Last but not least on our list comes another model from Spalding. This time with a 54 inch backboard which is 6 inches smaller than the best model we reviewed but still has some premium (and typical for Spalding) features that are a good enough reason to make it your next basketball hoop. The moto behind this product is “bringing the arena to your driveway” and we found it to be quite true especially since Spalding’s models have a similar looking backboard across all their product lines. This particular model cannot compete with in-ground models but it gets quite close to the money you are paying. Let’s dive into its features and see why and how it made this year’s top 5 list of jumpchamp.com!
Our Verdict: We recommend the 54” Spalding Basketball system to adults looking for a great hoop to play ball on. While previous models we reviewed were kid-oriented in most of their aspects, this one caters to all ages and sizes due to a professional design and handy height adjustability options.
Read on to learn more about this popular model by Spalding.
Features That Make It Stand Out
We’re always excited to check out the latest models from Spalding, mainly because this company never fails to deliver when it comes to quality. So it came as no surprise that their newest portable basketball system complete with a fifty-four inch backboard, received plenty of praise on the court.
If you’re looking for an affordable model, one that can offer a pro-quality b-ball experience in the comfort of your driveway, then this model can hit all the marks on your list.
Now, this system may not be able to support the weight of a larger adult, but it it’s still a solid performer for kids, teens, and adults weighing under one hundred and seventy pounds.
Other portable basketball systems in this price range are often equipped with polycarbonate backboards, which can add some durability to the system, but that type of material just doesn’t offer the same type of bounce that tempered glass can. This Spalding model comes with a large fifty-four inch tempered glass backboard, a nice touch on a model that’s reasonably priced.
The heavy-duty breakaway rim, forty-gallon base, and the height adjustable design are all selling points that serious players are looking for.
What is the most amazing about this model is that it offers a real basketball experience at a bargain price and playing on it feels like playing at a far more expensive hoop over at the gym. Normally, with basketball systems we like to start from the bottom, so let’s get going…
The size of the base on a portable basketball system can have a major impact on its stability. If a base is too small, the system can easily tip over in windy conditions or when someone hangs off the rim. If it’s too big, transporting the system to and from it’s storage spot can be a real hassle.
In this price range, most models feature a base with a capacity of thirty to thirty-five pounds.
The capacity of this base is 40 gallons which is above the industry average and allows for heavier players to play in this hoop. Still, dunks aren’t really advised unless you are under 150 pounds. Kids can have a blast on this thing if they can reach the ring. More about it in a second.
Under the base there are two wheels which make moving it around easy. Surprisingly enough, the base is easy to move around even when full due to the positioning of the wheels.
Bases usually leak due to a variety of environmental factors and/or user damage. If yours starts to leak, we suggest getting in touch with the customer support of Spalding. If your hoop is still under warranty they will replace either the whole base or the whole model.
Check out the Vert Shock program if you want to increase your vertical jump.
Relatively speaking, a 54 inch backboard is pretty massive. Still, compared to other Spalding basketball systems it isn’t the biggest but it is good enough for beginners or even basketball enthusiasts. For the price you are paying this is pretty much as big as it gets. The best part about it is that it is made from tempered glass which in a sea of polycarbonate backboards feels super premium due to its natural rebound.
The issue we had with the backboard is that it is just a quarter of an inch thick which is thin compared to those above-mentioned polycarbonate varieties.
Due to the thickness of the backboard, or better said – lack of, there is a sturdy metal framing around it as well as a backboard pad which will protect from shattered glass in case the backboard breaks from a hit. Our suggestion is to stick to using it in driveways instead of big gyms where people will throw from further away.
The Support Poles
The support pole isn’t typical for Spalding products as it is a three-piece while normal Spalding basketball systems use either a one- or two-piece technologies. This is perhaps the biggest downside of this model as the three pieces make the whole model wiggle around when hit harder. It also takes some of the pole’s sturdiness.
Still, there is an advantage to all this which was Spalding’s main idea – you can adjust the height pretty accurately. It moves from seven and a half to ten feet in just 1 inch increments. Most poles are adjusted in 5-6 inch increments but Spalding went the extra mile with their model. Such adjustability allows for more delicate control over how far the hoop will be from you when playing. It also makes for a great dunking practice hoop even though we don’t suggest dunking here unless you are lighter than 150-170 pounds. If you can dunk without hitting the rim and putting your weight on the backboard too much then go ahead.
Want to learn how to shoot better? Check out these shooting drills.
Due to the heavier tempered glass backboard the poles are four inches thick which is around 1 inch thicker than most other poles.
The rim is a heavy-duty model which has a compression spring that helps absorb the shock from most shots and keeps the backboard safe from harm. That same spring also makes the rim have a nice rebound to them making you feel as if you are on a real basketball court.
The downside of that spring is that it can catch rust if you keep it under the rain without a cover.
The Assembly Process
The assembly process here isn’t as straightforward as it would be in most other models. You should definitely consider calling a friend before you start as there will be some lifting and you won’t be able to handle it alone. On average, the process should take anywhere between 2 and 4 hours.
The large base combined with the breakaway rim, large tempered glass backboard, and height adjustable design make this model perfect for users of all ages. However, as we mentioned earlier, if you weigh over one hundred and seventy pounds you won’t be able to dunk on this model.
The ability to quickly and precisely adjust the height allows you to change it up based on who’s playing. This type of versatility makes this system a great choice for the family who loves playing ball together.
If you’re searching for a lower priced portable system that offers a more pro feel than other models in this price range, then this model by Spalding delivers.
If you want to learn more about other top portable basketball hoops for your driveway, head over to our Buyer’s Guide for tons of useful information and more amazing products. Now, let’s check out some of the pros and cons of this Spalding basketball hoop:
- Professional looking design
- Great price for a Spalding hoop
- Relatively easy to move around
- Height can be adjusted in one-inch increments
- Tempered glass backboard
- Huge base capacity compared to other models
- Support pole can be sturdier
- Backboard isn’t really thick
- Base can be leaky if not taken care for
- The compression spring of the rim can rust if left uncovered in the rainy season