Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Whip that rope!

Recommended Posts

Working with new scouts is a lot of fun --- they have so much excitement and ambition!  I've noticed though that a lot of scouts struggle a bit with learning (and especially remembering) how to whip a rope.  Bryan on Scouting had a post last week about a method called "West Country Whipping" that is a LOT easier to use than the traditional whipping described in the Scout Handbook.  It's so simple and straightforward that it should also be easier to remember a couple years from now.  (I suspect most scouts forget how to whip a rope about 7 minutes after the Scoutmaster signs off on the requirement.)

The process is:

  1. Start by tying a half-knot, the way you would start a square knot, near the rope’s end.
  2. Continue by carrying the two ends of the whipping cord around the back of the rope, away from you, and tie another half-knot identical to the first.
  3. Keep repeating the half-knots, front and back, pulling each one tight.
  4. Form each half-knot the same way, either right over left, or left over right, so they interlock neatly together, and snug against the previous half-knot.
  5. Continue the process until the whipping is as wide as the rope’s diameter.
  6. Finish off with a tight square knot.
  7. Finally, the excess cord is trimmed.

The only downside I see to the West Country Whip is that it doesn't look or feel as durable as the traditional whip, so adding a drop or two of Gorilla Glue to "seal" the whip would help it stand up to the test of time.

The article is here:


Anybody else tried whipping a rope the "West Country" way?  I'm sold on it and I plan to show new scouts that method from now on...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've played with it a few times. If I need (or have time for) a better whipping than a common whipping, I prefer going straight to a sailmaker's whipping (ABoK 3446 for you knot nerds). There's a lot more friction holding the whipping on.

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

One knot guide of mine has several different ways to whip rope. It was more coffee table book than manual, so I never took it with me to anywhere that I needed to practice.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this