What makes a basketball hoop Professional Grade?
If you’re like most consumers looking to purchase a professional basketball goal for your driveway or backyard basketball court your experience with basketball hoop retailers has been limited to big box chain stores such as Dicks, Sports Authority, or Academy. There is an entire section with a multitude of choices for you to choose from in each of these establishments. After seeing rusted out, leaning goals in the neighborhood you want to insure that you are equipped with the proper knowledge to select a professional basketball hoop that will give you the professional level performance you are looking for.
The most important attribute to a basketball hoop is stability. If a basketball goal shakes and rattles when you are trying to play it is difficult to get a gym like experience. As the old saying goes, “Practice like you Play.” This holds true to the beloved game of basketball as well. There are several contributing factors that affect the stability of a basketball hoop. If you want to insure that you purchase a basketball hoop that will not only give you an arena like experience and last long enough to enjoy then you need to pay close attention to the following:
Steel thickness is paramount when building a professional grade basketball goal. Many box store manufacturers sell basketball goals that all look the same on the outside. They have a nice steel pole with black powder coating and you automatically assume that it is solid. What you don’t realize is that the actual thickness of the steel wall on the main pole is very thin and light weight. It is impossible to detect from just looking at the basketball hoop. This light weight material creates a great deal of shaking and vibration when trying to play. It is also unable to support a great deal of force on the system when players are trying to slam dunk. This cost saving technique also extends to the support arms as well. A solid foundation is vital to guarantee a professional experience with your new basketball hoop.
The vertical steel pole is the most important part of the basketball hoop. However, the way this pole is anchored to the base plate is equally as important. Many manufacturers will utilize a small, thin base plate or a direct pole burial technique to mount their basketball hoops. If you want to insure that the main pole will have adequate support then you need to take a close look at the base plate. A professional grade basketball goal will be anchored by a minimum ½” thick steel base plate. The welded flanges that actually attach the pole to the base plate are called gussets. The more gussets on the pole the more stability the professional basketball hoop will have.
All of the steel components mentioned essentially can be measured by weight. The stronger and thicker the steel is the more it will weigh. Therefore a great rule of thumb when trying to decide which system is perfect for you is to evaluate the actual weight of the basketball system. It is not uncommon to look at two basketball hoops side by side that look very similar and there be a 200+ pound weight difference. So make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck and select a nice, heavy professional basketball hoop that will not only perform but last a lifetime as well.
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