What Shape to Expect from Your New Polypro

So your new polypro has come in the mail! Hooray! You unbox it and even let it sit unconnected for a while. But when you go to connect it...it is NOT a circle. And that's okay. It is surely true that some hoops never become nice circles, but it is much more likely that your hoop just needs love, time, and gravity!

All six of the polypros I've received looked something like this upon connecting them:

IMG_6712 cropped orlala's ShelLED day hoop
Connecting my ShelLED polypro day hoop for the first time.

It is entirely normal for them to be non-circular or flatter by the connector just after connecting them.

How to Help Your Hoop Regain Its Shape

There are a handful of things you can do with a non-circular hoop to help it regain its shape:

  • hoop it out
  • let it sit in the sun (not always practical or possible, I've never tried it)
  • some people will say heat it up with a blow drier (I don't feel comfortable doing this because I can't ensure I heat it evenly) or by using a hot bath (I've never tried it)
  • manipulating the tubing by doing things like shown in this video here:
    I feel comfortable bending my hoops in certain ways, but bend at your own risk. It's possible to break your hoop doing these kinds of things.

I've had a hoop get worse from trying to bend it in ways that you'd think would help, but most seem to respond well to some manipulation. However, even though bending can help, it usually doesn't do the entire job - and leaving it out in the sun isn't exactly an option for me. The technique I use that has given me the most circular, long term results is hanging the hoop by the flattest point (usually at the connector).

IMG_6713 cropped orlala's ShelLED hoop
Have no fear, gravity is here! Hanging my hoop by the flattest point.

I know some people disagree with this method because "hanging warps hoops", but honestly, hanging my polypros has never given me any trouble as long as I hang them by point that is most naturally flat. In fact, at least one of my polys has a naturally flat spot not at the connector and hanging it by that spot helps the hoop maintain a a circular shape. It can take a couple of tries to find the right spot to hang by for storing purposes, but all of my polys hang without problem (most of them by the connector); in my experience, hdpe and PE are more prone to warping from hanging for a long time with out love. I hang them anyways. Giving them love and turning them every now and then works for me.

My hoops hanging by carefully selected points for storage.

Whether or not you want to store your hoops by hanging them, while you're trying to help your hoop regain its circular shape, gravity can basically do all the work for you! (i.e., the earth is not part of your system! #physicsjokes) If hanging is not an option, you can also set the hoop against the wall so that the flattest part is at 3 o'clock or 9 o'clock.

IMG_7153 cropped orlala's polycarb
My polycarb from Hiptronic Arts.

I do not prefer this technique for fixing a flat spot because the hoop usually wants to roll so that the connector is at the bottom. But sometimes the hoop doesn't seem to have a flat spot...it seems to have a pointy spot. More like an egg shape. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to show you what I mean, but I feel like you'll know it when you see it. For a hoop warped in this way, I actually do prefer to lean it against the wall, with the pointy-est spot on the floor at 6 o'clock, because like, gravity, forces, symmetry and stuff...

IMG_7153 cropped 2
My polycarb from Hiptronic Arts.

Seeing Progress in Your Hoop's Shape

I've always seen overnight progress from hanging my new hoops, but sometimes it can take a few days, or depending on how stubborn the hoop wants to be, maybe even a couple weeks for it to become really circular. Most of my hoops became very circular after only a couple of days.

side by side all shelLED
My ShelLED hoop just after being connected (left) vs. a day later (middle) vs. a month later (right).

So when your new poly comes and it looks very non-circular, fear not! A little love and gravity is probably all you need! Happy hooping.