Krist King cowboyed throughout the West before the trail took him to Florida. “I was too poor to buy much of anything when I was cowboyin’, and I’d been makin’ a few things,” King says about making his own whips for working cattle. “Then I found out I could sell ’em. I’ve pretty much been makin’ whips ever since.”
King builds more than 800 handmade whips a year from his home in Toledo, Ohio. King “shot loads” his whips, adding shotgun BBs to the body for balance and for a smooth roll-out when you flick your wrist.
His nylon whips sell for about ten dollars a foot, and he recommends a ten-foot length for working cattle. Says King: “If you’ve got a bull that wants to go on a fight, generally, a ten foot will reach him right at the point before he wants to come to you and charge.”
King’s whips are sold at King’s Saddlery in Sheridan, Wyo. and Big Bend Saddlery in Alpine, Texas, both of which accept custom orders.