Assembly (7 / 10)
Rim (8 / 10)
Backboard (8.5 / 10)
Fill Base (10 / 10)
Support Pole (7 / 10)
Overall (8.5 / 10)
Being that I review basketballs, basketball hoops, and other basketball-related products for a living it goes without saying that I take the game seriously. So, when it was time for me to pick up a basketball hoop for my home you can bet I did a fair amount of research.
At the end of the day I ended up buying the Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball Hoop. In this review I am going to give you insights on why I picked the Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball Hoop, tips for installation, and my commentary on how this basketball system performs.
Given that I review and research basketball hoops regularly it is fair to ask why I went with this hoop. Going into the buying process I knew I wanted a portable basketball hoop. That alone eliminated all the in-ground basketball hoops that are available for sale.
Next was deciding which portable basketball hoop was right for me and my needs. I went about checking out some portable basketball hoops at the local sports store and at the end of the day it came down to either the Silverback NXT and the Spalding Hybrid. I went with the Spalding because the reviews of those who purchased were exceedingly positive (except for one purchaser), and the Spalding Hybrid has more bulk and heavy-duty features when compared to the NXT.
Lastly, I like the idea of the hybrid base. While it may seem like a gimmick at first, I’ve read many stories of hoop owners who have bases that have leaked over time basically making the hoop useless. With the hybrid base I can always add as much sand as I need even if a leak develops in the future.
I received my Spalding Hybrid Basketball Hoop via home delivery and the guys delivering were nice enough to place the hoop in my garage so that I could begin the assembly process.
When I initially pulled out all the parts and materials I was a bit overwhelmed. Admittedly, I am not the most handy individual, but have improved over the last few years.
Assembly was certainly time consuming but not overly difficult. I will say that you will need at least two people to assemble this hoop. There were probably 3-5 instances where I needed the extra help during assembly, so for the most part you can do it on your own, but some steps will be impossible without the extra hands.
Some of these steps where extra help will be needed include when you fit the three support pole pieces to each other, attaching the backboard to the support braces, and when you install the screw jack lift system.
I do not have an exact time frame for how long the Spalding Hybrid Portable Hoop takes to assemble because I did it over the course of two days. However, I’d say that if you are reasonably handy like me (certainly not exceptional) and don’t make some of the boneheaded mistakes I made, then you should be hooping in no more than four hours.
Having gone through the assembly process with the Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball System I have a few tips to use to make your assembly process as painless as possible.
Now that I’ve gone over the good and bad points of the assembly process let’s get into the meat of this review. This includes how the Spalding Hybrid performs, both good and bad. I’ve used the hoop several times now and feel confident that I can offer anyone considering buying this hoop a good idea of what they will get with their purchase.
Overall I’ve been impressed with the rim quality on the Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball Hoop. I will be the first to admit that the rim on this hoop is not up to par with a gym quality breakaway rim, but you should not expect this when spending $500-$700 on a hoop. If you do have this expectation then I suggest seriously considering a top of the line in-ground basketball hoop that generally start in the $1500 price range.
When shooting the rim performs best on shots that hit the back of the rim, which makes sense because this is closer to where the rim connects to backboard. Shots that hit the front of the rim tend to make the rim perform in a more flimsy manner. Performance on shots as a whole has been slightly better than I expected.
A common question I get is if the rim can handle dunking. I would not recommend hanging on this rim, especially from the front for fear of damaging the rim or potentially tipping the hoop. It can likely handle some dunking but it will probably shorten the life of your hoop if you dunk on it regularly.
That being said the rim on the Spalding Hybrid impresses me when considering the cost. I certainly feel like it meets my needs and will meet the needs of most families.
Spalding offers several different backboard models for the Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball Hoop. These include 54 inch and 60 inch acrylic backboards which are good mid level backboards. On the expensive end there is a 54 inch tempered glass backboard version that will cost you a couple hundred dollars more.
I picked up the cheapest option, the 54 inch acrylic backboard. I must say that the backboard has surpassed my expectations. The ball comes off the backboard with velocity, with bank shots and layups performing in a similar fashion to tempered glass backboards.
The only thing I will say is that with a 54 inch backboard you don’t have as much room to operate when executing a reverse layup. Sometimes the ball will hit the side of the backboard on the 54 inch version, when on a larger backboard the ball could very well end up in the hoop.
However, this is a small price to pay. If you feel like that would bother you then consider moving up to the 60 inch acrylic backboard. With the quality of the acrylic backboard I don’t see it being worth the extra $200 for the 54 inch tempered glass version.
Most fill bases found on portable basketball hoops are only filled with water. These can range in size from 25 gallons all the way up to 60 gallons for the Spalding Beast Portable Basketball Hoop.
The Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball System really changed the game in terms of the fill base. On the Spalding Hybrid you have two main compartments. The first compartment is the actual base and can be filled with up to 19 gallons of water. The second compartment is actually a space that has been “cut out” of the base so that you can put up to four 50 pound bags of play sand in the base.
At first this didn’t seem like a big deal to me. But now I see the advantages. Most portable basketball hoops are hard to move when the base is full of water. This means you have to empty the base somewhat to be able to transport your hoop to another location.
With the Spalding Hybrid Hoop you only need to remove the bags of sand and the hoop can be moved with the 19 gallons of water still in the base. Having this options makes the Spalding Hybrid more versatile than most other portable hoops.
Featured on the Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball Hoop is a three piece support pole. Three piece means that there are literally three pieces that are attached together to make the support pole system. Three piece support poles are found on most portable basketball systems.
In fact, I believe the Spalding Beast is the only portable basketball system that has a two-piece support pole. For those who are wondering, one-piece support poles are the best, but they are only found on higher-end in-ground hoops.
I must say that going into the purchase I thought that the three-piece support pole would be the cause of a lot of vibrations with the hoop. Thankfully I’ve found that my worries were unfounded. For having the cheapest support pole design the Spalding Hybrid is a durable basketball system.
Hopefully this review has given you a thorough idea of what it is like to assemble and use the Spalding Hybrid Portable Basketball Hoop. I’m really glad I bought this hoop and I am satisfied with the performance.
As I mentioned earlier, I would not spend the extra money for the tempered glass version. I just can’t imagine it making a big enough difference. Not only that but tempered glass is much more likely to break.
Spalding 79564 Backboard and Rim Combo: (7.3 / 10)
Today the majority of the hoops sold are in ground systems or portable basketball hoops. For those who are looking for a simple rim and backboard unit to attach to a wall or garage the number of options have become more limited. One really solid option if you want a rim and backboard system is the Spalding 79564 Backboard and Rim Combo. It works great for those who have a garage or indoor environment where you want to hang the hoop from. One strength of these systems is the simplistic assembly compared to portable and in ground systems.
The Spalding Backboard and Rim Combo has a great number of features that make it a great option for your home. The system has a medium sized backboard of 54 inches, which is made of acrylic. Acrylic is a nice middle of the road material that is higher quality than polycarbonate, and not as expensive as tempered glass. The bottom of the backboard is aligned with padding that will protect any players who go up for a layup or dunk. Another feature of this hoop is the arena slam breakaway rim. This rim has a covered spring mechanism that allows for breakaway flexibility when dunking. On the rim there is an all-weather net so that outside it will not wear down due to the elements.
One thing that we really like about wall-mounted hoops is that they tend to provide strong backboard support so that rebounds come off with velocity unlike some portable basketball systems. With the Spalding 79564 Backboard and Rim Combo this reputation for strong backboard performance continues. This system comes ready to be mounted to an existing pole, but will require a wall-mount bracket if you are going to hang it from a wall.
What We Like About This Hoop
What Would Make This Hoop Better
The Spalding 79564 Backboard and Rim Combo is a great option for those with a garage or other building to mount the hoop to. If you want a similar quality Spalding hoop that is portable then we suggest the Spalding 60″ Portable Basketball System, and for in ground the Spalding 60″ In Ground Basketball System.
The Spalding Hercules Portable Basketball Hoop is one of the newer portable basketball systems offered by Spalding. As you may already know, Spalding has been a leader in manufacturing some of the highest quality basketball hoops and basketballs for many years now which has led them to be the official basketball of the NBA. Knowing this we are very excited to give you an in depth rundown of the Hercules basketball hoop including what we like and what could be better about the system. The rim of the Spalding Hercules Portable Basketball Hoop is Pro-Slam style which we have seen before on the Spalding Pro-Slam Basketball Hoop. The Pro-Slam rim does have a breakaway mechanism, but would not be suitable for rough dunking or hanging.
The acrylic backboard is 3.5 mm thick and will have some mild to moderate vibrations when impacted. As we have stated previously, acrylic backboards are generally better than polycarbonate, but do not perform as well as backboards made of tempered glass. The Hercules Basketball Hoop from Spalding has a three-piece support pole that has a 3.5″ diameter. We consider this three-piece support system a weakness as one or two-piece support systems are significantly more sturdy and durable.
The base of this hoop can hold up to 39 gallons of water to keep the Spalding Hercules Basketball System from tipping over. During the Winter months you may want to drain some of the water out to avoid damage from ice expanding in the base. There are two wheels that are attached to the base that can used to help make transportation easier, however, do not expect to be able to move this hoop without first draining the water from the base.
As far as assembly goes, you will most definitely want to have at least two adults working as a team to get this hoop put together. If you have two people working on assembly, then expect this hoop to take anywhere from 3-6 hours to be set up. Be sure to follow the directions closely and not assume you know the next step. If you follow these suggestions assembly should not be too difficult.
Overall, the Spalding Hercules Portable Basketball System is a quality addition to the Spalding basketball hoop lineup. If you are interested in another hoop that has similar features we would suggest you see our review of the Spalding Pro-Slam. However, if you want a hoop that has more features and higher quality materials then consider looking into “The Beast” Basketball Hoop from Spalding.
Spalding 60″ In-Ground Basketball System: (8.9 / 10)
Spalding has been a leader in the game of basketball for many decades and continues to set a course which many other basketball brands follow. They arguably offer the greatest variety of basketball hoops at different price points, features, and quality. The Spalding 60″ In-Ground Basketball System is a mid-priced hoop that finds itself positioned between less expensive portable hoops like the Pro Slam and higher-end in-ground systems like the Spalding 888 system. So, if you want to take a step up from some of the more common value hoops but may not have the budget for a hoop that will set you back one or two grand, then the Spalding 60″ In-Ground Basketball System is likely to be right up your alley.
The value of this hoop cannot be understated. It features a 60″ tempered glass backboard while keeping a price point under $600, a rare feat in the basketball hoop market. Tempered glass offers the best rebounding experience when compared to backboards made of acrylic or polycarbonate. The backboard also has a better more supportive design than what is more commonly seen with lower priced hoops. The rim that comes with this hoop is also a step up from other systems and is more capable of handling dunks and competitive game play. Installation of this hoop is made more simple with the ground sleeve anchor system that is included with this hoop.
We see the Spalding 60″ In-Ground Basketball System as a good entry into the premium hoop game without some of the bells and whistles that are included with more expensive systems. Most notably, this hoop comes with no padding on either the support pole or the backboard. While the 2″ offset from the backboard to pole does help to keep players from getting injured, it may be worthwhile to invest in a pole pad if you decide to purchase this hoop.
The Spalding 60″ In-Ground Basketball System is a great value that comes with features not matched by many hoops at its price point. This characteristic is what helped drive our rating of this hoop. We would generally recommend this hoop for families as well as those who are serious about the game of basketball and their budget. For those wanting the features of a higher priced hoop (padding, larger backboard, etc.) we suggest looking into the Goalrilla GLR GS-I and the Spalding Arena View Hoop.
Spalding Arena View Basketball System Review: (9.7 / 10)
Wow, if you are crazy serious about the game of basketball and want to own the ultimate recreational basketball system for your home then look no further than the hoop we are reviewing today, the Spalding Arena View Basketball System. Spalding pulled out all the stops with this premium priced hoop and it is easy to see why this beast will put you back more than two grand. The Arena View is the top basketball hoop option from Spalding and places itself at the top of the mountain compared to some other basketball systems from Spalding such as The Beast and the 60″ portable basketball system.
This hoop comes with many different options. Spalding offers Arena View hoops with either acrylic or tempered glass. While acrylic will be more durable than tempered glass, we recommend the superior performing tempered glass when investing this much in a hoop as the performance simply cannot be matched. Stability is a primary focus for the Arena View as it features Z-arms that extend from the support pole to the edges of the backboard which minimize vibrations and work to prevent the backboard from breaking. The four foot offset between the hoop and the support pole is important to keep players safe as well as recreating the feel of playing in a gym environment. The padding provided by the Arena View Basketball System is by far the best and most supportive of all the hoops we have reviewed. The support pole padding extends from the bottom of the unit while high quality padding lines the bottom of the backboard. If you put a high value on safety then you may want to take a closer look at this hoop as an option for you home.
To summarize, if you are a basketball fanatic or an advanced player looking for optimum performance in a hoop then the high price tag should not scare you away. You will get your money’s worth with the Arena View Basketball System. However, if you want a hoop for the kids to play on or for regular recreational games then we suggest looking at hoops like the Silverback SB-60 and the Spalding Beast that are less expensive yet still provide high quality performance.
If you are an ardent basketball player, then, the Spalding H-Frame In-Ground Basketball System is a good choice for your home. This enormous hoop features a regulation sized 72″ glass backboard. It also comes in a 62″ glass backboard. The backboard is reinforced with a solid steel H-frame. A Positive Lock breakaway rim will stretch and snap back into position. The heavy duty Z-arms bolt through the backboard frame increases steadiness and levelling. The Spalding H-Frame In-Ground Basketball System is an adjustable basketball system with a rim that adjusts height from 7′ – 10′. The hardware includes plastic bushings to reduce metal contact and prevent rusting. With an interior safety stop, the board is prevented from being lowered below 6’6″. With NBA regulation size and performance, this Spalding basketball system will meet your expectations.
Spalding H Frame In-Ground Basketball System: (9 / 10)
Positive Lock Breakaway rim and a durable Spalding/NBA pole pad is included for professional level performance
One Piece, 6″ Square steel pole allows for maximum firmness. Ground tube anchor kit with hinging base plate allows for easy assembly.
Does not have backboard padding that other similarly priced basketball systems include
72″ Glass Backboard
60″ Glass Backboard
Spalding has for many years been a leader in the basketball manufacturing industry and that is why many folks have chosen to purchase the Spalding 48 inch Portable Basketball Hoop. Based on the reviews this hoop is not perfect, but for a more affordable hoop it is a solid choice. Here is our opinion on the what we like about this system as well as things that could be improved to make this hoop even better.
The first feature worth mentioning is that the Spalding 48 inch Portable Basketball Hoop can be lowered to 7.5’ and up to the regulation 10′. This is an advantage when you buying for young basketball players. The hoop’s base is big enough to support 37 gallons of water which will keep this system upright. There have been some reviewers who have mentioned that the base is susceptible to leaking and this is a cause for concern. Now you do have the option to avoid this problem by choosing to fill the base with sand rather than water. Also, the polycarbonate material they used on the backboard very thin and will vibrate a fair amount when a shot hits the rim or backboard.
While for most the assembly will be quite simple, the directions at times are vague which may cause you to miss a step or complete a step incorrectly. Because of this vagueness, some users resort to trial and error. We recommend you find a friend or family member when putting the Spalding 48 inch Portable Basketball Hoop together to make the process more efficient. Children will love being able to play on this hoop and we feel that it is a great selection for recreational use. All of Spalding’s basketball hoops provide a sleek look and durable feel, and the Spalding 48 inch portable basketball hoop is no exception.
Spalding 60 Inch Portable Basketball System: (8.5 / 10)
The Spalding 60 Inch Portable Basketball System finds itself marketed as a solid middle priced portable unit between the less expensive Spalding Pro Slam and the premium Spalding The Beast Basketball Hoop. This is a really nice choice for anyone who wants to have a high quality portable hoop for their home but does not have +$1000 to spend on a system. We would recommend this hoop for those who take the game seriously or for families who have a child who is into the game and wants to take their interest to the next level.
At this middle level price you will find that the Spalding 60 Inch Portable Basketball System has a mix of higher end features with some other cheaper materials as well. On the higher end side this hoop does feature a professional performing rim that has a quality breakaway mechanism so that it can take on dunks and other rough play. It also has the added bonus of padding that lines the bottom of the backboard which enhances safety. Another safety feature found only on high end portable systems is the pole guard that helps to keep players from running into the pole and base. On the flip side, here are some features of the hoop that tend to be found on cheaper units. The Spalding 60 Inch Portable Basketball System has a 3 piece pole and support system. This is generally the least stable design on portable basketball hoops. Two piece poles are generally more secure, and one-piece poles are the most stable and are featured on the highest quality premium hoops. The acrylic backboard is better than the polycarbonate found on the cheapest basketball systems, but does not perform at the level seen from basketball hoops that have a tempered glass backboard. With an acrylic backboard this system will have some mild shaking when the basketball hits the rim or backboard, but it will still be superior to most portable basketball systems out there.
If you purchase this basketball hoop be prepared to find a friend or adult family member to help you with the assembly process. This will generally take somewhere between 3-5 hours depending on your assembly experience and assuming things go smoothly.
Overall, the Spalding 60 Inch Portable Basketball Hoop is a wise investment that should last many years when used responsibly. While the hoop does have some features that leave a little to be desired, at it’s price point it performs quite nicely. If you are able to spend more and want a hoop at the next level we would suggest considering the Spalding The Beast Basketball Hoop.
Spalding 68564 Portable Basketball System: (8.2 / 10)
In the market for a portable basketball system for your driveway or backyard? Finding the right hoop is important so that you have the features you desire at the price you want, along with a product that is made to last depending on your level and frequency of use. Spalding is a manufacturer of hoops that is time-tested and well-respected, and the Spalding 68564 Portable Basketball System is a great option if you are looking for something moderately priced, but a solid addition to your yard or driveway with some great features.
The Spalding 68564 hoop offers an array of solid features for the baller in your life, be they young and beginning, or a veteran of the game; the hoop would be best for those looking to play recreationally and practice drills and shots on a regular basis. It features a large 54 inch acrylic backboard made for frequent play and practice. There is a heavy duty steel frame lining the backboard, giving you extra strength and durability as you go up for layups and slam dunks. Acrylic backboards are a great option for those looking for a quality, strong backboard for bank shots and layups, without the high price of tempered glass; a great middle ground option.
When it comes to adjusting the hoop height, the Spalding 68564 Basketball System makes things pretty easy. Thanks to the Screw Jack lift system, the hoop can raise from 7.5 feet to 10 feet in a smooth, one-handed motion. The hoop can lift in infinite increments making it able to be personalized to the height that works best for the player. It also has a removable handle so that once you have found your desired height, it cannot be tampered with. The Spalding 68564 has a 3 piece, 3.5 inch pole, which is set at a 20 degree angle from the base, with a plastic cover on the front gives you a built in rebounder when you play.
The foundation of the Spalding 68564 Portable Basketball System is one of the larger models on the market, with a 40 gallon plastic base; the large size allows for a sturdy and strong foundation, minimizing shaking that can come with weaker or smaller bases on other models. You can fill the base with water, sand, or a polymer gel product to allow for little movement in your neighborhood basketball games and free throw work. Reviewers of this hoop found the base to be adequate and found it durable enough to withstand cracks and weaknesses in the plastic, where sometimes other hoops do not measure up.
For those players who love to perfect their slam dunk, or even just complete their first one, the Spalding 68564 offers a great platform for such a goal; it features an Arena Slam breakaway rim with solid steel support braces. The smooth spring associated with the rim allows for it to give way when going up for that amazing dunk or layup, and minimizes pressure on the backboard, allowing for a stronger and longer lasting product.
While this hoop has a lot of great points, one thing to consider is assembly. Many reviewers have found the assembly of this hoop to be time-consuming and difficult, with improper instructions or missing pieces. However, other found the hoop easy to assemble and did so with little help or time on their hands. Assembly can vary, but this is just one factor to consider when purchasing the hoop that is best for your lifestyle.
What We Like About This Hoop
What Would Make This Hoop Better
If you are in the market for a premium portable basketball system that can take a beating and perform at a high level, then it may be time to consider picking up the Spalding The Beast Portable Basketball Hoop for Your driveway or home court. This is the top of the line portable basketball system that Spalding produces and is arguably the best portable system that money can buy. Compared to the Spalding The Beast Basketball Hoop some less expensive portable systems from Spalding include the Spalding 54″ Portable Basketball System and the Spalding Pro Slam.
Because of the high price of this hoop it should come as no surprise that the features included on this system are immense. One thing that is obvious is that Spalding emphasized stability when it comes to the design of the Spalding The Beast Portable Basketball System. The support pole is a “beastly” 5″ square all steel pole that is angled from the back of the base to the bottom of the backboard.
The angling of the support pole is crucial to maximizing stability and limiting the possibility of the hoop tipping by spreading out the system’s weight. The base mount includes four struts that work to stabilize the unit and to further reinforce the hoop. The Spalding The Beast Portable Basketball System offers a massive 50+ gallon base that can be filled with sand or fluid. This is one of the largest bases we have seen on a recreational portable basketball system. The base comes with rollers that help to make moving the Beast a cinch.
This basketball hoop has a backboard that is 60″ wide and 1/4″ thick, and is made of tempered glass. The absolute top of the line in-ground systems feature backboards that are 1/2″ thick, however, for a portable system this backboard’s performance is superior to the competition. Tempered glass is the costliest and highest performing backboard material available.
The breakaway rim is high performing and can withstand monster dunks, although we would never recommend hanging from a rim on a portable basketball system as a safety precaution. Overall, you will not notice a difference between how this rim performs and the ones found in a high school gyms around the country.
The all-weather net that comes with the Spalding The Beast Portable Basketball Hoop is a standard feature on almost all outdoor basketball systems and will last for a few years before needing to be replaced.
We do wish this hoop had support pole and backboard padding. For most homes this will not be an issue, especially due to the angled design of the support pole. However, it may be worthwhile to pick up a support pole pad that fits this hoop if you do decid to select the Spalding The Beast Portable Basketball System for your home.
What can we say, the Spalding The Beast Portable Basketball System is our pick for the best portable basketball system available. We have rated it highly due to several factors including design (angled support pole, movable wheels, base handle, etc.), features (tempered glass backboard, breakaway rim, etc.) and the overall stability of the unit. If you are looking for a hoop that is a little less expensive, but is still of good quality we recommend you take a closer look at the Spalding 60″ Portable Basketball System.