WHIP SMART: Nathan Griggs has turned his hobby into a business. The showman now travels the country performing whip cracking shows and selling his own hand-made whips.
WHIP SMART: Nathan Griggs has turned his hobby into a business. The showman now travels the country performing whip cracking shows and selling his own hand-made whips. Contributed

WATCH: This guy knows how to crack a whip with style!

WHEN he was a kid, Nathan Griggs tried to make his own whips out of old pieces of rope and sticks on his parents' Western Australian hobby farm.

He didn't know it at the time, but his obsession with crafting and cracking whips would lead to a long-term career, as he now travels the country performing and selling his own hand-made whips.

On Facebook, people tune in every Tuesday to watch Nathan crack to the beat of a song or show off a new trick, he holds the title for two world records and has made numerous television appearances.

His success kick-started his business, but the humble bushy is just happy to see more people embracing the Aussie tradition.

The Rural Weekly caught up with the travelling showman to find out who the man is behind the big crack and curly mullet.

Nathan bought his first whip in Darwin, when he was travelling with his parents around Australia.

"When we were going up through the Territory we stopped at a little place near Timbre Creek, called Big Horse Creek," he said.

"There was a fella cracking whips there - it was the middle of nowhere.

"I got talking to him and he said that I could buy a whip up at Darwin, and he gave me the name of a place to get it.

"So I got my first whip when I was 14 and it was just a hobby then, a thing for me to do to pass the time."

While there is an old bushman's saying that "a good whip will last lifetime", Nathan's fierce dedication saw his first whip soon wear out.

"You really need to know how to make a whip in order to fix a whip properly," he said.

"So I had a look into making one, and I am not sure if you know about the price of leather, but it is pretty dear."

Not having enough cash for leather when he was a 15 turned into a blessing, as Nathan soon found another material to make a whip: the inner lining of a car tyre.

He perfected this style, and made a few for his mates, and now the rubber whips are the most popular type he sells today, beating kangaroo hide and cowhide varieties which are much more expensive.

While whip cracking was bubbling away as a hobby, Nathan had another dream he wanted to achieve - to break a world record.

His first target was to trump the champion for the most amount of whip cracks within 60 seconds.

But like all good stories, Nathan had to face off with a tough counterpart to win the title.

In this case, his rival comes in the form of the fast-cracking fire-whip-wielding American, Adam Winrich.

Nathan describes Adam with tones of mutual respect and says he is his simply his "competition" in a friendly rivalry.

But a term like arch nemesis might better suit his relationship.

"I have actually broken this world record twice," Nathan explained.

"So he held the world record at 513 cracks in a minute for many years and I broke it with 530 cracks.

"Then he broke it again with 568 and took it back off me. That's when I thought, 'stuff it, I am going to train hard' and that's when I got the 614."

Three months of training, practising at least four hours a day and a healthy diet were all needed to break the record, Nathan said.

The ferocious speed means he makes 10 cracks per second.

"I don't know if he is back in training again, I will have to wait and see," he said.

"The person who does break that record will need a lot of dedication...good luck to them if they do."

Not satisfied with just one record under his belt, Nathan started to go after the title for the longest whip to be cracked in the world.

Adam also happened to hold this title with a whip that was 72.63 metres long.

Trying to take it a step further, Nathan built a whip 100.4 metres long.

"So it's just over a 100 metres," he said.

"It's all made out of cow hide leather, so it's traditionally made, it's really impressive."

The whip weighs about 35 kilos and took three months to make, hundreds of hours.

"I was making it in Mataranka in the Northern Territory, all the locals were like 'how are you going to crack that? You're crazy, mate'.

"So I was betting them that they had to buy me a beer if I did it."

Now the free drinks flow for Nathan in Mataranka, as just a few weeks ago the record was officially broken in Charters Towers.

The fruits of working hard to promote his business has worked well, and now Nathan's full-time job is performing cracking shows and selling whips.

"I am in Charters Towers at the moment, I am trying to make as many whips as I can, because we will be off to the Tamworth Country Music Festival soon, I always sell a lot there."

When picking towns for his tour, Nathan admits he will pick locations with good fishing spots as well. While he drives a branded truck promoting his show, his social media coordinator drives the Toyota troop carrier with the tinnie strapped to the top of it.

CRACKING TO THE BEAT

WHIPPING in time with a catchy a song has become an iconic trick for Nathan Griggs.

"I don't know any other people who can whip crack to music," he said.

Cracking along to Shannon Noll's 'Drive' became a viral hit, being viewed more than 3 million times on Facebook.

While very effective to watch and hear, Nathan described perfecting the timing as a challenge.

In order to be in time with the beat, he has to be ahead of the beat with his movements, as there is a delay in the sound of the crack.

Strangely enough, the 80s hit "Whip It" by Devo, has been the most challenging song to master according to Nathan.

KEEPING UP TO DATE

Search "Nathan Whippy Griggs" on Facebook or follow the link www.facebook.com/NathanGriggsAU/?fref=ts for more information.


Shaving mo' of 33 years

Shaving mo' of 33 years

Local councillor will say goodbye to his moustache of 33 years.

Traffic incident hospitalises teen

Traffic incident hospitalises teen

Emerald traffic incident sees teenager transported to hospital.

Clermont cowboy in the ring

Clermont cowboy in the ring

Aaron Kleier has made the cut for next weekend's PBR grand final.

Local Partners