Most aerial hoops, aka lyras, require tape to be applied to them. The primary reason for this is to improve the grip of the hoop and stop your clothes from slipping when performing moves. If you like to perform or train with a lot of skin showing then tape actually stops you sticking and chaffing on the bare metal. Steel is also cold! Tape combats this, as well as making the lyra softer on your hands. A more cosmetic reason for taping your aerial hoop is to provide some colour.
Firetoys Aerial Hoops don't necessarily require any tape because the type of paint we use provides a reasonable amount of grip. That allows us to produce limited edition runs of coloured lyras that you don’t have to cover with tape. We also have white aerial hoops available permanently. However, you may still want to tape your lyra. The most popular choice of tape is Mueller M-Tape M-Tape is inexpensive and comes in a wide range of colours. You’ll need one or two rolls of this tape to cover your hoop, depending on the taping method (see below) and the size of your lyra. We stock other, tapes for aerial hoops that will cover more than one hoop with a single roll but these come in a more limited range of colours. We also have a more cushioned milled cotton tape, but this takes more rolls, as they are narrower rolls and fit less tape on them due to the extra cushioning.
Now you’ve got your tape, what is the best way to apply it to your lyra? There are a couple of common methods but whichever you choose the aerial hoop should be clean, free from any dust and completely dry before you apply the tape. You can improve the adhesion of the tape by using a pre-tape spray. Whichever method you choose we recommend overlapping the tape by a quarter or a third of its width. This will help prevent the hoop from becoming sticky. If using white tape you may want to overlap by half the width as this colour can be a little translucent. Of course, this will mean you’ll require more tape and it will take a little longer. Neither of these taping methods can completely stop your hoop tape from becoming sticky as the adhesive becomes slightly exposed through use. This will happen after a few uses and then get gradually less sticky as you use it more. Dusting a freshly taped lyra with chalk can really help to reduce the stickiness.
The first hoop taping is the simplest and uses the least amount of tape. It requires you to tape all the way around the hoop from point B to point D (see diagram above). Simple as that! The second method uses more tape and takes more time but it is the preferred method of many aerialists. This method is done in two parts.
The first part involves taping your aerial ring from point A to point B (as labelled in the diagram above):
The second part is exactly the same only this time you tape from point C to point D:
The advantage of this method is that it stops the tape from rolling at the edges when you slide your hand down the hoop. It also means you have a thicker layer of tape at the bottom of the lyra which offers some padding. We’ve seen people tape up the tab(s) on their aerial hoops and poke the carabiner through the tape. While this probably isn’t dangerous we don’t recommend you tape over the tab(s). Sooner or later, whichever method you choose to use, you will need to replace the tape on your aerial ring. To help with the tape removal and to get rid of any annoying adhesive residue you can use a tape removal spray.
Hopefully, this little article gives you all the information you need to tape your lyra. If you have any further questions don’t hesitate to contact us.