Getting the right size lyra, aka aerial hoop, is important not just so you're comfortable but to keep you safe as well. Figuring out what size aerial hoop you should get is easy when you know how but which size to choose also comes down to experience, your body proportions, what tricks you like to do and personal preference.
There are two main methods to calculate what size lyra you need:
1) Sit on a chair with good posture. Measure from the seat of the chair to the top of your head and add 10cm (4").
2) Stand up straight with your feet together and flat on the floor. Bend at your hips until your torso is at 90 degrees to your legs. Measure from the floor to your lower back and add 5cm (2").
The results of these two methods are a good guideline for the size aerial hoop that will fit you best. Please note, these methods give the outside diameter measurement, which is how we size our aerial hoops. If you prefer to work with the inside diameter add 5cm (2") instead of 10cm (4") to method 1) and don't add 5cm (2") if using method 2).
Method 1) is best for beginners. Using this method means you'll be able to sit in the hoop without feeling cramped and won't hit your head when performing tricks - a real danger if you're using a hoop that is too small.
Method 2) ensures that you will be able to catch your feet on the top of the lyra when performing tricks like half and pike back balance, wine glass, half hip hold and lots more. Lyras that are too large may mean your feet miss the top of the hoop which can potentially cause a dangerous fall. Aerial hoops that are too small can also be dangerous as you can hit your feet when not intending to, especially when performing moves like barrel rolls and elbow rolls.
These two methods can give you slightly different results, depending on your body. For example, our resident aerial hooper, Hannah, gets a result of 100cm (39") using method 1) but 95cm (37") using method 2). Hannah is an advanced aerialist so she prefers method 2) as she does lots of moves that require correct foot placement.
Hopefully you now know how to figure out what size aerial hoop is right for you and why the correct size is important. If you're buying lyras for use in a class, so you don't know the heights of the people who will use them, the 95cm (37") hoop is a good bet. The 95cm (37") is in the middle of our range and the most popular size.
If you have any more questions don't hesitiate to get in touch.