Having one the best portable basketball hoops for your driveway is something many parents want for their child. Still, basketball isn’t just a kid’s game so companies have the task of figuring out a way to make models that will cater to all sizes and generations.
Basketball systems (or hoops) can be seen in any movie and whenever we imagine a suburban neighbourhood we always think of houses that have one in their driveway. Companies like Spalding even create advertisements depicting that exact American tradition. Being there, these systems should be able to move around and be taken in and out of your garage. That raises the need for portability and easy assembly and disassembly.
On today’s market there are countless of models and people who are new to the game of basketball are often left clueless as to which exact model to get. This is why we created this Buyer’s Guide in which we will review some of the top models on the market right now and give you tons of information and tips on what a good portable hoop should be like.
Before we dive deeper into the topic, let’s first check out the models that we picked among all other to be the best-selling and most user-friendly for this year. First, we will compare them all in a comparison chart and then give you a preview of each one. Remember, if you want to learn about each of the models in greater detail, you will have to visit our full reviews about them by pressing the button below each preview.
Top Portable Jump Starters Comparison Chart
|Spalding NBA "The Beast"||Tempered glass||Yes||$$$$$||5/5|
|Spalding 54" Basketball System||Tempered glass||Yes||$$$$||4.5/5|
Spalding NBA “The Beast” Portable Basketball System
First off on our list comes “The Beast” by Spalding. This is a very premium basketball hoop with a very premium price tag. Of course, at this price point you would expect nothing but the best all around the product and this is exactly what you are getting. That is the exact reason we are not recommending it for personal use unless you are a passionate basketball fan or player. This model is far more suitable for gym owners or schools who want to get something great for their customers or kids.
The base on The Beast is one of the biggest we’ve seen sitting at around 50 pounds. When filled with sand, you can forget about this moving. Thanks to that wide, solid base and every sturdier construction you will be able to play any way you want on this thing. The pole features a two-part design which isn’t ideal but also helps with assembly and transportation. The backboard and the ring feel professional when you play on them. The ring has a nice rebound and can withstand even people dunking on it (although Spalding doesn’t recommend it). There is no padding for the pole and backboard but that can be bought separately. If you are interested to see more of this basketball system features and understand its pros and cons better, head over to our full review about it.
Lifetime 1529 Courtside Height Adjustable Portable Basketball System
Coming up second on our list is a basketball system made by the company Lifetime. They are great at bringing down the prices of basketball hoops without bring the quality down as much. Their 1529 model has a fantastic price to value ratio and is a great deal for most parents if they are looking for a hoop for their kids. This is the prime reason this is one of the hottest selling models two years in a row.
The 1529 has a sturdy base which will do the job for light play or for children playing on it but when it comes to dunk and older ball players hitting it, it won’t cut it. Compared to some 50+ gallon system, this 27-gallon one feels small and lightweight. The construction is sturdy and nicely put together even though it has more parts that we’d want to see. The pole is a three-piece set which takes a bit from the rigidity but adds an awesome feature – the height of the hoop can be manually adjuster from eight to the feet in increments of 6 inches. We recommend you have an extra set of hands when doing that, though. All in all, the cheap price, overall good quality and large polycarbonate board make this is a great bang for the buck. If you are interested in a more in-depth review of the Lifetime 1529 portable basketball system, make sure you check our full review about it.
Silverback NXT Portable Basketball Hoop
Our third place is occupied by another affordable basketball hoop model made by the company Silverback. Their NXT model has been a total best seller for a few years in a row now and there are a few good reasons for that.
The Silverback NXT features an innovative design that allows players to move freely beneath the hoop while it doesn’t sacrifice any of its stability. Speaking of stability, the base isn’t exactly the biggest sitting at around 35 gallons making it a more preferred choice for kids rather than adults. If you desire to play on it, though, make sure you don’t dunk or hang from the hoop. The wheelbarrow design makes moving this system around far easier than some other models in this price bracket. All in all, with features like the specially designed backboard and the steel subframe, the NXT is one of the more sturdy and good looking basketball hoops on the market right now. To learn more about its quirks, features, and downsides, head over to our review about it.
Lifetime 51544 Front Court Portable Basketball System
This is the second product from this brand on our top 5 ranking. The reason for is that Lifetime creates quality products at an affordable price which are ideal for beginners and kids. Their 51544 model feels strongly oriented towards the younger audience and therefore parents will love it.
This portable basketball hoop features an adjustable pole which is the first sign that it is built to be played by players from different generations and with different sizes. Furthermore, there is padding on the adjustable pole which is a rare feature (something you usually have to buy externally). It allows kids to play freely under the hoop without you worrying that one of them will hit the pole. Still, the positioning of the pole would’ve been better if it was angled, as it was on the Silverback NXT. The 35 gallon base with wheels provides enough stability for most players to be able to play on it. Still, dunking on the ring isn’t advised unless you weigh less than the base. Another great touch by the company Lifetime is that you will be 5 years warranty combined with a lifetime free support. This might come in handy when you start assembling this product as it is a tricky process for people who aren’t used to doing it. Won’t take more than a few hours, though. To learn more about the features of this great basketball system, click on the button below to go to the full review.
Spalding NBA Portable Basketball System With 54″ Glass Backboard
Rounding off our top 5 list is yet another model by the company Spalding. This NBA Portable basketball hoop offers a professional feel at a very non professional price point. It still can feel expensive if you are getting it for your kids to play with but if you want to play with your friends this is the right product.
It has a solid base capable of holding up to 40 gallons of liquid or sand making it a very sturdy basketball system. Some of the sturdiness is taken away by the three-piece support pole which is designed that way to be able to get adjusted. In fact, the adjustability on this pole is the best we’ve seen. Not only does it move anywhere from seven and a half to ten feet but it also does it in increments of 1 inch. This allows the whole system to be used by adults and kids, making it the ultimate basketball item for the whole family. The backboard and rim have a very natural rebound to them thanks to suspension springs and a tempered glass design. As a whole, for twice the price of a regular basketball hoop you will be getting premium NBA-like model by Spalding, combined with a nice warranty and a lifetime customer support. To read more on this 54 inch model check out our full review about it.
Portable Basketball Hoops Buyer’s Guide
Portable basketball hoops (or systems) have been around for ages. That is great since it means that the technology behind them has been improving over the course of a long period. Buying one isn’t exactly a simple task, although for a beginner ballplayer or a father who wants something for his kids, there isn’t much difference between models. If you want to play with your friends, though, you will have to pay attention to several important details. In this guide, we will take a look at various aspects of these basketball hoops, help you understand them better, and give you tons of useful tips for the future.
First off, let’s take a look at what exactly are basketball hoops…
The Anatomy Of A Basketball Hoop
Basketball hoops are called all the things on which you can play ball. These can be wall-mounted backboards with rims only or those built-in poles with backboards and rims you see at every school yard. Portable hoops are just one variety among all other sorts. The need for portability has risen decades ago when people started to play basketball basically anywhere. Imagine you have a basketball system on wheels that you can move around anytime you want to play on it with your friends. If you have one and your friend has one you can clear up a street or a court and make a basketball field just like that.
These systems usually consist of the following parts (unless they are wall-mounted):
- Support Pole
Everything else is an addition to these four major parts and serves a smaller role in the overall construction of the system.
The base is a plastic reservoir at the bottom of every basketball system. It varies in size, weight, and dimensions a lot from model to model. Usually bases can be filled with water or other denser liquids but people fill them out with sand so that they can weight far more. Sand isn’t an ideal option as it is hard to get out of the base once you want to move it or store it someplace elsewhere.
There are off-center bases which do not sit directly under the backboard and rim. Those are more beneficial for the actual game of basketball since you won’t be able to trip over it when playing. Most bases are located below the backboard, though, as this greatly improves stability.
This part of the basketball system is quite essential to the way the whole hoop handles and stays on the court. There are support poles made from a single piece, ones that are two pieces connected in between and there are three-piece sets. Logically, the more pieces you make a pole of the less rigid and stable it will be. That leads to a wobbling effect every time you touch the backboard.
There is a surprising side to the two and three piece support poles, though. They can be adjusted in length making the height of the hoop different. Usually, it is an industry standard to make the adjustability range from 7 to 10 feet in increments of around 5-6 inches. Some models like some Spalding NBA systems have increments of 1 inch. This is great if you want to be precise in your height adjustments.
Another aspect that proves vital to the rigidity of the pole is its thickness. Most premium brands prefer 4 square inch pipes for their support poles while cheaper brands go for 3 square inch models.
The backboard is perhaps the most important part of the basketball hoop, especially for beginners and little kids. It is the thing that helps you learn how to play basketball and it also assists in most shots and points. Learning how to use it will always be beneficial for your game. Backboards are made of different materials such as polycarbonate (acrylic) plastic but some are made from tempered glass and are therefore far more expensive. Tempered glass has the advantage of having much more rebound. We will discuss this part of the basketball system in greater detail further down the guide.
There are three main type of basketball rims that you need to know about. They are divided into basically rims that have compression springs and ones that don’t. Apart from adding rigidity to the actual rim, the compression spring improves the ball rebound when the ring is hit. The professional rims have springs but they are covered. Since these springs are made from metal they can rust if you do not cover them during rain or winter.
There are also rims made out of different materials and some that have the netting hooks welded to them and ones that have it as an individual part hooked to the rim. We recommend going with the welded hooks since they will hold the net into place far better. Moving on, we have the last part of the basketball hoop:
Nets are essentially not needed but it’s better to have them as they will control the drop trajectory of the ball when you score. Furthermore, nets help you identify long shots better by the sound they make when the ball gets in or simply by seeing them move around. There are nets which have to be taken off regularly during rains and extreme weather as they are made out of nylon. The ones made from actual threads are labelled all-season models and will basically outlast any weather type.
There are chain link types of nets which are perfect for outdoors use. They last longer and are usually using coated metal which doesn’t rust. These nets are harder and more expensive to replace but the longevity on them is a good reason to get one.
When buying a system you will have to take far more things into account, and not just the basic parts of a hoop. This is why we created this next segment where you will see all the details you can take into account.
Things To Consider When Buying Your Basketball Hoop
When getting a new basketball system model the things you have to take into consideration. They are the following:
- What type is the hoop itself
- Backboard characteristics, types, and bracing
- What type of rim it has and whether it has springs on it
- Base volume, shape, positioning, and rigidity
- Number of support poles and whether they are height adjustable
- Pole padding
- The rebound of the backboard and rim
- In what type of weather you will be mostly playing
- Net types
- What kind of game you usually play (normal, rough, friendly, etc.)
- What type of warranty it has
- How easy it is to assemble
We will get into all these factors individually and show you why each of them matters if you want to make the best choice possible when getting your first basketball system. So, let’s get started.
Do you have a place to put your portable hoop? If you have always wanted to build your own basketball court but didn’t know how, I have the perfect article for you. Click here to check it out.
Type Of Hoop You Want
Right now, there are three main types of hoops on the market:
Portable hoops have one huge advantage over the other two types of being, well… portable. The ability to move your system around wherever you want to play ball with your friends is the only reason people are paying for this kind and the reason that there are tens of available models right now on the market. A slight disadvantage of portable hoops (at least of the cheap ones) is that they aren’t as stable as the other two kinds. Still, if you pay good money, you won’t really be able to tell the difference when playing.
One distinctive feature of this kind is that it has a base which has to be filled with either some sort of liquid or sand. Of course, when filled up with sand it will weight twice as much but it will also be very hard to transport and empty when you decide to store it in your garage. Liquids can be easily drained and filled but the main disadvantage here is that liquids leak and wherever there is a small crack, water will find its way around it. This means that if any sort of damage is done to the base you won’t really be able to use it anymore unless the crack/damaged part is at the top of the part. Don’t worry, though, as most brands have extended warranty periods which cover such damages.
Dunking and hanging from the rim of portable hoops can be done only if the base is 40+ gallons. Most of those support up to 300 pounds weight placed on their rings but we wouldn’t recommend testing your system out.
The best feature of all portable hoops is that they have adjustable height. Most can adjust between 7 and 10 feet in around 5-6 inch increments, although more expensive options do it in 1-2 inch increments.
The In-ground basketball hoops are far more stable than the other two kinds. This is due to the fact that the support pole(s) is built into the ground and are usually surrounded by concrete. If you are serious about basketball and you and your friends play a little rough, this is the ideal option for you. Those kinds of hoops allow for dunking and hanging from the rim. That of course, if the rim is strong enough and doesn’t bend from such actions.
Those stationary hoops can be adjusted as well but only in the expensive price bracket. Cheap ones are usually solidly built from one support pole, a non-adjustable backboard, and a rim with no compression springs. The more you pay, the better the materials get and the more options you get in terms of adjustability of the hoop.
Last on this small list are the wall-mounted hoops. Those are ideal for houses as you can mount them to any external wall, provided the wall is solid. If the wall is a typical cardboard construction, the first dunk will tear both the hoop and the mounted part of the wall. In other words, those are perfect for driveways and garages. They don’t have a base nor a support pole but have a very strong backboard (more often than never) and a steady rim.
As you’ve already guessed, you cannot adjust their height, although some really premium models come with a railing system that allows you to move them up and down.
There are a few things you have to look for in a good basketball backboard:
- The Size Of It
- The Materials Used
- How Good Of A Rebound It Has
- Does It Have Bracing
Now, let’s talk about all these aspects a bit more…
Portable basketball hoops all have different backboard sizes and they typically range from 45 to 60 inches. The bigger a backboard is the better it is for you to learn shots. Stray shots will also hit the target way easier if the backboard is bigger. One thing that this doesn’t help with, though, is the rebound. Usually, the bigger the size the worse the rebound is. That isn’t always the case, as Spalding proves with their huge 60 inch tempered glass backboard. Which brings us to our next point.
Every NBA-level backboard is made of tempered glass. This is a very durable material which also looks and feels premium when you hit it with the basketball. The rebound on it is great and if you want a hoop that will feel professional try getting one with a tempered glass backboard.
Most inexpensive models come with a polycarbonate backboard which is a type of plastic that is even more durable than tempered glass. It doesn’t shatter when you break it but instead breaks into bigger pieces just like a huge plastic chunk would. Still, it is ideal for rough plays since it will never shatter. What this type of materials lacks the most is performance since it will have almost no rebound to the ball when you hit it. The feeling is best described as a “dead” feel.
These types of backboards are ideal for families who want to play for fun but more serious players should look past them.
There are other sorts of materials used for backboards but they are in the extreme cheap ends and are almost always something involving plastic. Don’t get us wrong, this material is ideal for kids but you would be disappointed as soon as you throw a ball at it.
A good alternative which lies between polycarbonate and tempered glass both price-wise and performance-wise is acrylic. Those types of backboards are less durable than their polycarbonate counterparts but offer a superior feel and performance. If you want to have a good game but also live in an area with various weather conditions, the acrylic is the way to go.
This is a feature often overlooked as most beginners simply do not know about it. The rebound is simply explained by the way the ball bounces off the backboard and the rim. With a good rebound you will be able to get a premium feeling out of your basketball hoop. Basically the better the ball bounces the more you will be able to use the backboard to place your shots right on target. This means that a basketball system with a good rebound is great for the play and will feel as close to natural as possible. Look for materials such as tempered glass and even acrylic for the backboard and choose rims that have one or two compression springs. Speaking of rims, let’s pay some more attention to them, shall we?
Another thing that helps with performance and rebound is:
- The Backboard Bracing
Whenever there is a good bracing support system behind the backboard it will always have a better performance and rebound. These braces are usually made of metal and interconnect different parts of the backboard to each other to redistribute the power from a basketball. Sometimes they can be wrapped around the edges of the backboard adding to its rigidity and making it less shatter prone.
Type Of Rims
There are three types of rims which we will now look in a greater detail:
- Standard Rims
- Compression Breakaway Rims Without Cover
- Professional Rims With Covered Compression Springs
Each one of these types of rims has its pros and cons and has a potential target for people. Let’s start with the standard rim.
These types of rims have been around ever since the creation of modern basketball systems. They lack compression springs and are more prone to breaking and bending when you hang or dunk on them. If you are getting a hoop for your kids or don’t plan to dunk on it too much, then this is a great option due to its relatively low price. We also think that a good standard rim will perform better over time compared to one with cheap compression springs. After all compression springs need maintenance and will have to be covered if it is raining outside since they rust.
- Rims With Compression Springs (Without Cover)
Those rims are usually a step above the normal rims but as we already pointed out it is better to have a good standard rim than a budget one with one or two compression springs.
The springs here will allow you to do mild dunking and lighter people will be able to hang on the rim after a good dunk. What the springs do is make the whole rim bouncier. Still, if you get a cheaper model it will be a bit bouncier than you’d like, trust us.
- Professional Rims With The Compression Springs Covered
Those are the kind of rims that you see in the NBA. They are simply the best when it comes to rebound, material quality, and overall longevity. The spring system here is covered in a box that is connected to the backboard. That prevents rust creation and keeps the whole rim healthier over the course of time.
This kind of rims are made to take a beating from any type of player and will bounce way more naturally creating a smooth rebound for any ball you throw. We still recommend you keep the hanging and dunking amount to a healthy minimum, though.
Why The Base Is The Most Important Part
As we discussed a little earlier, in portable basketball hoops there is nothing more important than the base. In fact, this is the case with any sort of construction and on a smaller scale a basketball system is a type of construction. The base holds the support pole which accommodates the backboard and the rim.
Bases have a plug usually on their top part which is used to fill the base with any type of liquid or sand. Volumes range from 25 gallons to around 60. Logically, 25 gallon bases are mean for kids and any bigger adult will be able to trip over the whole basketball system just by playing a little more rough. If you want to play with friends, get as big of a base as you possibly can. As we will mention again, always pour antifreeze in the liquid if you keep your basketball hoop in sub-zero conditions.
Another aspect that is often overlooked for bases is their positioning and overall dimensions. A wider base makes a stronger and more durable basketball system and will allow for better plays on it. Smaller bases tend to make things wobbly and aren’t good for adults. Whether the base is off-center is also very important. Some models like the Silverback NXT are famous for exactly that reason. They have an off-center base which holds the support pole with additional support rods and has a supporting metal construction underneath to keep things balanced. That is great since you will be able to play below the ring without risking hitting your foot in the base.
What people also forget when getting bigger bases is to see if they have wheels or any other sort of transportation mechanism. Without wheels or handles a big base will be impossible to move around even if the basketball hoop is marketed as a portable one. Most Spalding models have implemented the wheelbarrow mechanism which has two big wheels on one side and handles on the other allowing you to move the system even when full.
Tip: Always bring a friend when moving a portable basketball hoop so that one can carry, push or pull the base while the other holds the support pole and backboard in case they break or fall.
Click here to find out what it takes to have great ball handling skills and how to drill and practice that virtually anywhere.
A Few Tips On How To Maintain The Base Of Your Portable Basketball System
- Always make sure that the base that you like has wheels on it. Bases that are the wheelbarrow kind are easier to transport and move around. If your base doesn’t have wheels the process of moving it will only be an option if the base is empty.
- If you live in a cold part of the country where winters get rough, make sure you always add some antifreeze to the liquid you filled the base with. Water expands when freezing which will prove fatal to your base and will create leakage in the best case scenario. If you use sand, then obviously this advice isn’t applying to your case.
- Always try to get a basketball system which has a protective plate in front of its base or at least some sort of padding. Most injuries occurring when people hit the base with their feet or simply fall on it. Apart from injuring players this can render the base unusable. Most brands will ship a plate with their product but when absent, make sure you get it from elsewhere.
Having a solid support pole system in place is what will keep everything together and stable. There are three types of support poles:
Support poles made of one piece are naturally the strongest but they also tend to lack the height adjustability feature. They add great rigidity to the whole system and there is as little wobble as you can get in a portable hoop. Two major downsides of this design are that it is harder to transport, carry around, and/or store. Furthermore, it is harder to assemble as you will need an extra set of hands.
Typically, one-piece support poles aren’t found in portable basketball hoops exactly due to the fact that they are extremely hard to transport and won’t add much to the portability of the whole system.
Two-piece support poles are found in the high-end basketball systems and offer less stability than the one-piece sets but have way more rigidity to them than their three-piece counterparts. They often have height adjustability in the place where the two pole parts connect. In terms of assembly those are easy to do but if they weight a lot you will have to call a friend to help you out with holding them while you attach them to one another.
The three-piece supporting poles will have the least rigidity and stability to them but that doesn’t mean they are the worst. By far, they are the easiest to assemble by a single person and a great for kids since they are easily adjustable. Some models even allow you to remove the center piece and make the whole basketball system way lower so that the kids can have a blast while doing their first dunks. Another advantage is that these systems are usually far cheaper and they are also easier to store in your garage due to the fact that they are less lengthy.
As we pointed out earlier in this guide, another property of the support poles is its thickness. Look for poles that have at least 3.5 square inches thickness. Most Spalding models have 4 square inches thickness.
Padding – A Great Feature For Kids (And Adults)
Safety will always be a concern when you get a basketball system for your kids. Apart from the fact that a tempered glass backboard won’t be the ideal choice since it shatters to pieces when hit by sharp and solid objects you will also have to consider extra layers of protection for the little players.
What offers the best protection to players from all ages is padding. Most high-end models come with padding for the support pole which is a thick material which dampens any type of hit. What is even better is getting padding for the base as well. That way, if someone falls he or she won’t hit the base hard. It’s always better to be safe than sorry so always look to invest in such equipment.
Padding materials are often weather-sensitive so you might want to take all the pads off your basketball system before rains, extreme heats, and the winter season. The rubbery-like coating will crack under extreme heat (at least the one on cheaper models).
Rebound – You Want To Have It!
We spoke a lot about rebound already but it is worth mentioning one more time. The things that are responsible for the basketball rebound are the backboard and rim.
Backboards which are made from polycarbonate basically have little to no rebound and have a dead feeling to them when you throw a ball at them. There is no way you can use trajectory targeting with a polycarbonate backboard. On the other hand, those are very hard to break and aren’t as brittle as tempered glass and are therefore ideal for kids.
The backboard that provides more rebound than polycarbonate is the one made from acrylic. Tempered glass models provide even better rebound making it feel authentic and almost NBA-like. Tempered glass has the downside of being brittle when hit with sharp or hard objects like stones during a storm or heavy winds. Most modern tempered glass backboards have a metal casing and are thick enough to withstand most hits.
Rings utilize a system called compression springs. Whether it is cheap or expensive plays a big role in the rebound and rigidity of the ring. If there are two springs, you will have a great feel to your play but they will be more prone to rusting. That is why, if you want something more professional, you should look for rings with two compression springs which also have a cover.
Type Of Weather You Will Be Playing In
As we mentioned, rainy weather will affect the compression springs of your basketball hoop badly. This is why you will need to get a covered ring if you are living in a rainy state. Winter conditions also do not go gentle on basketball hoops. You will need to add antifreeze to the liquid inside your portable system’s base.
Everything else in your basketball system is made either from coated metal or plastic which isn’t prone to any damage from heat, cold, wet, or dry climate. The only thing that the sun can damage are the safety pads around your pole and base. The base is also made almost entirely from plastic so under extreme heat it will bend and puncture easier so try not moving it too much during the hottest part of the day.
Usually with portable basketball hoops, we recommend you store them in your garage during the winter months, unless your kids want to play ball all-year round.
The Hoop Net
There are three types of nets out there:
- Nylon Nets
- Made from cloth
- Chain Link Net
The first kind is usually found in the cheapest basketball hoops and is known for not being too durable. If you want a net that will last longer than a month, then consider the next to options. Nylon nets break apart under heat or cold weather conditions and can tear easily after a harder shot.
Cloth nets are the classic type of nets. They are used in the NBA and almost every other basketball hoop model. They have a good life and are usually durable enough to withstand heavy use. If you are serious about playing basketball on your portable hoop, then you’ll have to opt for the third kind.
Chain link nets are very durable and have great longevity unless you treat them badly. As long as you don’t keep taking them on and off the rim, they won’t rust. The reason for that is that they are coated with an anti-rust coating and if you chip it away any type of moisture will make them rust and soon enough it will all be rusted and more brittle. We recommend this kind for a more intensive type of play and/or basketball systems placed in areas where people play ball constantly.
The Type Of Player You Are Defines Your Future Basketball Hoop
The skillsets of the players and their needs define the basketball hoop they will be getting. This principle can be followed by anyone. If you are a parent and want to get a hoop for your kids to play ball at, then you can get them one with great height adjustability, polycarbonate backboard, a good rim and a cloth net. The price won’t be as high as it would be if you wanted to get one for you and your friends to play at.
More serious basketball systems require more serious financing. The better the system, the more premium the materials will be and so will the price tag. If you want to play basketball on a great portable basketball hoop, then you want to get one with tempered glass backboard, metal net, two compression spring system on the rim (preferably covered), two-piece supporting pole with slight height adjustability, and a solid base with 50 or more gallons reservoir.
How Easy It Is To Set Up
People almost never pay attention to this aspect of a portable basketball system. The set up process is usually user-friendly and a single person can set up most hoops in a matter of a few hours but there are cases when the guide isn’t clear enough and you will need a friend to come over and even then you won’t finish before the third hour mark.
Most inexpensive models come with a polycarbonate backboard
Pay attention to the support pole. If its a two-piece it will be sturdier but will assemble a bit harder. Three piece poles are the easiest to assemble and are also the ones with the greatest adjustability options.
We recommend getting everything set up laid down first before picking the whole thing up. Have a friend hold the whole construction while you fill the base. Before that, everything will be too unstable to stay up straight on its own.
Some brands offer you help by allowing you to call their customer support if you bump into trouble during the assembly process.
The last thing we want to discuss is the warranty of your portable basketball hoop. We recommend getting a product which has at least 5 years of warranty. Those products won’t break easily but if you are paying a lot for a Spalding system, then you better look for a model with more than 2 years (since Spalding oddly enough offer around 2 years). Tempered glass backboards can break or crack and so can bases. This is exactly when you need to use your warranty. Most brands will just replace the damaged part but some offer full refunds or swap you the whole hoop.
A part of the warranty is the customer support experience. Brands like Lifetime, Silverback, and Spalding all have great customer support and will always be ready to help you whether it is with assembly, maintenance or any damages on their product.
When buying a great basketball system, you will also need a good ball to play with. This is an aspect often overlooked by other guides, so we like to put a little words towards that as well.
Now, let’s see how a basketball system can affect the little players.
Having A Portable Basketball Hoop Is Great For Your Kids
It isn’t a secret that playing sports improves anyone’s health. Still, the age group that benefits the most out of outdoor activities are the kids. Basketball is a sport that heavily promotes social skills as well as partnership and strong body structure. In the period of growth, basketball can help the spin maintain its upright pose, the shoulders will become stronger and bigger in boys and their legs will be more agile and swift as opposed to kids who stay inside all day and have knee, hips, and ankle issues later on in life.
To get your kids to play basketball you don’t need expensive equipment or any sort of gym membership for them. All you need is a portable basketball system to deploy outside of your garage on the driveway and your whole family is set to do their favorite drills.
Here are some of the major benefits that basketball brings to your kids:
- It vastly improves their agility. Basketball requires you to change directions constantly making your hip and knees work for their money. That is a great benefit for any growing bone structure since ligaments won’t get used to a single movement but will rather grow out to be far more flexible and the angles in which the joints move opposed to each other will increase.
- Any ball sport develops greatly either the hand-eye or leg-eye coordination leading to a better spatial orientation in kids. The aiming drills in basketball are designed exactly for that. Hand-eye motor coordination will help with countless of activities later on in life including some professional ones which involve spatial intelligence.
- Another thing that your kids will develop is speed. If you have ever played a single game of ball you would know that speed is necessary to outrun your opponents when dribbling. Children which play a lot of basketball develop higher speeds earlier than others at the same age.
- As with any sport, basketball will teach your kids discipline. Team sports can give back a lot of knowledge in terms of organization and teamwork. If their team has a good basketball coach this will create a work ethic that can be put into work later on in their lives.
- Wherever there is teamwork there is also social interaction. Kids that play a lot of outdoor games are proven to be more extroverted, more open, and therefore more honest to people when they grow up.
- When your kids finally become good at basketball this will be a great confidence booster for them. That will also teach them that with hard work and dedication anything will be possible.
- Lastly, they will learn to be competitive. Some might argue that too much competitiveness isn’t a good thing but in today’s world only the ones that put up the most work achieve greatness and kids will constantly have to prove themselves, especially in the modern world.
If the above reasons do not present anything logical to you then only think about all the physical progress a kid will make when playing basketball a few hours a day. The great thing about portable basketball hoops is that your kids will be able to play right in front of your house and you will be able to supervise them all the time in case something happens. If a neighbour of yours also gets a hoop you will even be able to make mini tournaments between kids when making a whole court with the two hoops. Just make sure they are the same height.
How To Maintain Your Basketball Hoop Properly
As with everything else, basketball systems are made out of materials that aren’t 100% weather resistant. Plastic, metal, glass all can be damaged by extreme temperatures, wins, or flying objects.
Generally speaking, the cheaper basketball hoops are more resistant to hits and falls since they are made predominantly out of plastic and plastic isn’t as fragile as the glass on the tempered glass backboards. Plastic will break into huge chunks when something hard hits it with a greater force. Usually, if you are getting a basketball system for your kids we would suggest getting one with acrylic backboard since this material is as durable as plastic (polycarbonate) but has a greater rebound. Sure, it doesn’t have the rebound of a tempered glass model but it will do the job.
Since those systems are assembled by you, there is a possibility that you missed tightening up a nut or a bolt somewhere. Make sure you check those from time to time.
Another issue with those systems is that support poles, the ring net, and other rods can be metal. Being metal, they will rust even if they have a coating. This coating can chip away and you must monitor this. If you see rust, make sure you paint it over as soon as you can, as rust grows under the paint and at one point it will take all the paint off, or even worse – break/bend the metal part.
Whenever there is a storm incoming, make sure you move your gear to a more secure place (in the garage). If that is impossible, tie it up to a tree or another stationary sturdy object. Chunks flying from high winds can damage the backboard or pierce the plastic base. If you have a cover for your basketball hoop those are the times to use it.
Another time when you might want to use a cover is winter or the hottest days of summer. Winter can freeze the water inside your base expanding it until it bursts from a weak point in the plastic base. That will present itself as a leakage when summer comes. To prevent this either put the base inside or pour a little antifreeze liquid into it. When having a base full of sand, temperatures aren’t an issue. The extreme sun can also expand or damage any plastic part on your hoop so deploy it under a shade if you can.