Stable, easy adjust, infinite adjustment, 4-inch square pole, backboard size, overhang, price
Acrylic backboard, 3 piece pole, cement installation, plastic anchor. I would call this a low priced, blah system. Nothing to be excited about.
The Spalding 88365 features a 54-inch acrylic backboard and a U-Turn lift system that adjusts in infinite increments from 7-10 feet. Lowering and raising the hoop is done with a crank, and the handle can be removed for safety purposes. The 4-inch square pole consists of 3 sections. The overhang, which is the distance from the pole to the bottom of the backboard, is 18-inches. Included in an Arena Slam breakaway rim, which includes a wrap around for additional support. The 88365 is backed by a 5-year limited warranty. Dimensions: 60 x 35 x 10 inches.
What To Like
- Stable. In-ground models are the most stable, which gives you the best performance. For basketball purists, this is the way to go. You won’t have to worry about the hoop moving after a shot or dunk. Because the foundation is stable, the backboard will be as well. This is the most durable type of hoop you can buy.
- Crank adjust. This type of adjustment is arguably the best in terms of durability and precision. It’s a bit more difficult to raise and lower compared to a pneumatic system, but it has a longer life.
- Infinite adjustment. Some hoops in a similar price range, such as the Lifetime 71799, adjust in increments of 6-inches. The 88365 however is micro-adjustable, which allows you to set the height anywhere between 7 and 10 feet. This is ideal for children who struggle to shoot on 10-foot hoops. It also makes it easier to dunk on.
- Backboard size. At 54″, it’s just wide enough for players to shoot bank shots from various angles. The bigger the backboard, the better. The low-end is about 44″, and regulation size is 72″ wide.
- 4-inch square pole. It’s actually thicker than the Spalding 66349 pole, yet it’s not as expensive. Just about every hoop in this price range has a 3.5 inch pole, so an extra 1/2 inch does help. Another benefit is that it’s square, which is also very uncommon for hoops near this price point. Square poles are better because they reduce vibration.
- Overhang. An 18-inch overhang is not much, but it’s better than what you would get with entry-level portable models. What’s great about in-ground models is that they don’t have a base compared to portable hoops. This takes up less space and allows for more play below the backboard.
- Breakaway rim. The wrap around support gives it a professional look. This rim is a little stronger than the spring models that you see on cheaper hoops. It should hold up long-term, and perform well when shooting or dunking.
- Price. At just over $420 on Amazon, I think this hoop is a bargain.
What Not To Like
- Acrylic backboard. Polycarbonate is a stronger material than acrylic, so I am not sure why this hoop doesn’t have that instead. Acrylic isn’t bad by any means, as it’s still a very strong material that will hold up against dunking. The downside is that they’re prone to scuff marks and attracting mildew.
- 3 piece pole. The one downside with the pole design is that it breaks up into sections of 3. This is common for hoops in this price range, but they are not as sturdy as one piece poles.
- Cement installation. One of the main benefits of a portable hoop is that no installation is required. With an in-ground model, you will have to pour cement, which adds to your overall cost and time. It does use an anchor mount, which means that you might be able to remove it if necessary. Though….
- Plastic anchor. Customers noted that the anchor was plastic, and therefore not very sturdy. The result is that the hoop wobbles a little more than it should. Your best bet might be to directly bury the pole into the ground if you have no plans on removing it at any point.
Reviews from Around the Web
Amazon.com: 5 Stars – ‘Easy to put together, but a couple of issues….’
Amazon.com: 4 Stars – ‘Worth the price….’
Amazon.com: 3 Stars – ‘What I expected for this price….’
Amazon.com: 2 Stars – ‘Trouble with Installation….’
Don’t like it. Kind of a blah hoop with blah reviews. Buy it if you want, but there are definitely better goals available for the price.
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