Trina writes, “Is there something hoopers are using besides a boombox to play music at hoopjams that I just don’t know about? I’ve seen hooping videos where people obviously have good loud music and they aren’t anywhere near a power source. What’s up?” – Trina
Back in 2003 when Vera and I began organizing Bay Area Hoopers, we used to gather around a tiny little boombox and took turns playing compact discs you could barely here in all the San Francisco wind. Volume really makes a difference. When we raised the volume, we suddenly had a real community. Our first step was investing in a portable PA system we could plug an ipod or laptop into, two speakers, and a rechargeable battery pack. It worked really well, good sound, but it was a pain in the ass to haul it to the park every Sunday. A couple years later we discovered the ION Block Rocker – an all in one unit on wheels with an internal rechargeable battery and an ipod dock up top. It was like heaven! Now some people have had great success with them, but I personally haven’t. My first lasted five months before the speaker died. The second one was good for a few months before developing a battery drainage problem. Again, some have had much better luck, but rather than buy a third I decided to splurge on the Rolls Royce of portable sound systems: The Alesis Transactive Mobile. Originally retailing for $599, I’d initially stayed away from it for obvious reasons, but the last time I needed sound Amazon had it onsale for about half that. I snatched one up and can tell you I’ve been loving it ever since. The battery lasts so much longer than the ION. I’m not sure how long because we haven’t been able to drain it yet. While it looks like it’s basically the same thing as the ION only in black, the real difference seems to be internal and how well it’s made. Check em out and happy hooping!