So You may possibly be wondering hmmm hoop or silks I wonder which one to do? So here are some handy tips to help you out with your 'hoop or silk dilemma'...
SITTING ON A HOOP VERSUS HANGING ON A SILK
Sitting on a hoop: Hoop is generally a bit easier to start with just because once you've managed to get up on the hoop, you can stay up there because you have something to sit on. Silks however is a bit different - in order to stay up on the silk you will be hanging from your arms.
So hoop gives you some quick wins at the beginning - a lot of the poses and tricks come from the sitting position which means not so much effort is required. However later on hoop gets harder since the tricks involve spinning, gripping, dropping etc around a hard metal bar.
Versus hanging from a silk: Silks is slower at the beginning since getting into some of the first main moves require complicated wraps or positions that the body may not be used to doing. However silks gets quicker over time since once you've mastered a few of these major moves then a lot of other tricks come from there.
HOOP POSES VERSUS SILK WRAPS
Hoop poses: Hoop tricks are generally a bit easier to begin with as they are mostly poses in weird positions! It's a bit like doing a yoga asana but using a metal hoop to assist you, whilst suspended in the air.
Versus silk wraps: Whereas doing silks tricks involves lots of crazy wraps - think knitting but with bodies in the air, which can seem like quite a lot to get your head around at the beginning. They tend to feel a bit like spaghetti and you can end up with messy moves because the fabric just doesn't seem to behave like you want it to do!
But the more you progress, silks generally gets a lot easier as you start to get the hang of it (pun intended!) whereas hoop then gets a lot harder as the tricks get more challenging.
HARD METAL BAR VERSUS SOFT DANGLY SILKS
Hard metal bar: So with hoop you dealing with a hard metal bar - for some this means something more solid and substantial and possibly a bit safer and easier to rely on. For others this means something hard that you can hit, something that hurts when you try and hold, and something that gives you sore skin and possibly blisters when you try and grip.
In reality falls are very rare since the teacher will be showing you what to do and how to do it correctly. However gripping the bar can make your hands sore and holding some of the moves can hurt since you'll be gripping the bar with all your might and yes it is solid iron metal! Hocks for example is one of the very first moves you will learn - but until your legs toughen up this will rub behind the backs of your knees and possibly give you a few bruises. Nothing that your body doesn't over come within the first few lessons.
Versus soft dangly silks: Conversely with silks you're dealing with long pieces of fabric - which are lovely and soft and won't hurt you at all. Unless of course you slide on them - and then they'll give you a rope burn. Gripping them can make your hands ache (something your hands very quickly adapt to) and some of the wraps will squeeze certain body parts. For example one of the first moves you'll learn is foot lock which tends to squeeze the foot a lot since all your body weight will be on it.
I know that this all sounds quite unpleasant - and probably not a selling point! But these things are just part and parcel of dealing with the equipment and are never really a problem. What you'll find is that your body will toughen up and you'll start to feel hard core and badass. This is generally a good reason and one of the positive benefits of doing aerial.
SORE HANDS OR ACHEY HANDS
Sore hands: Hoop can cause your hands to get a bit sore - from rubbing against the bar - same with the backs of your legs. This is all normal and goes away after the first few weeks.
Versus achey hands: With silks it's a different sensation - you tend to get achey hands from having to grip the silks. But again all part of the fun and this will disappear after the first few weeks.
ONLY YOU CAN DECIDE!
So there you have it - a few things to consider when making your choice between whether to do hoop or silks. Of course only you can decide and only after you have had a go on both!
If you want to come and try out an Aerial Taster class, where you get to have a go on both hoop and silks, click the button below.