown, bullfighter or rodeo protection athlete, is a rodeo performer who works in bull riding competitions. Originally, the rodeo clown was a single job combining "bullfighting"—the protection of riders thrown from the bull, as well as being an individual who provided comic relief. Today in the United States, the job is split into two separate ones: bullfighters who protect the riders from the bull, and entertainers (barrelmen) who provides comic humor. However, in other parts of the world and at some small rodeos, the jobs of rodeo rider protection and comic remain combined.

Whip Tool used to train animals either by sound or physical pain.

A whip is a tool designed to strike humans or other animals to exert control through pain compliance or fear of pain. They can also be used without inflicting pain, for audiovisual cues, such as in equestrianism. They are generally either a firm stick designed for direct contact, or a flexible line requiring a specialized swing. The former is easier and more precise, the latter offers longer reach and greater force. A hunting whip combines a firm stick with a flexible line.

Bullwhip Single-tailed whip

A bullwhip is a single-tailed whip, usually made of braided leather or nylon, designed as a tool for working with livestock or competition.

Fire performance Performance art using fire skills

Fire performance is a group of performance arts or skills that involve the manipulation of fire. Fire performance typically involves equipment or other objects made with one or more wicks which are designed to sustain a large enough flame to create a visual effect.

Horse show A judged exhibition of horses

A horse show is a judged exhibition of horses and ponies. Many different horse breeds and equestrian disciplines hold competitions worldwide, from local to the international levels. Most horse shows run from one to three days, sometimes longer for major, all-breed events or national and international championships in a given discipline or breed. Most shows consist of a series of different performances, called classes, wherein a group of horses with similar training or characteristics compete against one another for awards and, often, prize money.

Australian rodeo

Rodeos have long been a popular competitor and spectator sport in Australia, but were not run on an organised basis until the 1880s.

Campdrafting

Campdrafting is a unique Australian sport involving a horse and rider working cattle. The riding style is Australian stock, somewhat akin to American Western riding and the event is similar to the American stock horse events such as cutting, working cow horse, team penning, and ranch sorting.

Stockman (Australia)

In Australia a stockman is a person who looks after the livestock on a large property known as a station, which is owned by a grazier or a grazing company. A stockman may also be employed at an abattoir, feedlot, on a livestock export ship, or with a stock and station agency. Stockman is essentially the same word as "cowboy" in Australian English, especially since the cowboy moniker can refer to a tradesman whose work is of shoddy and questionable value, e.g., "a cowboy plumber".

The Man from Snowy River: Arena Spectacular, based on Banjo Paterson's poem The Man from Snowy River, was a popular musical theatre production which toured Australian capital cities twice during 2002. Kevin Jacobsen and David Atkins were the executive producers for the show. David Atkins and Ignatius Jones were co-directors and co-writers. Extra dialogue was written for the show by Jonathan Biggins and Phillip Scott.

Twirling

Twirling is a form of object manipulation where an object is twirled by one or two hands, the fingers or by other parts of the body. Twirling practice manipulates the object in circular or near circular patterns. It can also be done indirectly by the use of another object or objects as in the case of devil stick manipulation where handsticks are used. Twirling is performed as a hobby, sport, exercise or performance.

Whip fighting

Whip fighting can be done as a ritual, a show, or a sport, the latter also known as whip boxing.

Stockwhip

A stockwhip is a type of whip made of a long, tapered length of flexible, plaited leather or nylon with a stiff handle and thong able to pivot along the handle easily. Stock whips are used when mustering cattle.

Pole dance Form of performing art

Pole dance combines dance and acrobatics centered on a vertical pole. This performance art form takes place not only in gentleman's clubs as erotic dance, but also as a mainstream form of fitness, practiced in gyms and dedicated dance studios. Pole dancing enthusiasts are of all ages; although many who perform this dance and acrobatic form are adults, that does not stop younger children from learning and performing in competitions. Amateur and professional pole dancing competitions are held in countries around the world.

Fiona Smith is an Australian whip maker and competitive whipcracker. She is best known as the 12-time Australian ladies whipcracking champion, but has also won more than thirty other titles in local and national competition. Internationally, she won all three disciplines in an open competition organised by the Wild West Arts Club and held in Las Vegas, Nevada. She did so each time she entered.

Cowboy mounted shooting

Cowboy mounted shooting is a competitive equestrian sport involving the riding of a horse to negotiate a shooting pattern. Depending on sponsoring organizations, it can be based on the historical reenactment of historic shooting events held at Wild West shows in the late 19th century. Modern events use blank ammunition instead of live rounds, certified to break a target balloon within twenty feet (6 m).

References

  1. B. Bernstein, D. A. Hall, and H. M. Trent. "On the dynamics of a bull whip", Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 30: 1112-1115 (1958).
  2. 1 2 American Physical Society (2002) Whip Cracking Mystery Explained, 26 May 2002 Archived May 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  3. 1 2 3 Alain Goriely and Tyler McMillen, "Shape of a Cracking Whip" Phys. Rev. Lett. 88, 244-301, June 2002 doi : 10.1103/PhysRevLett.88.244301
  4. Creating speed Oct 2016
  5. "Dinosaur in Motion", Discover November 1997

Further reading