Review 5ft 16 plait Kangaroo Bullwhip made by Giovanni Celeste

Just received a 5 foot bullwhip made to my specifications from Giovanni Celeste.

Light and tight, really nice! Beautiful work, Gio!

Here the Full review.

Italian whip maker Giovanni Celeste made me a bullwhip to these specifications: 16-plait, five feet long, 12-inch handle, 9-inch transition zone, whiskey color.
Giovanni made a bullwhip that has six internal layers with two kangaroo bellies.

The overlay is plaited in 16 kangaroo strands, whiskey color. Handle length is 30 cm, plaited in diamond pattern with fantasy braid on the half part of the handle. Giovanni said, “The transition zone of the whip has been binded in any layers of the internal construction. This specific binding will provide the whip a more accurate and better response.”
And damn me, if he wasn’t right!
I was amazed at how fast it was delivered. Fresh out of the box, the whip felt rock hard – the way I like them – with no loose plaiting anywhere. The fall was not the round lace type, but the flatter beveled ovoid shape. A short Celeste popper was tied on to the fall with a simple hitch.
As with most new whips, it was stiff enough that the popper did not want to crack, being made of a durable string that did not want to roll out easily. When a person finds a popper like this, the first impulse is to go balls-to-the-wall and muscle it to get a loud crack.
The whip needed to be broken in.

Following my usual procedure, I slathered it with Black Rock leather conditioner and let it sit for a while, then removed the oil with a towel, massaging  the whip as I went from the handle to the fall.
Next, I stretched the bullwhip daily using Joe Wheeler’s whip rotation technique (in the Bullwhip Newsletter archive). I then replaced the popper with my own 10-inch, 32-strand popper made of black nylon carpet thread, tying it on using what can best describe as a figure-8 double hitch, biting it firmly into the fall (as shown in my book, “Let’s Get Cracking”).
By the end of the week, I had a bullwhip that was light, tight, and accurate as hell, a jewel of physics. With the taper and the plaiting absolutely proportional to the energy wave rolling through the whip, it’s a sheer joy to throw.
If I’d tried to break the whip in by just using it every day, like the classic cowboys recommend, this method would likely have taken three months. But my process saved me time and aggravation, and gave me something I could start using on a professional level almost immediately.
Giovanni added my monogram to the end of the handle, a nice artistic touch to an already excellent work deserving high praise. I will meet Giovanni Celeste in about three weeks in Rome, and to shake the hand of this master whip maker will be a genuine honor.
See more of Giovanni Celeste’s work at

Robert Dante

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