Whether it’s your first or fiftieth hoop, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the variety of hula hoop tubing material, colours, tapes and tubing thickness available! We’ve created this guide to help you decide what size and type of hula hoop to buy based on your unique body and hooping interests!

Choosing the diameter of the hula hoop

What you’ll need: A tape measure - that's it!

Step 1: Measure the vertical distance from the floor to your belly button. 

Step 2: If you’re very petite around the waist, subtract a couple of inches. If you’re plus sized add a couple of inches.

Step 3: If you’re a beginner hula hooper interested in waist and on-body hooping, this measurement = the outer diameter of the hula hoop you should choose.

A good size for most beginners will be in the range of 34” - 39”. The belly button measurement is a guide rather than a rule! So if you’re super tall, consider getting a hoop closer to 39” and if you’re on the shorter end of the scale try no smaller than 34”. 

Remember, a bigger hoop makes it easier to spin on your body! Check out our range of beginner hoops here!

Step 4: If you know you’re interested in off-body hooping (also known as “tech” hooping e.g. isolations, coin flips and quick transitions), you’re going to want a smaller hoop to allow you to move the hoop more quickly through the air and around your body. Tech hoops range between 25” - 30” in outer diameter. 

For beginner tech hoopers, we recommend you go a little larger to start (28” - 30”). Sometimes you need a bit of extra weight and space to understand the pathway the hoop naturally wants to follow. A slightly larger size can help you feel the momentum of the hoop as well as giving you a bit more time and space to anticipate the hoop’s movements as you learn new tricks. We can always resize your hoop smaller as your needs change over time!

HDPE or polypro?

As a general guide, beginner hoopers who are still getting the hang of waist hooping prefer HDPE as it is a bit heavier and sturdier than polypro. This helps slow down the rotation of the hoop, allowing your body to get used to controlling the rhythm of the hoop without rushing. This will help improve your technique and prevent injury!

Polypro is best for hoopers who are confident with waist hooping and/or are more interested in off body hooping, including hooping with hands/arms. For off-body hooping, lighter weight hoops reduce the load and stress your shoulders bear as well as the force required to manipulate the hoop.

For hoopers who live in extremely hot or cold temperatures, HDPE is sometimes preferred. HDPE is a bit softer and bouncier than polypro, meaning it is less prone to bending or cracking in these extreme climates.

Tubing thickness

The thickness of the tubing the hoop is made of comes in different sizes which will feel different in your hand and will also impact the overall weight and feel of the hula hoop.

The tubing sizes we offer (from thickest to thinnest) are as follows:

  • 7/8” tubing is recommended for absolute beginners with very large hoops or if you’re specifically interested in a more weighted hoop for exercise. 
  • 3/4” tubing is recommended for beginners and intermediate hoopers. Particularly for beginner hoops greater than 33” in diameter, this thickness is sturdy enough for the hula hoop to hold its shape despite its large diameter (as opposed to 5/8” which can be a bit flimsy when doing certain moves with a larger hoop).
  • 11/16” tubing is in between 3/4” and 5/8”. It is also slightly denser than both of these sizes making it slightly heavier but also more responsive to certain tricks. This tubing thickness is great for balances and chest rolls.
  • For adults, 5/8” is only recommended for advanced off-body hoopers. It is super lightweight which makes it very responsive for tricks like coin flips, tosses and bounces. If you’re interested in double/multi hoop manipulation or juggling this thinner tubing can make it easier to hold two hoops in one hand.


If you’re a new hula hooper who is still learning to keep the hoop spinning around your waist (or if you’re interested in knee and shoulder hooping) grip tape provides a slightly rougher surface that will help the hoop grip to your skin and clothes more effectively than the slippery surface of a bare (untaped) or taped hoop alone.

We offer coloured or clear (sometimes known as “low profile”) grip tape in our store here which is applied to the inside edge of the hula hoop. Coloured grip tape is recommended for beginners as it is a bit wider and therefore provides slightly better grip as it covers more surface area on the hoop’s inner edge. Clear grip tape is good where you want a subtle grip tape that does not stand out like coloured grip tapes can e.g. for LED hoops where you want to keep the focus on the coloured lights rather than the inside edge of the hoop. The clear grip tape is also a bit thinner so provides slightly less grip than the coloured grip tape option.

Most of the time, hula hoopers request grip tape that matches the colour of their hoop. However, a grip tape in a colour that contrasts the colour of your hoop can be a cool hoop design feature that adds another element to how the hoop looks as you flow!

For bare (untaped) hula hoops, we also offer “sanded” grip, which means we have sanded down the inside edge of the hoop slightly so it is a bit rougher than the outside of the hoop. This is a popular option for tech hoopers who like a little bit of grip when trying to keep control of the hula hoop but also enjoy the smoothness, comfort and agility of a hoop without grip tape. For example, if you’ve tried grip tape but are finding with tricks like repetitive hand hooping that the grip tape is starting to irritate your skin, you might want to consider a sanded hoop for a smoother touch point.  

Taped or bare (untaped)?

Before splashing out on a shiny new taped hula hoop we recommend considering the following:

  • If you’re a beginner, you will drop the hoop. A lot. This increases the risk of damaging any tape around the outside of your hoop which will appear as wear and tear over time
  • What surface do you normally hoop on? Grass, carpet and floorboards are more “taped hoop friendly” than rough surfaces like gravel or pavement.
  • Will kids have access to the hoop? If you know a little someone is going to be “walking the dog” with your hoop (i.e. skidding the hoop along the floor), this will also increase the risk of the hoop tape wearing down more quickly!

Untaped hoops will not show wear and tear quite as quickly as taped hoops, however they too will inevitably scuff a little and experience small scratches over time.

Our beginner taped hoops feature more durable types of tape including gaffer, vinyl and grip tape in spiralling designs. These tapes will withstand minor bumps and drops better than our other hoop tape collections including holographic, glitter, colour shifting and reflective.

If you have your heart set on a shiny taped hula hoop, we recommend adding on clear protective tape to add another layer of protection from the elements!

As always if you have any questions about choosing your first (or fiftieth!) hoop, please don’t hesitate to email us at info@baysidehooping.com and we would be more than happy to help!

Who we are

Bayside Hooping is a hula hoop retailer based in Melbourne, Australia. We sell our made-to-order hula hoops across Australia and we deliver internationally too! As hula hoop artists and performers ourselves, we have made sure our products are carefully created to meet your unique needs. Get in touch for any specific questions or custom requests!