Beginner Hooper's Guide to Hoop Sizes

The most commonly asked first questions from a beginner:

  • What kind of hoop do I need?
  • Where do I get one?
  • What do all of the tubing types mean and what purpose do they serve?

This will break it all down for you in one article.

Looking for a first timers hula hoop? Check out our line of Beginner Hoops!

The most important tip: Plan to get at least two hoops.

It is really difficult to learn everything with one hoop. Different sizes/weights serve different learning purposes. Get one larger hoop and one smaller hoop. Or just get a couple hoops in one with a size changing trainer hoop! Note that the chart below is a general one. If you are tall or have a large waist, a 34" may be considered "Small" for you.

The larger hoop is for learning on-body moves. For example: waist hooping, chest hooping, and shoulder hooping. The small hoop is for learning off-body tricks. For example: isolations, chest rolls, tosses, and coin flips.

hoop sizes1
A general guide to how big these sizes are in relation to a female and male body. An XL hoop typically comes up to the chest area, and a 20" mini hoop reaches around the knee area.

Choosing your first (bigger) hoop:

Why you need a big hoop:

1. It goes around you more slowly. This is because there is more hoop to go around. The bigger the hoop, the longer it takes to make one full rotation around you. More time per rotation = easier learning and getting to know the hoop's movements.

2. It is heavier and less likely to fall down. See photo below.

light vs heavy

Your height plays a small part, but your waist and shoulder size is much more important. Get one that is large enough to go around you and your waist at a comfortable speed. See photo below:

hooptricks help

If you bruise very easily or are taking blood thinners, you may need to stay with lighter hoops. Even if it hinders your progress, it is better than getting internal bleeding or heavy bruising.

Tubing and Weight of your Big Hoop:

If you do not bruise easily and you are of healthy, choose 3/4" PE (polyethylene). What does"PSI" stand for? All you need to know here is that 160 psi is heavier than 100 psi. 

These hoops are generally made from polyethylene tubing and range in size from 3/4" to 1" in outside diameter. Another way to think of it is how thick the hoop is, the thicker the hoop, the heavier it will be.

We have three weights of exercise hoops for you to pick from; 1.3LB, 1.5LB and 1.7LB

1.3LB, 3/4"

This hoop is best for someone that is either already familiar with waist hooping or that falls into the category of small-medium waist, 5'5" or smaller and under 140 pounds.

1.5LB, 3/4"

This hoop is a little heavier and will in general be easier to hoop with if you are an absolute beginner. This hoop is best for someone that is looking for a good workout and looking to lose weight. It bridges the gap between the lighter 1.5LB and heavier 2.7LB hoops. This is best for someone with a Medium-Large waist, 5'6" or taller and under 220 pounds.

1.7LB, 1"

This hoop is a big one and honestly feels really nice as it is rolling around your body. This hoop feels like it is massaging your internal organs and your belly, which is actually a good thing and helps to get blood moving as well as detoxify your body. This hoop is best for someone with a Medium - large waist, 5'6" or taller and upwards of 175 pounds. 

Choosing your second (smaller) hoop:

With a big hoop, you would not be able to do a successful wedgie kick-up because it would be too large.


The reasons you need a smaller hoop as well:

1. Lighter and easier to control with your hands

2. Less scary/dangerous while learning risky tricks (like chest rolls and tosses)

3. Small enough to do some tricks that can't be done with a big hoop (example: wedgies and coin flips)

For your smaller hoop, you will want it to work well with your arm and/or leg length. Your height plays a bigger role in choosing your small hoop.

Tubing of your small hoop:

Choosing a smaller hoop or a hoop that you can use for combinations of tricks, faster spinning and more intermediate and advanced maneuvers is in some ways easier as you already know how to hoop and what you like do do.

In the dance and performance hoop category we carry polypro in both 3/4" OD and 5/8" OD, both will be great dance partners and we'd like to help you narrow down your decision on what size to get.

3/4" OD, 7 - 14 ounces

This hoop is the go to for most intermediate and advanced hoopers, you can get it bare or taped (tape will add around 2 ounces). If you've been using a weighted exercise hoop and want to start using a polypro, its going to feel REALLY light. In this case we suggest getting something on the larger side, somewhere around 35"-37" in diameter.

5/8" OD, 5 - 10 ounces

This hoop is the feather weight of the bunch and for that reason it is sometimes more challenging for people to use. This hoop is great for smaller frames and people that like to hoop fast and not feel the weight of the hoop. This hoop is NOT recommended for breaks and reversals as the tubing is thinner and could kink if you are hooping in hot conditions. 

Now that you have a general understanding about hoop sizing and purposes, here is a General Sizing Guide to help you place an order for your first pair of hoops! YAY!

Chart created by Melissa Stockwell

Where to buy and how much they cost:

You can find hoops in many different places. The most popular place to purchase them is online.  You can also try to find find local sellers if you do not want to order online.

Big hoops and small hoops brand new typically range from $30-$50 each, depending on the place you purchase from. Don't be worried about the price. $30-$50 for a sturdy, well-made hoop is very reasonable. $5 mass-produced hoops from Walmart will break in an instant and are not meant to last. Check here: The Pros and Cons of Department Store Hula Hoops.

Also take shipping, reviews, customer satisfaction, and reliability into consideration. Do your research before purchasing from an unknown place.

To order from the Spinsterz, visit the following links:

For your Big Hoop:

For your Smaller Hoop:

 Want some help figuring out your perfect hoop?

If you are having trouble figuring out what hoop is best for you, or just want to chat with some incredibly friendly and helpful hoop family, give us a call, text or email! / 541-241-8727

~Written by Melissa Stockwell, edited by Brandon Huston