Hoop sizing can be one of the most challenging aspects of the hoop world for beginner hoopers (and sometimes even experienced hoopers!) to navigate. Given all the possible different sizes, types of tubing, and types of hoops, it is understandable that choosing a hoop can be intimidating as you begin hooping and eventually progress with your style and skill set. So where do you start?
As a beginner hooper it is very important to remember that one size does NOT fit all. However, one factor everyone should keep in mind is the necessity for a hoop that is large enough to learn the basics with, such as waist hooping. Because most of us are adults and not children, we tend to need much larger and heavier hoops than you will find at most toy stores. When the modern hoop phenomenon began, most hoopers were using very large hoops to enjoy on body hooping with, ranging from 38” to upwards of even 60” in diameter (some even larger!). These hoops are extremely enjoyable to use at any point in your hoop journey, but they are especially great for beginners because they move around the body at a much slower pace, and therefore make it easier to hoop with in general.
If a larger hoop is the kind you want to start out with, you should also consider your body size. Smaller hoopers can more easily hoop with smaller hoops- a 38” is a great general starting size! Curvier hoopers may want to try larger hoops up to 50” depending on body size again (I am fairly curvy and do just fine with a 38”). Another good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that a hoop that is very large will be much better than one that ends up being too small that you can’t use. PE hoops, in general, are made in these larger sizes and are wonderful for beginners and advanced hoopers alike who love on body hooping.
Keeping in mind the aforementioned rule that one size does not fit all, some beginner hoopers may choose to start off with a smaller hoop made of HDPE or even polypro. When I first started hooping I didn’t know where to find a hoop to use, so I just got one of the small, water filled hoops from a toy store. However, those are a pain in more ways than one, so if you do want to start with a smaller hoop we do recommend purchasing a nice hoop from a reputable hoop maker! Another great way to figure out the size and type of hoop you want is to try your friends’ hoops or attend a local hoop jam where there will be dozens of hoops to try!
As you progress with your hooping you may find yourself wanting to downsize- or not! It is important to not ever feel pressured to use a certain sized hoop just because many people are. Use what feels good for YOU and your body. My favorite hoop is still a 38” polypro, which is huge compared to the hoops most modern, advanced hoopers use. Another thing to keep in mind is that you can keep hoops of all different sizes around for different types of play, or for what you may feel in the mood for on a certain day.
If you do feel the desire to start downsizing, going by 2” in diameter at a time is a good rule of thumb. So for example, if you started with a 38”, your next hoop could be 36”, and so on. Experimenting with 3/4” and 5/8” tubing is also something you can do. Many people in the community tend to like 5/8” more since it is smaller and weighs less, but 3/4” tubing is still wonderful as well (I always prefer 3/4"!). Many people like to downsize to much smaller hoops for the off body hooping style that has becomes so popular.
Along with downsizing, as you progress you may find yourself wanting to experiment with different types of hooping such as using doubles, minis, or multiples (3, 4, or 5 hoops, or more!). Again, experimenting to see what sizes you like for these styles is very important. Minis can range anywhere from about 16” to 24”, and doubles and multiples can range anywhere from about 25” to 38”. It varies depending on what you want to do with your hoops. Larger hoops will be good for multi-hooping on-body, while smaller hoops will be easier to control for off body manipulation.
In conclusion, hoop sizing is a huge topic for discussion. Large hoops are wonderful for beginning with if that is your main concern, but as you advance, keep in mind that every hooper has their own style and preferences. Experimentation is key to finding that perfect fit for YOU, whether it is a tiny 27” hoop, or a much larger 40” hoop. Please feel free to contact us with any further questions you have regarding sizing! We are always happy to help!