So obviously each crowd/audience is different, but so far in my little experience it seems that hard tricks are not always as impressive to those watching as they are to other hoopers. Case in point, my fiancee's favorite thing that I can do with a hoop is the vortex, a fairly simple trick. A lot of other "gawkers"(hehe) have commented on that one as well.
In your experience, what "simple" trick gets the best response from an audience?
It has to be the escalator up and the flamingo (one legged hooping). The former takes no learning at all just flick the hoop and it does the work for you automatically going up your body (the only skill being catching it at the top), but yet it looks really impressive. The flamingo was one of the very first things I ever learnt to do - almost by accident scooping my leg out of the hoop when I meant to kick the hoop back up to my waist - and goes round one leg better than it ever does round two - yet everybody thinks that doing anything on one leg MUST be incredibly hard so they love it.
On the other end of the spectrum I think the vertical jump through (forward hand hooping native side and jumping through with both feet and then jumping back, still forward hand hooping from non-native side) has to be one of the easiest looking tricks while actually being really quite tricky to time correctly. I was so surprised when trying to do that for the first time that it wasn't as straightforward as it looked. In SaFire's tutorial she describes looking at your hoop and thinking "NOW, NOW, NOW" but not doing anything and she's so right. Once I'd learnt it, nobody could tell the difference between that and easier jump throughs, but it's fun - so worth learning anyway.
Not just simply isolations, but pushing, pulling, cateyes? isopops, flowers playing with isolations. People seem to think isolations are sooo easy to do so doing the like illusions really get them x)
Shoulder hooping for a long period of time (like 10+ spins around the shoulder)--actually. . .any type of shoulder hooping
Sustained, corkscrewish type hooping
One leg and doing flexible things with your body while hooping on one leg, or in a split.
Anything fast and flowy!
For people with no experience hooping, it seems like the vortex, shoulder duck-out, and flamingo elicit the greatest WHOAAA response. Also, foot hooping while adding some circus-style flair really makes people go crazy. Anything that showcases flexibility I guess! When I was a n00b, jumps blew my mind the most
However, hoopers seem to appreciate isolations and breaks/reversals more, and I tend to get reactions on those from people who have experience hooping. The general audience seems to like more crazy-looking tricks. Hah they have no idea how difficult isolations are for me!