Tempered Glass Backboards VS. Acrylic Backboards

Glass Backboards Vs Acrylic Backboards

If you have an up and coming basketball star or just want to shoot a few hoops in the driveway, choosing the correct basketball system is important.  You want to choose a system that is going to last, gives you the performance you expect, and looks good at the same time. There are numerous things to consider when making this decision. The type of backboard that you choose is one of the most important.

For those of you looking at a higher end basketball hoop, you may have noticed a couple of different choices: acrylic and tempered glass. You may be asking yourself: What is the difference? Does it make a difference? The answer is it DOES make a difference. You want your home basketball goal to perform just like a gymnasium goal would. If you have kids playing organized team sports or you are playing in a men’s or women’s league yourself, you want to be practicing on a hoop that is going to give you the same shot quality and same consistent rebound as the goal you are shooting on at your local gymnasium.  Let’s take a look at both materials.

First, let’s start with acrylic. Acrylic is essentially a clear plastic that resembles glass. When shopping for a basketball goal you may not notice the difference at all, visually at first. Did you notice I said at first? I say this because over time you will definitely see the difference. Acrylic will begin to “haze” or discolor. The sun and weather takes a toll on acrylic. You will start to see yellowing, and in some extreme cases mold will even form on the backboard. The hazing or yellowing is not something that will wash off, and before you know it, you have an unappealing backboard that you can’t see through. This is not something that any manufacturer’s warranty is going to cover. Your choice is basically, live with the backboard, purchase a new backboard, or purchase a whole new system. Both of the latter options can be quite costly, as you might assume.

Acrylic is a much softer material than glass. For this reason, acrylic will be much easier to scratch and scuff. Once again these scratches and scuffs, combined with the hazing, are going to leave you with a backboard that is not going to look nice. Many of you may be installing your goal in front of your home, and this is NOT going to add to the resale or curb appeal of your home.

The softness of the acrylic material also requires framework behind it to stiffen it up. Without this framework, your backboard will have a large amount of flex in the middle. The backboard is going to act like a drum head and flex with every shot. This flex in the board is not going to allow for proper rebounding or bank shots. The ball is basically going to come off the board with a dead rebound or bank.

If you are looking for a higher end basketball goal, acrylic is probably not your best choice. The compromised performance and the inability to maintain a pleasing look to the system should be a major factor in your decision.

Now let’s discuss the alternative, tempered glass. If you look at the various levels of basketball, high school, college, and professional, they are all using tempered glass. There is a reason for that. Tempered glass backboards provide much less vibration and greater rebound capability. This is essential when looking for the best performance. Tempered glass will cut out any of the drum effect and provide a consistent rebound. Most experienced rebounders will take into account how a backboard should rebound and position themselves properly to receive that rebound. Tempered glass is going to put that rebound where they expect it to be, consistently, each time. If you are practicing and not getting the response from the backboard you expect, it will greatly throw off your game. This consistent performance is essential at higher levels of competition and practice.

Unlike acrylic, tempered glass gives you many various options when it comes to the backboard. The tempered glass does not require the extra bracing behind the backboard. You will see goals on the market that still have the bracing, while having a tempered glass backboard, that is perfectly fine. You will get great rebound and performance out of these models. However, you have the options of a clear view backboard, meaning a backboard without any bracing. With this type of backboard, you will see the arms that connect the backboard to the pole are spread out to the edges of the backboard like you would see in a gymnasium. Goalrilla offers goals that have this style, denoted by the “CV”, which stands for Clear View, meaning that there are no arms blocking your view of the backboard. Goalrillas that utilize this style include the CV72, CV60 and CV54.

Some consumers are concerned that the glass will break and hurt the players below. This is something that almost never happens. If the glass does break, there is a coating on the glass that holds the shattered glass in place, similar to your car windshield. You will never have to worry about large shards of glass falling down and injuring players below.

This simply provides a bit  cleaner more professional look. This will also add to that curb appeal we were talking about before. Unlike the acrylic glass is a much harder surface. It is scratch resistant and will always have a clean, clear look. With tempered glass, you never have to worry about discoloration and hazing like the acrylic.

Overall, tempered glass is by far the best choice for performance, longevity and curb appeal. It will provide a cleaner, more professional look that players and fans love. Glass will provide a scratch-resistant surface that is clear any easy to clean, something that acrylic cannot match.

To find the best deal on a tempered glass basketball system, shop our Goalrilla goals online or give us a call at 1 (800) 689-0281.

Back to Blog Archive