Monday, May 28, 2012

Giant Hula Hoops

At one of the places I teach my hoop fitness classes, the owner requested a giant hula hoop. Once when I was making a regular sized hoop, there was a bit extra tubing left on the roll, so I made an extra big hoop. It ended up being about five foot diameter. Though when I showed it to the owner, it was not big enough to be giant.

I did a little research to see how big a hoop I could make and how big is good for hooping. I found the Guinness Book of World Record for the biggest hula hoop. It works out to be about a 16.5 foot diameter. I asked fellow hoopers and searched the internet.

I noticed that the world record hoop looked very hard to use. I found a video of a man using a 10 foot hoop on an elevated tower. He made it look effortless.

Other materials might be better and certainly a nice lightweight aluminum might be perfect, but I decided to go with what was available to me locally. I got 1" tubing with a rating of 100psi. It is not the most rigid tubing, but this also makes it not too heavy.

I decided to start with a ten foot diameter hoop. I spun myself and the hoop a bit and right away the hoop started to bend near the connector. The next try was with a nine foot diameter hoop. It was hoopable, but big and heavy. I decided it would not be a good option. Next was an eight foot diameter hoop. It worked pretty well. Before I cut it down, my daughter took some video of the nine foot hoop and then both of us trying out the eight foot hoop

Mini hoops all the way to an 8' hoop!
The next day I decided to make a seven foot hoop as a second option. It was a bit easier to use.

Before assembling the hoops, my husband had helped me sand down one end of the connectors. This allowed me to easily pull out the one end of the hoop making it collapse easily. Eventually I planned to add a push button connector. In the mean time I just taped the seam together to prevent the hoop from coming apart at the wrong time.

I brought my "naked" temporarily taped together giant hoops to the gym. The owner liked them both! The next steps were to put on the requested sparkle tape and install the button connector. The hoops needed a bit less tape than I had anticipated, which was a nice surprise. I used all of one roll plus some a second roll of 25' roll of sparkle tape and some additional gaffer tape.

Hooping with a seven foot hoop!
I hope everyone who gets to try them will enjoy the giant hoops for a long time! So far they have brought smiles to all the people I have seen try them!