Monthly Archives: August 2005

What’s All the ‘Hula Hoopla’ about?

The Tyee, a newspaper out of Vancouver, BC has just mentioned (and this video) in an article about hooping titled, What’s All the ‘Hula Hoopla’ about? The writer touches on an issue near and dear to my heart: the reclamation of participatory entertainment.

Most hoopers say they do it for fun, or the challenge of trying new tricks. Others are looking for exercise, and some even claim it provides a healing massage to internal organs.
But I see something subtly political in the rotating hoops.
The dancers came to the festival as part of the audience, but they’ve made themselves part of the show. It’s not a worry-free switch: I certainly felt self-conscious breaking ranks with the circle of gawkers to pick up one of the spare hoops. But it is a significant one.
So much of our entertainment is fed to us from far away: untouchable celebrities and faces on the television. I don’t know the names of my next-door neighbours, but I do know what Nick said to Jessica when the Newlywed came home with $3000 bed sheets. They do, and we watch.
Making the change from observer to actor is part of a larger movement spreading through lefty circles.

This is an issue I used to think about constantly when I was writing about the west coast rave community almost 10 years ago. Looks like although the scene is different, the issue remains: BE AN ACTIVE PARTICIPANT IN YOUR OWN JOY!

Biking & Hooping

Over on, Jay just posted photos of his new hoop rack for his bike. Take a look at the photos, and then keep reading for Jay’s description of how cheap and easy it was to build.

Parts include:
– Blackburn EX-1 Rack > $29.99 (these are pretty standard)
– four 1/-1/8″ metal hose clamps > $1.19 x 4
– one 10′ x 1″ schedule 40 PVC $3.29
– two 1″ T connectors > $.99 x 2
– two 1″ L connectors > $.55 x 2
– one nylon strap > $1.99
Parts TOTAL = $41.50 (not including tax)
note: you’ll notice that there are caps/extension connectors at the top of the hooks. these aren’t necessary, but I already had them so threw them on. they run $.33 a piece, but aren’t critcal to the design.
– PVC cutter > $9.99
– Flat head screwdriver > I’m guessing you have one
Putting this together took me about 1-1/2 hours. I have a bike stand which made things a little easier, but not necessary. I recommend attaching it to the right side so that when the bike is on the kickstand the hoops will be more centered over the rear tire and naturally rest on the PVC. no glueing or taping is necessary as the PVC fits pretty snug into the connectors, though it might be good to tape it up to kust make sure. Constant bouncing on the playa may wiggle them loose. I tested it with four hoops and i barely even noticed them when riding around. Now I just need to decorate the PVC as that white is ug-ly… :)

Here’s a picture of Jay’s rack in action!

Where to buy tubing

In the quest to make their own hoops, hoopers often find that the elusive material is tubing. Unfortunately, many hoop merchants are proprietary about their material sources, making it even more difficult to find the tubing. It’s cheap! … if you can find it.
If you’re lucky, you’ll find the 160 psi ¾-inch flexible polyethylene pipe at a big box hardware store like Lowes or Home Depot. Those in the Bay Area should check this thread for information about local stores.
You can also try calling around to irrigation supply shops. Remember that you’ll need to be clear about the psi (you’ll probably want 160) and diameter (probably ¾-inch) when calling to ask around.
If you’re really stumped, you can buy the tubing online, although shipping will be expensive. Try United State Plastic Corp. or McMaster-Carr (search for “Flexible Polyethylene”). (Thanks to Reagan for her excellent sleuthing on these online sources!)
[another post on tubing]

Hooping It Up

Photo © by Scott Cohen, The Seattle Times contributor Kara Spencer has been featured in a Seattle Times fitness article, Hooping It Up. gets a mention, too … and ok, fine: so do I. The article will eventually be archived, so we’ve reprinted it below.

A Hip Hoop-la

Femke Groen, a Canadian hooper, has written an article describing how she discovered her passion for hooping, and the spell-binding allure of the spiraling energy. Read more about it at The Globe and Mail.

The sixth sense starts with hooping?

In the book Trust Your Vibes, psychic Sonia Choquette has included a six-sensory practice section at the end of each chapter. These are simple exercises that can help the reader tune into their sixth sense. In the “Go with the flow” chapter, the exercise consists of physical flexibility movements such as bending, stretching, or dancing, to be followed by mental flexibility exercises. And Sonia mentions hooping as a great way to gain flexibility:

As I mentioned earlier, a good way to practice developing flexibility is to loosen your hips. An easy way to do this is to go in your closet and get out that hula hoop that’s been slumbering there for a few decades (or maybe try your child’s closet) and twirl it around for a few minutes. If you can’t find a hula hoop, simulate the motion of the plastic circle revolving around your middle. (Remember how?)

Have you ever simulated the hooping motion in your mind? I haven’t but it sounds like an interesting meditation practice.