Choosing A Hoop
I'm new to hooping, what should I get?
Welcome to the hoop world!
Typically I like to recommend 7/8" HDPE for beginners! It's a thicker, softer, slower tubing that makes learning the hoop basics an absolute breeze! It's heavy enough to be perfect for beginners, but it won't bruise you like many large heavy beginner hoops made of PE tubing will! You want to get a hoop in a diameter that is appropriate for your size and shape! If you have a smaller build, I usually recommend something between 37" and 39". If you're taller or larger, go for something between 40" and 43"!
While we do make all of our taped hoops available in 7/8" HDPE (so feel free to select any tape you want!), we do have some recommendations for beginners that seem to be very popular!
- This 'Hoop Starter Pack' takes the guesswork out of getting yourself a few new hoops - just select a size (small, medium, or large), and a color and we'll take care of the rest - http://www.kemmitthoops.com/product/ultimate-hoop-starter-pack
- If you want something heavier with a litlte shine and lots of grip, check either of these out - http://www.kemmitthoops.com/product/super-grip-budget-beginner-hoop
- If you want to go a little lighter, or get something you won't be afraid to beat up, check out our HDPE practice hoop listing - http://www.kemmitthoops.com/product/natural-hdpe-practice-hoops-sale
What does OD and ID stand for?
It stands for "Outer Diameter" and "Inner Diameter" respectively. Outer diameter is the diameter of the hoop measured from the outside edge of one side of the hoop to the outside edge of the other side. Inner diameter measures the distance from the inside edge to the other inner edge of the hoop (This is how I measure all of my hoops!). To move between the two, multiply the size of tubing by two, and then add or subtract (ex. "I have a 30" OD hoop with 3/4" tubing. What is the ID so I can get the same size?" 3/4" + 3/4" = 1.5" 30" OD - 1.5" = 29.5"ID). If you want a hoop to be made a particular OD, please leave a note in the comments section of your order specifying what OD you would like the hoop to be made.
What is the difference between HDPE and Polypro?
In weight, they are roughly the same. The differences between the two are mainly in feel. Polypro is harder, and doesn't bend as easily. HDPE is softer and tends to bend and absorb shock. For example, Polypro will shatter/break because it is brittle and hard (although it IS possible to kink it). HDPE will bend and get kinks because its soft.
You can truly notice the difference when doing breaks and on body hooping. When you do a break or stall with an HDPE hoop, the hoop will bend and give with your body, and absorb some of the shock. A polypro hoop will react quickly and feel like it is bouncing off of you. It feels very rigid.
A video about HDPE -
A video describing Polypro -
Listing for inexpensive practice Polypro hoops - http://www.kemmitthoops.com/product/natural-uv-polypro-practice-hoop-sale?tid=2
Listing for inexpensive practice HDPE hoops - http://www.kemmitthoops.com/product/natural-hdpe-practice-hoops-sale?tid=2
What are the different qualities of the different size tubing options?
First off, let's clear up some misconceptions about tubing sizes! When it comes to hula hoop tubing, we measure the size based on the outer diameter of the tubing itself. For example, 3/4" Polypro is three-quarters of an inch wide - outside edge to outside edge. The wall of the tubing itself is about 1/16th of an inch thick. The inside diameter of the tubing is 5/8 of an inch wide. In other applications, typically tubing is measured by the inside diameter, not the outside, which is why sometimes there is confusion when talking about PE hoops (for example, a 1/2" PE hoop is actually close to 3/4" polypro. The way they are measured - and also the thickness of the wall - is just slightly different.)
7/8" HDPE is thick and slow, but not as heavy or as hard as PE tubing. Its almost an inch thick, so it's close to the size of most 3/4" PE tubing - which is measured differently. Its the best option for hoopers looking to get a new or lighter hoop after having a PE (or irrigation tubing) hoop - and it is less likely to bruise you. I wouldn't recommend getting a hoop in 7/8" tubing unless you are choosing a diameter larger than 35" ID.
3/4" HDPE is a great choice for intermediate hoopers or hoopers that gravitate toward a beginner hoop that is light and can easily be downsized when (or if) they grow out of it! (My favorite hoops for my first two years of hooping were 3/4" HDPE). Its a fairly standard size and tubing and is perfect for sizes of hoops between 30" ID and 36" ID. It's milky white and actually shows up very well in video and in life!
3/4" Polypro is the same weight as 3/4" HDPE and has many of the same characteristics, but it is harder and has a different feel (see above). It tends to retain its shape easily so it is not as quick to return to a circle after collapsing. Its translucent and looks wonderful with the see-thru tapes. Best for hoops between 30" ID and 36" ID.
5/8" HDPE is very light and soft. It bends easily and for that reason is best on hoops smaller than 32" ID (I don't like to make 5/8" HDPE hoops larger than 33"ID because they often feel floppy). Its thin, a bit larger than half of an inch (think the size of your middle finger). I recommend it for more advanced hoopers or hoopers looking for something to play with off body.
5/8" Polypro is thin, hard, but bouncy and bendy in larger sizes. I recommend it for sizes smaller than 34" ID. It is the BEST for coiling down so if you are looking for a travel hoop, I recommend 5/8" polypro with a polycarbonate push button connection.
1/2" Polypro is REALLY thin. I mean REALLY thin! It's the size of your pinky. Its insanely light and amazing for off body work but be prepard for how thin and light it is! It gets wonky/wobbly/unstable when it's larger than 30" ID. It would be lovely for a pair of larger mini hoops!
What is protecive tape and do I really need it?
Protective tape adds a clear layer over your deco tape to keep it from becoming scratched with normal wear and tear. I offer two options for protective tape - Crystal Clear (the cheaper option - similar to heavy-duty packing tape) or Heavy Duty Vinyl Tape (More expensive, but it will last longer and withstand much more hoop use/abuse). The vinyl tape comes thicker than the Crystal clear, and can be wrapped around the outside (instead of spiraled around) the hoop. You must get gaff tape on the inside of the hoop if you want it taped with this method. 3/4" hoops taped with vinyl protective tape will need 1/2" gaff on the inside. Protective tape DOES add some weight to your hoop, so keep that in mind :)
Photo of vinyl protective tape
Do I really need protective tape?
You only need protective tape if you plan to do a lot of hooping on brick, concrete, wood flooring, or any hard surfaces and you are hard on your hoops! Some of the deco tapes are very thin, so I would highly recommend Protective Tape for some of them (like Pink Sky).
What are my options for connectors?
All of my hoops, except for mini hoops, come standard at no extra cost with friction fit connectors. Friction fit connectors are just a smaller piece of tubing pushed inside of your hoop to hold it together using friction. With a longer piece of tubing, it is less likely that it will come apart, and if it does, you will likely notice it before your hoop flys open. I include a small piece of thick, clear, vinyl tape to tape over the friction fit connector to help it stay closed.
One thing to keep in mind is that each coil of tubing I use is different - and some vary even within the coil! So it is difficult for me to control how tight or loose a friction fit connector may be. If you don't mind the possibility of your hoop coming apart, or you just want a cheaper option, friction fit will be fine for you. If you are a rough hooper or you ordered a larger hoop, the safest bet is to order a push button conection.
(Left - Friction Fit Mini Hoops Right - Single Rivet Beginner Hoop)
(3/4 Violet Polypro with a Push Button Connection)
Push button and rivet connections are great if you plan to travel with your hoop and want to coil it down easily. Plus, it will NEVER come apart while hooping. Its good for larger hoops or hoops you plan to do a lot of throwing or leg hooping with! (However, I do not recommend fully collapsing any hoop smaller than 35" on 3/4 tubing, and 32" on 5/8" tubing).
What about mini hoops?
For mini hoops, you can choose between 3/4", 5/8", or 1/2" tubing - HDPE or Polypro. My first pair of mini hoops were 24"ID, 3/4" HDPE. I recommend minis larger than 22" for beginners or people just getting into mini hoops.
5/8" and 1/2" tubing makes the minis VERY light. I personally enjoy the larger mini hoops (23" - 25") in the thinner tubing because it keeps the weight low and they are easy to manipulate because they don't spin as quickly.
Practice Mini Hoops with Natural Tubing - http://www.kemmitthoops.com/product/bare-practice-mini-hoops-sale
Colored Polypro Mini Hoops - http://www.kemmitthoops.com/product/uv-colored-polypro-mini-hoops-polycarbonate-connectors?tid=2
Taped Mini Hoops -http://www.kemmitthoops.com/product/performance-taped-mini-hoops
What do you recommend for travel hoops?
5/8" Polypro is wonderful for frequent coiling down and opening. It is flexible enough to easily coil down and not have as much of a risk of breaking or kinking (like HDPE or 3/4" polypro might). I would choose a size between 32" and 34".
Do all of your hoops coil down?
To a degree. All hoops can at least be partially collapsed. Some hoops (anything under 34" in 3/4 tubing and anything under 32" in 5/8" tubing) are much better left only partially coiled using tape (I recommend Gaffer or Electrical tape) rather than being fully collapsed. Fully collapsing a smaller hoop can put a lot of pressure on the connector causing it to crack/bend or create a tear drop/egg shape. It also makes the hoop more prone to kinking or cracking.
Caring for Your Hoop
How do I prevent my HDPE from kinking?
HDPE tubing is soft and pliable and as a result, kinks when it is bent drastically. To keep the hoop from kinking, let it rest, un connected, inbetween coiling it down and opening it back up (and vice versa). Also, avoid getting a large hoop with thin tubing (ex a 5/8 HDPE over 33") - its more likely to bend during a break or stall and kink.
What can I do if it kinks?
Use a pair of pliers to squeeze the tubing in the opposite direction of the kink (apply pressure perpendicular to the kink - usually pressing on the top and bottom of the tubing). This may make it less of a problem, but you should never coil it down after that - the pressure will cause the kink to get worse.
How can I avoid snapping or breaking my polypro and what can I do if it does break?
Don't hoop with your polypro in extreme cold - it makes the tubing brittle and more prone to cracks and breaks. Throwing and dropping the hoop or doing intense breaks or wedgies (especially in the cold) can cause cracks too. If the polypro does crack, it will either crack parallel to the grain of the tubing or perpendicular to the tubing. Perpendicular cracks are mainly the ones that will cause the breaking, so be aware of those! I have found 3/4" polypro to be more prone to cracks than 5/8" polypro, for whatever reason.
If it shatters or breaks completely in half, heat up each end of the tubing and use a very sharp knife (or just use a tubing cutter) to cut off the cracked tubing. You can get an insert for that section and reconnect the hoop. If its close enough to the original connection, you can cut it down and have a smaller hoop! The extra insert will cause the hoop to be slightly off balance, so you may want to take into consideration making the hoop a multi sectional hoop that is evenly distributed.
My hoop isn't round! What can I do?
A lot of the time our hoops can become disformed from being hung up, sat against a wall, being coiled down, or because they got hot and just were in a funky position! To avoid any possible wonk or misshapen hoops - store them flat on the ground. Luckily, it is a fairly easy remedy if your hoop does become misshapen!
- Disconnect your hoop and put it out in the sunlight on a warm and flat surface (like a driveway or porch). If its cold out, place the hoop near a fireplace, in a warm room, or near a heat source to warm the tubing.
- Let the hoop warm up and start bending it back into the proper shape. Sometimes all a hoop needs is to lay disconnected and to warm up to get back to normal!
- Using the hoop and just giving it a few days to get back to normal (particularly after being coiled down after shipment) can sometimes be all one needs too!
- If you're still having problems (like the hoop is extremely flat at the connection or angled at the connection) you may need a new connector - you generally want a connector that is the exact same curve as your hoop, or slightly straighter. Many of the hoops I send out are slightly flattened at the connection at first. This is because over time the pressure applied to the connector will begin to round it out, so a curved connector, while initially perfect, may begin to tear-drop after normal use. A straighter connector will round out to a perfectly round hoop over time.
What if I outgrow my hoop and want a smaller size?
Its fairly easy to cut down a hoop! If you have a friction fit connection simply disconnect the hoop and heat up the area where you want to cut it with boiling water or a hair dryer. Using sharp knife (or a tubing cutter - if you have a cutter, disregard the heating element) slice through the tubing. About 3" off the length is the equilavent to 1" in diameter. Then heat up the ends, reconnect the hoop and you're good to go!
If you have a push button connection, open the hoop follow the directions above. Then use a drill to drill a hole in the hoop that matches up with the push button!
You can check out this video for more information about creating a perfect connection with a push button -
My tape keeps peeling up, what can I do?
Generally if I'm having problems with the tape peeling up (especially if I have a hoop without gaff), I will use clear packing tape around that section of the hoop to keep the tape down. Super Glue sometimes works too.
Is there anything I can do for scuffed tape?
Unfortunately, not really! In this situation, prevention is the best cure!
Tape will get scuffed and knicked when your hoop hits a hard surface (like if you throw it into some furniture, or onto gravel/concrete or in the woods... basically anything rough or sharp). Its almost impossible to avoid keeping your tape pristine for the life of your hoop! Expect that over time some wear will occur. If you want to try and prevent tape scuffing, only hoop on smooth surfaces (like wood floors or grass or carpet) OR get protective tape (probably the best option)! Protective tape will lenghthen the life of your tape significantly (months and months and months).
My hoop keeps flying apart!
Sometimes this happens when the connector isn't very long, or if you live in a warm climate where your hoop tubing is warmer and therefore has expanded more. You can get a new connector or tape around the connection or invest in rivets and a rivet gun (see video above for information on making your own push button rivet connection). You can use extra tape (that will come included with all taped hoops) or use clear packing tape. Peel back the gaffer before applying the tape then reseal the connection again with the gaffer and you should be good to go!
How much deco tape do I need to buy?
Generally speaking, you will need between 25' of tape and 30' of tape to tape a single hoop a solid color, depending on the diameter of your hoop. I offer my tapes in multiples of 30' just to be sure that you're never stuck without enough tape!
What about protective tape?
I sell protective tape in 2" wide rolls of 10' - enough to cover a hoop 38"ID hoop around the outside. If you purchase protective tape this way, make sure you have grip tape to go along the inside of your hoop - 2" tape leaves a 1/2" gap on 3/4" tubing.
I am currently only offering gaffer in 1/4" widths and in 30 feet lengths. This is enough to tape the inside of three large hoops or to get more creative on one or two hoops.
What do I need if I want to make a push-button collapsible hoop?
You will first need to choose an insert that fits your tubing (either polypro, HDPE, or polycarb) OR use the one already in your hoop. You'll also need to buy a Push Button that fits your tubing as well as one rivet.
Although I don't offer this for purchase - you will also need a rivet gun (you can find these online for about 12$) and a drill with several different size drill bits.
Can I buy tubing from you?
You can buy bare hoops from me for taping by purchasing any of my practice hoops or by placing an order for bulk hoops. If you don't want the tubing cut (you want to cut different sized hoops, or minis, for example) specify when you order. i.e. Order four 40" bulk hoops, and specify that you would not like them cut to size. I will send you 42' of tubing and several inserts.
I am new to making hoops, what is the easiest tape to learn with?
I would recommend any of the metallic tapes first. They are a good thickness and aren't too difficult to figure out. Indigo sunrise is fairly easy to work with. Pink sky is very difficult because its extremely thin. Reflective tape is also extremely difficult because of how thick it is.
Purchasing A Hoop
I'm still not sure what to get, can you help me?
Yes! You can always reach me through facebook (www.facebook.com/katieemmittart) through etsy (www.etsy.com/shop/kemmitthoops) by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through the contact form on this site! I will try to help you the best that I can!
How long will it take my hoop to ship?
Custom orders will take anywhere from 10-15 business days (M-F) to be processed, packaged, and shipped, depending on how busy the store is and if I have to purchase any new materials specifically for your hoop! Orders for Gyrodoops will take about three to four weeks to process and ship.
I always ship USPS Priority Mail which takes 1-3 business days. If you need rush processing, purchase the $15 add on rush processing option which will bump your order to the top of the order queue! Orders with rush processing will ship in 1-2 business days and will be mailed with USPS Priority Shipping (1-3 business days).
What about international orders?
I ship international orders using USPS First Class Inernational - which usually takes about 2-3 weeks from the time I ship.
How can I pay?
We use PayPal as our payment processor, so we accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Or, you can pay using your PayPal balance.
Is your site secure?
Yes. You pay through PayPal, the world's premier electronic payment solution, not through this site. We never even see your credit card number; PayPal just tells us that you've paid and we ship you your stuff. We get your money through PayPal later.
Do I have to have a PayPal account to buy?
No, you can pay with your credit card without a PayPal account.