How to re-tape an aerial hoop. The right way.

March 2023

Aerial | Rigging | Equipment | All

Taping your aerial hoop

Taping your aerial hoop

How to Tape an Aerial Hoop. The right way.
We've taped more hoops than we can remember. We've tried a bunch of different techniques, used a variety of different tapes and learnt from a whole bunch of mistakes. So here is the best way that we know of to tape a Hoop. 

Why use tape at all?
The main reason for taping your hoop is to improve the grip of the hoop and stop your clothes from slipping when performing moves. If you like to perform or train with a lot of skin showing then tape actually stops you sticking and chaffing on the bare metal. Steel is also cold! Tape combats this, as well as making the hoop softer on your hands. Plus it means you can add a little colour to your hoop!

Do I need to prep my hoop before re taping it?
Do you need to do any prep to the hoop before re-taping? Nope. And don't fall for the 'tape removal' sprays. They're not necessary. Just avoid leaving any lumps of goo and the tape will do the rest.

Wrapping technique
Creating a kink free, smooth and beautifully taped lyra is an art, and there's no denying that it takes a little time to perfect your technique. Practice makes perfect, but try to keep the tape taught at all times, and keep the overlap consistent from top to bottom - and you'll get the knack in no time.

How to tape a Hoop
1. Taking the clock analogy, with the tab at the top. (If it’s tab-less, you will need to mark this place so that you hang the lyra the correct way around.)
2. Start taping at 6 o’clock, overlapping the tape by about a third of its width.
3. Tape up to 12 o’clock
4. Repeat on the other side.

That’s it. That’s all you need. Simple as that. You don’t need a double layer of tape, it's unnecessary and it's also wasting valuable tape (and airtime!)

If you're using sports tape, after you’re done, cover the whole thing in chalk to absorb any extra glue. If you don’t do this, the lyra stays sticky for longer as your body oils, etc. fill in the gluey gaps.

What tape to use?
A popular choice of tape is Mueller M-Tape M-Tape which is inexpensive and comes in a wide range of colours (do bear in mind that the lighter the colour, the more it will show the dirt and the quicker it will look icky) and you can pick up on Amazon. Firetoys stock a couple of brands - Snake tape and an own brand version that is popular. Other known brands include Velox and Newbaum’s. We'd recommend using widths from 25mm to 40mm. We find The 50mm stuff is hard to apply without creases. Other brands of cotton sports tapes are out there so try a few and see what works for you.

Firetoys Snake Tape:
Firetoys Aerial Adhesive Tape:
Use the AERIALADDICT code at Firetoys Checkout for a 10% discount. 

Mueller M Tape:

Other advice you might see online and why you can ignore it!
Before writing this post, we took some time out to have a hunt around the internet and see what other people had to say on the subject. Turns out that there's a bunch of stuff out there that is categorically wrong (in our opinion) and going to lead to a bunch of problems when you're mid flight.

Let's kick off with the taping direction. There's a RIGHT way and a WRONG way. There's videos all over YouTube showing hoopers taping their hoop from top to bottom. Starting at 12-o-clock, and working their way to the bottom.

Taping your hoop this way is only going to end badly. Starting at the top and working down, means that when you run your hands down the sides of the hoop, you're going to be rubbing 'against the grain' and are going to end up with sticky hands, as well as rough edges and back curled tape bumps all the way from top to bottom. Ouch.

The other advice thats seemingly been copied and pasted all over the place, advises starting taping at the 5-o-clock point and working clockwise around to 12, and then work from 7 anti-clockwise back to 12. The thinking being that this creates a lovely double taped area at the bottom of the hoop (Between 5 and 7) where the majority of the action happens.

Whilst this might sound sensible, it's just not going to work. Using this method, if a layer of tape wears away, you aren’t left with a lovely usable backup layer of tape. You are left with a gaping, glue-filled hole in the surface of the tape, which as soon as you hang on it will commence taking a bite right out of your palm.

This makes the tape back-curl in the one area that you most frequently hold the hoop - at the bottom, between 5 and 7 o'clock. So one of your hands always gets torn up, not to mention the backs of your knees.