Spalding is one of the trusted names when it comes to sports equipment. They make The Beast which is probably one of the most popular portable basketball hoops in the market.
The Beast is one of their top of the line products but they actually also sell entry level Spalding basketball systems that cost much less but still have the same quality that Spalding is known for.
Specifications of Spalding Basketball Systems
If you’re new to buying basketball systems, here are some specifications or features that you might want to familiarize yourself with to help you decide the best basketball hoop to buy for your driveway.
There are three main kinds of backboards. These are
- polycarbonate – usually the cheapest and is good for recreational play
- acrylic – For competitive play, this is recommended. It’s very strong and is not prone to breaking or damage. Good bounce, light
- glass – For the best bounce, glass backboards are highly recommended. There is a possibility of shattering though in case it is struck by a sharp object (it’s made of tempered glass and behaves much like the glass in your car windows). They’re the material used in NBA regulated hoops. Significantly heavier.
This is the distance between the backboard and the pole. Ideally, you want a bigger offset so that there is space underneath the hoop for players to play. It’s also a safety measure so that kids don’t bang themselves on the pole in the heat of excitement.
Basketball poles are available in 1, 2, or 3 pieces (which are slotted together to make one piece). The one piece poles are more durable and sturdy. The Spalding basketball systems under $500 dollars on this page have either 2-piece or 3-piece poles.
Portable Basketball Systems Under $500 Dollars
Here are three of the Spalding Basketball systems that costs under $500 dollars.
Spalding 54 Inch Portable Basketball System – Pro Slam Model 66291
At just under $500 dollars, this acryllic basketball system has a great offset design. It’s tilted so that there is enough space at the bottom of the hoop for kids for playing. The base can be filled with either water or sand. It’s a little bit more expensive than others on this list but if you have the budget, this is well worth it.
This can be easily adjusted from one height to another which makes it a handy little feature if you have kids of different ages and sizes playing on it.
It’s a solid and sturdy basketball hoop that is made to last for years. All in all, the well-positioned pole, the properly spaced wheels and the strong board support makes this one of the best buys on this list.
Spalding 50 Inch Polycarbonate Backboard
This is one of the bestselling Spalding Basketball systems in the market. It is certainly much cheaper than the rest of the hoops on this page. This is a good entry level hoop for kids and adults. Some people may not be too keen about the polycarbonate backboard backboard but customer reviews have shown that it works just as well for recreational players and young kids. It is sturdy. It doesn’t sway or shake too much or too long like other portable polycarbonate basketball hoops.
This has an angled pole, a heavy duty steel frame and a 3.5 inch pole that comes in three pieces. The base fills with sand or water.
Some customers have noted that it’s not that easy to put it together so this is something to think about if you get it. Either get a professional to do it or just make sure you properly read the instructions on setting it up to not get into any hiccups.
Spalding 50 Inch Acrylic Backboard
If you would rather buy a 50 inch basketball system with acrylic backboard, then buy this. It’s surprisingly doesn’t cost much more than the polycarbonate backboard featured above.
It has a heavy duty steel pole that is inclined and the height can be easily adjusted from 7.5′ to 10′ in 6″ increments. The acrylic backboard has a good thickness size at 3.5 mm.
This is a solid and durable system that’s easy to install, looks good in the driveway and is very easy to adjust.
Spalding 48 Inch Polycarbonate Basketball System
This one has the smallest backboard on this page. It has a polycarbonate board, heigh adjustable at 6-inch increments and a base that can be filled with either water or sand. One of the distinct difference of this hoop compared to the other systems on this page is the pole which is straight rather than inclined.
Some customer reviews have mentioned that the base doesn’t seem that solid and the polycarbonate frame is not very thick. This isn’t much of a problem though specially if only young kids playing recreationally are going to use it.
Inground Basketball Systems Under $500
For a stronger base, you might want to consider Spalding inground basketball systems. These are great for highly competitive play. It does mean however that moving it to another area/house is going to be a little bit trickier than the portable ones.
Good Inground basketball systems usually cost an arm and a leg, but Spalding has entry level systems that are very well made and are highly rated by customers as well.
Here, we feature two of them which happens to cost less than $500 dollars as of time of writing.
Spalding 54 Inch Glass Backboard Inground System
Glass backboards are priced because of its great rebound. They are used by the NBA and other professional league games which makes this 54 inch hoop a steal indeed.
The framed glass backboard has an aluminum trim and is 1/4 inch thick. It has infinite height adjustment (to any height size you like unlike the portable ones above which are in limited increments), and has a 2-piece pole making it a strong durable system. The pole offset is 2 feet from the backboard.
Read customer reviews and you’ll find out that as much as this is a pretty good inground basketball system, assembly is not very straightforward. The main problem, it seems for many people is connecting the 2-piece pole. So if you buy this and you run on this very same trouble, there are a lot of suggestions from other users on the review that could help you do this much easier.
Spalding 52 Inch Acrylic Basketball System
This is smaller than the one above and the backboard is made of a different material which is acrylic. The backboard is 3.5mm thick. It has a 3-piece pole with adjust height of 6″ increments.
The materials and specs of this Spalding basketball system are not as sophisticated as the 54-inch Inground system above this one, but the price is quite tempting. Specially for an inground system. Installation is easier too.