super fun nostalgia
March 17, 2008 5:08 PM   Subscribe

After almost 20 years, I'm re-learning how to hula-hoop.

Last summer I bought an adult size hula hoop from Toys R' Us for about $6. Except when I took it home and took off the sticker with the bar code, I realized it was taped over the part were both ends connect. Mine wasn't connected all the way, and I think a little bit of water (it's water filled) leaked out. Oops. Nevertheless, I've used it to re-learn the basics and it's been ok. Just ok.

I'd like to keep up my hula hooping, and get better at it (say, be able to hoop for more than a minute or two). But I don't know where to start in looking for a good hula hoop.

What's a better "filler" - water, beans, other, or nothing?

What size is good for a relatively petite (albeit a little chubby - but losing weight) short female?

I've seen some of those exercise hoops, which look really weird and bulky to me. They look like hula hoop legos, which is strange. I'd like to find something pretty classic, basic, but good.

Do you have any "hooping" tips?

Where can I get a hula hoop (in the Boston area, or online) without spending too much?

Thanks much, all.
posted by raztaj to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
If by exercise hoops you mean the ones made from 3/4" irrigation tubing, that have a larger overall diameter than most hoops sold in toy departments, those are sized for adults. Stay away from the exercise hoops with the weird bumps on the inside edge.

What size is your "adult-size" hula hoop? I have a hoop that I bought for $6 or so at mal-wart. It was the largest size they had, but it is still a childrens' size.

Where can I get a hula hoop (in the Boston area, or online) without spending too much?

You can make one with irrigation tubing and a connector. If you can't find irrigation tubing in Boston, you can also use that semi opaque white tubing that's gotten popular for freshwater plumbing.

Do you have any "hooping" tips?


What's a better "filler" - water, beans, other, or nothing?

Try different things and see which you like best. Some people like sand for weight. If you want the hoop to make an annoying sound, put a few beans or rocks in it.
posted by yohko at 5:36 PM on March 17, 2008

These folks can probably help you find a hoop in Boston.
posted by yohko at 5:40 PM on March 17, 2008

Get a bigger hoop. I couldn't hoop at all, even when I was a little kid, but once I got a big hoop (from Superhooper) I was finally able to get enough momentum to keep it going -- I got up to 10-15 minutes at a whack without too much effort. For reference, my hoop comes up almost to my chin and is fairly heavy, but has no filler of any kind. It's purple and it's pretty and it cost what seems like a ridiculous amount of money but I love it anyway. Even if you're short, a larger waist size does better with a larger hoop.
Some people like to hoop side to side; I do better with a more front-to-backish motion. I plant my feet, cock the hoop all the way back, then start stepping back and forth and let the hoop go. With some practice I was down to just moving my hips, but using my whole body to get the hang of it really helped.
posted by katemonster at 6:44 PM on March 17, 2008

Be careful at first if you're using a weighted hoop. I started hooping to tone my abs a few years ago, and would regularly hoop during an episode of Desperate Housewives. Well, the first time I did that, I woke up the next day with a hula-hoop sized bruise around my stomach. So start with like 5 minutes, and work your way up.
posted by melodykramer at 7:13 PM on March 17, 2008

I'm relearning the joys of hooping, too, and I'm enjoying the instructional videos from Hoopnotica. If you do a youtube search for "hooping," you'll find some other neat stuff.

A weighted hoop (you can buy all sorts of nifty ones on ebay or make one out of PVC tubing and electrical tape) is definitely worth the investment - it's much easier to work with.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 9:25 PM on March 17, 2008

Seconding for all your hooping needs, including how to make your own hoop. (Full disclosure - run by a friend of mine)
posted by gingerbeer at 9:46 PM on March 17, 2008

I just starting using a weighted hoop (3 lbs. is the recommendation for petite girls looking to use it for both exercise and fun) and it's soooooooo much easier to hoop with than a child's version. However, it took some getting used to the extra weight; I believe it's helped me a lot with my balance and tightening my stomach.

Apparently it's pretty good for you. Also, the one I ordered was on but they are ALL over the web now.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:59 PM on March 18, 2008

I know Erika (the Mayor of Hooperville!), she is what I think many of us (girl) hoopers aspire to. Erika in Oregon. She's a very nice girl and has some great moves. Don't be afraid to hoop in public. Folks seem to love the hell out of it! She's on myspace and used to sell very awesome hoops, but I can't remember what forum she used for that.
posted by bilabial at 5:09 AM on March 19, 2008

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