How to pick your first beginner hoop

The number one question I get asked by brand new hoopers is, "what type of hoop should I start with?"

When you are first beginning your hoop journey I know how overwhelming all the different hula hoop options can be. In this video I'm going to tell you how to pick out your first beginner hoop.

The first question you need to ask yourself is, what do you intend on learning in your hoop dance practice. If you want to focus more on on-body hooping, which is when the hoop is rotating around your core, this includes shoulder and chest hooping, waist hooping, and leg hooping, then you want to start out with a larger and heavier beginner hoop.

If you'd rather start out by practicing more off body moves, such as escalators, coin-flips, isolations, weaves, these are all tricks performed with the hoop in your hand then you would definitely want to start out with a lighter and more responsive hoop such as a polypro or HDPE hoop. If that's the case for you, I have a separate video on how to pick your first polypro hoop.

My recommendation is to keep a healthy balance of both on-body hooping and off-body hooping in your hoop dance practice because they are both beneficial and fun.

I really want to emphasize the importance of picking out the right size hoop to fit your body perfectly. There is no one size fits all, every hoop is custom made. So when picking out your first beginner hoop, take into account your body type.

You want to make sure that you're going to have space inside your hoop to move and explore. All standard beginner hoops come in 3/4th inch tubing. That is the width of the actual tubing. There is also 1/2 inch tubing which is smaller and thinner for when you become a little more intermediate. So if you're a beginner hooper, don't worry about 1/2 inch right now, order a 3/4th inch beginner hoop. You can review our selection of beginner hoops by clicking here.

The standard 3/4th inch beginner hoop are rating 100 psi. What psi stands for is pounds per square inch, which refers to the weight of the hoop. The smaller the number the lighter the hoop will be and the larger the number the heavier the hoop will be. So 160 is the heaviest and 100 is the lightest which is standard size for beginner hoops.

Now that you know to order your beginner hoop in 3/4th tubing, let's talk about how to pick out the diameter of your hoop. The diameter refers to the measurement from one point of your hoop across to the other. Some hoop shops might measure their diameter by OD which stands for outer diameter, which would be the measurement from the outside walls of the hoop. Other hoop shops might measure their diameter by ID which stands for inner diameter, which would be the measurement from the inside walls of the hoop. As a new beginner od vs. id doesn't really matter, but its helpful to become aware of this for when you become more intermediate and it makes more difference in your hoop flow.

My biggest tip for ordering a beginner hoop is to get a big hoop with a big diameter. The standard size for a beginner hoop is 38 inches, but again this varies so much from person to person.

You really want a big hoop because the bigger the hoop, the slower the movements are going to be, and this will allow you to slow down and properly learn basic hoop dance movements with grace and confidence.

Big beginner hoops are great for...

  • Developing meditative flow
  • Connecting with the rhythm of your hoop
  • Giving you freedom of movement to dance more
  • Creating fluid graceful movements
  • Experiencing a rejuvenating workout
  • Having healthy & exhilarating fun!

Beginner hoops also come in a lot of different fun colors and patterns. A lot of the most common tapes used on beginner hoops include: sparkly tapes, electric tape, and gaffers tape. Gaffers tape will give you a little bit more grip which is awesome for learning on-body hooping.

It's always a lot of fun to pick out your color pattern, but keep in mind as your first hoop it's really going to get beat up. You're going to drop it and scrape it on cement, so keep that in mind when you're picking out a hoop. You don't want to base your hoop selection on just the pattern. Be sure you're able to get it in the size that you need.

Another awesome thing about these beginner hoops is that they collapse down to about a quarter of their size. They have two connection points on the hoop. To collapse a beginner hoop down, you place one foot over one hoop connection on the ground and gently twist the other connection at the top of the hoop in opposite directions while slightly pushing it down to meet the other connection point on the ground. You'll get a figure 8, then you fold one end into the other and there you go! To uncoil it, you just do the same process but in reverse and help the hoop regain it's shape by bending and bouncing it out a bit. You can watch the video above at 5:23 to watch me collapse down a beginner hoop.

So let's do a quick review on how to order your first beginner hoop.

  • First you need to know your tubing size. If you're a brand new beginner you're definitely going to want 3/4 inch tubing.
  • The second thing you need to know is the diameter of your hoop. You're going to want to get a big hoop so stay in the range of 38 to 42 inches in diameter. Maybe even bigger than that.
  • Third, get a hoop with a pretty color pattern that will inspire you and motivate you to pick up your hoop and rock out as much as possible to progress quickly.

If you would like a more in-depth explanation of all the different hula hoop options check out my Learn to Hoop Dance Online Course. I also cover all the basics you need to learn to begin your hoop journey.

I challenge YOU to rock out with a big beginner hoop!

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