S-Hoops are a patented hoop type from the USA, which was invented in 2004 by Rick Barrickman.
S-hoop has several benefits to offer. The hoop is created as a triple flange hoop (regular hoop), but with a slightly different design.
And it is this design that makes the S-Hoop so unique, since the profile (shape) of the hoop is made differently, compared to a regular triple flange hoop.
On a S-Hoop, the upper part of the hoop bends inwards over the drum head, and not backwards and outwards - as on a regular triple flange hoop.
This S-shape makes the hoop really stiff - yet light. So stiff that it actually behaves a bit like a die cast hoop - just without all the weight.
The different design also gives the S-Hoop a "playing surface" that is a little nicer to your drumsticks, just as it feels and sounds great - whether you play crossstick or rimshots.
The S-hoop gives you a "fatter" and more focused sound than regular hoops. As the company itself puts it: "Best of Both World's Hoop" - precisely because you get a hoop that most of all sounds a bit like a mix between a die cast- and a regular triple flange hoop, just without the weight of the die cast hoop and its almost gun-kind of attack. Here, the open and softer sound is still preserved, but with a fatter - and slightly rounder - sound in the drum.
As you can see from the list of models, in some cases there are both a top and a bottom version of the same hoop. The only difference is that teh bottom model has room for snare wires to go through the hoop on both sides - ie for snare drum use.
You can read the review of S-Hoops from the magazine Drummer here.
Below you can see a video where Gavin Harrison both demonstrates S-hoop, but also tells about why he has played with them for years.