Our wooden hoop: The WOOP

Between September 2015 and February 2016 we spent a lot of time occupying ourselves with wood. It was our intention to create a wooden hoop which takes after a plastic hoop when it comes to its functions. Therefore we tried different types of wood and tested various possibilities of manufacturing. Unfortunately we soon realized that a wooden hoop would never be as flexible as a plastic hoop. But still we’re sure: Once you held a WOOP in your hands, you’ll never want to go back to plastic. The feel of the surface is unique and experiencing flow in the wooden hoop is amazing. You can find more details about the WOOP on hulawoop.at. Be excited about a new hoop feeling!

 

 

Here you can trace the development of our wooden hoop and read up on details about the different wood types that 

Isabella Maria, born 1987

- certified hoopdance teacher

- owner of HoopFlow

- is running HoopFlow's online shop

- part of the "HoopFlow Firedancers"

Isabella

 and Florian had tested:

 

WOOP#1: Beech

To find out whether it is actually possible to build a wooden hoop on our own we simply bought the first wood we

could get at the nearest store for building supplies: 

Beech

- Diameter: 87 cm

- Strength: 18 mm

- Weight: 500 g

beech.

 The way we built it worked better than expected but hooping with the wooden hoop was, as expected, not very pleasant. The hoop was very stiff, heavy and not elastic at all. However we immediately noticed the pleasantly smooth surface of the wood.

 

WOOP#2: Spruce

We stuck to our way of fabrication but we had to find softer material: 

Spruce

- Diameter: 87 cm

- Strength: 11x18 mm

- Weight: 280 g

spruce.

 The hoop was also made thinner and due to that became a lot lighter. Hooping with the hoop was much more pleasant because the wooden hoop was now elastic as well. Just like WOOP#1, this woop was sanded by hand. The process took a lot of time and was very exhausting which is why we were not completely content at the end.

 

WOOP#3: Pine

To improve our way of fabrication we used material with even lower cost: 

Pine

- Diameter: 87 cm

- Strength: 14 mm

- Weight: 240 g

pine.

  We also tried bating parts of the wood to dye it. Unfortunately the solution did not enter into the wood as deep as we had hoped which is why the effect on the colour was almost imperceptible. Still the hoop was great for playing because the elasticity of the material allowed almost all moves easily. After our first phase testing the hoop, however, our assumption that pine changes its form over time was confirmed.

 

WOOP#4: Larch

Due to its beautiful pattern and its positive traits, 

Larch

- Diameter: 87 cm

- Strength: 14 mm

- Weight: 290 g

larch

 also made it for quite a long time in our race towards the WOOP. Unfortunately, it didn’t make it through our extreme tests because it easily splinters due to its beautiful pattern.

 

WOOP#5: Maple

In contrast, 

Maple

- Diameter: 87 cm

- Strength: 14 mm

- Weight: 250 g

maple

 hardly splinters and it is relatively light and elastic as well, which is why we eventually chose this type of wood. Maple is also very popular in archery and is used for example for skateboards. It is elastic und break-proof at the same time and that way makes for the perfect material for our WOOP! To protect the wooden surface the maple hoops are additionally refined with special oil.

So, it took us about half a year to develop our wooden hoop. During this time we not only became more familiar with the natural material but we also learned to love it. Initially we planned on creating only a single WOOP for personal use. We were all the more delighted about so many people being interested in the project and all the feedback. We would have never thought that our experiment with wood would one day become reality in this way. If you also already have experience with hula hoops and want to try out the natural material you can order your own WOOP in our online store.