Nathan “Whippy” Griggs is Australia’s self-described finest whip-cracking entertainer. And if you’ve never seen someone crack two whips to the beat of a country song, you’re in good company, because neither had I before a country-loving friend of mine living in Australia sent this my way.
And I must say, it’s a hypnotizing, strange, yet highly satisfying experience to see ‘ol “Whippy,” barefoot in a patch of red dirt somewhere in Australia, accompanying Luke Combs’ “The Kind of Love We Make” with precision strikes of a pair of leather whips.
Whip cracking has always had a home in North America as well, from early Western actor Lash LaRue, to pulp figures like Zorro and Indiana Jones, to today’s specialty acts at rodeos (and on TikTok) like Rider Kiesner or Adam Winrich. It’s a country pastime with just the right amount of skill and danger. Just don’t tell your drinking buddies about the #bullwhipchallenge unless you’ve got really good insurance and a top-notch hospital nearby.
Still, this niche entertainment space looked like it was about to jump the shark when “Whippy” cued up Luke Combs’ love-making song from his new album, “Growin’ Up” and started lashing his leather around. He wasn’t snuffing out candles or knocking guns out of the hands of bad guys. He was just whipping out beats, like the cowboy equivalent of River Dance.
And I couldn’t stop watching it, bobbing my head to Whippy’s steady snaps. He lulled me into a state of peaceful focus, and I kept watching and listening to see if he’d falter. But he never did.
Maybe Whippy’s onto something. Whip-cracking and country music already come together at rodeos like next month’s Cheyenne Frontier Days. Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before one of the headliners calls a rope-twirling, whip-cracking entertainer on stage to keep the beat for him and lull the crowd into the same confused and entranced stupor I found myself in while watching this video.
Even if he doesn’t get Luke Combs’ attention and his videos stay in the far reaches of the internet, there’s no denying Nathan “Whippy” Griggs has talent. And something tells me that, to paraphrase Combs’ #1 single, “Doin’ This,” Whippy would still be doin’ this if he wasn’t doin’ this.
And while I’m doin’ this, I’ll leave you with a compilation of the other 99% of times I’ve seen a whip in action: