The sun is shining, and the water glistens like glass, and you can’t wait to grab your inflatable paddle board for a great day on the water - but before you can enjoy a relaxing float, you must inflate your paddle board. You have a manual pump and an electric pump; which one do you use?
Let’s review the differences and provide you with a complete guide to inflatable SUP Pumps to make your decision easier.
Whether you prefer to use a manual SUP Pump or an electric pump, we’ll review our favorites and provide a general overview of each pump.
|Name of Pump
|1. GILI 12V Electric iSUP Paddle Board Pump
|2. Outdoor Master Shark SUP Electric Air Pump
|3. Sea Max SUP20D
|4. iRocker 12V Pump
|5. Sevylor SUP Pump
|Name of Pump
|1. GILI Triple Action Hand Pump
|2. GILI High Flow Dual Action Pump
|3. GYMAX SUP Hand Pump
|4. K-Pump K20
|5. Thurso SURF Manual Pump
Using an electric SUP pump saves time and energy as you inflate your inflatable paddle board. Rapid inflation means you’re able to get on the water faster. An electric paddle board pump needs enough power to inflate your SUP to the recommended pressure of 13-17 psi, and can do so in about five minutes. It’s preferable to find an electric pump that can work with more than one power source: battery, outlet, or car’s cigarette lighter for more options when traveling.
There are different types of electric pumps on the market that differ in their speed of inflation as well as how they are powered. Knowing the difference between the two can help determine which electric pump would work best for you.
A 12V electric pump is less expensive than a rechargeable pump and can inflate your paddle board to 20 psi in five minutes. A 12V pumps via a two stage turbine powered by your vehicle. It is either connected to your cigarette lighter or your car battery.
It comes with a pressure selector to dial up your chosen PSI, and when the digital pressure gauge reaches your chosen PSI, it will automatically shut off. This is a great feature to avoid overinflating your board.
Pay attention to the valves of the 12V electric pump to ensure it is compatible with your SUP. Pumps come with multiple universal adaptors to fit various inflation valves in addition to the standard Halkey-Roberts valve.
A 12V electric is a great pump that is less expensive than a rechargeable pump, but it requires connection to your vehicle for power.
A BP20 electric pump differs from a 12V pump because it is powered by a rechargeable battery, and you do not have to connect it to a power source -you can leave the parking lot to pump your SUP! The BP20 is powerful enough to inflate your SUP to 15 psi in five to ten minutes, but it typically has less power than a 12V pump, and can be more expensive.
The battery can hold enough power to inflate your iSUP three times, and then it can be charged with your car’s cigarette lighter or in a 12V wall switch. It also comes with multiple adaptors for differing SUP valves and uses an analog pressure selector.
Electric pumps provide a fast and convenient way to inflate your paddle board to get you onto the water quickly. The 12V SUP pumps are lightweight, portable, and less expensive, and they top our list of our favorite electric SUP pumps. We’ll review the best electric SUP pumps and demonstrate why they made our list.
The GILI 12V Electric iSUP paddle board pump inflates up to 20psi quickly and easily, and it comes from a reputable paddle board company GILI Sports. Inflate your stand up paddle board in minutes so you can get onto the water and enjoy some paddle board fishing or SUP yoga.
The Outdoor Master Shark SUP electric air pump attaches to your vehicle's 12DC adaptor (cigarette lighter) to inflate your inflatable stand up paddle board in minutes. It has a lightweight, compact design which makes it easy to transport. It’s cooling system prevents your pump from overheating when inflating multiple SUPs on a hot day.
The Sea Max SUP20D electric pump has everything you need to quickly inflate your inflatable paddle board, kayak, or raft. It has a digital display and attaches to your car’s lighter for quick convenient inflation. It’s light and compact design makes it easy to transport and it comes with a two year warranty.
The iRocker 12V Electric SUP pump comes from a reputable paddle board company and has a compact design that fits in your SUP backpack. It comes with alligator clips to attach to your car’s battery and also with attachments for your car’s lighter.
The Sevylor Electric SUP Pump is a single stage pump that quickly inflates your paddle board, boat, or lake raft. It includes multiple valve attachments and is lightweight to easily transport to any water location.
Every paddle board comes with a manual pump, but they differ in their quality and speed of inflation. The biggest benefit of a manual pump over an electric pump is the ability to throw it inside your SUP backpack to inflate your paddle board at the water’s edge, without the need for power. This means you’re not attached to your vehicle as you inflate your SUP. An additional benefit is that it’s impossible to over-inflate with a manual SUP pump.
Before we dive into our favorites, let’s review the differences in the types of manual SUP pumps. Each style differs in speed of inflation, but with more speed, comes a heavier pump to carry.
A single chamber dual-action pump fills your inflatable paddle board on both the upstroke and the downstroke of the handle. It typically has a pressure gauge that will not register until you reach 10 psi, and when you reach the final 2-5 psi needed for inflation, you can twist the key to make that last fill easier.
A double chamber manual pump offers increased volume of air input so you can inflate your paddle board faster. It has a switch for three different stages of inflation. Start by filling with a large volume of air on both the upstroke and downstroke.
When you reach higher pressures, you switch to the second mode and only inflate on the downstroke with the two chambers. At the final stages of pumping, when inflation is more difficult, you switch to one chamber pumping only on the downstroke. This is a sturdy pump that fills with 30% less pumps than a single chamber model, but tends to be larger for transport.
The best manual SUP pumps can differ in their size and how well they’re transported in your SUP backpack, as well as their speed of inflation.
GILI also has a dual chamber inflation pump to decrease your pumping time and energy expenditure. With three modes of action, you can transition from high volume inflation to the final stages of higher pressure inflation with ease. It is a sturdy and fast-acting pump that will get you paddling faster.
GILI’s single chamber, dual-action pump is lightweight and easy to throw into your SUP backpack to hike to remote paddle boarding locations. The dual action makes inflation fast while using less energy.
This inexpensive pump has everything you’d want in a manual SUP pump. It is cheap but reliable enough to inflate up to 29 psi with a reliable pressure gauge and can also deflate your SUP to ensure safe storage.
The K-Pump is included on our list mainly because of a unique design that is compact, lightweight, and easy to carry in your SUP backpack. It might not be the preferred mechanism of action for some people, but it offers an alternative mode to inflate.
The Thurso SURF manual pump utilizes a single chamber with two modes of pumping. Use the double action mode to inflate on both the upstroke and downstroke and then change to single action pumping to inflate the more difficult pressures at the end.
You’ve reviewed our favorites so now let’s examine the details you look for when buying a durable SUP pump. Finding a pump that inflates your board quickly and easily is the goal, but additional features can get you floating on your stand up paddle board even faster.
When buying any SUP pump, look for what valves it is compatible with. Ensure compatibility with your inflatable paddle board’s valve, but one that can also adapt to other inflatables such as kayaks or rafts. Most pumps come with universal valve adaptors, but specifically look for a pump that adapts to the Halkey-Roberts, H3, and Bravo valves - which are the most popular valves used worldwide.
Maximum pressure is measured in pounds per square inch, or PSI. Most paddle boards will not go above 15 psi, but if you want to use your pump for other inflatables, consider one that can reach at least 25 psi.
Inflating your paddle board with a manual pump will be much easier if your pump can switch to different modes of pumping. The initial stages of pumping will utilize pumping on both the upstroke and downstroke, but as the pressure increases you can switch the mode to make pumping easier.
To store an inflatable paddle board, you want to remove all of the air so it can maintain the integrity of the board and roll up for compact storage. A pump that can assist with deflation makes this process much easier than having your partner or your child lie across the board to force air out as you roll it up!
Most SUP pumps come with a pressure gauge to monitor the psi as you inflate. A digital gauge is more accurate than an analog gauge. Electric pumps have the ability to automatically shut off when the desired pressure is reached and this protects you from overinflating your SUP.
The hose connects your SUP pump to your paddle board. While a longer hose gives you more room to inflate your stand up paddle board, it will also make it harder to inflate, and requires more power.
A rechargeable or cordless electric SUP pump allows you to inflate your paddle board at the water’s edge instead of while attached to your vehicle for power. Cordless electric pumps can be transported with your board, but they can be heavier and more expensive than the alternatives and have less overall pumping power.
When tossing your electric pump into the dirty back seat of your car or throwing your manual pump into your SUP backpack, a carrying bag can protect your pump. A bag can prevent your pump from getting blocked by sand or dirt, and prevents the components from being damaged.
Some electric pumps can have a loud whine that’s so loud you’d rather inflate it manually. When looking at 12V electric pumps, research the noise level of the pump.
Speed of inflation is the ultimate item to determine in a prospective SUP pump. Certain manual or electric pumps might offer some speed advantages over other models to get your paddle boarding faster.
When you purchase an inflatable stand up paddle board, it will almost always come with a manual pump. Some people upgrade to an electric SUP pump to make inflation faster, but there are pros and cons to both.
A manual pump attaches to your board and requires you to use your arms to work the pump in order to inflate air. It requires more energy expenditure and can take longer.
An electric pump uses power generated by a battery or your vehicle to inflate your SUP in less time, but it can be bulky and harder to transport.
When finding the perfect SUP pump, determine if you’d prefer a manual pump to inflate your board at your remote location, or an electric pump to rapidly fill your SUP in the parking lot so you can hit the water immediately. After you’ve found the perfect pump, charge onto the water for a fantastic day of paddle boarding!
Most SUP pumps, manual and electric, come with multiple attachments for different inflatables. The most common valve types are Halkey-Roberts, H3, or Bravo valve, but before purchasing any SUP pump, ensure your inflatable paddle board is compatible.
Inflating your paddle board is easy but there are a few pitfalls that you might encounter. Here is a stepwise approach to inflating your paddle board.
Pro tip: The most common error is inflating your iSUP when the valve is not in the right position. Most iSUP valves are open when in the down position and closed when raised up. Attach your hose when the valve is up so that you don’t quickly lose air when you remove your pump.
The benefit of using an electric pump to inflate your paddle board is the increased speed. A manual pump can take 10-25 minutes to inflate your paddle board, while most electric pumps can inflate your SUP in 5-10 minutes.
Inflate your paddle board to 15 psi for optimal use. On a hot day or if stored in a hot garage, your inflatable paddle board’s pressure can increase by 2 psi. If you inflate your paddle board to 15 psi, this still leaves room for expansion to keep your board safe from overinflation.
Yes. You can damage or even rupture your inflatable paddle board if you overinflate, but this is unlikely to happen with a SUP pump. Catastrophic results usually stem from using an air compressor to inflate your SUP.
It is impossible to overinflate your board using a manual pump because your arms simply won’t allow it. Most electric SUPs have automatic shut off mechanisms to prevent overinflation. If you overinflate your SUP, it can cause the seams to weaken or a hole to develop that can progress to bigger damage.
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