I'm looking for a hoop crafter in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. I have a friend out that way who would like to start hooping, but is not ready to sink $40+ into a hoop yet. Any one here from out there? Have some suggestions for her? Thank you!
I would never say that a hoop is not worth a $40 investment. First of all, you can't buy tubing by the foot. You have to buy it by at least 50 feet. Usually 100. Second, you are paying for the tape job. Good tapes are expenisve. Electrical tape is not only bad for the person who applies it, it's the least grippy of the tapes. If someone wants some sparkle on their hoop, that stuff is $5 a roll...and they're small rolls. Gaffer's tape, the best tape for hoops, is also expensive and can rarely be found locally. It almost always has to be bought online. Finally, you are paying for someone's time to do a beautiful tape job. It usually takes about an hour. Add that to ordering and/or picking up tapes and tubing and connectors and investing in the tools to cut tubing and the time to learn the skill and the gas and the shipping and $40 becomes very reasonable. Besides show me another piece of sports equipment that will last a decade.
People may choose to make their own hoop. That's fine. As soon as you do, you learn how hard it really is. I discourage people from denigrating others who have taken the time to be able to make really good and beautiful hoops though. Hoop crafting is a skill all it's own.
Marsha Myrtle makes hoops in Pittburgh. She's on Hoop City also I think.
I've started making hoops for myself, and I know how hard it is. I don't feel that my taping is up to snuff and I want my friend to have a really lovely hoop to get started with. I know that local hoop makers in my area charge about $20-$25 per hoop if it's not super complex and or sparkle taped. I also feel that it is important to support local crafts-persons and artists whenever possible. It is better for our planet and better for our communities. So I'm hoping to be able to hook her up with a good local hoopcrafter and hopefully someone she will be able to come to if/when she is ready to start hooping with others.
Thank you Caroleeena for pointing out the time, effort, and expense that goes into just one hoop. I don't think it's something that isn't worth paying $40+ dollars for, just that I don't think my friend is ready to put that down on something she hasn't tried and doesn't know if she will want to continue doing.
I have a ton of friends that make and sell hoops in westmoreland county. I was gonna recommend Stephanie's, her tape jobs are crazy awesome, i haven't seen anyone else's so far. I know a lot of farmers markets are starting to sell them, so you could check there. I sell hoops that are done with a signature 'checkerboard" wrap, it takes a minimum of 7 hours to do a hoop, and I sell those for $50. My others are 20 to 25, and that's kid size, adult size, and mini sets. I also do fire hoops upon request, for $80. I can also make a custom collapsible hoop too.
$40 isn't pricey all depending on the tape and the time put into it. Sometimes the material, I have no idea what the new poly stuff costs.
My friend Becky does lettering or pictures with the tape, it's really awesome. I think hers are from $20-$30 bucks. She also does 4 piece collapsable hoops, i think they are $40.
That's about all I personally know about hoops in the area.