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Hula hoop

The hula hoop is a toy hoop that promotes physical activity. Today it is often made of plastic and twirled around the waist or limbs.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Today
3 External link
4 References


Children around the world always played with hoops, twirling, rolling and throwing them. The hoops were made of grapeviness and stiff grasses. In Egypt around 3000 years ago, hoops made out of grape leaves were propelled around the ground with sticks. In ancient Greece their use was recommended for losing weight. In the 14th century, "hooping" was popular in England and medics blamed it for heart attacks and back dislocations. The word "hula" was added in the early 18th century as sailors that visited Havaii noticed the similarity between hula dancing and hooping.

In 1957 the hula hoop was reinvented by two college graduates, Richard Knerr and Arthur "Spud" Melin, who had founded the Wham-O company in 1948 and now had their breakthrough. The idea came from an Australian visiting California who told Knerr and Merlin about children twirling bamboo hoops around the waist in gym class. So the new Hula Hoops were created with Marlex, a recently invented durable plastic (where the hoop hype helped as a kickstarter for Marlex production). Today the Hula Hoop is known as the biggest and most profitable fad of the fifties.

After the hoop was released in 1958, Wham-O sold over 100 million in two years. As the fad burned out, Wham-O again struck lucky with the release of their Frisbee.


The past few years have seen the re-emergence of hula hooping. These 21st century hoopers are making their own (much larger and heavier) hoops out of polyethylene tubing.

External link