There’re a number of backboards available in the market. Some of them are expensive, some are cheap, some strong, some less strong. But the question is which one should you select and why?
In this article, we’re going to talk about almost all of the backboard material’s specifications, the purpose of use, and which one gonna suitable for you.
So, let’s start

Best Basketball Backboard Material

1. Tempered Glass Backboard

Tempered Glass Backboard

A Tempered Glass backboard is one of the most expensive backboards. Almost all backboards used in high schools, colleges, and NBA competitions are tempered glass. It is 5-10 times stronger than standard glass and provides High-quality performance and rebound.

The Tempered backboards are so-called safety glass because, in the event of breakage, it turned into small harmless pieces. If you take the basketball game solemnly, then tempered is the best choice for you. But, The problem is less durable than Acrylic and polycarbonate. But still no 1 in our list for the performance of this product.

2. Acrylic Backboard

. Acrylic Backboard

Acrylic is a highly durable and medium rebound performance-based backboard. This material is well-known for the brand, Plexiglass.

When it comes to vandalism, Acrylic backboards are much more forgiving than others. Plastic materials can give you functional durability but can’t give you the best bounce and professional feelings like tempered ones.

It provides approximately 85% ball response and performance like tempered glass. It is the second-best backboard materials available in the market, and familiar material in the basketball hoop system. If you want a better quality backboard on a low budget, Acrylic would be the best choice for you.

3. Polycarbonate Backboard

Polycarbonate Backboard

Polycarbonate and Acrylic are both made from plastic, but Polycarbonate is five times stronger than Acrylic. Polycarbonate is a medium-level, light-weight, and soft material.

It could give you a long-lasting gaming experience, if not exposed to direct UV-light or sun. If so, then it will fade away and get yellow. For being plastic and soft material, It can’t give you the expected rebound capacity as well.

4. Steel Basketball Backboard

Steel basketball backboard

Steel is more durable than others, but the problem is its awkward noise. On the other hand, it is not suitable for any professional basketball playing. Generally, we see this in the park or street court.

It is very standard for the streets, parks, and other outdoor places. If you want to use it in a public place, then it could be the right choice.

5. Fiberglass

Fiberglass  Basketball backboard

The lucrativeness of choosing a Fiberglass backboard is its low price, but the rebound performance is not good at all.

You can see it in institutions or another place. Its performance is similar to the steel ones. Also, durability is not too good. It usually used for outdoor courts.

6. Aluminum


Similar to steel backboard. The problem I found with the aluminum backboard, the vibration of these materials, and bounce performance is terrible. But it has superb durability and going to give you a less expensive, unique performance.

Everything is good, but aluminum makes a vibration when you shoot; as a result, the rebound ability is very poor.

7. Wood basketball backboard

 Wood basketball backboard

It has awesome look. A wood backboard could be lightweight, smart good-looking, and low as pricetag. But the problem with a wooden backboard is it is unstable outdoor, can’t handle the rainy or so sunny situation, often not available in the marketplace also. It’s a perfect solution if you can make it in-home, or getting help from a carpenter.

Best basketball backboard materials List and short reviews

  • Tempered Glass: Premium look, Expensive, Professionally used in NBA.
  • Acrylic Backboard: Mid-budget Backboard, Much forgiving, Softer than Tempered glass.
  • Polycarbonate Backboard: Much cheaper compared to others, Durable, Best for family uses.
  • Steel Backboard: Ideal in windy locations, Built strong for rough use, Best for street basketball court systems.
  • Fiver-Glass: Lightweight, superior rebounds than other non-glass backboards, Best for recreational games.
  • Wooden: Less durable and un-professional. But best for indoor uses, amateur basketball players, & low-budget backboard.
  • Aluminum: Durable, long-lasting, lightweight, Best for youth, Indoor, and recreational play.

That was our shortlist. These seven types of basketball backboards are mostly used in basketball games.

Here is an awesome video to get more knowledge about the first three types of basketball backboard materials. Check it out.

Some resources-

How to choose a basketball hoop with perfect backboard.

  • When you decided to select a hoop, you should consider some important factors
  • Backboard materials
  • Rim quality
  • Hoop or goal
  • Base
  • Net
  • And most important height adjustment
  • Backboard materials

You already know about backboard material from this post’s upper section. However, my last word is if you take this game seriously, then you should choose Tempered glass. Regarding some factors, Acrylic and Polycarbonate could also be an alternative. But the tempered glass is best. [It depends on your budget.]

  • Rim

Rim always is a mandatory factor. Always consider the perfect size of the Rim. All basketball rims (hoops) are 18 inches (46 cm) in diameter. If you are looking for the rim, make sure the springs of the breakaway tool are covered to prevent rust.

  • Base

The base is very important for a portable basketball hoop system. Consider its capability and materials. The more capacity it owns, the more it will be stable.

  • Net

Usually, Nets are made from cottonnylon & polyethylene. choose one of them with an all-weather guarantee.

  • Height adjustment feature

It depends on the hoops or mounting kits, not on the backboards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better, polycarbonate or acrylic backboard?

We have listed Acrylic in the second position. Acrylic is better than polycarbonate. [Note: many expert’s recommendations may be different. but it’s taken from my own experience.]

What type of backboard does the NBA use?

NBA uses Tempered Glass Backboard. It is a very professional and high-quality material.

What is the best size of the basketball backboard?

This question depends on many matrixes. According to Wikipedia- Regulation, the backboard size is 72 inches wide by 42 inches tall.

Is the 72-inch backboard too big for the driveway?

It depends on your demand. But in my experience it is perfect.

Which is more durable polycarbonate or acrylic?

Polycarbonate is more durable than acrylic.

How big is a high school basketball backboard?

Usually, 72 inches is perfect high for any type of backboard.

What is the standard size of a basketball backboard?

72 inches in width and 42 inches in height is the standard size of a basketball backboard.

Is a 54-inch backboard big enough?

54 inches is standard for a two-car Portable Basketball Hoop for Driveway.

Is Tempered glass better than acrylic?

Yes! Tempered glass is not only better than acrylic but also all of the materials available in the market.

How can you tell the difference between acrylic and polycarbonate?

The main difference is durability. Polycarbonate backboard is more durable than acrylic. The performance is approximately the same. 

Final word

Generally, tempered glass, polycarbonate, and acrylic are most popular at this time. If you are a professional basketball player, you should choose a tempered glass backboard to get better results.

Polycarbonate is the second option if your budget is low. Acrylic backboards are best for family and other activities. These three materials are best for you, choose anyone from here.
On the other hand, wood, steel, fiberglass, and aluminum are not for professionals. It just for a public place and those people who want to spend some time with basketball. If you still face any problem or have a question, don’t forget to comment below. Thank you!

Related Review and Buying Guide.


David Harris is a former player and after many years of writing and testing hundreds of products associated with the game, created this website to share his tips, basketballs and gear.  I look forward to continuing to grow and build this site and sharing great content.

1 Comment

  1. Hey! I Just read your post. I can you suggest to me which materials will be best for the pool basketball hoop. Thank you!