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Dec 21

Portable Basketball Hoop Systems Buyer’s Guide – Part 3

  Now that we’ve explored the basic features and variations of the basketballs systems and accounted for the equipment requirements of the units, it is time to analyze the units from the player’s point of view. So next on, we will discuss the best units for the demographic characteristics of the player, his skills and playing style.

Portable Basketball Hoop Buyers Guide3Basketball Systems and The Age of The Player

In case the basketball unit will be solely used by adult players, then the hoop’s height is standard, meaning 10 feet from the playing surface. On the other hand, if the system with be used by both adults and children, then it is mandatory that you look for an adjustable unit. Honestly, without the option to alter the height of the hoop, you and your younger kids will not be able to have fun dunking the ball.

With an exception – the Hunk Pro Dunk basketball hoops which can get as low as 5 feet – the vast majority of goals on the market are adjustable to 7 feet, which is also the recommended elevation for kids in the elementary school. The other acceptable heights for children passionate about basketball are:

  • 8 or 9 feet for the kids playing in the young basketball leagues
  • 10 feet for children in junior high and above

The adjustable units include different mechanisms; some easier to use than the others. It is important to note that although some claim their devices include a push button electric mechanism, the truth is that no manufacturer has managed to create a truly automatic system for adjusting the height of the hoop.

In general, the most common devices you will find on the market are either springs or hydraulic types. Despite the misconception, springs do not wear out that easily and, since they have been available for some time, are one of the most reliable adjusting systems. The hydraulic device is most commonly found on smaller backboards and, according to some users, is awkward to use: you need to squeeze a handle and move your arm up and down in order to reach the preferred height.

How Much Does a Portable Basketball System Weigh?

Many basketball enthusiasts prefer the in-ground pole systems because they think they will be forced to drag heavy equipment around. However, nothing can be further from the truth as the portable systems are usually lightweight, especially if you take them out from the storage space piece by piece. Perhaps the misconception comes from the fact that people tend to store the units without disassembling them first and in a location where they also keep a lot of stuff. As things pile up in front of and sometimes even on the unit, you will be left with a broken, dirty and ugly system nobody wants to play with.

What Is The Best Material for The Basketball Unit?

If you were to check the numerous customer reviews on basketball systems, you will soon realize that people favor two materials: acrylic and tempered glass. While the first one is mostly preferred due its affordability, the latter presents several advantages to compensate for that economical con. First of all, similar to a vehicle’s windshield, the tempered glass will stay crystal clear and will never be dull from scratches. Opposed to acrylic, the tempered glass also provides a more enjoyable basketball playing experience as its material eliminates the bow head effect. However, for best outcomes, it is highly recommended that you install the tempered glass backboard on a larger pole that can support it.

In case you have to choose an acrylic backboard, then make sure that it has a thickness of ½ inches and does not need a frame. The problem with thinner acrylic backboards is that they come with a frame, which is the main responsible for the uneven surface. Granted, the lack of flatness is not that noticeable as to bother recreational players. However, if you want to improve your shooting or you are training, then this minor inconvenience will become frustrating and limiting.

How Aggressive Is Your Playing Style?

If you are usually playing tough, running off to shoot a hoop with each spare moment you have and typically relax by dunking, then you should consider acquiring a high quality system. Even though the initial investment seems huge – as premium units vary between $800 and $3,000 – the truth is that you will be saving money with this approach.

Look at it this way: a premium quality unit will easily withstand several years of abuse, whereas the cheap basketball unit you buy for just under $100 from the supermarket or a local retailer will not even take six months of tough playing.

A simple way to prevent damaging the backboard of your portable system when you play with or against aggressive players (or children) is to make sure it has padding. In addition to protecting the backboard, padding also ensured that kids and other players do not hurt their heads while jumping under or towards the goal. In the eventuality that you want to avoid all leg and knee injuries, puncturing, tripping or ankle rolling, then you should consider padding the base of the unit as well.

Basketball Systems and The Skills of The Player

If you are playing occasionally and for recreational purposes solely, then you will do just fine with standard portable basketball system. However, in case you are playing professional basketball or one of your children is aspiring to become an expert in the game, here is a list of the minimum must-have features of your future portable unit:

  • Water-resistant structure with rustproof coating and nylon protectors in the areas where metal parts meet
  • Thick and sturdy padding around the base, post and under the goal
  • Versatile and breakaway hoop
  • Quality height adjustment mechanism that permits precise elevation of the hoop
  • Acrylic or shatterproof tempered glass backboard

Since premium quality systems already entail a bigger investment, we recommend that you also check out the manufacturer incorporated perks, such as a motorized height adjustment, easy installation, guarantee of durability with a longer warranty or hoop lights for example.

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