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These days ordering the most random things online is a pretty simple task. Almost anything that you need you can find somewhere on the web. Gone are the days when buying sporting equipment meant trapesing around the mall all day. In honor of this ‘online shopping’ blessing that we now have in our lives, we are looking at the best portable basketball hoop that you can buy online.
What Is A Portable Basketball Hoop?
A portable basketball hoop is pretty much what it says on the tin, a basketball hoop that can be easily dismantled and moved to another location. Usually, portable basketball hoops are fixed to a sturdy base that stands freely on the ground. In other words, there’s no nuts, bolts, and drilling through concrete needed. Many people have portable basketball hoops in their backyard. It gives them the ability to move it wherever it's needed and if they pack up and move house, then it’s a simple task of packing it into the moving truck.
What To Look For In A Portable Basketball Hoop?
This is where we get a lot more specific. There are several things you need to consider when choosing the best portable basketball hoop for your needs, and so we have split them into different categories.
1. The Base
The base of a portable basketball hoop is generally a light container type stand that the support pole fixes into. If the base were to be made with weighted materials then the basketball hoop would be less portable, not to mention the fortune it would cost in shipping. Instead, a majority of portable basketball hoops are designed so that you can fill the base with either sand or water to keep it secure. The higher the number of gallons that a base can hold, the more weight it can bear. Keep in mind that there are several things that could cause a portable basketball hoop to tip other than yourselves. Living in areas that experience a lot of storms will likely require a higher gallon volume for the base.
2. Support Pole
The bit in the middle and often the part that people pay less attention to is the support pole. Although it may seem fairly basic at first, it can make all the difference to a game of basketball. It works hand in hand with the base of a portable basketball hoop and if it's of low quality then your hoop could be dancing all over the place. Not only that but the chances of it tipping over are pretty high. The one-piece support pole is typically found on ground basketball hoops as again, it doesn’t really make them portable. So, in this case, portable basketball hoops generally have two or three-piece support poles. In most cases, the two-piece support poles are the strongest. They provide a higher level of stability and are just as portable.
3. Hoop Rims
As far as portable basketball hoops go, they should all measure 18 inches in diameter. It is highly unlikely that you find a basketball hoop smaller or larger than that anyway. The primary difference with hoop rims is how they are attached to the backboard. A standard rim has a simple screwed in fitting toward the bottom of the backboard. While this option provides a high level of stability, it can be the cause of long rebounds. The second choice available is a breakaway rim. It’s made with compression springs which will soften the bounce of the ball. For all you dunkers out there, a breakaway rim is a must.
Most definitely one of the most important factors of a portable basketball hoop is, of course, the backboard. As you are probably aware backboards come in all different sizes and made out of all types of materials. This is what makes choosing a portable basketball hoop so difficult, especially for those who are fairly new to the sport. According to the NBA and the NCAA game regulations, a basketball hoop backboard should be 72 inches wide and 42 inches high. However, purchasing a basketball hoop with a backboard consisting of these dimensions is actually quite difficult and extremely expensive. So unless you are starting a project which includes having a professional NBA court in your yard, then there are plenty more affordable options. Sizes for portable basketball hoops start at around 44 inches wide. This isn’t always an ideal size though. 44 inches wide is very small which will then impact the gameplay and abilities of the players. The average and most common size for backboards are approximately 54 inches. 60-inch backboards are also available, but usually at a much higher price.
There are three common types of material that basketball hoop backboards are made from acrylic, polyethylene/polycarbonate, and tempered glass. Here’s a brief overview of the three different materials.
Essentially, a backboard made of plastic. We’ve all seen these at some point and although they aren’t all that good they sure do last a long time. The biggest problem with a plastic backboard is that they kill the ball as soon as it touches the backboard. But again, we really can’t fault their durability.
This is the material that all NBA and NCAA basketball hoop backboards are made from. Tempered glass is actually pretty heavy and so by having a backboard of this quality means that the support pole, base, and everything else has to match and be able to support such a backboard. It is the best possible material to use which in turn offers a fantastic playing experience.
A much better option than the plastic ones but not quite as good as the tempered glass ones. Acrylic is a very common backboard material especially for portable basketball hoops that have an average price tag. Being a lot lighter than tempered glass enables the cost to stay lower as the rest of the hoop doesn’t need to be reinforced in order to support the weight. However, acrylic does mark and scratch very easily so it won’t stay pretty for long. So, if you’re looking for a decent yet mid-price range portable basketball hoop, opt for one with an acrylic backboard.
And there you have it. A complete guide to buying the best online portable basketball hoop. There is definitely a lot of work behind basketball hoops and things like materials and sizing can impact gameplay. But, hopefully, this article has given you the guidance that you need to choose a portable basketball hoop that’s perfect for your backyard.