How to Find the Best Portable Basketball Hoop for Any Budget In 2018?
Kids and adults alike both love the game of basketball. It’s a fun way to spend some time with friends, work on your skills as an athlete, and get some bonding moments in between parents and kids. Of course, if you want to have the best experience in 2018, then one of the very first things you’ll need to invest in (besides the ball) is a portable basketball hoop.
A basketball hoop doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive to do the job right. Even a cheap hoop can be enough to give yourself and your kid’s plenty of hours of fun outside during the summer and spring months. However, it’s worth noting that many neighborhoods today aren’t willing to permit the installation of permanent basketball hoops anymore. This means that if you want to have the opportunity to play ball in your driveway, you’ll need to invest in a portable option.
Today, we’re going to look at just some of the things you’ll need to think about when you’re finding the perfect hoop to suit any budget.
What to Look for When You Are Searching For The BestBasketball Hoop?
There are plenty of different elements that you’ll need to look for when searching for your ultimate portable basketball hoop. Here are just some of the features I recommend keeping an eye out for.
1. A Backboard
Whether you’re a lover of the slam dunk, or you’ve always wanted to practice your bank shot, the backboard of your portable basketball hoop needs to be reasonably good quality if you want to get the best playing experience. The perfect solution for you will come down to a few primary factors, including material, size, and overhang.
- The Size of the backboard:
According to the NCAA and NBA the regulation size for a backboard is 42 inches high and 72 inches wide. However, you probably won’t be able to find a portable backboard with these dimensions. If you’re not worried about cash, then you’re sure to be able to spend a fortune on a real professional hoop, but if you’re just looking for something to go in your backyard, there are plenty of options starting at 44 inches in width that are more reasonable.
For the best playability, I recommend going for a board that starts at around 54 inches, this should provide a great professional feel, and allow for plenty of angled layups and floaters. Additionally, there are also some more expensive options out there with 60-inch backboards if you’re looking for next-level luxury in your portable hoop.
- The Backboard material
The backboard of your portable hoop can be made from various materials depending on where you shop. The most common option is polyethylene, or plastic, which is typically found in many cheaper hoops. It’s almost indestructible, and it’s great for families in need of a basic hoop that will continue to last them for years to come. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a high-quality hoop, you might have a few issues with plastic. For instance, plastic boards don’t look incredible on your driveway, and the rebound effect of plastic is very bad, meaning that the basketball stops the moment it hits the backboard.
Acrylic backboards are a step-up from cheaper plastic options, and they also give a much more professional look. However, acrylic also picks up more scratches over time because it’s a softer material. Acrylic is great for moderate-price hoops because it weighs a lot less than glass. This means that you don’t need a very sturdy support structure for your portable hoop. However, your rebound response will only be average at best.
Finally, tempered glass is the material that’s used most often in professional hoops throughout the world. It’s the heaviest material available, which means that it needs a heavier support pole and base. However, if you’re willing to invest in a glass backboard, you will get a better playing experience overall. Tempered glass is very resistant to scratches, and will maintain a great look for a long time. What’s more, the glass rebound response is far better than that for any other material.
- The Backboard Offset
The “offset” of a backboard describes the amount of distance between the support pole and the backboard. If your offset is too small, then it’s easy to crash into the post after a dunk attempt. A lot of professional basketball goals feature a four-foot overhang or more, but your average portable option will have a lot less.
If you just want to practice shooting with your portable hoop, then you shouldn’t have much trouble with a smaller option. However, if you want to really invest some time into the game, then you’ll need a relatively deep overhang.
2. Choosing the Right Rim
No matter where you go for your portable hoop, you should find that the rim diameter of 18 inches remains the standard from any seller. However, what can differ, is the way that the rim attaches to your backboard.
The average rim simply screws into the lower section of the backboard, which gives you plenty of stability, but also results in many shots and rebounds that will bounce out. Additionally, you won’t be able to dunk with a standard rim, as all the force will be transmitted directly to the backboard, causing an injured set of hands, or a damaged hoop.
The most popular alternative solution is a breakaway basketball rim, which comes built with compression springs to reduce the bounce impact of your shots and give you the soft-touch experience that modern shooters love. If you have any intention to practice dunking with your basketball hoop, then you’ll need to invest in a breakaway rim.
There are two variations of breakaway rim available, including cheaper options that have exposed compression springs, and expensive options that come with more durable covered springs that are defended against rust.
You can check how a breakaway rim works in the video below:
3. Selecting Your Support Pole
A reliable and stable support pole is incredibly important when it comes to ensuring durability in aportable basketball hoop. Many portable goals available in the market today come with a functionality that allow you to adjust the height of the hoop, which is perfect for adults and kids who want to practice their game. Unfortunately, this can make the construction of support poles more difficult to manage.
Cheap and well-priced options generally use three-piece constructions for their poles, so if you want something that’s more stable, you’ll need two-piece support poles. This might mean spending a little bit extra.
It’s also worth noting the systems for height adjustment on a system can also differ widely depending on what you want to purchase. Cheaper models come with a telescopic pole fixed with a knob in six-inch increments. On the other hand, more expensive hoops offer a jack and screw mechanism for adjustments.
Check out how to install and fix the pole in the video below:
4. Buying the Right Base
Finally, the base is one of the most crucial elements to consider when buying your portable basketball hoop. Not only does this system give your product the stability it needs, but it’s also an important part of what makes the system so portable. Most bases today will include a container that can be filled with sand or water, and the bigger your base capacity is, the more stability you’ll have.
Beginner hoops generally come with a capacity of up to 27 gallons, and the plastic backboards on these goals are quite light, which means that the base doesn’t need to be as sturdy. More expensive and advanced hoops with larger backboards usually come with far heavier bases that start at a volume of 35 gallons or so. The bases of more expensive and heavy hoops can reach well over fifty gallons, which can mean it’s harder to move your portable hoop around. The decision of how portable you want your hoop to be might determine what kind of base you look for.
Watch the video below to see how to install the basketbal hoop base: