[Hooping.org columnist Lara Eastburn has your hooper holiday shopping covered.]
Are you that “creative” (read weirdo) hooper in the family that nobody knows how to shop for? Or maybe you’re pretty normal in their eyes – except for your obsession with all things hooping? What do they give to the hoop-lover they love? Tell them to relax and take a deep breath because we’ve got our annual guide to gifting for the renegade hooper with all sorts of stuff hoopers want this holiday season. Feel free to Email and social network this article at will. It’s okay. Aunt Sophie doesn’t really want to knit you another hat. And you know you don’t want another blouse that your Mom picked out, so help them help you in giving one of the Top Ten Things to Gift a Hooper (That Isn’t a Hoop) this holiday season. When they see the smile on your face, they’ll thank you for it.
10. iTunes Gift Cards: It’s no secret that hoopers live and love on their music. Make it easier on your hooper by pouring iTunes cash into their stocking this year. It fits any budget and you can find iTunes gift cards at many local supermarkets or pharmacies in your area. You simply can’t go wrong here and if you can’t find iTunes Gift Cards near you, you can always get them online.
9. Vibram FiveFingers: We listed this last year and got such a great response we’re listing it again. A hooper’s spin can depend a lot on solid contact with the ground beneath our feet. In warmer weather, many of us prefer to skip the shoes for happily muddy toes. But when it gets colder, or we have to hoop on potentially ouchy surfaces like asphalt, high-tech hard-core footwear is what we crave. There are a lot of options in this arena, but my personal time-proven faves are the original Vibram FiveFingers. Responsive, “like barefoot” footwear. I recommend trying them on to gauge the best fit for each pair of feet, so click on “Store Locator” for a gift certificate to a local retailer (from about $75). FiveFingers fit your foot like a glove, protect your feet, and best of all they don’t slow your flow.
8. Carry On! How many times have you lugged 40 hoops over aching shoulders to your local hoop jam or festival? Well guess what? There are things to help you and look great doing it. Several crafty hoopers have designed ways to make your favorite circles more portable. You can go for a simple and super colorful “Hoop Huggy” from Hoop Bug, or get real fancy with a zippered canvas carrier that even has it’s own pocket that fits up to twelve hoops from DreamWeaver Hoops.
7. Go Pro Video Camera: In the active online world of hooping, videos are a must for a lot of hoopers. Hooping videos are how we share our sick skills and ideas with friends and the virtual hooping world. GoPro is now out with a new version too! The GoPro Hero3 Camera (from $199) is smaller, lighter and 2x more powerful so it’s even better for us. It’s super versatile and can even attach to one’s hoop for the coolest in head-spinning, hoop-documentating. While you’re at it, print out and include a copy of Hooping.org’s Ten Easy Ways to Improve Your Hooping Video for inspiration.
6. Hooping Books and DVDs: In September, we told you all about a hoop-themed children’s book penned by fellow hooper Allison (Ali) Avalon. Well, it’s ready and shipping just in time to stuff the stocking of your favorite hoopers young and old ($17.95). It’s vibrantly illustrated, and there’s even a coloring book ($9.95) to go with it. You’ll recognize some well-known hoopers amongst the book’s characters, too, something that is also true of Hoopdance Revolution, a brand new book about our favorite subject by Jan Camp. Hoopdance Revolution: Mindfulness in Motion is equal parts instruction manual, history, as well as a personal introduction to performers, teachers, organizations and communities devoted to the hoop ($16.95) and available on Amazon. Also super fresh is Hoop Revolution’s Core Foundation DVD, the first from Anah “Hoopalicious” Reichenbach, routinely regarded as the mother of the modern hoop dance movement ($19.99). Score! Is your hooper is into yoga? Whether they are or not, Shakti Sunfire’s two-DVD set Pranam ($33) combines yoga with radiant hoopdance, plus she’s Hooping.org’s 2012 Female Hooper of the Year.
5. The Alesis Transactive Mobile: Speaking of a hooper’s love of music, bringing quality sound to an outdoor hooping session can seem an almost insurmountable challenge. Sure, you can tuck your iPod shuffle into your ponytail. But what we really, really want is a kick-butt uber-portable sound system we can take anywhere. Our favorite is a Philo Hagen discovery, one he calls “the Rolls Royce of portable sound systems”. Retailing for as much as $599.00, I got mine on Amazon for $179.52 with free shipping. It’s got a built-in rechargeable battery that rocks out for 12 hours, a universal iPod dock, mi-in and RCA lines. And it’s on wheels, yo.
4. A Hoop Gathering: Every year hoopers gather together at numerous hooping retreats to share our love for hooping and spin it up together. The experience of meeting, being, and dancing with those that share the hoop love can be encouraging, inspiring, and even life-changing. For every one that makes it to a gathering, there are ten more that wish they could. Get your hooping loved-one on their way to the most rewarding hoopjam they’ll attend all year with a registration, plane ticket, or a contribution towards either and it will be the greatest gift you ever helped them give themselves.
3. Hoop Gift Certificates: Now, maybe your hooper (or hooper-to-be) really does just want a new hoop. All of the options out there can be dizzying and daunting to even the most experienced hooper. Odds are your mom doesn’t actually know what size you want your tubing to be, right? Support your favorite hooper’s art without having to know the details. Contact a local or online hoopmaker for a gift certificate so your hooper can figure out the right size and colors for themselves. You’ll be supporting small business and making your hooper’s dream come true.
2. Hooping Time and Support: Investing in one’s hooping practice can be daunting. We have to juggle as many responsibilities as anyone else, so carving out 30 minutes to do what we love is priceless. Demonstrate your support for your loved one’s habit by showing that you know how much their practice matters to them. Tell your hooper you’ve got dinner – or the kids, or the dishes, or the laundry, or the bills – tonight. Put a hoop in their hands, shove ‘em out the door, and let them thank you later. If it’s too cold outside and you want to create a space where they can hoop indoors, you’re set for life.
1. You. Yeah, we secretly (or not so secretly) wish you’d hoop with us. Why not join your hooper for 15 minutes and share in the fun? What’s the worst that could happen? They’ll feel the love and you just might like the smile that creeps across your face. Even if hooping’s not your thing, you’ll get some quality time with a pretty fantastic human. And that, my friends, is without a doubt the reason for the season.
Lara Eastburn has been dancing in meadows and singing with the moon while spinning in circles for eons at Superhooper.org. She’s also the driving force behind Circumference with online and live business and marketing classes for hoop makers, instructors, and performers.