The hoop world has been buzzing about poly pro for awhile now and I am, admittedly, a late adopter. But! I finally got mine yesterday and am happy to review my thoughts.
My first impression was that there just wasn't much to this hoop. Not necessarily a bad thing, except when you account for the cost. Be prepared to spend $50+ (including shipping) for a hoop that has none of the 'wow' factor of opening a beautifully taped and sparkly hoop. It is very plain, and looks almost used when you get it because of the sanding. I know that they are coming out with colored PPE hoops soon, so if you are looking for more 'umph' I would wait and get one of the colorful ones.
I happen to love plain jane hoops and excitedly began to play. I had a lot of questions before getting my hoop that I was happy to finally answer.
What is different?
As everyone says, speed. I have to react faster, because the hoop moves faster around me. The smallest touch will launch it. I made this video to show the difference in speed between comparable hoops. Watch the rotation of the hoop around my waist for each and the speed of the vortex to see how quickly and fluidly the PPE hoop moves without any added effort from me:
The hoops used in this were:
(blue hoop) 33" 125psi, 2 grip tapes
(black hoop) 33" 123psi, inner tape only
(clear hoop) 32" PPE hoop, sanded inside, no tape
(the PPE hoop is 30", but I didn't close it completely so it
would stay a comparable size to the other hoops)
Can I still do all the same stuff?
Yep. I was afraid that the speediness of the hoop would mean I was back to square one with some moves, but I was able to do everything I could do before, only it looks prettier! There are even a few things that are less scary with this hoop. Back and chest rolls with such a light hoop don't seem nearly as dangerous if they catch you in the face. (so fun.)
How does the hoop arrive?
The hoop comes unclasped and sanded on the inside, which is optional. You close it by pushing the smaller section into the opening, ending up with a flush closing. It is very secure and I dropped the hoop several times without it becoming lose at all.
Who is the best fit for this hoop?
Advanced hoopers. If your hoop is an intermediate size (28"-36", 1/2inch tubing) you should be fine transitioning to this hoop. If not, I would wait a bit to advance to this one, because it will make learning moves harder and more frustrating. This is a hoop for perfecting skill and not a great hoop for learning brand new moves.
What does it feel like to hoop with a PPE?
It feels like a magical force is propelling your hoop around you! It is so light and speedy that it seems like it just keeps spinning and spinning without you doing anything! Though it takes strength and skill to 'control' a hoop this light for things like isolations, it also relieves a lot of the strain that doing those repetitive motions with heavier hoops causes.
What size should I get if I go for it?
The same or an inch larger than your current "go-to" hoop. I usually go down a size with new hoops, but this one is a big enough change with the weight.
If you are comfortable with your intermediate hoop and looking for something super fun to add to your repetoire I HIGHLY suggest taking the PPE plunge. After only one day I had a hard time using the heavier hoops around me! It really does feel a bit like magic hooping with one - so definitely give it a try!
Have any more questions? Just let me know - I am happy to answer any I can.