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Lifetime 50 Inch Shatter Proof Portable Basketball Hoop
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- 50" Shatterproof Makralon polycarbonate backboard gives you the look and feel of professional glass!
- All-weather resistant, designed to withstand the harshest elements
- Action Grip height adjustment mechanism easily adjusts from 7.5 to 10 feet with one hand
- Solid-steel Slam-It Rim with double-compression springs and welded net hooks is built to take a slam
- Portable base can be filled with water or sand; Backed by a 5-year limited manufacturer warranty
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With a slightly larger target to shoot at, the Lifetime 50 Inch Shatter Proof Portable Basketball Hoop is perfect for beginners. This portable basketball hoop incorporates the latest technology into the classic game to ensure that the level of enjoyment is as high as possible. The shatterproof 50-inch Fusion backboard brings together a polycarbonate playing surface with an unbreakable polyethylene frame for a durable, professional look. The red graphics are screen-printed with UV-protected inks for vivid color that lasts outdoors. As far as the rim, the Slam-It features double-compression springs which launch the ball back into play, and an all-weather nylon net. The Speed Shift unit allows you to easily adjust the height of the rim from 7.5 to 10 feet. Although your slams are sure to shake things up, you'll want to keep the hoop in place, so the three-piece round steel pole is supported by a heavy-duty 35-gallon portable base. Just fill it with sand or water - no cement is needed. One of the largest manufacturers of blow-molded polyethylene folding tables and chairs and portable residential basketball equipment, Lifetime Products also manufactures outdoor storage sheds, utility trailers, and lawn and garden items. Founded in 1972 by Barry Mower, Lifetime Products operates out of Clearfield, Utah, and continues to apply innovation and cutting-edge technology in plastics and metals to create a family of affordable lifestyle products that feature superior strength and durability. 50-inch rectangular polycarbonate backboard. 3.5 in. diameter steel pole. Simple 1-handed height-adjustment system. Height adjusts between 7.5 and 10 feet. 35-gallon heavy-duty portable base. Slam-It rim features double-compression springs.
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Top customer reviews
I was looking for a nice quality basketball hoop, but had to keep the budget around $300.00(spouse's orders). Actually, I was really concerned at finding something of quality at that price point. I wanted at least a decent sized backboard of good material for my boys. At first I was first thinking of an in-ground systems as I thought they would be more stable. However, I was not sure on an ideal location for a permanent mount (each had some drawbacks in our location) due to the way we have our driveway, the slope on part of it, and what car(s) may be parked outside. In addition, I really did not want to get into digging a post hole and cementing in a sleeve only to find out the boys would not like the location. So, I changed my mind and started looking at only portable systems. Please be assured that this portable system is stable. Another concern I had was that perhaps the portable system might not look as nice (I don't know why I was worried about that, I think this hoop looks great!).
Amazon did a wonderful job shipping and delivering the whole box right to my garage (free shipping).
After reading many reviews about others putting together portable basketball hoop systems I was really DREADING putting this thing together. I consider myself reasonably handy, but frankly some of the other reviews for this or similar systems were troubling... to say the least (i.e. terrible directions, missing parts, holes needing to be redrilled, parts not going together etc. etc.). I opened the box and well yes...it did seem a LITTLE.. overwhelming looking at all those parts at first! If there is one thing I would like to pass on is please do not worry! The directions were extremely clear and parts were grouped in bags by task. On that note as I was looking at the directions my 9 year old son strengthened my confidence by saying... "don't worry dad it is just like following the directions for Legos". So we jumped in. My boys came out a few times to check on my progress or help here or there, but I put it all together myself except for the final step of standing it up on the driveway. Please read on for my thoughts and a couple of tips.
(1)Make sure you have ALL the tools they recommend to complete the job. Nothing unusual here (sockets, open end wrenches, screwdriver, pliers, hammer), but you really do need everything. The exception is a rubber mallet(for tapping pieces together), a regular hammer and a piece of wood to cushion the blows is fine. A portable or corded drill is a VERY important (in my opinion) to drive the self tapping screws when attaching the plastic trim to the backboard and also in bolting the three poles together. I used a small bit to drill a small pilot hole for the self tapping screws (on poles and backboard) as I wanted to make sure the self-tappers went in straight. Also, on the backboard I did not want to risk cracking it. A drill with a screw bit really makes short work of driving in the self-tapping screws. I tried using a ratchet at first and it was too slow and much too hard to apply enough pressure to drive the self-tappers in (even with the pilot holes). Yes, get out the power tools and have some fun.
(2) Please read and follow all directions carefully (yeh I hate doing that too!). However, I probably escaped without any trouble because I did just that. They even have pictures of the bolts/screws in the directions (that are true-to-scale) you can measure things against the directions to make sure you are using the correct screw or bolt. I often studied the picture in detail to see how things went together. I had no problems.
(3) There are 3 poles you will put together to make the one long pole for attaching your rim to the base. When you put the poles together I took a flat mill file and filed off the burrs left by the factory on the inside of poles (where the factory pre-drilled holes were located). I also applied a small amount of lithium grease (I had a small tube already) where the poles go together. I followed the directions and tapped the poles together on my garage floor over a short piece of wood). They went together perfectly and very easily. I only mention this added information (filing the burrs and grease) as in other reviews many people complained on how difficult it was to get the poles together. I think the burrs on the inside must have caused them problems.
(4) It took me 4 hours total working by myself to put everything together. I went slow and steady, took a couple of short breaks for water. I then went to the home improvement store for sand. I did not time the sand filling part, but maybe 20-30 minutes or so???
(5) I purchased 6 bags (50 lbs each) of sand. I bought "silica sand" (it is a very fine-grained sand and all grains are uniform). I would NOT recommend "play sand" as it has many different grains sizes and is dusty and it would be hard to pour through the funnel. I bought the silica sand at Menards (I know other stores carry it too).
(6) You will need a wide mouth funnel with a good sized hole in it (quarter sized?) to pour in the sand. I had a nice one from an auto parts store in my garage already. I brought out my step ladder so I could rest the bag on the 3rd step of the ladder above the funnel to pour in the sand (the base is tilted up as the hole is in the back end of the base). I put a hole in the corner of the bag and poured while my son held the funnel. You could do it yourself, but he likes to help. I put in 4 bags. Then the last two bags I wrapped in double lined garbage bags and put on top of the base once I had it moved into place. If you put all six bags in right at first you are going to have ONE heavy base to move!!!! I had my dear wife come out and help me tilt the pole in place. I live in a cold climate and did not want to put water in the base with antifreeze or just water (leaving room for expansion on freezing) or mess around with all of that (my opinion again). I think the sand is more stable and will be cleaner. I may put in the last two bags later or leave them on top where they are.
(7)The system is very sturdy. We are having fun with it and I come home from work and shoot a few too. Also, my 9 year old son can adjust the height of the hoop all by himself! My 13 year old is working on rebounding (cross training for goal keeper in soccer) and enjoys shooting as well as the 9 year old. I am glad I listened to my wife and did not go out and spend more money (yes dads it is productive to listen to your better half!.. all the moms at this point are nodding and saying...well YES!). Thank you for reading and good luck on all your future basketball careers!
My suggestions and comments are as follows:
1. Read the directions all the way through before ripping open any parts packages.
2. We separated each bag of parts in a series of flat box lids and kept the packaging so we knew which box lid to grab at each point in assembly.
3. Buy lithium grease!!!!! Saved us the headache of forcing poles together unnecessarily.
4. Buy a rubber mallet. You WILL need it especially for wheel assembly to base portion.
5. Make sure you have a closed wrench for stretching the springs in the final steps. You'll need it and someone with some upper body strength!
6. The backboard attachment to the pole section can be a little tricky. I would recommend 2 adults do this. We had a retaining wall that gradually increased in height so we were able to use that to great advantage. Not everyone has that so saw horses would help a lot.
7. We used a traffic cone with the end cut to fit around the base opening for filling with sand. Again we used the retaining wall to rest fully assembled hoop at an angle so sand would flow easily. Saw horses would help here, too or you can fill with water.
8. Socket set was a life saver.
9. Pre-drill ALL holes when using self tapping screws. I may just not have the brute strength to make self tapping screws grab so I Pre-drilled all holes and had no issues (yes, the tools are all mine and I know how to use them. Hubby not handy!).
10. Enjoy! It's a solid hoop with nice rebound, great rim give and the adjustable height is super easy to work once assembled.
Took us about 4.5 hours to fully assemble at a very deliberate pace.
There are several problems that you have to overcome. First is the sheer size of this goal. It makes it extremely difficult as it's very heavy and large and each step of assembly seems to require the goal to be in a different position. Sawhorses, not listed in the Tools Needed section of the instructions, are absolutely essential. They help position the goal in various ways and keeps the weight off the rim as several steps seem to indicate that the goal and entire weight should be placed with the rim on the ground. I can't imagine the rim not bending from that.
More difficult are the instructions. As most everyone has noted in their reviews, the instructions seem to have been put together by a sadist. Everything is referred to by strange three letter codes (AAF, AEB, etc) but nothing (not a single part) is labeled. Parts are placed in bags, but each bag does not go with a single step. You basically have to dump out 100 screws, bolts, nuts and other goodies onto the table and figure out what each part is. If this isn't bad enough, several of the bolts are very close, but not identical, to each other. It's very easy to use the 7" bolt where the other 7 1/8" bolts go. It makes assembly slow and maddening.
Further, the instructions do not help you figure out the best way to do each step. While the picture shows you how to put bolt AAE through the holes in AVR with nut ACS, it offers no clue on how to wrangle the goal into place to do this. Simple pictures showing you the best way to perform each step would have been so helpful. If you buy this goal, read through all of the reviews as many other reviews have some excellent tips and suggestions on how to put this monstrosity together.
The correct (most recent) instructions arrived with mine but I was fearful because of reviews that Lifetime is shipping old instructions with new goals. Google Lifetime basketball goal and you will find the manufacturer's website where they have both the older and newer instructions. If you believe you have the older ones, you can download and print the newer ones yourself.
The box arrived in excellent condition and I was not missing any parts. However the bolt and cap that are used to hold the base braces to the pole was stripped and unusable. I had to make a special trip to replace this part which was irritating to say the least. The polycarbonate backboard had a few edge chips but not enough that you would really notice.
The "Tools Required" section in the beginning of the instructions are lacking. In addition to what they list, you will also want to have the following:
Two sawhorses - Absolutely necessary to keep this from breaking your back and supporting the weight of the goal.
A complete ratchet set AND a full set of wrenches make this much easier. At the very least you will need two each of many different size wrenches (1/2", ¾", 9/16", etc).
A 3/8 nut driver for several of the self-driving screws that you can place into your drill. This is not listed in the tools required, but is listed as necessary later in the instructions. I have no idea how you would get these installed without a nut driver and drill.
Various drill bits for pilot holes because instead of drilling holes for you they just give you self-driving screws. Going into the thick metal pole with these without a pilot hole can be difficult.
A jig to help you stretch the two massive springs across the backboard brace and arms. They suggest using a wrench, but there is no way I could hold onto a wrench and do this. I solved it by taking a claw hammer and screwing a hefty eye screw into the bottom. This allowed me to hook the end of the spring and have the claw to hold onto. My wife and kid both held onto the goal as I braced my feet against the backboard and pulled with everything I had to get these stretched over the correct bar.
I did not want to use water and ended up putting 350lbs of sand into the base. It was completely full after this. I would highly recommend using as much sand as possible to make sure this goal doesn't fall over during a windstorm.
Once completed, the goal is very nice and I'm happy with it. For the value it gets 5 stars. But I have to take away a star because of the terrible instructions and stripped bolt. I spent 7 SOLID hours of work on this, and that doesn't include prep time getting tools together and two separate trips to the hardware store (once for the nut driver and once for the stripped bolt). It's a weekend project (or one long day) and you will need AT A MINIMUM two people. My 10 year old boy was a big help, but there were many steps made much easier with my wife helping as well . You cannot put this together by yourself.
EDIT (December 2015) : I wanted to add on to my review and say that after 3 1/2 years this goal has held up very well. It's received quite a bit of play and has survived windstorms, ice storms, snow, etc without much wear. The net is still in good shape, no rust or particular wear. The base is a bit faded, but nothing that I would call excessive. I stand by my original review that this is a good value...hopefully they will fix the instructions.