Browse Category: Smart Hoop Reviews

Finding Your Way As a Shy Flow Artist

5 years ago, I was just a quiet teenage girl, wishing desperately that I could release my inhibitions and let go on the dance floor, like all my peers.  I had several friends, most of whom were extroverts who adopted me.  However, I didn’t have any real hobbies or anything to help me relax as well as meet new people and learn new things.  So, when my boyfriend and I were sitting down, listening to the worst excuse for a romantic rap dubstep duo at a local Valentine’s day rave, my entire life changed as the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen stood in the middle of the dance floor and lite up her blaze LED hoop from Moodhoops.

I personally have always enjoyed hula hooping.  As a child, I was never very athletic or coordinated.  However, I could hula hoop longer than any of my friends.  It used to be my one of my favourite activities!  So, trying it again as an adult was more than fun.  However, I’m aware that most adults have always had trouble waist hooping, and that’s perfectly fine too!

Anyway, it took me probably about 3 years before I made any friends or gained any sort of recognition.  I had been quietly lurking on hoopcity for a while, but rarely ever posted videos or questions.  Eventually, I started seeing questions from new hoopers and found that I usually had some good advice for them.  Then, when Unity of the Hula Hoopers emerged on the scene, suddenly, I was friends with all these different hoopers, who I had been watching for years.  I even got to meet a few when I won a free ticket to Kinetic Fire!

Since then, and with the aid of different facebook groups full of spinners, I have made many incredibly talented friends who are always there to give me great advice when life gets tough.  We may meet up once or twice a year to spin, or we may just dream about meeting for years. However, I know my family of flow artists will always be there to have my back when I need them!

 

So, if you find that you are without a good support system already, joining forces with hoopers can be a great way to build up your friend circle!  However, remember that with most things in life, the majority of people you will meet through this hobby will not be introverted like you.  They will enjoy yelling and screaming with joy; they will see you across a busy area and shout your name and wave until every person within the immediate vicinity is staring at you and you alone.  They will want to paint your face, push you onto stage, and suffocate you in hugs until you can’t even remember what it was like to have a personal bubble.  But at the end of the day, as long as you are honest and genuine with your quest to achieve the zen of flowdom, you will no doubt gain a family of friends who are there to aid you in whatever they can and always shower you in love.

If you find yourself struggling to make friends, facebook groups can help tremendously.  There are groups for each state in the US, as well as big international groups like Infinite Circles Community.  These, or simple google searches can lead you to flow events within your area where you can meet people who share the same interests and goals as you!  However, if you’d prefer to stay inside alone with your cats as your only hoop critics, that’s okay too.  Just as long as you keep spinning.

ZL Hoop by ZL Hula Hoops

Zillion Lights Hula Hoops wants to provide you with the best, all around smart hoop! With over 1000 patterns and 1 week shipping time, this hoop is a force to be reckoned with.  The ZL hoop may be the first Smart Hoop to be completely water resistant and to allow for at home re-tubing. It comes preloaded with 1000+ patterns and features a remote that allows the user to customize each mode in different ways.  The remote is extremely challenging to decipher, but the instruction manual and online video tutorials area great help.  Another downfall of the ZL hula hoop is that it currently features a bulky, outer cuff connection.  But, this is what allows the hoop to resist dirt and water so well.  The battery is compacted neatly away inside the inner tube of the hoop, with the outer connection protecting it from any outside danger. And, the price tag of $379 isn’t bad either.  The ZL hoop is the perfect option for anyone looking for a preloaded smart hoop that will set them apart from the crowd.  With the standard one year warranty and short one week shipping time, the risk that comes along with buying one is minimal.  And the option to re-tube the entire hoop, for just the price of the tubing, is a great advantage for any hooper.  No more paying hundreds of dollars every couple of years to repair your hoop!  The ZL smart hoop really is a fresh take on the idea of smart hoop.  Every bit of this hoop has been carefully thought out and engineered and it shows in everything from the balance of the hoop (we always recommend ordering the counterweight version), to the packaging of the accessories it comes with.  If you want a hoop made with care, choose one from Zillion Lights.

HOOPREVIEW RATING: 4/5

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Flux LED Hoop by Proton Labs

The Flux LED Hoop is the newest creation to be born from Proton Labs.  You may remember them for the Helix Hoop, which helped pave the way for all smart hoops we have to choose from now.  The Flux is basically the new and improved version.  It’s sound reactive, motion reactive, has an LED screen, is lighter and even has more memory than the Helix for patterns!  Proton Labs boasts, too, that the Flux will operate on all major operating systems and is better built than any other smart hoop on the market.  While the $450 price tag is a bit steep, if Proton Labs delivers on all its promises, that price will well be worth it.  It is still not the most expensive smart hoop on the market (*cough cough* Phoenix).  With special graphic design, Proton Labs has made this the most intense looking smart hoop on the planet.  This means patterns will look cleaner and crisper and more “HD” than on any other smart hoop!  The Flux is our current choice for BEST LED HOOP available.

HOOPREVIEW RATING: 5/5

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Future Hoop by Moodhoops

The Future Hoop has become one of the most well known smart hoops around and there’s a good reason for that!  It is the best smart hoop in terms of durability and customer service reputation.  It features a no LED gap, hundreds of patterns to choose from, a remote to control and customize the patterns, and different price options to fit anyone’s budget!  The remote is relatively easy to decipher, unlike that of the ZL Hula Hoop.  But, Moodhoops still have a tutorial explaining everything you need to know. Plus, this is one of the only smart hoops available in lightweight 5/8″ tubing.  Whether you choose the shuffle, remote, or pro version, you are sure to love your Future hoop for years to come.

HOOPREVIEW RATING: 5/5

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Protoge Hoop by Prodigy Hoops

Don’t be fooled by the seemingly endless supply of social justice hoop warriors, this hoop has very little credibility currently.  If you enjoy waiting in long lines and receiving obscure answers from your customer service reps, then the Protoge from Prodigy Hoops is just for you!  In a month long campaign on Kickstarter, Prodigy Hoops made almost $100k in revenue.  That is unheard of in the hoop community! By selling programmable smart hoops for around half the price of similar hoops, Prodigy Hoops has accomplished what most hoop companies dream of.
But can they handle the massive order load?
That has yet to be determined.  Hoops were originally supposed to start shipping in April, but after 9 months (mazel tov!) of excruciating excuses and many, many claims that the hoop was currently shipping, it looks like the hoops are finally about to ship! In fact, Jon claims that they have shipped, but won’t be able to update any tracking information yet. We will keep you posted here to if the hoops actually ever do truly ship and what the customers are saying about it in terms of quality and customer service.

Protoges were also supposed to be available to try at Electric Forest, but money of many different delays kept that promise from coming true.  Much like the one of sending hoops out into the community for people to try for free, before buying one.

Information about the hoop: The Protoge currently only comes in 11/16th tubing, but the shop owner has claimed he will make standard tubing sizes availble (and free for all current backers) soon.  He also claims that they have motion detection, like Psi Hoops and you can do lots of other stuff too.  Frankly, none of it has been proven yet, so writing here seems pointless. I’m still expecting backers to receive packages filled only with shipping peanuts and an inspiration message, thanking them for their everlasting patience.

Our advice? Don’t buy this hoop. It honestly doesn’t look like it quite can stack up to hoops like the Hyperion, Flux, Phoenix, and Futurehoop.  Also, we have yet to see how long it will take for hoops to ship, or how durable they will be.  And the customer service is most likely going to be abhorrent, after everything we have witnessed from Jon so far.

HOOPREVIEW RATING: 0/5

**Update** 12/12/2016 One hoop has been successfully delivered and looks good! Now the question is how quickly can they ship the rest of the hoops out? Then, will they be able to sustain the high work loads that come with their low price?

**Update** 1/10/2017 Still only one hoop has been shipped. The other backers who claimed to receive tracking numbers do not have hoops.  The last update Jon gave his backers claimed hoops would be shipped by New Years, but there is still nothing going out. The backers are becoming more and more restless everyday.

 

 

Hyperion Hoop by Argent Data Systems

Let the Hyperion Hoop light up your life with its breathtaking patterns and incredible battery life.  Though this hoop does contain a noticeable battery gap, it is sure to never let you down at any festival as you can keep it lit as long as you prepare enough batteries ahead of time.  It also features the same pattern creating system as the Phoenix, and although not as bright, is a very comparable hoop.  The Hyperion is compatible with android systems, has motion sensors, and can even pair up with any other Hyperion so you can perform with your hoop friends with ease!  The Hyperion is the perfect choice for any hooper searching for a reliable, affordable, and programmable smart hoop.

 

HOOPREVIEW RATING: 5/5

Price: $380

 

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Phoenix Hoop by Spin-FX

The Phoenix is the brainchild of Hoopdaddy, but has been since handed over to the very capable hands of Spin-FX.  The updated 2016 version of the Phoenix hoop includes: up to 4 hour battery life, 2 hour quick charge time, brighter LEDS, an upgraded power button, and a new bluetooth system compatible with both IOS & Android!  Plus, the Phoenix has a great pattern designer system which allows you to upload any image you want to use as a pattern on the hoop, just like the Hyperion.  The main differences between this hoop and the Hyperion is the Phoenix features a gapless design, and has and internal battery.  The Hyperion has about an inch gap to allow you to use interchangeable batteries to keep the hoop glowing all night long. But if you are a hooper looking for the brightest hoop with the crispest and most unique patterns, the Phoenix may be the best choice for you!

HOOPREVIEW RATING: 4/5

Price: $399 ($10 off with code HOOPREVIEW)

 

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Atomic Evoke by Astral Hoops Review

Astral Hoops has been in the smart hoop game since the very beginning.  After years of experimentation and progress, Astral Hoops is now on their 4th edition of one of the most popular hoops of all time: the Atomic Evoke Hoop. With over 160 modes to choose from, a pattern creator, a favourites bank, and hidden modes, this smart hoop is a great option for both amateurs and professionals alike.  Though the technology is now lacking in comparison to newer hoops, the Evoke is definitely one of the most trustworthy hoops around.  Astral Hoops has always been known for their good customer service and hoop-smith quality.  Not to mention these are some of the lightest and most well balanced smart hoops around!  And, they even have the option for 5/8″ and colored polypro tubing!  Unfortunately, the custom pattern creating software is rather lacking.  It clashes with many operating systems and is all around difficult to use.  But, if you are looking for an easy to use hoop for LED performances on the go, the Evoke is the perfect smart hoop for you!

 

HOOPREVIEW RATING: 3.5/5

Price: $379

 

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