Obviously trying a hoop out is the best way to decide which one is right for you, but when you’re shopping online that’s not a possibility. Additionally, these aren’t your run-of-the-mill department store hoops that you just grab off of a rack, these are handcrafted just for you so of course you want to be sure and get it right. With tubing size, diameter size, and not to mention all the tape designs to choose from it’s easy to be confused very quickly! Here’s a break-down of the different options and what they mean so you may make a better educated hoop purchase…
*Keep in mind, there is no “perfect” hoop size. Some sizes may be easier and some harder but how much you practice will determine how good you will get with almost any size hula hoop.*
Types of Tubing
This first option decides what type of plastic tubing will become your basic hoop construction. Descriptions are listed in order from heaviest to lightest.
¾” PE (heavy)- This is a heavy, black PolyEthylene irrigation tubing made to withstand a lot of water pressure. What that means in hooping terms is that it’s heavy, durable, and will be good for absolute beginner hoopers and hoopers looking to get in shape. A hula hoop made with this tubing that is 40″ diameter will weigh about 2 lbs. All hoops made with this tubing will be infinity collapsible
¾” PE- This black irrigation tubing looks exactly like the first option but doesn’t weigh quite as much. This tubing is also great for beginner hoopers. A hula hoop made with this tubing that is 40″ will weight a little over 1 lb. All hoops made with this tubing will be infinity collapsible
½” PE- This is a black irrigation tubing that is thinner than the ¾” PE tubing. This is a great size for kids, teens, as well as someone looking to downsize their hoop for the first time. This is a great intermediate hoop because it is heavy enough for on-body hooping, but also light enough for off-body practice. A hula hoop made with this tubing that is 34″ in diameter will weigh about 12 oz. All hoops made with this tubing will be infinity collapsible.
¾” HDPE- HDPE stands for “High Density PolyEthylene.” This is a lighter, harder plastic than PE tubing. This plastic comes in a variety of colors if you want to leave your hoop un-taped. This type of tubing is great for intermediate to advanced hoopers, or hoopers wanting to learn new off-body tricks. HDPE is bouncier and springier than PE tubing. This tubing is just slightly heavier than polypro tubing (see below) but is more durable than polypro tubing. All hoops made with this tubing will be push-button collapsible.
¾” Polypro- “polypro” is the abbreviated name for the type of plastic it is: polypropylene. Polypro hoops are very light, weighing only a few ounces without tape. Polypro tubing comes in a variety of colors if you want to leave your hoop un-taped. Because it is so light, the hoop is very springy and great for breaks and paddles with very little bruising on the body. However, one down side of Polypro is it’s tendency to crack or break when it gets cold. All hoops made with this tubing will be push-button collapsible.
5/8″ HDPE- Just like ¾” HDPE mentioned above except that this tubing is much skinnier and therefore much lighter. This tubing is great for the advanced hooper looking to challenge his or her skills. This is also a wonderful tubing for minis. All hoops made with this tubing will be push-button collapsible.
5/8″ Polypro- Just like ¾” polypropylene mentioned above except that this tubing is much skinnier and therefore much lighter. This tubing is great for the advanced hooper looking to challenge his or her skills. This is also a wonderful tubing for minis. All hoops made with this tubing will be push-button collapsible.
The larger the hoop, the longer it takes to make one full rotation around your body. Conversely, the smaller the hoop, the faster it will rotate around your body. For beginners, slower moving hoops are often easy because it gives you more time to perform a trick. For intermediate or advanced hoopers who already feel comfortable performing tricks, a smaller hoop can make those tricks look speedy and impressive! Hoop diameters are listed from largest to smallest with the suggested skill levels.
40″ – 44″- This size is for the complete beginner, or the person who may have had trouble in the past keeping a hula hoop going. Suggested for on-body hooping.
34″ – 38″- This size is great for petit beginners or for those who know they can hula hoop but haven’t tried in a long time. Suggested for on-body hooping.
30″ -33″- This size is great for kids as well as adults who know how to hula hoop very well. Works great for both on and off-body hooping.
27″- 29″- This size is great for very young kids as well intermediate to advanced hoopers looking to really speed up their moves. This is great for off-body hooping.
How your hoop collapses
There are two ways to make a hoop collapsible.
Infinity Collapsible- These hoops fold down into a figure 8 shape or “infity” sign and then one end folds over the other. There are two connectors in this hoop to make this possible and the hoop may be folded from either connector.
Push-button Collapsbile- These hoops have one connector and a push-button. The silver button can be pushed in allowing you to pull the hoop apart and open. Then the hoop may be coiled down smaller and secured with zip-ties, velcro, or string. 5/8″ HDPE and Polypro tubing is flexible enough to be coiled down and connected back onto itself.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to decorating your hoop with tape!
Standard tapes- Standard tapes are colorful and patterned tapes added to your hoop to customize the way it looks. Standard tapes include both vinyl and duct tapes. See product images for all standard tape designs.
Sun-catching tapes- these tapes are highly reflective and shiny. These tapes may have a smooth and shiny “mirror” look, or have sparkles and prisms in the design. See product images for all sun-catching tape designs.
Grip tape- a.k.a gaffer’s tape. This tape is slightly textured and is good for extra grippy-ness when hooping. Grip tape come in a variety of solid, bright colors and is also good to add and extra “pop” of color on your hoop.
With all the specifics in mind, here are the general principles to keep in mind:
- The smaller diameter the hoop, the faster it will move around your body.
- The lighter the hoop is, the faster it will move around your body.
- The larger diameter the hoop, the slower it will move around your body.
- The heavier a hoop is, the slower it will move around your body.
- Lighter, smaller hoops require you move your body faster to keep them moving, which is good for burning calories.
- Larger, heavier hoops move slower, but require you to brace your muscles to keep it moving, which is good for toning the body.
Still feeling overwhelmed? Remember, there is no “perfect” hoop size. Whatever size you get, practice will determine how well you are able to use it. Here are my general hoop size suggested based on skill level:
“I have never been good at hooping before but I really want to learn. I am a complete beginner”
You need a hoop made with ¾” heavy PE tubing that is 40″-44″ in diameter.
“I used to hoop all the time as a kid but I’ve forgotten how. I’d like to get back into it.”
You need a hoop made with 3/4″ PE tubing that is 36″-40″ in diameter.
“I want to start hula hooping to lose weight.”
You need a hoop made with ¾” heavy PE tubing that is 38″-42″ in diameter.
“I have hooped before but I’m still having trouble with some on-body moves like hooping on my chest and knees.”
You need a hoop made with ¾” PE tubing that is 34″-38″ in diameter.
“I am really good at hooping on my waist, chest, and knees, but I want to learn some cool off-body tricks.”
You need a hoop made with 3/4″ HDPE or ¾” Polypro that is 30″-34″ in diameter.
“I want to learn all those super-fast techy hoop moves!”
You need a hoop made with 5/8″ HDPE or 5/8″ Polypro that is 27″-30″ in diameter.
“I’ve been using a large hoop for some time now and I’m ready to downsize, but I’m nervous about getting a hoop that is too small.”
You need a hoop made with 1/2″ PE tubing that is 32″-36″ in diameter.
“I’m pretty good with one hoop and now I want to try minis.”
You need two hoops that are 5/8″ HDPE or Polypro and 25″-28″ in diameter.
If you have any questions about choosing your hoop, please feel free to email me at KatieSunshineHoops@gmail.com