TIM VANDENACK Standard Examiner
OGDEN, Utah (AP) – Danny Shaw can break the sound barrier.
With a whip in each hand, he can whip them so quickly that the effect is similar to a machine gun, creating small sonic booms as the tip of the device approaches 1,000 miles per hour – faster. than the speed of sound. Rift! Rift! Rift! Rift! Rift! It is, he said, the call.
“As soon as you learn to decipher it, you have fun,” he told the Standard-Examiner.
Shaw, 19, is one of a small group of aficionados so good with whips they’re almost like appendages to their bodies. The young Ogden man has won four gold medals in total at the 2020 and 2021 LA Whip conventions and he hopes to turn that skill into something bigger – a profession.
“I would love to go to shows and perform across the country,” he said, perhaps at rodeos or Renaissance festivals.
For now, he performs at birthday parties, talent shows, and for groups of friends and acquaintances. Everyone amazed by their skills. He will also take out the whips and train in the yard of his home in Ogden.
“It’s not huge,” he said of the activity. “It’s not like swimming or basketball.”
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But somehow he got his hands on Shaw, featured in the Town of Ogden’s #StillUntamedSeries which spotlights local groups and people. “It just came over me. I didn’t expect it,” he said.
It might have been fate, but her involvement in the whipping has its roots in the martial arts studio her father ran. One of his father’s students paid for lessons with a whip, and young Shaw became interested in the device, especially when he learned how to decipher it correctly.
He worked on his speed, aiming for faster and faster cracks. Along the way, he started using two whips at the same time, one in each hand. He can even split a can of soda with a whisk.
Now when he plays, his arms move quickly from side to side, up and down. The whips – two of them – stir at his orders, wild but controlled, dangerously close at times to tangling. Rift! Rift! Rift! Rift! Rift! It gives his arms a serious workout and the loud crunches once made a neighbor call the police on him, worried about the noises, maybe, or just annoyed.
Anyway, he loves to do it, considers the handling of whips – long, medium, short – as his calling. He loves the activity, he says, “because it’s so much fun.”