How NOT to Build a Hoop

If you’re thinking of building your first hoop, there are few things you should know. First, it is very easy. Seriously. Once you figure everything out, it is a quick and simple process. That being said, if you’re trying to give it a go on your own, there is a bit of a learning curve.


MISTAKE NUMBER ONE: Incorrect tubing.


Most tubing can be found at a hardware store like Lowe’s or Home Depot. The ideal kind of tubing are the black coils used for irrigation. You can use either 160 psi or 100 psi. The psi is determined by the thickness of the pvc, so a 160 psi tube will have thicker walls, making it a bit heavier. Most people choose either the ¾” or 1” diameter hoop. If you want a smaller, lighter hoop go with ¾” and 100 psi. If you want a bigger, heavier hoop, then choose the 160 psi 1” tubing.

    NOTE FROM EXPERIENCE: Though you will likely run into an associate at the hardware store that has sold tubing to hoopers before, be wary of their suggestions. Otherwise you may end up with a long piece of un-moldable pvc that lives on your floor and becomes a tripping hazard.

TIP FOR UNUSED TUBING: That unused PVC pipe will make lovely small flower holders. Cut a small cylinder, add a plastic cap, and decorate with printed duct tape or leftover gaffers tape. You can also make toothbrush holders.


MISTAKE NUMBER TWO: Picking the wrong connector!!!


I can’t tell you how many trips to the hardware store I made trying to find the right connector. Actually I can. It was four. Four different kinds of connectors, three of them wrong. Here’s what you need: a gray plastic connector, equal diameter on each side, with ridges at the tip (but not threading). Fortunately, there are about a million white plastic and metal connectors but only a few greys, so if you look for the color you will likely find it easier.


MISTAKE NUMBER THREE: Messing up anywhere along the taping step.


Taping the hoop can either be super fun or super frustrating. First thing to know: whatever color combo you picked, it will likely look a little different on the tube than on the roll. Electrical tape is thin, and if you use black tubing that tends to darken the color a little bit. I’m not saying to stay away from electrical tape, because its stretchy nature makes it much less likely to leave bubbles or ridges (which is great), but be aware that it probably won’t be as bright as you would like it to be. So make sure you know you like your color combos before you’ve wrapped the whole tube.

For some more info on the differences between the tapes, click here.

Remember, it’s ALL about angles!

The steeper your angle, the more space you will have in between your first wrap. Make sure to set your angle based on the amount of space you will need for your other colors. You may have to pull some of the tape up …. And that’s okay.


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