I have a hoop, which I love, that a fantastic hooping friend made. I've had it for about a year now and she (the hoop) has definitely been around the block. She's big (diameter-wise), soft and floaty. That said, she is made out of 3/4 inch poly and she has lost her circular form and warps easily in the sun and heat. This sounds bad, but I wanted to try a newer, firmer model. So I've been making my own out of Pex plumbing pipe and I love how stiff they are and how they keep their shape, and my 3/4 inch Pex has a nice weight to it. Yet, it hurts when it hits me and it is more dangerous to the objects in my living room. I just a made smaller, 1/2 inch Pex for experimental purposes, but it seems too light to me. But is it? Do I just need to get accustomed to these different weight and size hoops? Do each weight and size hoops provide different hooping experiences? For example, it's really tricky for me to chest hoop with my arms in with the smaller diameter hoops.
Hmmmmm, I am at the same place right now, I'm trying all kinds of different hoops,I like the feel and weight of a 160 psi irrigation tubing,but it is hard on my body and leaves bad a** bruising,sooo I made a hoop out of 125 psi irrigation tubing, I love it,it is lighter and trix are a little more difficult,but once I got used to it,it felt like I had this hoop from the beginning and can hoop with it the same as the heavier hoops.and even better not as many bruises,although I am just learning and I'm sure most of the bruising has something to do with my bumpy awkward flow lmao..anyway..I think i found my holy grail hoop! a 125 psi irrigation tubing hoop! I made mine at 38" a great size for beginners I have found....it really is awsome!
i started out with a 160 psi 3/4" it was a really good hoop but as i started learning more tricks it was a little heavy so now i have switched to a 100psi 3/4" it is lighter and a lot better i think. i think it comes down to what you are comfortable with and what works for you, play with different sizes and feel em out! Happy hooping!!
It is all what you are comfortable with. I started with a 3/4 inch 160 PSI 2 1/2 years ago and still use the same size now. I have tried the lighter 100 PSI ones and I just don't love them although I starting making them for some of my extremely thin friends because they bruise less with the lighter hoop. I do use different sizes and weights for different things though. Hand hoops are 1/2 inch 80 PSI, Standard hoop 3/4 inch 160 PSI, and tandem hoop is 1 inch 100 PSI.
I also have several different size/weights for practicing different things. Most hoopers progress to smaller, lighter hoops as they get better. I keep saying that I'm going to make a permanent move down in size, but every time I have trouble learning a trick, I head back to my 42" 160 psi. I made a lighter hoop, but had to make it bigger to get the same ease of hooping. I really want to go smaller because vertical passing is much easier, but I doubt I'll go smaller than 36".
To make the 1/2" pex heavier, you could add a base layer of electrical tape before you tape with your gaffer and colors. I have done this before without a problem. It also helps with padding. I know some people make their hoops with foam pipe insulation to pad them, but I have never tried taping over that, so I don't know how well it works.
the smaller hoops spin faster so you don't get as much time to rebound, if i want to learn a new trick i try on the big hoop till i got it down and then usually will work up to my smalley ocean breather. I think think the larger the easier for on the body. Little ones rock for arms n off body.