Duck tape. Duct tape, actually, but spelling is the least of your problems when the terms “duct tape” and “hula hoops” get used in the same sentence.
In a word: NO. In three: don’t do it.
It’s not that it “comes off easily.” (It does, in a couple of years, or faster if you live south of NC or carry your hoops in a hot car.) It’s that it OOZES. Goo, out from under the edges of the tape, and then that goo gets on you.
Eventually, the goo dries and the tape flakes off and you can retape your hula hoop. Not before you have some uncomfortable hooping experiences, however.
We use gaffer tape to decorate hula hoops. On the surface, gaffer tape looks much the same as duck tape, but when you look closely, it’s cloth, not shiny. Because gaffer tape costs more than twice as much and is harder to find than duct tape, you might be tempted to substitute. Don’t. Gaffer tape is used in theaters and other high-use areas because it comes away clean and DOESN’T ooze. “Good tape behavior” is what you’re paying for. Take advantage of it.
If you’re in a hurry, you CAN use electrical tape, and I use a lot of this on baby hoops. Basic hardware stores carry a range of colors, and good electricians can help you find many more than that. (Except that, if you can go online for electrician’s tape, go ahead and get gaffer tape while you’re there.)
One warning: A reader cautioned me about using electrical tape on children’s hoops; she said it had chemicals in it that were bad for children. Recent research indicates that electrical tape is ok for hula hoops IF it passes certain tests: Look for the CPSIA-compliant label, and also the RoHS-compliant label on the tape package.
I make and sell hoops for people in Eastern NC, most of whom buy them at events. If you don’t live nearby and are looking for a custom hoop by mail, try Diana Lopez’ hoops from Body Hoops.