Dec 12

Portable Basketball Hoop Systems Buyer’s Guide – Part 1

 Regardless of whether you are training for a championship or like to pass the time by shooting some hoops occasionally, you need the right system. Even though the wide variety of hoops available could make your decision tricky, the truly hard part of choosing a suitable portable basketball system implies figuring out the one that actually suits you.

Portable Basketball Hoop Buyer's GuideDon’t fret! This guide focuses on presenting all the information you need in order to make an educated purchase. To know about portable basketball systems, we have to go back to basics and understand from scratch the different types of basketball systems so that you can truly know that the portable one suits your needs. Let’s start by presenting the basics of a basketball system.

Basketball Systems: Components and Variations

The popular belief is that you do not need anything else than the hoop, net and a backboard in order to play basketball. However, the aforementioned basic components of a basketball system are not found standard in each store, but it actually presents several dissociations, as you are about to find out.

  • Hoop

The function of the hoop is pretty much self explanatory: it is the circle with the metal piece typically attached on a side of the house’s wall, tree, garage door or a pole. In order to score in a basketball game, you need to pass the ball through the rim from above. The hoop can vary in height, material and color. Two notable hoop variations are the breakaway rim and the spring-loaded rim that detaches themselves from the backboard because of too much pressure and hence, prevents damage to the board.

The standard size of the rim according to the National Basketball Association is 18 inches, namely enough space to fit in two professional basket balls, while the acceptable thickness of the hoop is between 5/8 to ½ inches. Because most people play basketball with standard sized balls, you will rarely find rims that do not meet these measurements.

  • Backboard

The most noticeable variation of backboards is the size: the dimensions vary from 45 to 50 inches for professional players to 72 inches for amateurs and beginners. Besides size, the backboards are also available in a wide array of materials – from Plexiglas to resin material – and two shapes (fan shape and rectangular). The shape counts for different playing skills with the rectangular backboards being more suitable for beginners and offering more space to shoot. In regards to the materials, they are important for selecting an appropriate installation location.

  • Net

The nets, namely the parts that are attached to the lower side of the rims, entail several variations in terms of total length and thread count. Simply put, their length can fluctuate between 15 and 18 inches, while the thread count is anything between 30 and 120.

It is necessary to point out that they come in numerous configurations and systems to account for all skill levels and ages. In addition to the age and abilities of the players who will be using the system, the location where you want to install it and the frequency you believe it will be used are other important indicators that can help you determine which type of basketball system you should invest in. Let’s explore the 3 basic categories of basketball systems.

Portable and Adjustable Basketball Systems

Even though they are generically dubbed adjustable, the units only permit height and location alterations. The popularity of the adjustable basketball systems comes from the fact that it makes it easier for you to install it wherever you have some available space and do not present limitations in regards to the age of the players. Nonetheless, the majority of adjustable units addresses the needs of families with children and do not have the sturdiness and stability required by professional players.

The adjustable basketball systems can be classified in two basic types; pneumatic and crank. While, the latter providing long term durability and more accuracy, the pneumatic units are easier to assemble and adjust. Take note that even though pneumatic systems are resilient at first, in time they will develop small holes that allow the air inside to leak and hence, hinder the accuracy of the shoots.

In-ground Pole Basketball Systems

The in-ground pole basketball systems are famous for their hardiness and firmness as well as are the favorite choice of players with medium to high playing skills. In fact, because of their sturdiness, they are the only units capable of giving that true shot feeling. However, their installation is rather difficult, as you will need to dig a hole in the ground and cement the pole to ensure its stability. At the same time, the installation is also costlier, since in-ground pole basketball system manufacturers recommend using approximately 6 x 90 pounds bags of cement to secure it.

Although most people expect a permanent installation of the in-ground units, the truth is that you can grant them portability by inserting ground sleeves in various locations of your land. Essentially, when you want to move it another location, all you need to do is uproot the pole from the sleeve or anchor. Even though you will not be able to relocate the anchor once inserted in the ground, take note that this method is cost effective.

Combined Basketball Systems

In the eventuality that the portable units do not appeal to you and logistical issues don’t allow you to install an in-ground pole basketball system, then you have a third option: the combined basketball unit. These basketball systems typically include all of the basic components and a mounting kit, which teaches you the steps to a proper installation. Most combined basketball systems kits come with an additional extension kit that will need to be attached to the walls, which ensure the hoop is far enough for you to play safely.

As you probably guessed, the combined units include a mixture of the features from the portable and fixed basketball systems. The manageability of the units can be explained by the fact that the hoop can be installed in any area of the house or garage. However, the installation of the unit is permanent and is just as challenging and meticulous as the in-ground pole units. Nonetheless, the combined system will provide the same level of stability emblematic for the in-ground pole units.

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