The 10 Best Pool Basketball Hoops

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This wiki has been updated 32 times since it was first published in May of 2016. Anyone who has a swimming pool knows that once the novelty wears off, the family uses it less and less. So if you want to get your troop back into the water for a little fresh air and outdoor exercise, try adding some fun into the mix with one of these basketball hoops. One of the more advanced options may even encourage your teens to put down their video games and smartphones for a few minutes. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. S.R. Smith Swim N' Dunk

2. Poolmaster Pro Rebounder

3. Dunnrite Splash and Shoot

Editor's Notes

August 31, 2020:

Replaced the Sable Swimming Games with the Wave Runner Swoosh, which is also inflatable but has more options, with not only a top hoop, but ports of varying sizes that are labelled with point values, including two especially small targets designed for an included water skipping ball. This allows kids to get creative and make up their own unique games. It can take a while to blow up manually, so it's better if you already have a pump.

Also new to the list, the GoSports Pro is a low-profile option that comes in two bright colors. The Swimline Cool Jam Pro and Dunnrite Jr. Clear were removed due to availability concerns.

The final addition to the list is the S.R. Smith Swim N' Dunk. While this option is significantly pricier than others, it's a good choice for those who would rather have a unit that is mounted into concrete than one that makes use of a water or sand-filled base. It also has a regulation size rim, so it can be used with standard-sized basketballs.

There are a lot of factors to keep in mind when choosing a hoop. If you're looking for something you can take with you to a vacation house, a floating model like the Coop Hydro Spring or GoSports Splash 360 is a good idea. If you have a saltwater pool, you'll want something that can handle the elements without corroding, like the S.R. Smith Swim N' Dunk. And if you have an above-ground pool, look for a smaller unit that will be able to fit on the deck, like the Poolmaster Pro Rebounder.

If you're buying a hoop for younger kids, remember to make sure that they only play with adult supervision, since any activity in the water can be risky. It's also not a good idea to hang onto the rim of any poolside hoop, no matter how sturdy it is.

April 17, 2019:

We amended this list to showcase the best selections in the category and removed some options due to reported durability issues. We also updated existing listings to reflect recent changes. While we loved the Intex Floating 2-Pack and Bestway H2OGo for kids to play with, we felt the Coop Sport Hydro Spring, Sable Swimming Games and GoSports Splash 360 were more reliable and thus would facilitate more fun for a longer period. Dunnrite continues to be a leader in the field, with high-quality choices that use thoughtfully-engineered materials to stand the test of time. Take note that many pool basketball hoops on the market currently use parts that can fall victim to corrosion eventually, so to prolong your product's lifespan, consider using rust preventative sprays or treatments.

Special Honors

SwimShape QuikFire With a sturdy, adjustable pole that can be installed on the edge of an in-ground pool, a regulation rim with double-compression springs, and a durable acrylic backboard, this model offers a classic design and quality construction. The base is also compatible with the company's volleyball set and poolside pullup bar.

4. Lifetime 1306

5. Dunnrite PoolSport

6. GoSports Pro

7. SwimWays 2 in 1

8. Wave Runner Swoosh

9. GoSports Splash 360

10. Coop Hydro Spring

Where Basketball Meets The Swimming Pool

As private pools became ever more common from the 1950s onward, so too did the many ways families and friends found to enjoy their private aquatic havens.

If you'll allow a brief digression into the history of two seemingly unrelated topics, you'll be rewarded with a richer appreciation for their ultimate intermingling.

Unlike many sports played today, including golf and soccer, for example, the origins of the sport of basketball can be traced not only to a specific time or place, but in fact to a month and to a specific court. The credit for creating the sport goes to a single person, as well. In December of 1891, physical education professor Dr. James Naismith was working at the Young Men's Christian Association Training School (forerunner to the now famous YMCA, though that specific institution is now called Springfield College) in Springfield, Massachusetts. Naismith, a Canadian by birth, was poised to make American and international history when on one cold and rainy day he nailed a peach basket to the wall of the school's indoor gymnasium.

In trying to come up with a an engaging way to help his students stay fit during the long, cold New England winters, Naismith had created a game that would go on to garner millions of fans worldwide and be the sport of choice for some of the world's biggest sports stars. The game has come a long way from that Springfield, MA gymnasium. No longer must each ball be fished out of the basket after a successful shot, thanks to the metal rims and nets now used. The balls are no longer repurposed soccer balls, and are no longer so irregularly shaped that proper dribbling wasn't possible. (Dribbling was not commonplace until the 1950s.) Yet the same basic idea still governs the game: getting the ball in the basket gets the points, and the team with the most points wins.

Pivoting momentarily, the first swimming pool known to historians is the Great Bath from Mohenjo-Daro in Pakistan, which dates to a time around 5,000 years ago. Swimming pools were relatively common in Ancient Greece and Rome, and relatively uncommon in the years intervening those classical civilizations and the 1800s. Public pools (or at least pools open to paying members, if not the general public) were common throughout the 19th Century and into the 20th Century.

It was not until the middle of the 20th Century that private residential swimming pools began to proliferate widely around the United States. As private pools became ever more common from the 1950s onward, so too did the many ways families and friends found to enjoy their private aquatic havens. It wasn't long before pool toys became a common sight in the family pool, with one of the most common pool accessories being the pool basketball hoop.

Pool Basketball For Fun

If you're considering a pool basketball hoop, there is really only primary decision to be made: you must decide if you want a floating hoop that will travel all around the pool, or if you want a fixed hoop that perches above the water at one spot.

Fixed hoops also allow for more focus on passing and player positioning rather than worrying about where the hoop itself may be.

The former, the floating hoop, may be more suitable for use by kids or adults more interested in lighthearted play, and they are best suited for use in shallower water. A fixed hoop complete with a regulation style backboard can be used for more serious competition, as it allows for both direct swish-style shots and for balls bounced off the backboard for rebound shots. Fixed hoops also allow for more focus on passing and player positioning rather than worrying about where the hoop itself may be.

When opting for a floating hoop, make sure that everyone playing knows it is a piece of sports equipment, not a flotation device. Used by the dedicated solo player, these types of hoops can help to improve accuracy because of their inherently unstable design: if you can routinely hit a floating hoop that wobbles and drifts around, you can probably score on a fixed hoop, e.g.

If you choose a fixed poolside hoop, be sure to tell the children (and adults) that no one is to hang on the hoop, as even a weighted unit can always fall into the pool, creating a hazard. When choosing the method for weighing down the hoop, now that sand will provide more weight and therefore more stability, but of course water can simply be drained into the pool.

Pool Basketball For Exercise

It will likely come as little surprise that no concluding studies have been conducted to show how many calories the average game of pool basketball burns, so we shall have to use water polo as a proxy for now.

The average 180 pound male water polo player can burn more than 800 calories in an hour of play. Compare that to 700 calories when the same person spends the same amount of time jogging at around five miles per hour, and you will see that indeed water sports are a great way to stay in shape, helping you build muscle and shed excess fat.

Using a pool basketball hoop encourages vigorous treading of water and swimming, not to mention the passing and shots. Whether you play with friends or practice your shots on your own, when you play basketball in the pool, you are constantly burning calories and exercising your muscles. Thus a pool basketball hoop is a great way to make exercise and weight loss more fun and engaging.

Sheila O'Neill
Last updated by Sheila O'Neill

Sheila is a writer and editor living in sunny Southern California. She studied writing and film at State University of New York at Purchase, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree. After graduating, she worked as an assistant video editor at a small film company, then spent a few years doing freelance work, both as a writer and a video editor. During that time, she wrote screenplays and articles, and edited everything from short films to infomercials. An ardent lover of the English language, she can often be found listening to podcasts about etymology and correcting her friends’ grammar.

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