Hoopmaking Basics

26 May

I’ve had so many people asking about how we make our hoops, and I realized that I haven’t really been specific about it. So…here are some specifics! Do keep in mind that everyone has different preferences and while one size/weight might work for me, it might not be your favorite. Experiment and find YOUR favorite! Sizing is such a hot topic that there are almost 50 pages of posts on Hoop City about it. So if you want more info, do some reading over there as well.

  • 3/4 inch / 100 psi tubing is my favorite right now. It’s nice and light, but can be made heavier with tape. I do like the 160 psi for beginners, but it can sometimes be too heavy for little children. It can also be very heavy if you put more than one layer of tape on it.  I have a big 160 with 2 layers of tape and that thing is a beast! The 100 psi seems to be the best “all-around” tubing for us.
  • We have found that Menards is the cheapest place to buy tubing if you have them in your area. Lowe’s and Home Depot will carry them, but they don’t always have the right size, so call ahead. Lowe’s is selling 3/4 160 psi at $50 a roll in some areas, so beware! Apparently they increased the price some time back…yet another reason why we like the 100 psi.
  • Vinyl or electric tape makes a great base, but don’t underestimate the effectiveness of gaffers tape. It gives you that nice “grippy” feeling on your body as it goes round and round. Don’t be discouraged if taping is a little difficult when starting out, there is an “art” to it…it takes some practice. I  hope to make a video next time we make some hoops to demonstrate taping, etc. It’s really pretty easy though, so don’t be scared!
  • Start with a hoop that is about 2 inches above your belly button. For adults, this is usually somewhere around 40-43″. Don’t get stuck on the numbers though…Bella loves to hoop with the really BIG hoops! If you want to get particular on lengths instead of just eyeballing it, here is a circumference calculator.
  • As you advance in your hooping, you will most likely prefer a smaller and lighter hoop. I have 3 different sizes that I rotate through when I practice. My large, heavy hoop (43″) for practicing new moves and for slow hooping, my lightweight smaller hoop (40″) for off-body stuff and neck hooping, and an even smaller (38″) but heavier hoop just to shake it up a bit 🙂
  • I asked A LOT of questions before I made them starting out about hoop size and weight, but what it comes down to is just TRYING IT and deciding for yourself what you prefer. Even if you make a hoop that you don’t love, you can give it away or keep it for someone else to use. Right now, we tote around about 10 hoops in the back of our truck 🙂
  • Speaking of toting them around, we’re loving the collapsible infinity hoops. They are very easy to make! It’s not recommended that you keep your hoops collapsed all the time, but it’s great if you want to fly with your hoop, ride the bus, or just fit a large hoop in your back seat/trunk! Check out this link for a demo: How to open and close an infinity hoop
  • Here is the link to one of the “classic” hoopmaking sites. Please be aware that the collapsible instructions he gives are a bit involved and it’s not the same kind of collapsible hoop I am talking about.

If you are just starting out, sometimes it’s cheaper just to buy a hoop from someone else who is hand-making them. But if you know you’re going to want to do more than one (because truly, who can stop at JUST ONE HOOP?!)…then go ahead and buy the supplies and have fun! Make it a party 🙂

*If you’re in the Austin, TX area, there is a hoopmaking class with Laura and HoopCircle this Saturday (May 29). More details here.

11 Responses to “Hoopmaking Basics”

  1. Christine Satori May 26, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    It is a hoop making week, I just blogged about making my first hoop ever!

    Thanks to you, I found hooping in the first place ❤

  2. Barbra (hooppretty.com) May 26, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    OMG I just love your photography. Bright/intense, but dusky, at the same time… if that makes sense.

    Thanks for the wonderful hoop making tips. I’m sure lots of people will appreciate this!

  3. Jenna May 26, 2010 at 8:33 pm #

    Thanks for the link on the infinity hoop! I’ve been wanting to make one, but the only tutorial I’ve seen is the one on JasonUnbound and it scared the crap out of me!

  4. Jenna May 26, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

    I also would like to ask where you got that pretty, pretty pink tape at! I can’t seem to find it! 🙂

  5. That Crazy Family May 27, 2010 at 1:59 am #

    We just made our first hoops EVER tonight, woohoo! I was totally surprised that I actually kept it up on my hips! I have a feeling that this is a new addiction for my whole family 🙂

  6. sabbath May 27, 2010 at 2:57 am #

    I really need to tape my hoop still, but have been actually doing alright with it un-taped! I wonder how much better I will be once it’s all taped up 😉

  7. Sarah May 27, 2010 at 5:55 am #

    Loved making hoops with you! So many around here wanting me to pass on the hoop making skill that we may have a hoop making suaree soon.
    Thanks for the video on how to collapse them. Wish I had seen this before we went to NH last week. 🙂 Would’ve loved to have brought them. So psyched to know I can collapse them down in the future if needed.

    • livelightly May 27, 2010 at 6:11 am #

      Yay! Yes to the hoopmaking suaree 🙂 Pictures please. Also, you CAN collapse your hoops, but technically, they should have another connector installed directly opposite of the other connector. Right now, your hoops only have one. I’ve found that they do collapse, but they don’t open back up very nice.

      • Sarah May 27, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

        Ooh- very good to know. Thanks! I’ll keep that in mind in the future. Now if I could just get off my butt and decide on tape colors to order….

  8. Jessica May 31, 2010 at 4:11 am #

    Do you know of a good website that shows how to make collapsible hoop without a bunch of tools and doohickies? I don’t have any power tools.


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