I am often asked by students in my class and hula hoop customers about what size and type of hula hoop they should get. Hoopers who have been using a 25mm MDPE pipe for a while usually really want to get their hands on a polypro, or even two polypros as soon as possible. Those new to hooping take one look at a beginner hoop, 25mm pipe and around 40" diameter, and give me the raised eyebrows and say "But that's enormous!" But the bigger the hoop, the easier it is to learn to hula hoop with.
A guide to choosing the perfect hoop is found here on my website, but in the meantime here is a quick run through on why you shouldn't pass over a big heavy hoop in favour of that small, lightweight one you have been eyeing up! Of course, we all know that eventually you want ALL the hoops. I am eyeing my collection of 19 favourite hoops right now, without the slightest feeling of guilt!
With hula hooping, or with the acquisition of any new skill, often the learner wants to take in and on as much as possible, as soon as possible, and will rush through the learning process in an excited whirl of glee and love for this new adventure. The first hula hoop is seen as the old, the slow, the beginners tool. As soon as a level of comfort and technique has been reached it is on to a lighter, faster hoop, and the heavy hoop gets gifted on, sold, or left lonely and unloved in a cupboard or garage (yes, you know who you are Mrs. C!)
But although lightweight hula hoops are fantastic, they are not the be all and end all in hula hooping. Both heavy hoops and lightweight hoops have their own strengths and allow you to explore completely different styles of hooping.
The benefits of a polypro in my opinion are:
- You usually buy smaller diameter hoops, so you need less space to hoop with
- You can achieve ninja style breaks, awesome throws and feather light body rolls
- There is less intense bruising (but there is still plenty of bruising!)
- You can get a faster flow of moves and tricks as the hoop is so light and fast
But the payoff for all this ninja hoop badassery with a polypro is that you lose something very special you get when rocking out with your big hoop.
- You lose the time inside your hoop to feel the rhythm of the music and put some soul into it.
- You lose the chance to develop some cool footwork inside your hoop and the hoop slowly revolves around you.
- You lose the change to create shapes and gestures with your hands that complement the music , when you are inside your hoop.
- You lose the powerful massaging feeling of hoop to body contact as the weight of the hula hoop presses on your abdomen, shoulders, hips and chest.
Big hoops feel good! I would say to anyone wondering what hoop they should buy - start with a heavy beginner hoop. It helps build up your strength, tones your body and gives you a great start in the world of hooping.
Poly pros are exciting, but an intermediate weight hoop is a great transitional hoop, that will help unlock leg and knee hooping and still allows for throws, rolls and other tricks. Polypros are so much fun, and will unlock a whole new world of trickery when you get one, but if you have a solid grounding on moving inside and with your hoop, you will be able to turn these superfast tricks that you will be able to do into your own style of hoopdance flow. And polypros are excellent for doubles and multi hooping.
Check out my hula hoop shop here or contact me for a custom order! New tapes in stock are silver mirror, copper mirror, ice blue mirror, orange sparkling sequins, black sparkling sequins, purple sparkling sequins, and colour changing sunburst. Gaffer tape is now in stock in red, blue, purple, black, white and fluorescent orange and fluorescent pink.