Perhaps you been there too; that moment of contemplation where you’re online checking out props, and considering making your own hula hoop. As an experienced flow artist with over three years of prop experimentation and testing prototypes, I have certainly been there too! I have also jumped through the hoops and actually made my own sets of poi, hoops, and staffs.
Through the countless trial and errors, I’ve reached a point of understanding as to what’s worth making your own, and when it’s better to buy quality, finished products. Let’s go through some of the frequent props you’ll find us teaching on the Sacred Flow Art YouTube Channel, and discuss when it’s best to make your own.
If you’re just starting out with learning poi, making your own set of basic sock poi are the best thing you can do! For one, you don’t have to wait to get started, it’s super affordable, and as a beginner, it doesn’t have to be fancy. Go to the dollar store (or your own closet) and find a pair of long tube socks. Now you can either use a small bag of rice, or a tennis ball inside the sock to add weight. Tie a knot at the opening, and there you have it! Your first set of poi! Just make sure they are equal in length and weight.
Now, as you begin to learn your first basic moves, and get an idea of where you want to take your flow arts journey, it’s best you move on to a more professionally made set of poi. Sock poi are great for beginners because if you hit yourself, or anything else, you likely won’t break anything serious. However, as you begin to master the basics, you’ll want to branch out and practice with different poi. This will condition your muscles to being more ready for fire, performances of any kind, and more adaptable to different weights and feels; all around greater dexterity.
Homemade/DIY Hula Hoops
Right off the bat, you simply won’t be able to make anything that will compare to a professionally made polypro hoop. Unless you purchase polypro tubing, and the tools necessary to smoothen and secure the ends, buying from a pro is the way to go! Another exception would be, if you’re wanting to start your own hula-hoop business that designs and builds hoops for sale. In this case, buying the tools would pay off in the long run.
If you are just wanting to make your own hula hoop, however, there are many steps to the process of making a quality hoop that you should consider. Sourcing the material is the most important step. You can buy polypro tubing online, which would be the best route. You can also find tubing, and hoops made from other kinds of plastics, maybe even in your town, and that’s perfectly functional. As I mentioned in a previous post, different styles, shapes, and weights will assist you in mastering different tricks. Having a variety is extraordinarily useful. However, when it comes to making your own, it’s much more practical to buy a professionally made polypro.
Depending on your area, and how much you are able to save in the process of sourcing materials, determining quality, and putting it all together, I leave it up to you. Use your best judgment. Just be sure to consider how long you want them to last, and where you see your flow journey going.