collapsable hula-hoop

so i was turned on to hooping by some friends of mine, problem was hoops are big, at least the fun ones. i'd found some information on making collapsable hoops on the net, but they used bungie cords to hold sections together. so i decided to make an one piece collapsable hoop, and it worked pretty well. i've made some simple revisions, and it's still not perfect, but very usable.

makin' the hoop

i've made a slight modification to jason's regular hoop making directions.

first you need to smooth out the gray connector so the tube can twist around it. what you want to do is remove any bumps that stick up on the connector, holes are ok. don't remove the barbs. mine had some mold marks on one of the barbs. you can carefully remove the bumps with a sharp knife or more safely with a file.

now before you put the connector in the tube and make your hoop, i've found some lubricant to help. put some Vaseline (petroleum jelly) on the connector and the inside of the tube, just as far as the connector is going to go in. i put the vaseline on the tube before heating.

put your hoop together per jason's instructions. but don't tape the seam. and i would try collapsing it before decorating it. after you hoop is done you should be able to collapse it.

collapsing the hoop

to collapse the hoop stand the hoop up on the ground with the connector at the top. you can put a foot on the hoop where it touches the ground to keep things from moving around. now, push the top of the hoop to the floor. the tube should twist at the connector. if the tube doesn't twist at the connector stop, you just going to kink you hoop. you might have to grab the tube on either side of the connecter and help it twist. you should be able to get the top of the hoop to touch the bottom of the hoop, when this happen the hoop should look kind of like a pair of wings. now take the wings and push them together. you hoop should now be doubled up on its self or collapsed.

to expand your hoop just do what you did to collapse it in reverse. you will probably have to untwist it a bit to get it to flatten out.

once expanded your hoop should behave just like a normal hoop.


i have only made two of these. one was from a 11 foot chunk of 100 psi 1 inch black poly tubing. the first time i tried to collapse the hoop i kinked the tube and it just folded. the second time i tried i got it to collapse, i had to go really slow and twist it in the opposite direction as i had tried the first time. and after that it just folded every time i tried. the good news is that if you do kink your hoop you can still use it as a non-collapsable hoop.

the second one was made from a 16 foot chunk of the same tubing. this one is easy to collapse and expand. expanded this hoop is just over 5 ft diameter. when i collapse it i get down to just over 2 1/2 feet diameter. certainly makes it much easier to carry around. and you should be able to fit that in any car.

i currently don't have the money for more research and development. i have done very little testing of this design. i make no guarantees that it will work or anything else.

one thought that i've had for making a smaller collapsable hoop would be to try 3/4 inch tubing, it might work better.

i was able to open the smaller hoop, by heating up one end of the tube, and add a cup of water. i didn't have any problems with it leaking the short time i had water in it. i was also able to remove the water, it was too heavy.

also, i haven't decorated my hoops. i would assume that these hoop can be decorated with vinyl (electrical) tape at least. one thing you will have to do is cut the tape at the seam where the two ends of the tube meet so it can twist.

i've been thinking that really big hoops might even be able to be tripled or quadrupled up. depending on how really big it is.



matt - hooper at dabble dot org