Lyra hoop maintenance is very important. Having a lyra hoop or aerial hoop at home means needing to know the efficient maintenance practice to always keep everything working as it should.
Aerial hoop is considered an easy apparatus to set up, maintain and store when it’s not in use. It basically consists of a few uncomplicated parts that needs to be put together. For me the main challenge in a home aerial hoop installation is figuring out the initial rigging style that you can accommodate in your space.
However you choose to have it installed, be it on an A Frame, mounted on the ceiling or a lollipop attachment on the freestanding stage pole, I find there are only a few basic maintenance steps that needs to be taken to enjoy your hoop for as long as you want. I will speak about 2 important maintenance steps I take to maintain my hoop below.
It is always good to open up your aerial hoop parts every now and then. Especially tightly screwed on parts like carabiners. If you have a ceiling installation or A Frame installation, your carabiners are constantly being weighted on by the heavy hoop ring as well as your weight.
Scheduling a periodic checking of your equipment. And opening up the carabiners will make sure that you have a chance to examine them for wear and tear. You can also give everything a good wipe down and dry the parts to keep rust at bay.
Lesson Learnt: I live in a humid weather. 2-3 months after my Aerial hoop installation, I decided to change the hoop height and had to unscrew the carabiners; It DID NOT open. It took a long time for me to unscrew the stuck carabiners. I know now that it is important to NOT over-tighten your carabiners in a hoop installation. Also, I realised now a snap auto lock carabiner is much more convenient than screw gate carabiner that has a higher chance of getting stuck.
Most types of cleaners can help you with hoop cleaning. I personally use the same X clean pole cleaner that I use to clean my dance pole. It is great to wipe down my hoop ring and accessories with a microfibre cloth. It does a great job removing the stickiness of any residual glue on the hoop ring left behind after hoop tape removal.
*Safety Tips: Carabiners are designed to be loaded on its major axis. Side or horizontal loading of the carabiner is dangerous and can cause the gate to open during use. It is important to understand safety loading of carabiners and what to avoid. Find reliable resources as reference and when in doubt, ask a professional.
Tape Your Hoop Ring
Taping your aerial hoop or lollipop has several benefits. It will help you to have a much better grip and provide a more cushioned surface for you. My favorite thing about a taped hoop vs the bare steel hoop is that I can use the hoop fully clothed due to the grippiness of the hoop tape. Also, my hands don’t slip anymore even when I am sweaty.
Most types of sports cloth tape can do the job but experiment and find what works for you. Depending on how often you use the hoop, the tape will need to be replaced once it is worn out. I love using white tape on my aerial hoop but I find that it stains easily and needs to be replaced every month.
One pesky thing about using tape on the hoop is the stickiness of a freshly taped hoop. It can be quite frustrating when you first have the tape installed. Especially since you just got rid of those sweaty old tapes. Your hoop looks pretty inviting but once you touch it you will notice the fresh tape is making it quite sticky.
Some aerial artists use chalk powder to ease the stickiness. My way of dealing with it? Read the Game Changer Tip below;
Game Changer Tip: Put on a pair of cheap grippy gloves during practice if you find the freshly taped hoop too sticky. The gloves protect your skin from coming into contact with the annoying glue. You will enjoy the extra grip from the glue with the gloves on. Give it a few days and you will notice the stickiness reducing.