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Polypro hoops Vs HDPE hoops: What is the difference?

HDPE hoops Vs Polypro hoops which is better?

Should You Choose a Poly Pro Hoop or is HDPE better?

This is a common question, and in order to answer it, it is important to look at the similarities and differences. In this article we will explore

The differences between HDPE and Poly Pro.
How they behave in different temperatures.
Hear from a popular hoopsmith and teacher about the differences.
And give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

Want to know what the difference is in how these hoop materials perform?

Here  are a  few comparisons between polypro and HDPE based on reactivity, durability, flexibility.


Looking to Buy a Poly Pro Or HDPE Hoop?
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When a poly pro hula hoop may be better

Try it with these Hula Hoop Tricks:

  • Any type of breaks
  • Hand spins
  • Palm spins
  • Nose hooping
  • Head hooping
  • Bounces
  • Wedgies
  • Any type of move that bends tubing
  • Most off body moves

When a HDPE hoop may be better

Try it with these hula hoop tricks:

  • Shoulder duck outs
  • Leg hooping
  • Foot hooping
  • Elbow hooping
  • Chest hooping
  • Waist hooping
  • Hooks (because it doesn’t bounce off as easy as PPE)
  • Typically most on-body hooping

Polypro tubing

Poly Pro Tubing

Polypropylene, otherwise known as polypro or PPE, is a tough and flexible plastic. You would typically see this plastic in carpets, reusable containers, and loud speakers. Polypro can be made translucent or opaque. The downside of using polypro is that it can crack in the cold weather or actually shatter when switching from one cold area to a hot area.

HDPE Tubing

Kemmit Hoops Bare HDPE hoops

HDPE is otherwise known as High-Density Polyethylene or “PEHD” (Polyethylene High-Density). HDPE is typically used in plastic bottles or corrosion resistant piping. It is much denser than polypropylene and can withstand higher temperatures. Meaning it is much less likely to crack or shatter in the cold. HDPE’s downside is that it does not work well in the heat because it gets wobbly and flexible (in a not so great way). This tubing is also easier to kink than polypro.

Hoop Responsiveness

Responsiveness is the bounciness of the hoop, how fast it reacts to your movements and changes of direction. A more responsive material will react faster than a less-responsive one.

If you are a speedy hooper and you want to go quickly, polypro is going to be your best friend. It has a high reaction speed because it is more responsive. It’s very bouncy and is easy to perform change of direction moves like breaks.

Now if you are a hooper who likes control, HDPE is likely the material you want to go with. Although it reacts effectively, there is a bit of a lag in the response, meaning you need to put more effort into pulling of the same moves.

Ultimately you can hoop with either, but doing breaks specifically would take less energy with Polypro. HDPE absorbs more force, therefore you need more force in order to get it to react.

Still confused?
Community member hoopsmith, and all around tremendous person Katie Emmit graciously made a pair of videos talking about the materials.

Take a watch and be sure to subscribe to her YouTube channel.

Shattering Versus Kinking: The ways your Hoop Will Break

When we talk about breaks here we are not talking about the tricks, we are talking about unpleasant surprises that any hooper who uses their hoop sufficiently will run into.

Because Polypro is more responsive to force and less shock absorbing, force applied to it is placed upon its structure. Thus when things go wrong, you are likely to outright break/shatter your hoop.

It is much more sensitive to cold weather and people have broken their hoops while attempting to coil them down in winter climates.

HDPE is more inclined to kink, it is also prone to becoming mushier in hot climates. The solution is to only coil it down for traveling purposes and to never leave it exposed sitting in a hot car for long periods of time.

Final Thoughts

Remember no material is right for everyone the best idea will always be to experiment for yourself and see what feels right for you.


Personal Experience.


  1. Linz Wysong on June 28, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    There are some problems with this article. The picture used to represent HDPE actually appears to be a roll of PE from a hardware store.
    It’s also not true that polypro is more responsive. It merely responds in a different way.
    Thanks! -Linz from Ruby Hooping

    • Naeem Scott on June 29, 2015 at 12:16 am

      Thank you for taking the time to read the article and leave commentary.

      We are looking to correct the image to more accurately represent HDPE.

      I think that with regards to responsiveness there may be some misunderstanding on how responsiveness is defined.

      IF there is a difference in the way they respond then one is more responsive than the other.
      Because HDPE is more shock absorbent than Polypro, it is viewed as more responsive.
      This simply means it takes less force to make polypro respond to certain moves. Such as breaks.

      If this is true then polypro is more responsive than HDPE.

      • Linz Wysong on June 29, 2015 at 6:04 pm

        Thank you so much for taking the time to reply! 🙂

  2. Laura Lee on November 3, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Has the HDPE picture been updated? Also, I have seen a black piping also. Would the black be even a different option? Arghhh! I’m just getting more confused. I read somewhere that Polyethylene would be a good choice for beginners. Is this true? And is that a 3rd contestant or just something from which each of these are made. Or maybe the polyethylene is the black one I saw. Tell me there’s no more choices. Then there’s psi. What?!! What does that do and what does that mean? Arghhh! Not to mention diameter of hoops and diameter of the pipe/tubing. Inner diameters and/or outer diameters. I’m just getting more and more confused. Help!

    • Emily B on December 14, 2017 at 2:16 am

      I don’t believe there are any standard tubing materials commonly used. I am completely baffled at what “psi” is (unless you are talking about the LED hoop Psikohoop. Yes I would say HDPE is better for beginners.

      • Emily B on December 14, 2017 at 2:17 am

        any other standard tubing materials*

    • Naeem Scott on December 19, 2017 at 10:24 am

      Hey Laura, we are working on a revision of this article now in order to make things much clearer about the terminology options and when you would be best served choosing each type of material.

      • Laura Lee on February 7, 2018 at 10:42 am

        Exciting. Thank you.
        Will it be this page? If not it would be so wonderful if we could find a link to click on either in the comments here or in the article. Again, thank you.

        • Flowmie on February 21, 2018 at 2:36 pm

          Laura, this page will be updated with that information.
          If you like, I can email you when we update the article.

          Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out.

  3. Jessi on February 13, 2018 at 7:42 am

    What could I do if my HDPE got wobbly in the heat? Is there any chance to bring it back to its normal “appearance”?

    • Flowmie on February 21, 2018 at 2:34 pm

      Hi there Jessi, thanks for reaching out with your question.
      Here is a video I found that covers a lot of methods to fix a non-circular hoop let us know if this works to help you fix your problem.

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