I just posted this comment on a post from a discouraged first-timer! I figured I should post this for anyone else who wants to get into hooping. I added some bits to this for more explanation. Read this before buying a hoop!
Don’t buy a hoop with beads or water in it, this will throw off the balance of the hoop! Also, NEVER buy a hoop from Walmart. If you really want a good hoop, you need to order one online. I wouldn’t recommend buying a weighted exercise hoop. Those beat up your body and leave bruises like you wouldn’t believe! Look up “dance hoops” on Etsy. You can find plain ones on Amazon, but if you want one with some nice grip tape (which is super helpful for beginners) then Etsy is the best option. You’ll want to order a hoop that fits your body. Measure from your waist down to the ground, that is about how many inches in diameter your hoop should be. Also, get a heavier hoop made of HDPE tubing. The HDPE tubing is perfect for beginners an won’t leave bruises on you. You may have the option to get PolyPro tubing, which is great quality but is also very light and is meant for tricks and tosses. Another note: go for the thicker tube, 5/8″. I’m sure the Etsy page will give you an option, so go with the thicker tube. When you finally get your hoop and start to practice, just remember: wherever the hoop hits your body is where you want to push against it, and move your hips in a rocking motion, not in a circular motion. You can always look on YouTube for better explanations on how to hoop. Deanne Love is a great teacher and has a YouTube channel dedicated to the art of hoop dance! Hope this helps!