Portable, breakaway rim, adjustable, space efficient, affordable
Backboard material and size, 3-piece pole, no overhang, not as stable
The Lifetime 51550 Basketball Hoop is a entry-level basketball designed primarily for children and teenagers. It’s portable and is able to adjust between 8-10 feet in six inch increments. The backboard is 48 inches in size and made out of a shatter-proof polycarbonate material. It comes with a breakaway rim that allows for dunking. The pole is made up of 3- pieces 3-inches around. The Lifetime 51550 is backed by a 5 year warranty. Dimensions: 48 x 32 x 10 inches ; 80 pounds
What To Like
- Portable. This hoop does have wheels so it can be moved rather easily even if its filled with sand. If you want nothing to do with installation, then a portable hoop is the way to go. You can move it anytime you need to, and you don’t have to worry about pouring cement.
- Breakaway rim. I was a pleasantly surprised this had a breakaway rim. It allows for dunking, and most hoops nowadays have them anyway. Nice addition.
- Adjustable. This is particularly beneficial if children under the age of 10 will be playing on it. Raising and lowering can be done by squeezing the handle and moving it up or down. It adjusts in 6-inch increments.
- Polycarbonate backboard. At this price, you can’t expect to get a real high quality backboard. But polycarbonate is pretty solid for an entry-level hoop. It should stand the test of time, assuming that it’s not abused.
- Space efficient. For one-car driveways, this hoop is perfect. You can always move it even should it get in the way. The backboard size is suited for small areas. So if space is lacking, this is a good option.
- Straightforward assembly. Most customers said they didn’t a problem putting it together, though it will take some time to complete. A few noted that it took them around 3 hours. The instructions are clear and the packaging was thorough.
- Pole padding. Included is a pad the wraps around the pole so it adds some cushion if someone were to crash into it.
- Affordable. Relatively speaking, this is an inexpensive hoop overall. It’s ideal for those on a budget or simply don’t want to invest a lot of money in a basketball hoop.
What Not To Like
- 3 piece pole. One piece poles are best for performance, but is probably not an issue for casual players. The pole thickness is only 3 inches, so it’s going to be less rigid compared to more expensive models.
- Backboard size? 48 inches is still relatively small for a basketball hoop, as regulation size is 72 inches. However, if you have a one-car driveway or just limited space in general, then it should be suitable. Bank shots are more of a challenge with smaller backboards, and it general just isn’t as favorable. For kids however, this probably isn’t an issue. If you want a larger backboard, the Lifetime 1558 has a 52-inch one.
- No overhang. A downside with portable hoops is that they usually have little to no overhang. This is the distance from the pole to backboard. Why does this matter? Well, having space allows for play under the hoop, and it decreases the chances of someone being knocked in the pole. Not a huge deal, but it’s a con nonetheless.
- Stability. What you gain in portability, you are naturally going to lose in stability. A heavy wind could be enough to move it. Filling the base with sand as opposed to water will help. Water is easier to manage, but you will have to empty it during the winter so it won’t freeze. The hole is small, so filling it with sand will take longer.
The Lifetime 51550 Courtside Basketball Hoop is well-suited for children, teenagers, and casual players in general. What it’s not: a hoop designed to handle serious games played by adults. It’s also good for those who are just interested in shooting around on occasion. It’s portable, adjustable, and is reasonably priced. If this is what you’re looking for, then is one to consider.
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