Do not attempt to crack a whip until you have read the Safety Instructions
I won’t explain the technique here, just how the trick works. If you remember in my last post, I described how a safe cut can be done by aiming the popper to expend most of its energy before it hits the target. This is the same thing. You make the whip pop away from the victim’s body, but the continuation of your follow-through carries the body of the whip (which is really just swinging harmlessly through the air at this point) across to wrap itself around the victim. Once again, because it all happens so fast, from the audience’s point of view, they think the whip is right there against the victim’s body. It’s safe (unless the whip wraps around his/her throat and you pull really hard :-).
I use this trick to catch a (planted stooge) volunteer from the audience who, after seeing what I intend to do to him, has realized the err of his ways and tries to escape. I use a 12 footer and throw it way out where it pops really loud, then wraps around his/her body on the follow through. From there, I just reel ’em in like a fish. It’s cute.
This trick is easier with longer whips. 10 and 12 footers are best, and 8 footer will work if you are really good at the sidearm pop, and a 6 footer is best left until after you really know what you are doing.