My first hoop was actually a single mode 40" LED from Cosmic Hooper. An LED probably wasn't the smartest choice for a first hoop (I was using it as a day/practice hoop as well) but I never broke it or anything. So I think you'd be totally fine if you got one since you're way more experienced than I was! If you're concerned about size, order the LED 2" smaller than what you're used to, that way hopefully you'll be happy with the size for longer
You know more than me and I asked for a Helix for Christmas. I've been hooping for 7-8 months. I think all the pretty lights might inspire me to try new things. :)
I got my first moodhoop when I was still a beginner.. I couldn't even do a vortex yet! I got a 38" and outgrew it in about 4 months. Now, about 2 years later, I am still happy with the 36" size, and ordered a Helix to match my 36" moodhoop
I waited to buy my atomic hoop until I knew hooping was going to be something I did on a daily basis. After I started hooping every day and fell in love I decided to buy the hoop. It doesnt matter how much experience you have , rather how much you love the hoop :) xoxo
I got an LED hoop when it became obvious that I needed it for performance and couldn't always borrow from my fellow troupe members. So it's paid itself back in performance fees.
Oh yeah...it's definitely better to wait at least a year until you get your LED hoop coz it's very likely that your hoop size preference will still change. i got two 33" leds two years into my hooping.
I got my first LED about 6 months or a little more into hooping & I didnt want to out grow it or have it become to big so I went with a 33" Moodhoop, loved it & still love it. about a year later I got a 36" mood hoop and between the two I would say I shouldve gotten the 36" first because it is easier to learn new tricks on and what not. I use both now as well as another 33".
But my advice is dont go buying a 40" LED or a size that your just going to out grow, get a size that you will still love/ be able to use when you are more advanced. Those BIG hoops are hard to use for fast paced hooping and fast paced tricks.
My first LED hoop was a Fox Fire, by Hoop-Daddy.net, he is also the maker of the Phoenix, get something fair priced to start with, you wouldn't want to get a $400 hoop and not know what you're doing with it. Hoop-Daddy makes beast hoops! The "Raven" and "Fox Fire" he makes are $220, and $260. Still pricey but they are awesome! And if you wanna just start with a more affordable hoop grab a Mood Hoop