Basketball Backboard Materials – What Will Your Basketball Hoop Be Made of?

When you set out to buy a basketball hoop for your driveway, there are a lot of decisions to make, and a lot of options. One of the most important is what kind of material that you will use for your backboard. The backboard material is very important because it will determine both how durable your entire system is going to be as well as the quality of the rebound (i.e. how well the basketball bounces against the backboard). Here are the five major types of backboards and what you have to know before you buy.

Molded Plastic

Molded plastic is generally what you see on the cheapest basketball systems, and it is really only suitable for small children or for people who only play occasionally. While it is a fine and durable material for young or inexperienced players, people who want a basketball hoop with a little bit better rebound should set their sights a little higher.


The most common material that you will encounter is acrylic. It is remarkably inexpensive, but still gives you great durability and rebound. The only thing you really need to look out for is the fact that acrylic tends to yellow after being left out in the sun for a few years. Also, acrylic, while it can be a rigid material, is simply not quite as rigid as glass, so you should opt for that material as good rebound is important to you.

Poly Carbonate

Polycarbonate functions just like acrylic, but it has the advantage of being a whole lot stronger. In fact, it is approximately five times more durable. Generally, when you are looking at two nearly identical systems for similar prices, and one offers a polycarbonate backboard and the other an acrylic, you should opt for the acrylic. Please note that some basketball hoops that say they have a “polycarbonate acrylic” backboard is just really polycarbonate.


Glass is the basketball backboard material that the pros use, and it should also be at the top of your list if you really want a pro feel. They are the material of choice because nothing matches their pure rigidity. If you really want the same kind of material that is used in the NBA, you should get a glass backboard that is seventy two inches wide and half and inch thick..


While steel basketball backboards are almost always found on commercial basketball goals, a few people just like the look of a painted metal backboard. While steel backboards don’t really offer you greater rigidity than your typical acrylic backboard, the main reason churches, schools, and outdoor public parks favor them is their incredible durability. They can literally last for decades, even when used extensively.