3M grip tape has been a game changer for many hula hoopers. What's the big deal anyway?
Before 3M, I had always used gaffer grip tape, and have experimented with sanding and surf wax - and being a happily obsessed hoop nerd I couldn't wait to try 3M tape out. So here is my twopenneth on the different 3M tapes available in the UK and whether they are worth the money.
The first 3M tape to hit these shores, stocked by the UK’s only hoop tape supplier Fancy Tapes, was the translucent version, followed a few months later by the pink and the black versions. The translucent has a rougher, scratchier feel to it than the pink and black tapes, which have a softer and almost rubbery finish. Each of these are extremely grippy though!
Firstly, everything you may have heard about how incredibly grippy these tapes are is true. They stick your skin and clothing, like hundreds of tiny lizard feet. If you have been struggling with shoulder, chest and knee hooping, using an inner rim of 3M tape around the inside of your hula hoop may well be the key to success. And vertical shoulder hooping and shoulder duck outs? This tape will be your best friend!
3M tape is also excellent for hooping with clothes on - even those shiny nylon leggings that can make leg hooping so challenging are no match for the grippiness of 3M.
Some hoopers have not fallen in love with 3M tape for this very reason however. It has been said to be too grippy, and causes slower, more awkward movements as the hoop did not flow as well during on body hula hooping. It also adds extra weight to the hula hoop, so lovers of lighter, smooth, untaped polypros will notice the difference.
I became an instant 3M convert and taped all my go to hoops with it. When it came time to retape however, 3M was out of stock and I was a desperate woman. So, I attempted to carefully peel the 3M off my hoops to reuse it. Yes, I know! I was desperate! And unsurprisingly, the 3M tape that I peeled off my hoop left all its sticky behind. It was a hoopless situation. (Sorry not sorry).
I highly recommend, if you have taped your hoop with a delicate tape, that you cover the delicate tape with clear protective tape before applying the 3M grip tape to prolong the life of the hoop as 3M tape is not cheap. Unfortunately, I am not a fan of the extra weight protective tape adds to the hoop, and I don't like the feel of it on my hoops, so I do not follow my own advice. Consequently I have a rather expensive hoop habit. And some really shredded but extremely grippy hoops!
A 13mm width roll of 3M tape that's 4.6m long will set you back £11.10. A 25mm wide roll that's 4.6m long costs £18.40. But as you can cut the 25mm width roll in half lengthways to double your length it's a better investment. Could you cut it into thirds? Maybe – especially for 5/8 hoops. A tape splitter would be a great investment for this. Look out for the article on my experiments with this coming soon!