The Low-Down on Hula Hoop Grip Tape, Wax, and More!

by Mama Ruby

This post has been updated for 2022.

An Overview of Hula Hoop Grip Solutions for a Slippery Hula Hoop

When you first start hula hooping, there is a lot to learn.  You start researching what kind of hula hoop to get and before you know it, you’ve gone down a rabbit hole reading about hula hoop sizes, weights, and…grip.

So what do you mean by grip and why do I need it?

If you’ve ever had trouble with a hula hoop falling down, you need it.

Since hula hoops are made of sleek plastic, they are quite slippery in their unaltered state. It’s nearly impossible to learn how to hula hoop with a hoop that has no grip whatsoever.  Hoopers have come up with a variety of ways to deal with this over the years.

I am going to list all hula hoop grip options next, in the order of how commonly used they are based on my experience making and selling hula hoops for the past 6 years.

Most Common Type of Hula Hoop Grip – Gaffers Tape

Gaffers tape, which we often refer to as “grip tape”, is a durable, cotton-based cloth adhesive tape.  It is manufactured for use in the theater, movie and television production industries, to tape cords down and mark spots on the stage floor. 


hula hoop grip tape

As with most materials used to make hula hoops, gaffers tape has been brilliantly repurposed as grip tape by hula hoopers.

It’s perfect because it creates a serious amount of grip while adding a colorful pinstripe to your hula hoop.  There are many ways you can choose to apply grip tape.  At Ruby Hooping we generally do it two ways:

Hula Hoop Grip Tape Lined Inside:

hula hoop grip tape lined inside

Hula Hoop Grip Tape Spiraled Around:

hula hoop grip tape spiraled around

Both are suitable for beginners and advanced hoopers.  The style in which you choose to apply the grip tape to your hula hoop is personal preference.  As long as your hoop has grip tape of some kind, you will be fine as a beginner. 

In our Go Getter Starter Pack, which includes a beginner hoop, a dance practice hoop and a set of minis, here’s how we apply the grip tape: on the beginner hoop it is generously spiraled around; on the dance practice hoop is it spiraled but spaced out more, and on the minis, it is lined along the inner rim of the hoops.

go getter hula hoop grip tape

Gaffers tape comes in a wide variety of widths but 1/2″ is most common.  You can get a whole roll of the tape, which will last you several months or more, for cheap.  It comes in tons of bright colors, many of which are neon / UV reactive.  

The reason you should keep a roll of it on hand is because grip tape does need to be replaced every so often.  It will get dirty over time and also peel away from the hoop after months of use.

Generally you can just peel it off of your hoop, clean your hoop with alcohol (and possibly some coconut oil if there is residue that won’t come off easily), and then replace with a brand new strip of grip tape.

Grip tape will add a little bit of weight to your hoop, which is a good thing when you’re just starting out.

Other Types of Hula Hoop Grip Tape

Gaffers tape is not the only kind of grip tape hula hoopers use.  We also use an even more specialized, grippier tape called 3M Grip Tape.  This tape is manufactured for industrial non-slip situations.

It’s clear, so it works great on any hula hoop, and I would say MEGA is the word that describes how grippy this stuff is.  It is definitely more grippy than gaffers tape.

It adds more weight than gaffers tape also, which can be nice as a beginner.  It kind of sucks once you become more advanced though and don’t really necessarily want the extra weight all the time.

Even so, this tape is a great choice for at least two scenarios:

  1. Learning doubles, because it really helps the hoops grip to your hands
  2. Learning leg or shoulder hooping, because it really grips well to your skin and keeps the hoop from slipping so easily while learning these difficult moves

Hoop Wax and Other Non-Tape Grip Solutions

My personal favorite kind of hula hoop grip is hoop wax.  It’s SO grippy!  And it does not add extra weight to your hula hoop which is another huge plus for me.

Our hula hoop wax is made with natural ingredients like coconut oil and beeswax.  It also has essential oils added for a delicious aroma and glitter because..glitter 🙂 

For the small price tag, it’s completely 100% worth trying at the very least.  

If you’re a DIY kind of person, try looking up recipes for surf wax – very similar and will totally get the job done!! 

Keep in mind, hoop wax will get on your hands, so if you’re the kind of person that can’t stand that, then hoop wax is not for you.  Also, it can get a little bit gross in the summertime in extremely hot temperatures!

It does need to be reapplied about once a week if you are a daily hooper.  It’s also easy to clean off using coconut oil and a damp rag or you can scrape it off using the scrapers we provide with our wax.

Here’s our video on how to apply hula hoop wax (or you can click thru to watch it on Facebook).

Non-Wax Grip Sticks

There are various kinds of grip stick out there manufactured specifically for hula hoopers, and it’s fun to try them all!  

We’ve even seen people rub hot glue sticks onto their hula hoop and amazingly, it works pretty great!


And finally, sanding your hoop is a great way to get long-lasting grip without adding weight.  We recommend 60 grit sandpaper swiped lightly across the hoop in any direction you prefer.  For less grip, use a higher grit sandpaper!  You can also sand your hoop and then apply wax to the sanded portion for extreme grip action! 

I really hope this cleared up the very confusing subject of hula hoop grip!  Good luck on all your hooping adventures! 

If you are a new hooper, don’t worry! All of our beginner products (the Go Getter set, beginner hoop and weighted exercise hoop) come ready-made with the grip you will need!  

Don’t forget to join us in our Facebook group to share your favorite hoop grip ideas with us! 

Still having trouble getting your hula hoop to stay up? Try our Six Week Beginner Hula Hoop Challenge to get the best hoop training for your unique body, taught by our founder Mama Ruby.

Now get out there and get your hoop on!

Pictured: the beautiful Rinney from #TeamRuby

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Madelyn April 24, 2019 - 2:49 am

Hi if i have a decorative tapped hula hoop with a clear tape on the top can i wax the inside to make it have grip or will the wax even stick on the tape? Ive been hooping for a while and never used grip tape before and im not a huge fan of the aesthetic of grip because i havent been able to find many color options i think id like with my color morphing tape. Just found your site love it very much. Thanks for the help.

Mama Ruby May 15, 2019 - 2:06 pm

I personally would not use wax on top of tape! It could permanently damage the tape.


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