Pool basketball is the pinnacle of water activities. Unlike other games in the pool where you need a volleyball net and a good imagination, swimming pool basketball has only one objective: to crush the other team by scoring more hoops.
The straightforward and competitive nature of the pool hoop game is what makes it so popular with houseguests, which explains why pool basketball hoops made with high-quality materials are in high demand today.
Like water aerobics, swimming pool basketball trains your muscles to handle higher levels of resistance without straining them too much. Most pool basketball hoops sit at the exterior of the pool or hang a few feet over the water.
Whichever model you pick, this list will help you to make the right purchase by buying from the best brands that offer the best parts, from a steel rim to a solid polyethylene base.
Best Swimming Pool Basketball Hoops
1. The Lifetime 1306 Pool Side Height-Adjustable Portable Basketball System
The Lifetime 1306 pulls out all the stops, spares no expense, and ticks off all the boxes for what people can look for in a poolside basketball hoop. Because of its portability, you can turn it into a deck-mounted pool basketball hoop without much effort. It stands at a minimum height of 4 feet from the base and can go up to 7 feet if you extend its stem to the end.
This Lifetime basketball hoop has a big backboard that measures 44-inches from side to side, one of the biggest among all basketball hoops in the market (for the pool or otherwise). It connects to a solid 3-inch-thick pole with a rust-resistant coating that will prevent the body of the hoop from bending, no matter how many times you dunk on it.
You can fill up its base with 32 gallons of water or sand, making it the best poolside basketball hoop for stability, matched only by its smaller sibling, the Lifetime 1301. Unlike Intex floating accessories, this Lifetime hoop aims to be a permanent installation, with weather-resistant materials and graphics that will take several years to fade. All parts of the Lifetime 1306, from the base to the hoop, will last you many years without issue.
2. PoolMaster 72794 Pro Rebounder Adjustable Poolside Basketball Game
Perhaps the best feature of a pool basketball hoop is a slider. You can freely adjust its height and make it suitable for young kids as well as adults.
The Poolmaster 72794 Pro Rebounder has an adjustable height, becoming one of the best water basketball hoops on the market because of its flexibility. It has three height options: 74 inches, 54 inches, and 40 inches.
The hoop is called a pro rebounder because it has a wide backboard capable of driving back the ball into the pool even if you miss your shots by a wide margin. Its base, hoop, and stem are made of PVC material and coated with vinyl, so you never have to worry about rust. You can fill its base with water or sand so it can withstand repeated blows with a real basketball without tipping over.
The Poolmaster 72794 stands tall and sturdy, but it does not have a stainless steel hoop. You must not dunk on this product, because its plastic rim can snap, causing the backboard to fall into the pool. The backboard has a 34-inch footprint that could hurt three or four people if it should fall on their heads.
This poolside hoop has a polyethylene net, which is heavily resistant to tearing. It will last you many years, even when you expose it to chlorine-treated water every day. The 2 1/4-inch pole has a heavy-duty construction that will last you a long time.
3. Poolmaster Splashback Poolside Basketball Game
The Poolmaster Splashback Poolside Basketball Game is perhaps the smallest basketball hoop on this list. If you do not have an above-ground pool, it could be an ideal choice. Its 25-inch height restricts it to use on a swimming pool that has a good depth of water in front of the hoop so shooters can stretch their legs and jump underwater.
This basketball hoop features a 34-inch backboard capable of returning the ball to the pool no matter how far you miss. The graphic of a splash printed on its backboard makes it an ideal poolside decoration as well. However, if you like colors, the Splashback is only available in white.
The hoop’s base is polyform, which you can fill with water and sand for maximum stability. The rim itself is 14 inches in diameter and constructed with PVC. Even though it’s not stainless steel, it has a bulletproof, all-weather coating that will allow it to last for years.
The net is polyethylene, which is heavily resistant to wear and tear. Also, because the basketball hoop has no moving or adjustable parts, it can have the longest lifespan of the many swimming pool hoops on this list, provided you don’t dunk on it.
Many poolside basketball hoops that are plastic can irreparably snap or bend when forced to carry the weight of a person. Even with a base filled with water and a steel rim, if a hoop has a PVC stem, you shouldn’t try to dunk on it.
4. Dunnrite Splash and Shoot Swimming Pool Basketball Hoop
Perhaps in direct contrast to the PoolMaster Splashback, the Dunnrite Splash and Shoot Swimming Pool Hoop is one of the biggest in the list, coming in with a massive 43-inch wide backboard made of polyurethane. You can miss a shot by several feet, and it would still bounce back to the pool. The hoop features a base that can hold around 25 gallons of water, ensuring that it will not fall over, no matter hard you push or pull.
If you fill the Splash and Shoot’s sturdy base with water, it will weigh almost 200 pounds, making it one of those rare basketball hoops for the pool that you can hang onto if you’re under 150 pounds. The rim has a diameter of 18 inches, and because its base is so well weighted, you can dunk on the hoop if you’re a lighter person. The stem is made of aluminum and coated thickly with a rust-protection agent so you won’t have to worry if your games get a little rowdy.
The Dunnrite Splash and Shoot has an aluminum pole with an adjustable slat, so it’s fully adjustable from a height of 56 inches. While it may not match the versatility of a PoolMaster Pro Rebounder, it’s the best in its class for its stability and the area of its backboard.
Perhaps the one thing holding back the Splash and Shoot hoop is its lack of support for removable wheels, which would have made it easier to move it from one end of the pool to another. Once you fill up its tank with water, it’s going to stay in that spot until you purposely remove it.
5. Swimways 2-in-1 Game
This poolside basketball hoop from Swimways is useful for both volleyball and basketball, aiming to please consumers looking for both form and function. Two high-quality clip-on basketball hoops come in the package, along with two nets and bases. Not to be outdone by its closest rival, the DunnritePoolSport, Swimways 2-in-1 also includes a separate basketball and volleyball.
If you want to play volleyball, just set up the two separate bases crosswise on opposing sides of the pool. The volleyball net only spans 24 feet, however, so make sure you know your pool’s measurements before buying.
You can play basketball with a full-court using the two rims. All you need to do is to set the two bases lengthwise across the pool and attach the net to the rims. This product is a little flimsy, however, so make sure you fill the bases with water, or they will tip over easily.
One of the drawbacks of the Swimways 2-in-1 is its rickety build quality that exudes the impression that it’s for children. When you take it out of the box for the first time, you will immediately notice how lightweight it is, and even after you’ve filled up its tanks to the brim, a mildly forceful push can cause it to become outbalanced. Its rims are also attached using plastic clips, so a poorly executed dunk can break them off completely.
6. Swimline Cool Jam Pro Poolside Basketball Super-Wide
Among all the pool hoops on this list, the Swimline Cool Jam Pro has one of the coolest designs. It has a two-pronged base that prevents it from tipping over into the swimming pool, even after somebody grabs the net from a poorly executed layup. The angular structure of its body makes it one of the best hoops that you can rely on to stand its ground when the play gets rowdy.
The Cool Jam Pro has a backboard that could force a ball back into the playing area even after you’ve taken a shot from half a pool away. The backboard is 32 inches vertically and 44 inches horizontally, making it one of the biggest backboards among all basketball pool hoops.
You can tell that Swimline made this product for serious players, as the basketball that comes with the package is regulation size for professional sports teams. The sturdy steel rim hangs over the water from the side of the pool without the need for mounting. No matter how forcefully you throw a ball at it, the Cool Jam Pro will hold its own and return it to the pool.
However, like a lot of pool basketball hoops, the weakness of the Cool Jam Pro is that rust that can form in its weld points. Spray a layer of protective anti-rust coating on the connecting points of its lower sides and back so that it can last longer. Beware that the Swimline net can also tear through in just a few months.
7. Poolmaster Pro Rebounder Poolside Basketball Game
Poolmaster is living up to its reputation of delivering the best pool basketball hoops in the game with the Poolmaster Pro Rebounder Poolside Basketball.
Unlike a regular pool basketball hoop, the base of the Pro Rebounder sits by the edge of the water with its rim and net extending into the pool. It has a backboard measuring 25.5 inches vertically and 34 inches across, making sure that you have some leeway to miss if you want to take that half-court shot.
Among the things that differentiate the Rebounder from many pool basketball hoops are the materials that make its rim. Made of sturdy PVC rather than regular steel, Poolmaster has ensured that the ring, which is the part that’s most prone to water damage and corrosion in the pool season, won’t need an anti-rust coating to stay intact.
The hoop has a sturdy net that’s longer than most floating basketball hoops in its price range. It will return the ball directly into the water if it goes in the rim--and it’s polyethylene, so it’s guaranteed to last for years.
The few drawbacks of this product are due to flaws in its design. For example, because the net is longer than the usual pool basketball hoop, it can bunch up when you’re trying to put it away. The included ball also has a very toy-like quality, and the hoop would be better if it were height adjustable.
8. Lifetime 1301 Poolside Basketball System
The only entry on this list capable of transforming into an above-ground pool basketball hoop, the Lifetime 1301 Poolside Basketball System is one of the tallest floating basketball hoops on the market, standing at an impressive 4 feet from the base at its lowest setting and up to 6.5 feet at its highest. Its towering height makes it more than a basketball hoop exclusive for pool use since you can use it on dry ground, as well, to play ball with your kids.
This pool basketball hoop has a big backboard measuring 44 inches across, capable of punting the ball back into the water even if you miss by a couple of feet. The backboard is polyethylene, so it’s immune to water damage and hard to shatter. It also features a fade-resistant graphic of moist glass that makes it easier on the eyes of your guests on packed pool days.
It has a heavy-duty rim made of steel and colored in a deep navy blue that sets it apart from the usual white of other pool basketball hoops. The rim is regulation-size and features a layer of anti-rust coating. However, it’s good practice, even among the best pool basketball hoops, to spray another layer of coating to prevent rust from forming early.
The Lifetime 1301 has a heavy-duty base that you can fill with 32 gallons of water or sand. You can dunk on this pool basketball hoop without worrying that the backboard is going to fall into the water. It might take a while to assemble, but it’ll be worth it.
9. Dunnrite PoolSport Swimming Pool Basketball Hoop
Featuring a 3-year limited warranty, and a base that’s close to the average weight of an adult human when filled with water, the Dunnrite PoolSport basketball hoop attempts at being the most reliable pool basketball hoop. It stands 35 inches tall from the edge of the pool’s water, which is very kid-friendly but challenging for adults as well.
The PoolSport has an average-sized backboard that will accommodate most missed shots and a base that contributes to the overall aesthetic of the basketball hoop by being angled toward the pool. The base and the backboard are polyurethane, so durability will never become an issue. The 13.5-inch rim, however, is made of steel with a minimal anti-rust coating, so it’s essential that you spray on another layer, or it won’t last very long, especially in saltwater pools.
The bones of the Dunnrite Poolsport are strong, but its paint can fade quickly with exposure to saltwater, and it might need sanding down after a few pool seasons. The body and rim of the hoop make this task easy, as it features a simple design, with very few corners, that makes it easy to repaint now and again.
A Buying Guide for the Best Poolside Basketball Hoop
Looking for a good swimming pool basketball goal can be difficult, especially with the number of options out there.
What materials make the best backboard? Are stainless steel rims as durable as they appear? These are questions that you can answer by reading a buying guide.
The first thing you should consider when buying a poolside hoop is its quality. You should pick a hoop made of quality materials, from its base to its backboard, to ensure that it can stay with you through many pool seasons.
A backboard should be polyethylene, polycarbonate, or other hard plastic with an opaque color to prevent hard water from tarnishing your hoop’s appearance.
A poolside hoop’s base must be either polyform or polyethylene and placed in an orientation that shifts its weight away from the pool, so it doesn’t tip over. It should also be capable of handling both sand and water, so the hoop stays in place no matter how many times you hit it during play. When filled with water, it should weigh more than 32 pounds.
Can you dunk on it?
Another important consideration is whether you can dunk on a hoop. Many poolside basketball hoops have breakaway rims that you can permanently damage if you dunk on them, which makes them unfit for use by rowdy kids or adults.
A quality hoop will have weld points between its rim and its backboard to ensure that it can handle heavy play by the young and the young-at-heart.
You can turn some poolside hoops into volleyball nets through interlocking mechanisms that you can separate and turn into two poles, which you can then put on the opposite ends of the pool.
This feature comes with its drawbacks since a volleyball net of this kind can easily tip over if someone hangs onto the net. It also makes for a less stable hoop.
Final Verdict: Best Pool Basketball Goal
A poolside basketball hoop is always a welcome addition to your summer pool repertoire. You will enjoy countless hours of fun with the kids or with your friends on pool barbecues and other social gatherings.
Now that you know what to look out for, and have a more acute awareness of what you might need from a poolside hoop, you should know how to sort through all of the junk online and find the best pool basketball equipment that will serve you well for years and years.