Everything you need to know about Hula Hoop Tubing.


 Once upon a time in a galaxy far far away (like around 2005) choosing a hula hoop was an easy feat. There was a choice of heavy blue water pipe or, if you were very exotic, heavy black water pipe and a range of maybe 4 colours of electrical tape to decorate it. You chose a hoop that was a bit bigger than your belly button and you accepted that your body was going to be significantly bruised for the foreseeable future.

Nowadays, before you've even started hooping you are presented with a baffling range of plastic polymers to decide on and the choice of colours and tapes is like a glitter explosion in a mirror factory. It's amazing but lets explain the basics of hoop tubing so you have a bit more information to help you make your decision! 


  1. Beginner Tubing (MDPE):

 Beginner's Best Friend: Medium Density Polyethylene tubing, commonly known as MDPE tubing, is the best and most popular choice for beginners. The tubing is super durable and holds it's shape really well for the larger diameter of hoops needed to learn how to hoop. The bigger and heavier a hoop is the slower it spins around your body. This gives the beginner the time necessary to make the movements and adjustments needed to dial in that hula hooping technique. 

MDPE comes in Black or Blue (they're the same) and there are two commonly used sizes used by hoop makers:

 20mm MDPE (tubing diameter) - This tubing size is great if you know you're going to want to do some tricks or hoop on your hands and arms. If you have a smaller body frame or know you bruise easily this is the one for you. Also if you can already waist hoop but still are a beginner and need a hoop with a little bit of weight for learning then 20mm is a great choice. A 36 inch 20mm MDPE hoop weighs 0.45kg, A 42 inch 20mm hoop is around 0.5kg

  25mm MDPE (tubing diameter) - This is the original and best hoop tubing for complete beginners. It's a chunky hoop great for those starting out or people who are focused on hoop fitness. The weight of the 25mm tubing adds resistance to your movement helping you build core strength. I recommend everyone has one of these hoops just for the sheer joy of throwing some music on and spinning a hoop around your body no matter how far along your hoop journey you are. it's also great to go back to for learning chest and shoulder hooping once your waist hooping is solid. 

If you've chosen the tubing but need help choosing your hoop size we have a great  Beginner hoop size chart here.

If you're ready to buy a hula hoop our Beginner range has some amazing tape colour choices. All our beginner hoops are handy push button coil down travel hoops.

Click here to choose a beginner hoop.


     2. Intermediate to advanced tubing (Polypro):

Versatile and Lightweight: Polypropylene tubing appeared on the hoop scene in 2008 and quickly took over as the hoop tubing of choice for hoop dancers and people who wanted to learn more intricate hoop tricks that needed a lighter hoop. Polypro hoop is may favourite! It's lighter, faster, and more responsive than MDPE which opens up the range of tricks available. The disadvantages of that are that polypro is less sturdyand  more prone to cracking or breaking, especially with heavy use. The plastic becomes more brittle at low temperatures this makes them less suitable for coldd outdoor use or intense hooping routines. However the risk is worth the reward! Polypro hoop tubing comes in a huge range of colours and three different tubing diameters are normally used for hoop making:

  • 16mm (5/8ths"): This diameter is the narrowest option normally used for polypro hoops. It allows for quick transitions and intricate hand manipulations, making it ideal for advanced tricks and fast-paced movements. It's also lightweight so easier on the wrists but it makes it harder to use as an on body/waist hoop. Great for tiny humans.

  • 17.5mm (11/16ths"):  Goldilocks tubing: the 17.5mm tubing is still narrow enough to be great for hand hooping and twins but offers a thicker inner wall diameter which means it's still heavy enough for on body it's great for splitting hoops and multi hooping

  •  19mm (3/4"): The widest option of the three, 3/4" tubing offers maximum stability and control. It's wider diameter makes it a bit less bouncy than the 16/17.5mm tubings making it a great choice when transitioning to lighter hoops from MDPE. I also love it for balances and rolls!

Just to add a bit more confusion there are now also a couple of different formulations of polypro. Hoopologie have developed a gorgeous 'Gloss" tubing that is polypro but has a shiny finish. This gives a gorgeous shine on colour and looks amazing but does make the tubing a little more fragile so if you know you are hard on hoops or are still learning 


      3. Other tubing options (HDPE, Weighted hoops, Supermarket hoops).

At HoopSpin we make currently our hoops out of polypro and MDPE as these are the most popular options and what we have used ourselves for years but there are of course other tubing options out there.

High density polyethylene (HDPE): HDPE is another popular lightweight polypro alternative it has a similar feel to polypro but is slightly softer and more flexible. While this gives it a slight advantage at lower temperatures (less likely to crack) for me it makes it less responsive thats why we favour the polypro! 

Weighted hoops: These are slightly controversial in the hoop dance world as they restrict you to waist hooping. I think they get pushed really hard as being the best option for fitness hooping and that the heavier they are the better. While added weight makes it easier to maintain around the waist and can offer more resistance it comes with the risk of bruising and strain on the back if not introduced slowly. There's a definite place for weighted hoops but anything from half a kilo up will give you a great workout so you don't need to go super heavy! 

Supermarket Hoops: As soon as the sun comes out there is normally a box of shiny shiny (annoyingly rattley) hoops in the seasonal or kids aisle in your local supermarket. These can be great if you want to try twins or see how a lighter hoop feels but they are normally frustratingly too light and kink really easily when doing anything that puts strain on it. Great to try out but polypro is a better long term option! 



 At the end of the day whether you're a beginner exploring basic moves or an experienced hooper mastering advanced tricks, there's a tubing type suited to your needs. Experimenting with different materials can enhance your hula hooping journey, unlocking new possibilities and expanding your repertoire of skills. Embrace the diversity of hula hoop tubing and let your creativity soar as you spin, twirl, and dance your way to hoop bliss!