Why and How Canes Break

   In time, every cane will break. It is in their nature to do so. The trick is to prevent their doing so “before their time.”

Causes and Solutions

   Drying is probably the worst cane killer. The reason Adam and Gillian’s canes can be warranteed for a year is that we steam-treat every cane to make it more flexible and put off the day when the cane will become too brittle to use.

   Even so, canes do not last as long in dry climates as in moist ones. The solution? It’s not as if you’d keep a humidor room for your canes, but at the very least you should not store your canes in car trunks or hot dry attics. Every two or three months, you can take a long, hot steamy shower with your canes in the bathroom -- but not in the shower itself.

    The next most likely cause of premature cane failure is a sharp, high speed turn over a narrow radius. Take a cane with both hands far apart and flex the cane slightly. You should see a circular curve (rather than a pronounced parabolic shape).

  When you put your hands closer together, the bend is still “circular” but becomes smaller and sharper, and at some point the cane will break.

   Smacking a cane on the hard flat of a table or over the back of a chair is certain to snap off the end of the cane at the point of contact. Please, “don’t try this at home.” It will void the warranty.

   The gesture of waving a cane back and forth vigorously, without hitting anything, stresses canes where they emerge from the hand. That is where the cane will break, sooner or later. Audible “practice strokes” will not weaken the cane nearly as much if they are taken in one direction only.

   It is possible to break a cane over someone’s butt! Skinny backsides are better cane breakers than well-padded rumps, but the real problem lies with the arm of the caner. This is a problem typical of exceptionally skilled caners partnered with unusually brave subjects.

   Someone who can put a lot of wrist-snap into the stroke, and also uses a lot of arm in follow-through, can wrap the tip of the cane around the far side of the target, while advancing their hand forward of the plane of impact. As this happens, the cane between the first point of impact and the wielder’s hand can be bent in an S-shaped curve as well.

   If, however, the tip of the cane does not extend past the curve of the hip ... but still too much snap and too much follow-through are used -- then the break will occur closer to the wielder’s hand. The thicker the cane, the more likely it will be to break when exposed to these stresses.

   Canes can also be broken by simply hitting too hard, too often. This can cause splitting along the cane’s length, or cause chips to peel or fly off. Saturating the tip in linseed oil and allowing it to dry can prevent some of this damage and even repair splitting in its early stages. The increased weight and hardness of the tip, however, may cause U-shaped cuts or bruises where the tip digs in.

   It’s worth remembering that canes were introduced for schoolroom corporal punishment in order to limit the amount of damage done to the pupils. Better to break cane than to break skin, when youthful aristocrats’ butts were being chastised!

The Illustration

   Points (2) and (4) in the illustration are the most likely points of cane failure. Point (1) is the spot where the tip of the cane digs in, usually making a U-shaped mark, with tissue damage. When the tip strikes at the same time as the rest of the cane, as shown in the diagram on the left — the foot, hand, cane and butt all line up and the tip of the cane does not extend beyond the curve of the hip.

Suggested Alternatives

   If you find that you break a great many canes, you might want to order your canes by the dozen ... then relax and enjoy the destruction. Or you might consider using our more durable Dragon Canes or even unbreakable canes, such as our Black Rod, White Rod and the White Lightnin’™.

Adam & Gillian’s Sensual Whips & Toys
40 Grant Ave., Copiague, NY 11726
(631) 842-1711      www.aswgt.com
©aswgt, inc. 2019.