Does Size Matter?
Well...it does and then again it doesn't.
When you are learning to hoop on your waist, the right size hoop really does matter because as we all know (or the ones who came to hooping believing we couldn't hoop and then found out that we could!) learning to hoop with a small, light child size hoop really doesn't work and then as if by magic (most of the time anyway), we are presented with a large hoop (and really, the bigger the better when it comes to brand new hoopies) suddenly we can do it! We understand it! It makes sense! And boy, does it feel good!!
And then we have another issue, so we've learned to hoop comfortably on our waist with this large, cumbersome, bruise causing hoop. But then we want to explore the possibilities - suddenly just hooping on our waist is no longer enough!! What's all the fancy hand work people are doing in youtube videos?! So then we have to find a hoop for our hands and ideally, the lighter the better because when we are learning to hand hoop we start bruising again.
So there is a dilemma for the new hooper - super big hoop for the waist, small light hoop for the hands but how to marry the two. It's fine when you're learning - have one hoop for your waist and then practice all those off body moves with your small hoop. But at some point you are going to want to find a hoop that will transition from your body smoothly into your hands. How? It's all about time. Take your time. Really, you don't have to rush it.
In my classes, depending on each individual, by about week 5/6 I encourage my hoopers to start using a smaller hoop for their waist, not hand size small, but small enough that they can still waist hoop and learn to lift off and then continue into the off body moves. This can take some time, so don't worry - it's your journey - it might take 2/3 months. You might still want to keep using that big hoop, I did. I always returned to the bigger hoops when I was learning to hoop on my chest and on my knees because it gave me more time to learn the move - see, it's all about time (and timing).
What I find really interesting now is the polypro phenomenon. There was no polypro when I was learning to hoop, hula hoops were big and heavy - I learned most of my moves with a 25mm mdpe 38" hoop including isolations. (No wonder they felt so hard to do!- I'm 5ft tall - so you can imagine they were pretty hefty to hold, but it gave me muscles I'd never had before!) I bought a small, cheap and cheerful, childs hoop for my hands, which was ridiculously light in comparison, but it gave me the "muscle memory" that I needed to learn the moves.
A lot of my students go for polypro as soon as they have learned to waist hoop and not big hoops either, small light and super thin and it seems to work for them, but I always encourage them to go back to the bigger hoops for learning on body and also multi hoops. I love polypro now and l like to have my hoops as thin and as light as possible - but it's been almost 10 years since I picked up my first hoop (about 50" wide it was!!) and slowly I've downsized throughout the years.
So, in summary, choose hoops - choose light hoops, heavy hoops, big hoops, small hoops, play around with sizes and don't worry about what anyone else is using or what size you think you should be using. Just love your hoops, love your body and love the journey.