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Monthly Archives: September 2013

  • Loz Because on Play Perfect Hoops

    I have been hooping for 8 years, I perform as a professional circus hulahooper, with a strong cross-over into dance hooping of various styles. I travel a lot with my work and like to train and play with my hoops every day if possible. I discovered Play Juggling Perfect Hoops at the British Juggling Convention (April 2013) and have since completely converted to them. I have sold most of my other hoops (a mix of rhythmic gymnastic hoops and poly-pro) in favour of the Play Perfects – so I feel obliged now to the hooping community to write a review and let you all know about them!

    My hoop size of choice: The 16mm tube, 860mm/34inch diameter (outer edge)

    Strengths:

    Rigidity – lovely lovely rigidity.

    This hoop holds a damn near perfect circle. Because the plastic resists flex so well, it is
    also mega responsive. If you think of how it would feel hulahooping with a floppy innertube – where it absorbs all movement into a wobbly mess that falls around your ankles like yesterday’s pants. Well it is the opposite of that. Tight-freshly-elasticated-cottonfresh hulahoop. It responds to the smallest of movements, so if you’ve ever struggled raising a hoop from your knees to your neck you will love this. Also for multihooping, the first time I tried splitting 4 hoops with the Play Perfects was a joy!

    Rigidity does not however mean total lack of flex. I love a good wedgie trick (where the hoop needs to bend quite significantly in order to spring back to complete the trick), and this plastic definitely allows for a great range of movement. You can flex it and even pack it down to half its size and when returned to its original size its an almost perfect circle! BOOM! Wedgie trick into an isolation? Not a problem.

    Externally the plastic has a very smooth opaque finish (in a range of colours) and is aesthetically very pleasing. I’ve found I like to grip-tape just the inside of the hoop for good traction, but leave the outside naked for good-looking-ness. I simply scratch the outer edge with some rough sandpaper for traction on body rolls etc.

    Packdown

    This is one of the best features of this hoop. They are detachable at one point with a button release. You can fold the hoop around itself to reattach at half its original diameter. This is incredibly useful for transport. I clip mine onto the back of a rucksack; I can carry up to 8 hoops this way without feeling encumbered. WIN. You can also carry them diagonally across the neck and shoulder quite comfortably and securely. You can go trekking through mountains with your hoop and hardly notice it’s there! What’s even better is you can fly more easily with them. Sadly they don’t actually give you the power of human flight, but if you employ the services of an established airline, you can transport them easily in a suitcase, or in hand-luggage.

    Weaknesses

    The attach/detach mechanism is stiff to use. Play juggling would do well to provide a device to help press the button without breaking your thumbnails.
    The mechanism obviously has to be sturdy to withstand the onslaught we hoopers inflict on our equipment, but it’s a pain in the thumb to open.






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