One of the fastest growing rave activities among women and men is hooping. Hoops come in all shapes and sizes: big hoops, small hoops, mini twin hoops, LED hoops, day hoops, fitness hoops, and more. Beginning your hoop journey is intimidating to the hooping newb. With all of the hoop options on the market, newcomers can feel completely lost and overwhelmed when trying to pick their first hoop.
There are different hoops for different tricks and styles of flow. Often, there is not one single hoop that can provide the perfect size and balance for every single hooper’s style, and even a single hooper may choose to hoop with several different kinds of hoops. Below, we provide insight and knowledge about the most common styles of hoops.
HDPE vs Polypro
Generally, the first decision you need to make when searching for a hoop is choosing the material. Most good quality hoops are made out of two materials: HDPE tubing, or Polypro tubing. HDPE tubing is a heavier, thicker, more sturdy white tubing, good for collapsible hoops. This tubing is better for beginners since heavier hoops help the beginner hooper to keep the hoop up. As a beginner, I highly recommend this type of tubing when starting out.
Polypro tubing on the other hand is a lighter, smaller, and usually clear tubing. Intermediate to advanced hoopers prefer this type of tubing because it is more responsive to the actions of the hooper and is “bouncier,” which is better for some of the arm tricks and more delicate hooping moves. The downside to a polypro hoop is that they can crack easy in cold environments, and they do not collapse as well.
In addition to those two hooping types, Ruby Hooping makes a Lightweight HDPE hoop. Personally, I think this is a perfect hybrid of the other two more common tubing types. The lightweight HDPE hoop that I use is a 5/8″, 32″ hoop that has the light weight and responsiveness of a regular polypro hoop, with the strong durability of a regular HDPE hoop. To me, it almost feels it has the strength of metal, and I personally love the feel of the hoop for all types of tricks. [If you decide to buy a hoop from Ruby Hooping, use promo code DANCEANDRAVE to save 10% on your order!]
Diameter of a hoop is the next choice to make when choosing a hoop.The diameter is usually measured from the outer edges of the hoop. Generally speaking, a bigger hoop is easier to use when first learning how to hoop. 35″ is a good diameter to start with when choosing your first hoop. Depending on your body type, a smaller or bigger hoop may be better. As your abilities build, you will find that a smaller hoop is preferable and easier to manage for other tricks.
The last, and least important decision when shopping for a hoop is the width. The two standard hoop widths are 3/4″ and 5/8″, although some companies make hoops with a slightly smaller or bigger width. Typically 3/4″ is the standard hoop width, although a lot of people choose 5/8′ because they prefer the slightly smaller width. Some hoop makers can only make certain hoops with one width because of the type of battery they use, or the type of tubing they order, so just be aware that you may not be able to select your hoop width.
Some say that you should wait to buy your first LED hoop. That is absolutely ridiculous — your first hoop should be an LED for several reasons. First of all, LED hoops are more fun to play with when first starting out. You might think, “Why would I ever buy a boring, regular day hoop without lights?” but eventually, you will see why. Starting off, LED hoops are great because they provide some extra weight in them to help you learn how to hoop. You’ll naturally convert to a day hoop when you want to learn tricks that require precision and fast movement. Again, Ruby Hooping makes Lightweight HDPE day hoops that are great for unlocking new abilities.
Two companies that make the best LED hoops are Mood Hoops and Santana Hoops. Mood hoops makes a variety of good quality, visually stunning multi circut LED hoops with fun designs and strobe lights. Santana hoops makes great quality LED hoops that are a little more budget friendly for people newer to hooping. [Use code DANCEANDRAVE at checkout for 10% off! Santana Hoops!]
Most hooping companies make hoops with a removable battery that can be charged with a wall charger. This is great for people that want to buy extra batteries so they can have more hooping juice when at events at night! Santana Hoops is one of the few companies that makes a hoop with an internal battery that is charged with a long phone charger-type cord.
Some hoops are made so that they can be coiled up to be half of their size. These are ideal for use in traveling to festivals and other shows because carrying a full size hoop around can be inconvenient. Be aware which hoops are collapsible when purchasing — typically polypro hoops break easier and might not be ideal for collapsing. If in doubt, always ask the seller before buying.
So, which hoop do I buy?
One size does not fit each hooper, however I do think one type of hoop is especially good for beginners. My first hoop was a Santana Hoops 3/4″, 35″ LED Collapsible Hoop with Pink, Green, and White lights and UV Pink grip tape. For me, this was the perfect beginner hoop (after buying a $6 kids hoop from Target and realizing that it wasn’t going to work out). The connection of the hoop is perfect, and after much beating and wear and tear, the lights and switch still work flawlessly. Even though I have outgrown this hoop, I still pick it up when I want to learn a new trick. I would definitely recommend this hoop to anyone who is just starting out on their hoop journey.
Other great companies to buy beginner LED Hoops from are Mood Hoops, Larry Lights, Citiva Creationz, Hoop Conscious, and ShelLED. However, there are plenty of other great hooping companies that you can find on Etsy.
One company I would NOT recommend is Electric Lifestylez. Without going into detail, this company should be the last on your list of places to buy a quality hoop.
With whatever hoop you pick, we hope that you have a better understanding about the different types of hoops out there. Happy hooping!