Buying a lyra hoop is an investment itself, it may not be as pricey as a new car but the installation requirements need tremendous considerations. It’s not as simple as buying a furniture which you can just place anywhere you want. You have to take into account several factors which we’ve listed below to guide you in your first lyra hoop purchase.
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Aerial hoop performances require ample space for unconstrained movement. A cramped room isn’t feasible for installation unless you prefer to only do sitting exercises on your lyra hoop.
As a rule of thumb, use the point where the hoop hangs as the center of the circle, and measure 1.25m around as its radius. This should provide enough space for your aerial performance. Also, the ceiling height should at least be 4.5m high to prevent your feet from touching the ground.
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Tabs are the protrusions attached to the hoop to connect it to carabiners or cables. Different tab styles appropriate for the move and effect you want to highlight for your performance are available. Single tab, double tab, and tab-less lyra hoops are the options you can choose from.
Single tabs connect the hoop at one point, allowing it to freely spin and swing around. Double tab configurations swing more like a trapeze and don’t spin. Tab-less lyra hoops allow users to set it up as single or double tab without restrictions, enticing performers aiming for setup flexibility.
Lyra hoops are usually made of either aluminum or steel. You should decide which one to buy depending on its purpose and the frequency of use.
Aluminum hoops are lighter and easier to steer, making it ideal for solo acts and beginners starting to learn the basics. However, because they’re lighter, they also have lower working load limit compared to steel ones. If the dynamic load exceeds the material’s limit, aluminum hoops may snap without warning.
The steel hoops, on the other hand, are sturdier but also harder to maneuver. They can either be hollow or solid in tubing composition. Solid ones are suitable for multi-performer acts using only one hoop. Steel rings are heavy-duty and will slightly deform before they break, giving you ample warnings signs to replace them before they cause accidents.
Load limit not only pertains to the user’s weight (static load) the hoop can handle but also the weight when the body’s in motion (dynamic load).
When the body is in motion while hanging from the hoop, tugging weight increases up to 500%, depending on the motion’s momentum and force. For safety reasons, standards require hoops to be able to withstand up to 10x of static load.
Competition commissions may have higher guidelines, requiring up to 15x static load capacity.
If you weigh 200lbs, look for lyra hoops with a load limit of 2,000lbs to ensure your safety.
When you see hoop sizes, they usually refer to the external diameter of the ring measured in inches. The ring’s circumference usually measures 1in to 2in thick.
To measure the diameter of the ring appropriate for your body size, sit on a chair with your back straight and thighs perpendicular to your legs, and then start measuring from the bottom of the chair to the top of your head; add 4in to the length you got. If you get around 32in base measurement, you need to get a hoop with a diameter of 36in.
If you’re planning to share the hoop with others or you’re not sure if you’re getting the right measurement, the 37in hoop should be a safe bet. It’s the most common size people buy for studio or home use.
Ropes and cables
Hoops with tabs can be hooked using metal cables. A carabiner is attached to a tab to act as the link between the cable and the ring. For lyra hoops without tabs, there are nylon straps, polyester straps, and special ropes you can knot to the ring.
Lyra hoops usually come in a metallic finish but some have color-coated finishes.
Some users tape their hoop to apply customized colors appropriate to the theme of their act. Taping your hoop requires a certain technique. Wrapping it haphazardly may create an uneven surface and make the ring uncomfortable to grip.
The average price of lyra hoops ranges from $100 to $400. Prices vary according to all the factors we’ve discussed above and also on the manufacturer’s reputation. More known manufacturers may offer higher prices because of the quality of materials they used in producing the product.