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December 01, 2021 14 min read

Inflatable Sup Pumps Guide

Gili dual action pump with komodo SUP board

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.

Best Inflatable SUP Pumps

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.

Electric Type
Name of Pump Max PSI Price
1. GILI 12V Electric iSUP Paddle Board Pump
12v blue electric iSUP board pump with alligator clip
20 psi Check Price
2. Outdoor Master Shark SUP Electric Air Pump
Outdoor Master high pressure air pump
20 psi Check Price
3. Sea Max SUP20D
Seamax SUP double stage electric air pump
20 psi Check Price
4. iRocker 12V Pump
irocker 12v electric pump
20 psi Check Price
5. Sevylor SUP Pump
Blue sevylor sup and water sport electric pump
15 psi Check Price
Manual Type
Name of Pump Max PSI Price
1. GILI Triple Action Hand Pump
Gili high flow triple action hand pump
18 psi Check Price
2. GILI High Flow Dual Action Pump
Gili high pressure dual action sup hand pump
15 psi Check Price
3. GYMAX SUP Hand Pump
gymax sup hand pump dual action for fast inflation
29 psi Check Price
4. K-Pump K20
Kpump high volume hand pump
18 psi Check Price
5. Thurso SURF Manual Pump
White thurso surf iSUP board hand pump
29 psi Check Price

Guide to Electric SUP Pumps

Man inflating sup board with 12V gili electric 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.

Types of SUP Electric Pumps

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.

12V Electric Pump

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.

BP20 Electric Pump

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.

The Best Electric SUP Pumps

Gili electric pump inflating manta board

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.

1. GILI 12V Electric iSUP Paddle Board Pump

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.

12v blue electric iSUP board pump with alligator clip

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Powers by your vehicle’s cigarette lighter
  • Digital gauge with pressure selector
  • Overheat protection
  • Inflates you iSUP in minutes
  • Inflates up to 20psi
  • Automatically shuts off when appropriate pressure reached
  • 1 year warranty
  • It can deflate your SUP
  • Optional alligator clips can be included

What we love:

  • Automatic shut off
  • Effortless and efficient inflation of your iSUP
  • GILI Sports has great customer service and quality products
  • Long cord

What we don't love:

  • Nothing!

2. Outdoor Master Shark SUP Electric Air Pump

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.

Outdoor Master high pressure air pump

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Cooling system to prevent overheating
  • Multiple valve adaptors included to adapt to most iSUPs
  • Supports pressure from 0.5 - 20 psi
  • Digital display for pressure gauge
  • Automatic shut off at reached pressure
  • Long power cord and hose

What we love:

  • Can inflate 3 SUPs without dying or overheating
  • Compact design that is easy to hold and transport
  • 1 year warranty
  • Long hose for enough room to pump next to your vehicle

What we don't love:

  • Bigger than other pumps and it might not fit in your SUP backpack.

3. Sea Max SUP20D Electric Pump

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.

Seamax SUP double stage electric air pump

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Inflates at increments of 0.5 up to max 20psi
  • Four foot hose length
  • Powers by vehicle’s cigarette lighter or attachments for car battery
  • Lightweight with easy to carry handle
  • Digital gauge with LCD screen and audible indicator
  • Overheat protection
  • Sand filter for air intake
  • Noise reduction filters
  • Suitable for Halkey-Roberts valves as well as others
  • 2 year warranty

What we love:

  • Lightweight with compact design to carry
  • Digital gauge
  • Temperature sensor
  • Filter to protect it from sand and debris

What we don't love:

  • Manufacturer recommends running air for one minute between each use to prevent overheating
  • Reports of difficulties transitioning between the stages of pumping

4. iRocker 12V Pump

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.

irocker 12v electric pump

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Inflates iSUP in under 10 minutes as well as deflates after use
  • Electronic pressure gauge sets to desired pressure
  • Automatically stops when reaches the desired pressure
  • Powered by car’s cigarette lighter or alligator clips connect to car battery
  • 1 year warranty
  • Compact design to fit inside your SUP backpack
  • The box design of pump internally stores power cords to keep them protected
  • Thick flexible hose resists heat

What we love:

  • Includes alligator clips to attach to car battery
  • Compact to travel within your backpack
  • Automatic shut off
  • Digital display is easy to read

What we don't love:

  • Requires a 30 minute cool down period after use
  • Does not come with travel bag

5. Sevylor SUP Pump

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.

Blue sevylor sup and water sport electric pump

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Inflates to 15psi - the recommended psi for most SUP
  • Digital pressure display
  • Automatic shut off when desired pressure is reached
  • Compatible with other low pressure inflatables such as boats and rafts - includes a low pressure hose
  • 12V plug adapts to vehicle outlet/lighter
  • Adapts to most any iSUP

What we love:

  • Much less expensive than competitors
  • Digital pressure display
  • Auto shut off

What we don't love:

  • Only pumps to max 15 psi compared to others at 20 psi
  • No included alligator clips

Guide to Manual SUP Pumps

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.

Types of Manual SUP Pumps

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.

Single Chamber, Dual Action

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.

Double Chamber, Triple Action

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

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.

1. GILI High Flow Triple Action Pump

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 high flow triple action hand pump

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Three modes of inflation with easy switch to change modes
  • Dual chambers for faster air flow
  • Storage bag included
  • Handle and base remove for less bulky storage
  • Easy attachment to valve
  • 1 year warranty

What we love:

  • Breaks down for storage and transport
  • Faster inflation using less energy
  • Sturdy design with foot plate and ergonomic handle
  • Triple action, dual chamber pump for fast inflation

What we don't love:

  • Max psi of 18 psi is less than others, but more than enough to inflate your SUP

2. GILI High Flow Dual Action Hand Pump

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.

Gili high pressure dual action sup hand pump

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Dual action pumping on both the upstroke and downstroke
  • Lightweight for easy transport
  • Easy to read pressure gauge
  • Switch to make last few psi easier to inflate
  • Sturdy foot plate for stable pumping
  • 1 year warranty

What we love:

  • Lightweight design that easily fits in SUP backpack
  • Sturdy with foot plate for easy pumping
  • Dual action pumping for faster inflation

What we don't love:

  • Slower than a dual chamber pump

3. GYMAX SUP Hand Pump

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.

gymax sup hand pump dual action for fast inflation

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Dual action to inflate on both the upstroke and downstroke
  • Switch hose to other side of the pump for rapid deflation
  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Easy to read pressure gauge
  • Foot plate to stabilize during pumping
  • Durable design

What we love:

  • Lightweight and fits easily in SUP backpack
  • Dual action inflation
  • Pressure gauge for easy monitoring

What we don't love:

  • Takes longer to fill than dual chamber pumps

4. K-Pump K-200

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.

Kpump high volume hand pump

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Lightweight, streamlined design that takes up little space
  • Hold one hand to secure on the valve and pump with other hand
  • Two modes of pumping at high and low pressure
  • 2 year warranty
  • Rugged design built to use on difficult terrain
  • Comes with multiple adaptors to use on different inflatables
  • Includes quick-check pressure gauge - not attached to pump

What we love:

  • Compact lightweight design perfect for hiking to remote locations
  • Easy to use
  • Includes carrying case

What we don't love:

  • Takes longer to inflate compared to other manual pumps
  • Harder to use if of short stature because it pumps vertically and you need enough height to pump

5. Thurso SURF Manual Pump

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.

White thurso surf iSUP board hand pump

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Dual action modes of inflation
  • Lightweight design and easy to transport
  • Stable design with foot plate
  • Pressure gauge with recommended ranges printed on gauge
  • Max pressure of 29 psi
  • Included valves and adaptors
  • Has a mode to deflate
  • 1 year warranty

What we love:

  • Can use for inflation and deflation
  • Easy to read pressure gauge
  • Dual action modes of inflation

What we don't love:

  • More expensive than similar models from competitors

SUP Pump Buyer’s Guide

Gray and orange electric SUP pump

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.

SUP Compatibility

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.

PSI

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.

Inflation Stages

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.

Deflation

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!

Pressure Gauge

Manual pump gauge

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.

Hose

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.

Rechargeable/Cordless

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.

Carrying Bag

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.

Noise Level

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

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.

Is a Manual or Electric SUP Pump Better?

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.

Manual Pump

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.

Pros
Cons
  • Included with your paddle board purchase
  • Cheaper than an electric SUP pump
  • Cannot over inflate your board and cause damage
  • No need for a power source: battery or car
  • Takes longer to inflate your board
  • Requires energy to inflate

Electric Pump

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.

Pros
Cons
  • Faster inflation so you’re on the water faster
  • Easy to use
  • Does not wear you out while pumping
  • It can help completely deflate your SUP before storage
  • Can damage your iSUP if does not automatically stop
  • Expensive
  • Can overheat with use
  • Must inflate by your car

Summary

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!

FAQ’S

🏆 Are SUP pumps universal?

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. 


👍 How do you pump up an inflatable paddle board?

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.

  1. Unroll your inflatable paddle board flat on the ground
  2. Insert the pumps hose into the valve
  3. If using an electric pump, set the desired PSI and start pumping, if using a manual SUP pump, start pumping.
  4. The pressure gauge will not start registering until you’ve reached about 7 psi
  5. When pumping becomes difficult, adjust your manual pump’s modes to fill the last pressure more easily
  6. Detach your hose and secure the valve cover
  7. You’re ready to 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.


🏝️ How long does it take an electric pump to inflate a SUP?

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.


❓ What PSI should I inflate my paddle to?

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.


📦 If I over inflate will my SUP be damaged?

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.

Pat McCaw
Pat McCaw


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