Let me start by saying that the intention of this is not to come off mean, or as though I am targeting anyone (after reading it, it had that vibe so I just wanted to put that out there).

     So - through videos, and discussions, it is clear to see that everyone wants to use a small hoop, and everyone wants to use polypro.....STOP!!!!!!!!!!!  I feel like people are starting to overlook the process of actually learning and understanding how to hoop, how it works on and off the body, the muscle memory you build, and all the energy put in to your hoops through that process.  I feel as though people are depreciating hooping a little. 

     If off body and iso is your thing, that is so beyond ok!!  The lighter smaller hoops are waaaaay better to learn on for that stuff....but learning how to do an iso on a 42" hoop, now that is some work and dedi - freaking - cation!

    I suppose the purpose of this is just to get my thoughts out there, and see what yours are!  I love you all, and happy hooping!!!!

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I to agree. I started with a huge one inch hoop and slowing worked my way up to a polypro. But it tooks months, and days, for my one inch to be "heavy" for me. Learning on the heavier hoops is better for the speed and learning how to flow with the hoop. Lighter hoops are too fast when first starting.

I strongly disagree with this idea that beginners should start with heavy hoops and then when the time is right they should start using lighter polypro ones. I think everyone should use all different sized hoops from the start and continue to do so for ever and ever.

I think all the different hoop sizes and weights can teach us stuff, beginner and less beginnery alike. I started with one hoop and quickly made/acquired hoops of a large variety of sizes and weights. I have metal hoops and wooden hoops and ones that are made from a large bicycle inner tubes.

Currently I have a big hoop bag which I take with me when I practice that has over thirty hoops in it (some the same sizes for multi-hooping). I spread them all out and when I'm learning a trick I'll attempt it with hoops of all different sizes. Also when I'm working on flowing I'll do some with a nice big hoop and some with a smaller hoop.

Kids hoops are generally made from polypro or HDPE (it's what the original WHAM-O ones were made from incidentally [look up Marlex]) and their size can be changed. Generally large rolls of tubing can be purchased  and your own hoops can be made relatively cheaply in different sizes. Cheap duct tape can be used to add grip and adjust weight.

This is just my opinion and doesn't need to be right for everyone but I think there are no right and wrong hoop sizes and no beginner/intermediate/advanced hoop sizes. I think the quickest way to learn a new trick is finding the hoop that's easiest to do it with and then slowly progress to the hoop that's hardest to do it with. This is not the same for every trick and is nowhere near as simple as big=easy and small=hard. Then the hoops to flow with are probably the ones that are somewhere between these extremes.

Hello Bags!

Could you tell me where you are getting the wooden hoops? I have been looking for some and cannot find them anywhere! It would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks for the comment ;)

I got some wooden hoops from a superstore in Chiang Mai in Thailand. Also I found some little ones in mosquito nets in Bangkok. I believe you can get bamboo ones in the states somewhere. They are not the easiest of things to find. Good luck xx

and where do you get the metal ones? do you use contact rings? (my first hoop was from toysrus :P)

You can get them from hoopguy.com and firetoys.com
I'm not suggesting you actually need wooden, metal or rubber hoops. I only have them because they feed my obsession. xx

Thank you every one! I have little time to do the research on my own and appreciate the links and references. I am very interested in metal hoops because of the lack of connector and the possibility for perfectly even weight.

     I definitely agree with you!  I suppose my original statement was very limited; I definitely think people can, have and will continue to learn on various sizes, materials, and weights of hoops; as we all learn differently, are shaped differently, move differently - I guess my original idea was only brought up in regards to my personal experience  - I had experimented with various sizes and weights of hoops, but predominantly felt my body learning from something with a little more weight significantly easier!  This was however, prior to the polypro boom. Even though I myself sware by polypro, I still break out my big ol' heavy hoops if I really struggle on something!

     I suppose the greater problem for me is that I worry that people are just using polypro not becuase they are having a wonderful learning experience with it, but rather because they feel it validates them some how. I fear people think "If I can't use a polypro, I'm no good at hooping." 

     I cannot say whether or not that thought goes through anyone's mind in videos I watch (it does not seem to at least!), and I sure hope that it does not, but I have met a few people that have related that to me: they pick up a polypro after just starting recently, try to hoop and have difficulty, and then just say "I can't do it."  I just want people to feel comfortable if they want to use a different hoop, or a bigger hoop, or a even wooden  hoop!  haha I guess I could have said something more to my point initially! 

So much insight!! :)

I personally have only 2 hoops: a medium weight one that was measured specifically to my height to be a beginners hoop and a 32 or 33 polypro (for my troupe). I believe everyones body is completely different but that it's good to do what is comfortable and also push yourself and experiment outside of your metal comfort zone. When I began with my first hoop I often felt completely retarded doing any kind of tricks. I pushed threw it though and gained alot of muscle memory and arm strength, however, weaves and chest just felt unnatural. Since I got my polypro for circus style performing I have felt a zillion times better about my abilities. I can now do shakti flips, backweaves, flower of life, and circus starts with ease. With my bigger hoop it's still easier to do double palm spins but I have only been hooping since January and I would be really down on myself if I hadn't gotten into polypro.

It's totally not for everyone. I'm only 5 2 and a half so the small size helps me immensely with my barrel rolls and I finally felt like I'm healing my back and shoulders with hooping and am really starting to feel confidence in the center point of my hoop and the ongoingness of my hooping flow. What irks me sometimes with people talking about smaller hoops or polypro is that they either already know they are ready or know they are not and want someone on this site to tell them otherwise. I would love to see more discussion about particular growth experiences etc. It gets really lame skipping around a fragile hoopers ego. If someone feels their one hoop is too heavy get another one. It doesn't have to be polypro. Alot of ppl dont realize that polypro is for precise hooping tricks. If they are sick a of a heavy hoop perhaps smaller tubing is the real answer.

Good points :) And also, jealous! Only hooping since January and already performing! :)

It's been a nerve racking process but I'm am incredibly grateful for being given the oppurtunity and getting to spend so much time around hoopers with much more experience than me. I definatly know my place but I get to notice how my style differs and how I can expand upon that. It's so interesting how your body moves with different weights. Being a small but curvy girl its much easier for me to keep a polypro straight which is really important to me when hooping. I've noticed that alot of beginners who jump to smaller hoops have a hard time keeping them level so it downgrades the quality of their performance even if they do know alot of tricks. I just have 2 non LEDs itd be fun to get more sizes and types of tubing. Thinking about experimenting with mini aluminums. Haven't used minis yet but theyd be good to isolate.


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