To be clear, this review is for the Kickster Academy 12x6. There are a few 'makes' of the kickster goal. Living in the US, I was trying to purchase the Academy version as opposed to the other models. I already have one that is green. I did look around to see if I could find the model as it is not on the goal. I could not. What i can tell you is that the green one I have has thinner poles and a much lighter build in general. I was looking for the version with the heavier construction, which after some research I figured to be this ACADEMY version. I was right, but had to order from the UK to get it.
The ACADEMY 12x6 - is yellow colored and has a 3 piece riser construction(2x). If you look closely at the pics you can see how the poles appear to be about an inch and a quarter wide. This is important as there are other models out there that have much smaller diameter poles made of lighter gauge steel. The 3 piece riser is also apparent and is much stronger than the lighter 2 piece contruction you will see on other models as well.
It is important to know what you are buying. Make sure it is the ACADEMY version as I have described and you are most likely looking at the add for.
The goal is strong. the netting is decent quality and actually heavier material than I have on other goals. On this academy version, the vinyl poles are heavier as well and folded back and forth to reinforce where the grommets are as opposed to the other non-academy version I have. The grommets are heavier as well. I have played all my life and can deliver a shot and this goal is heavy enough to remain in postion for the most part.
The problem is in the quality of the build. The goal came with one bad corner that has a mis-molded hole. I can bearly get the forward facing short pole in, and you should see us trying to get it back out. Also, the same poll has two release buttons installed into the same postion and they are interfering with each other. They are currently both stuck in the pole. Not that it really matters cause as I already said, once the pole is in it is not coming out on its own. The other side, again this is for the forward facing poles that hold the bottom of the vinyl upright, fits just fine and has no issue with button locking in place.
One of the uprights came with a bend in the pole about an inch up from the bottom. It still fits into the upright holes in the molded corner pieces, but it leaves me feeling a bit unsure. However, once the goal is together, it is very strong.
I am a club coach. I have had many types of goals for my teams. I was looking for a 12x6 goal that was truly portable when I bought the non-academy kickster 12x6(green, two piece riser construction) last year. I was happy with that goal for a few weeks before the lack of quality started to show. Needing another goal for the other side of the field, I looked again at the kickster, only this time I paid attention to the version I was buying, looking of course for a heavy, better quality build. I found it in the Kickster Academy 12x6. I believe this goal, even with it's flaws, will likely last 3-4 years. I will be replacing the non-academy goal I have with another Kickster Academy 12x6 goal soon.