All About Hoop Tapes!

You have quite a few choices for choosing hoop tape, and if you’re new to this or unfamiliar with the specific styles, it can be kind of intimidating.


Here is a quick run-down of your tape options:

  1. Gaffers tape (aka spike tape, hoop tape, route setting tape, roller derby tape)

Gaffers tape is the king of tapes. While duct tape is more well-known, duct tape has an aggressive adhesive that leaves a sticky residue. Gaffers tape is a cloth-based tape with a synthetic adhesive designed to come up clean. It is used in theaters for marking the stage (spike tape), for taping cables at production events, for setting the boundaries at roller derby bouts, for marking routes on climbing walls, and of course for making your hoop beautiful.

Gaffers tape is the best kind of tape for a hoop. It comes in a variety of bright colors and thicknesses, and it is super grippy so it sticks better to your body when you’re hooping. However, it is also pretty pricey. If this is a little out of your price league to begin with, consider going with a roll of ½” white gaffers tape and wrap only the inside of the hoop. It will help with grippiness without breaking the bank.


  1. Vinyl Tape / Electrical Tape

What is great about vinyl tape is how stretchy it is. If you mess up your angle a little, you can stretch the tape a bit without creating messy bubbles or ridges. That being said, it is probably not the best tape to lead with because of the stretchy factor. No matter how diligent you are, you will likely change the angle a bit at some point if you start with this tape, which ultimately changes the distance between wraps.

Vinyl tape a very cost effective tape for hoop decorating. It comes in 11 colors in the ¾” width, and only costs a couple of bucks a roll. It’s great for adding color to your hoop. NOTE: electrical tape is thinner than the gaffers tape, so if you use black tubing and a lighter colored electrical tape, the black will darken the tape a bit. It isn’t terrible, but know that it may not be exactly the color combo you expected.


  1. Metallic Tape

Metallic hoop tape is perfect for adding bling to your hoop. The mirror finish is great for catching the light while spinning. When it’s done right, it looks amazing. However this is probably the most “temperamental” of the tape options. It is very thin and not very stretchy. That means if you have to adjust you’re angle while you’re taping, it will bubble and ridge, and those imperfections will be very visible. The best way to handle this kind of tape is to start with it. Apply direct pressure as you wrap it around the tube, be diligent with your angles, and don’t be afraid to start over if you need to. It will be worth your trouble.



  •         Play around with your design: You aren’t limited to the candy-cane stripe! Try going the opposite direction and creating some criss-cross designs.
  •         Don’t forget about boring colors: It is easy to be distracted by bright shiny colors, but remember that muted colors are great for accenting. A color that is very often forgotten about is brown, which looks great with just about any bright color. A thin strip of white will also go a long way for making you’re hoop colors pop.
  •        Work with what you have: It isn’t necessary to cover your tube entirely with tape. If you have black tubing, sometimes it looks great just to pick a couple of bright colors to alternate and leave the black background.
  •         Don’t get discouraged! Everyone who has ever made a hoop has at some point wanted to pull their hair out while sitting in a pile of mashed up tape balls. You will get through this!

About the Author

Post a Reply