How Big is a Hula-Hoop?

Hula hoop sizes for adults are typically 1.02 meters (40 in) in diameter. Those for children are usually 71 centimeters (28 in) in diameter.


The hula hoop is a toy that is spun along the neck, limbs or waist. Its exact origin is unknown, but variations of the plaything are present throughout history. The majority of hoops today are made from plastic tubing. Others are made from rattan, stiff grasses, grapevines or willow.

Historical Background

The toy has been used for pleasure and for exercise as far back as 500 BCE. During the ancient times, materials like rattan, willow and grass were used in making it. While hula hoop sizes differed even back then, the basic design is the same.

This is uncanny since ancient cultures had no way to interact with each other. In spite of the historical evidence, the belief persists that the toy was invented in the US in the 1950s.

In 14th century England, the hoops were expanded to adult usage. They would be used for fun and religious rituals too. Historical evidence shows that the toy was used by people with back pains. People who suffered from heart attacks were also encouraged to use them.

It was during this time that the term hula was attached to the device. According to the story, some British soldiers in Hawaii noticed the similarity of the movements with those of Hawaiian dancers.

Contemporary History

The hoops gained popularity during the 1950s when the toy company Wham-O started making plastic versions of the toy. Over 25 million hoops were sold in four months. Within a couple of years, sales topped the 100 million mark. The craze swept the US and other companies began making them. The Carlon Products Corporation at one point was making over 50,000 hoops daily.


The duration record holder is Bric Sorenson of the United States. He hooped for 90 hours from April 2 to 6 in 1987. The most hoops used simultaneously are 132. It is held by Paul “Dizzy Hips” Blair. He performed the feat on November 11, 2009. He beat the old record of 107 by Alesya Gulevich of Belarus.

The biggest twirled hula hoop size is 13.88 meters (45.55 ft). It is held by Ashrita Furman of the US. The record was attained on September, 2005. The record for hooping at the same time is 2,290 in Taiwan’s Chung Cheng Stadium. The event took place on October 28, 2000.

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