In this tutorial I show you how to make a paracord get back whip.
This project is one that really shines when it comes to work with paracord. The get back whip is durable, colorful and unique.
So first, what is a get back whip? The get back whip is placed onto the clutch or brake lever and hangs freely. Usually two are used, one on each side. When riding the bike it then flies through the air.
While it has many uses, there is quite a debate on the original use for a get back whip. Is it a decorative item or a weapon? Let’s see what you can use it for:
- the get back whip displays the club colors
- it gives the bike an unique look when ridden
- since the whip flies through the air it can make the bike easier to spot, which is a nice safety benefit
- you can use it to maintain distance with cars, giving them a tap if they endanger you
- it can be used in self defense
Many benefits of the get back whip are completely legitimate. But still, when using one, it is prudent to check the local laws. Different states and countries have different classifications for what makes a weapon. And you probably don’t want any attention from police on this matter.
As far as I am concerned though, the get back whip is an excellent decorative item, one that many a rider will be proud to use. It takes skill to make and it catches the eye when made properly. Honestly, I don’t like anyone telling me what is a weapon and what is not- not the law, not anyone. A lock in a sock is just as effective for violence, so why would anyone spend hours making a decorative item to fight with it recklessly? Anywho, let’s focus on the craft of making one, not on the politics of the day.
In this post I will describe the supplies and the making process for such a whip. At the end you will find a full video showing you how to make one from start to finish. This should get you through the entire process, provided you have the patience to keep going! I wish you success. Keep your eyes on the prize when the going gets tough!
Sizing the get back whip
The first thing you will want to know when making a get back whip is how long should it be. This is usually stated before the project. Still, sizing a get back whip basically means making it functional. It should not be too long to touch the ground or to hit any parts of the bike. It should also not be too short to look silly. So what are some common lengths?
- 2 feet (short get back whip)
- 3 feet (medium get back whip)
- 4 feet (long get back whip)
As mentioned though, you will probably end up making either a standard length or something custom, in both cases you will know the length you want.
In our case we are going to make a 2 foot long get back whip, so a fairly short one. To make it longer, simply use more cordage in your two main cords.
In the 2 foot long get back whip, the length of the whip breaks down like this:
- 3 inches are used up by the pineapple knot (the ball)
- 4 inches are used up by the panic snap (the quick release mechanism)
- the rest, so 17 inches are made with crown knots (when making a longer get back whip you will simply make more of these)
Now, let’s take a look at the supplies needed for making a get back whip!
The items needed to make a get back whip are fairly simple, but still at least some take a bit of effort to find.
- paracord 550. You will need 2 cords, each 27 feet long for a 2 foot whip. For a longer whip, these need to be even longer. A very rough estimate would be 10 additional feet of cord in each of your two main strands for one additional foot of crown knots.
- paracord 550. Another 2 cords are used to tie the decorative knot next to the pineapple knot. This is optional, but I like it. These cords should be 3.5 feet long, each.
- panic snap. These are quick release panic snaps which make removing the get back whip easy. The ones I use are 4 inches long. They can be found online, as well as in some horse related shops such as a saddlery.
- Pringles can, a jar, can, PVC pipe or anything else you can use as a tying tool. It should be about 3 inches in diameter. We are going to tie the pineapple knot onto this makeshift mandrel and then transfer it onto the core.
- a rubber band. A simple rubber band is used to hold one end of our cord when we are tying the pineapple knot.
- pool ball is used as the core of the pineapple knot. It is 2 1/4 inch in diameter. Often buying a set is more affordable then buying one or two pieces individually.
- a lacing needle makes tying decorative knots a lot easier. I absolutely recommend using one. You can also make it yourself.
- scissors and a lighter are the final two items. Standard tools for cutting and melting paracord.
So a few supplies will need to be gathered before we can begin making our whip. Now a brief description of the making process.
Making a paracord get back whip
To begin we take our mandrel (about 3 inches in diameter) and place our rubber band around it. We are then going to take one of our long pieces of paracord (in my case 27 feet long, each) and tuck it under the rubber band. We want about 12 feet of cord in our working end, with the rest tucked under the rubber band. We are going to use this cord to tie a 11L10B turk’s head- our base knot. The second cord, again another long one (27 feet) is used to add a pineapple interweave (the standard type 1, 2 pass) to the base knot.
Then, the working ends are worked to the middle of the knot so we can begin our crown knots. Now transfer your pineapple knot off of your mandrel and onto our pool ball.
Tighten the pineapple knot around the pool ball. The goal here is not only to tighten up the knot, but also to make sure the 4 working ends end up of the same length.
Then begin a series of crown knots, forming a crown sinnet. We are going to make about 17 inches of crown knots. Together with the pineapple knot, this should bring the total length of the whip to 20 inches.
The final 4 inches are added to the whip by attaching the panic snap. This is done using crown knots.
Finally, a decorative knot in the gaucho style is added at the snap end to secure the ends. The ends are tucked under the knot, the knot is tightened up and the ends cut. Melt the ends and you are done.
On the side where the pineapple knot is, another gaucho style, 4 stranded knot is added. We take two, 3.5 foot long strands and feed them through the crown sinnet to get 4 working ends. Tie the knot, tuck the ends under the knot, tighten the knot and cut and melt the ends.
Finally, the two decorative knots can be rolled in between two planks to make the decorative knots look nicer and more consistent.
Quite a task right! To not leave you in the dark, here is a full video tutorial. Enjoy and take it a step at a time, it is a proper project!