My friend Meagan and I were at Whitehorse’s annual summer music festival last weekend – the Sunstroke Festival. Our friend Liz was there selling home made hula hoops to the crowd. We were really impressed with the hoops and were having a fantastic time playing with them. Meagan in particular is a pro – she got in a hula-hoop-off with a guy who works at our local bike shop – winning after they’d both been going for 20 minutes and someone sabotaged his hoop. I am not nearly as good – but I would love to have a hoop so that I could learn to be a pro too. We checked out the hoops and decided that they didn’t look that hard to make and instead of buying hoops we’d make our own (sorry Liz).
So we sat down with our computers and started to learn all about hula hoop culture. We came across what everyone refers to as the definitive source on how to make your own hula hoops. If you too want to try out this the place you need to look up is Jason Unbound. The direct link is here.
After reading over the instructions and checking out a few more sites that confirmed how super easy it is to make your own hoops we headed over to Home Hardware to get ourselves some pvc pipe, connectors, and as many colours of electrical tape as we could find. It turns out that the appropriate pvc pipe only comes in 100 foot lengths – this is approximately enough for 8 hoops – so we figured we’d end up with 4 each, giving us lots of chances to creatively decorate our new toys. We got 3/4″ pipe, as every source we looked up suggested, and confirmed with the store staff that we needed the 3/4″ connectors to fit in the pipe – there is a lesson to be learned here about believing the word of store staff making minimum wage who just want to get you out of their hair. Then we headed home to construct our hoops.
We cut our first two lengths of pipe and dipped the ends of the pipe into boiling water, as we’d read to do, so that the pipe would become malleable and we could slide in the connectors. That was when we hit a pretty major snag – the pipe did not become even slightly malleable – it got really, really, really hot – but that was it – and there was no way to get the connectors to slide in. But since we’re stubborn we kept trying. As we worked, a huge set of our friends slowly filtered in my front door for drinks before we headed out as a mob to a movie and then to see our friend’s band the Whiskey Dicks play their last concert ever. As each new person walked in the door they each felt the need to try and get the connectors to fit – the average time was 10 minutes each before they would agree with the growing consensus that the hardware store staff had lied to us and sold us the wrong parts. Finally our friends Laird and Tim walked in, looked at our supplies and let us know that we had two problems:
1) We had been sold the wrong pipe – the pipe we had (white) is used to transport boiling water which is why it didn’t get flexible, it’s the black pipe (which the hardware store didn’t have) that gets flexible, and
2) The inner diameter of the pipe we have is 1/2″, not 3/4″, so there is no physical way to make the connectors fit the pipe.
Luckily they had some 1/2″ diameter pipe lying around that they figured with some glue we could make into connectors and make the whole thing work (even with the slightly wrong parts).
We’re trying again soon….keep your fingers crossed for us. In the mean time my living room floor will continue to be covered with 100 feet of pvc pipe.