Welcome to my ultimate basketball hoop buying guide!
Having a basketball court at home can be a cherished part for everyone in your family. It can prove as an opportunity for family bonding, and some fun time with friends.
However, such a thrilling thing can be daunting when it comes to purchasing.
Buying a basketball goal is a big decision to make. There are many things to consider before finalizing a brand. From the location in your home to the backboard material.
Therefore, it is vital to make an informed decision after weighing all the factors.
Through this basketball hoop buying guide, you will gain basic to advance level knowledge for buying a b-ball goal. Let me take a shot and show you how to choose a system that suits you the best.
Step 1 – Pick a Location
One of the most important factors, ignored mostly, is analyzing the location to install your brand new basketball system. If you desire to effusively enjoy the game, make sure you have adequate space to play.
That said, the size of the hoop should perfectly fit, without overwhelming the space.
A popular opinion is to have a minimum of 10 feet of the playing area. A driveway is often an admired spot as it is flat and paved.
To ensure safety, reconsider installing your system on a street or sidewalk. It can be dangerous to the player from the incoming vehicles.
Here is a tip! Before making a decision to put your system on the street, check with your neighbours and the local laws. There are some neighbourhoods that prohibit such things due to traffic and cars.
Also, you can make an entire basketball court in your backyard from scratch!
Step 2 – Choose the Hoop Type
Once you are sure where to locate the system, let’s find out the type of goal that matches your taste.
There are three different types of hoops that have different benefits. Each of them is designed for a diverse range of players.
Meticulously replicating the performance of NBA hoops, the best in-ground systems offer advanced level performance without compromises.
Know that the base pole is required for a portable system only. These b-ball systems are fixed and the mounting system is directly installed in the ground with a support pole as well.
In most cases, cement is used to fasten the post to the ground. It makes the system stable, and secure. Furthermore, reduces trip hazards and eliminates the risk of tipping.
This system is perfect for families who wish to get a goal for life. That said, these hoops are permanent and the performance is beyond imagination.
These are stand-alone units that can be moved anywhere you desire, thanks to the wheels installed at the base. The best mobile hoops can be accommodated in any area of the house if it’s not congested.
Keep in mind that these goals have bases that range in different sizes and the capacity.
The base is generally plastic and filled with water and sand. This keeps the entire system grounded without the fright of it falling.
Therefore, if the base is larger, the stability of the structure would be better.
For instance, a 50-gallon base is surely stable but the portability factor is not great. But a 27-gallon is easy to move but the stability becomes a question.
The downside of this system is the lifespan (less than 5 years with average performance). However, it is great if you have to travel a lot and change residentials now and then.
If you are not comfortable with the two above then mountable is the perfect solution! They typically have a backboard along with the hoop, mounted directly to a wall.
The best thing about a mountable system is that it offers superior stability and can be installed in a smaller space. And since they don’t need a support pole, you will have more room under the hoop.
Generally, these hoops are fixed at a height that mostly cannot be changed. Lucky, some of the best mountable hoops allow height changes to support all ages.
Step 3 – Choose The Support System
The support pole is the backbone of a basketball system. However, it’s crucial the type of support pole you are opting for your hoop.
See, the majority of systems have two or three-piece poles. But these posts are not designed for aggressive gameplay
On the other hand, the one-piece post is perfect because it provides you with ultimate stability and optimal performance.
Let’s dig into some more information:
Mainly the budgeted hoops have a three-piece support post. But these shake a lot when it comes to contact with a ball.
That said, you can play a competitive match with this support system but the thrill won’t be the same as expected.
It is not only way more stable than a three-piece but also regarded as a pretty expensive one. The majority of the high-end hoops are utilizing this system.
The one-piece post is used to make permanent and some mobile systems too.
It has no other pieces to assemble, complicating the system. Since the pole is one, therefore the shaking is nearly negligible.
Step 4 – Pick Backboard Size and Material
Picking a proper backboard for your basketball setup is essential. Any mistake in choosing the right one will take away all the fun of playing.
When it comes to backboard sizes, they range from a space-saving 32” to a regulated size of 72”.
I recommend choosing the backboard size depending upon the playing area available for installing your hoop.
If you own a large driveway then 72” to 60” will do the job. Smaller driveway or space can adjust from 54” to 44” size. For younger kids, a 32” size would be brilliant.
It’s not just the size that matters, the material also makes a difference. That said, here are the most used materials for backboards.
Glass is a pro-level material used for competition systems such as in NBA and NCAA.
Keep in mind that glass offers the best bounce and rebound. So if you are looking for the ultimate b-ball experience, I would recommend this backboard material.
Acrylic offers a similar look as that of glass but at a lower cost.
Being a lightweight substance, it offers a good rebound. The effect is definitely somewhere in between the glass and the next material in this basketball hoop buying guide.
Highly durable backboards are often found in a portable systems. Polycarbonate board has the same bounce as that of acrylic with the lightest weight.
Step 5 – Pick The Rim
The standard rim in basketball is about 18 inches in diameter along with rings to get connected with a net. Since every hit in the game happens on the rim, therefore it’s necessary to have the best.
There are three types of rims. Both of these have different characteristics and functionality.
The static rim is used in entry-level systems with no flexibility. It is fixed (hence the name) to the face of the backboard with tight screws.
This type is not as strong so I would recommend avoiding dunking on it. Being a rigid model, can harm you and even break easily if you abuse it.
By the way, if you’re wondering about the regulation height of a b-ball rim, it’s 10 feet.
These units feature springs on the outside of the bottom of the ring. This allows for greater support from the impact of the ball.
This is a pro-style flexible rim for high-level performances. The spring in it absorbs the shock during dunk, enhancing the durability of the rim.
That said, if you are a dunker, I highly recommend getting a professional rim. It can take it!
Also, learn more about adjusting the hoop height as well before buying your basketball goal.
And this brings us to the end of the process of choosing the best hoop for your needs. Make sure to also watch DICK’s short video guide below:
Basketball Hoop Buying Guide – Conclusion
Without considering the steps above, buying a b-ball system can be a bad experience. Luckily, now you know what to look for when deciding on purchasing a basketball hoop.
Don’t forget about the net of your hoop too!
The most common one is made from nylon. But you can add a chain-link net as well, adding a great feeling to the entire experience. But save it from wet weather as it can rust pretty quickly.
Go on and make your decision and turn your home space into your personal basketball playing court. Set the hoop and show off your skills to everyone in your neighbourhood 😀
And if you need help with choosing a hoop, check out my list of the 9 best basketball hoops.