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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.Ā  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. IĀ  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 šŸ™‚
  • 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 šŸ™‚
  • 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 šŸ™‚

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

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