One of the questions you may be asking when you first begin hooping is how heavy of a hoop do you want? Hoops can be made in many different weights, either by constructing with thicker tubing, or filling the tubing with water, sand, dirt, or salt.
Weighted Hoop Pros
I have a weighted hoop that I use often, mostly when I’m hooping for exercise. The heavier hoop will add resistance and work your muscles more, especially the core. You can really feel your belly work when you are chest hooping with the heavy hoop. I also find it much easier to get my heart weight up when I’m using my weighted hoop.
When I was first learning tricks, I found it was easier when my hoop was heavier. The hoop will naturally spin slower (unless you add more force, in which case even the heavy hoop will spin pretty quickly). As Newton’s Laws of Motion state: A body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted on by an equal and opposite outside force. In other words, once you get the heavy hoop spinning on you, it will be much harder for it to fall compared to the lighter hoop. I found it much easier to learn tricks when the hoop was spinning slower and It was less likely to stop spinning.
Weighted Hoop Cons
Beware if you have back issues. You can hurt yourself hooping. When you first start hooping with a heavy hoop, you may bruise. Once you find the parts of your body where the hoop should stay, and are able to keep the hoop there, bruising will happen less. But it will happen with the weighted hoop.
Also, a lot of people don’t like filling their tubing with water or sand, because it throws off balance. Others like the fluid feel of water in their hoop.
Though many tricks will be easier to learn with the heavy hoop, mostly on-body tricks, many will be harder if not impossible with it. As many become more advanced with their hoop practice, they move to a lighter smaller hoop. Breaks more are difficult with a heavy hoop (back to the Laws of Motion), as are reversals and isolations.
In general, most hoopers feel like you should have a variety of different weights and sizes in your hoop collection. Personally, I for sure feel that my weighted hoop has it’s place in my practice, though it’s definitely not the only hoop I use.