How to Find the Best SUP Pump For Your Inflatable Paddleboard
You did it. You bit the bullet and threw down some cash for a sweet iSUP. Your new, stylish inflatable paddleboard works great. You did your research. You checked out the Paddler’s Way SUP Guide and found the perfect board. But you forgot one thing…the SUP pump.
Your new iSUP is amazingly easy to carry. You can haul it around with no issues due to the nifty carrying pack. And the board isn’t too tough to pump up. The first 3-4 minutes are fine. Then the PSI increases and each pump gets more and more difficult. By the time you’re done, you’re always huffing and puffing.
The included paddleboard pump works, but you want a little more convenience. You prefer to get all your exercise out on the water – instead of being exhausted before you get in. We get that, as paddling is always more fun than pumping.
What is a SUP Pump?
Now, there’s a good chance you already know what a SUP pump is. When you buy an inflatable paddleboard, you have to fill it with air. So most manufacturers include a pump to aid in the process.
A paddleboard pump attached to the iSUP and you begin pumping air into the model – like you would air into the tire of a bike. The process isn’t complicated at all, but it can be tiring. This is especially true with larger iSUP models that require up to 15 PSI.
Hand or Electric? The Great Paddleboard Pump Dilemma
Now, we’re certainly on team electric pump here at Paddler’s Way. We prefer to enjoy more time in the water and less pumping up paddleboards. However, there’s certainly benefits to both SUP pump options.
Pros of Hand Pumps:
- Often included with the iSUP you buy
- Always cheaper
- No chance of damaging the board
Cons of Hand Pumps:
- Takes between 5-15 per board depending on size, pump, and person pumping
- Can be exhausting
Pros of Electric Pumps:
- Way faster
- No need to waste energy pumping
- Overall, a more pleasant experience
Cons of Electric Pumps:
- More expensive
- Can damage the board if left unattended
Overall, if you’re paddling often or have more than one board to pump up, it makes sense to invest in an electric pump. If paddle boarding is just a part-time hobby and you don’t struggle much using the hand pump, then stick with it.
The 4 Best SUP Pumps We Reviewed
After reviewing a dozen or so paddleboard pumps, we found a few we like. For the sake of this article, let’s look at our two favorite hand and electric SUP pump options:
K-Pump K20 High Pressure SUP Pump
Widely regarded as the best hand stand up paddleboard pump, the K-Pump K20 has a lot to offer. For most users, the pump will be a significant upgrade over the included model that came with their iSUP.
The K20 offers two-stage pumping, allowing users to inflate the SUP rapidly when there’s little PSI. Then switching to an easy mode when the PSI gets high and pumping gets difficult. The pump was designed to fit nearly every model of iSUP around.
One thing we really loved about the K20 SUP pump was how portable it was. For a pump that packs so much power, the thing was fairly small and super easy to carry around. If you’re looking for a hand pump that’s a definite improvement over the included one you got with your iSUP, the K-Pump K20 High Pressure SUP Pump fits the bill.
Bravo BTP12 Dual Stage Inflation Pump
If we’re talking electric paddleboard pumps, then the Bravo BTP12 Dual Stage Inflation Pump is one of the best on the market. Just make sure you get the battery pack included. You don’t want to hook the thing up to a car every time you want to inflate a board.
As one of the fastest pumps we tested, the Bravo BTP12 can fill a board up in 7-15 minutes depending on size and PSI. The two-stage operation happens automatically. Plus, you can set the device to turn off once a certain PSI is reached. This ensures no damage is done to your board.
The electric paddle pump can inflate boards up to 15 PSI. Overall, we were quite pleased with this electric pump. The Bravo BTP12 Dual Stage Inflation Pump will make getting out on the iSUP so much easier.
Solstice SUP HIgh-Pressure Pump
If you’re looking for a cheap hand paddle pump, the Solstice SUP high-pressure pump will fit the bill. The device is cheap and does the job. Just don’t expect too many bells and whistle. You’ll still get a little workout with this bad boy.
We recommend the Solstice pump to users who lost or broke the hand pump and don’t want to spend too much money. The device is a dual-action high-pressure SUP pump that will work on a majority of paddleboards.
If you need something that’s cheap and works well, the Solstice SUP HIgh-Pressure Pump is what you need.
Airhead SUP High-Pressure 12V Electric Pump
The Airhead SUP High-Pressure 12V Electric Pump made the list for one reason and one reason only – the device can go up to 20 PSI. If you have a board that needs 20 PSI, this may be the best electric paddleboard pump available.
However, there are downsides. The Airhead SUP Pump is a bit slower than all the other electric models we tried out. It gets the job done, especially with high PSI boards, but it usually takes an extra five minutes. Not a huge deal, just something to pay attention to.
Overall, the Airhead SUP High-Pressure 12V Electric Pump is the best option for super high PSI paddleboards.
Finding the Perfect Paddleboard Pump
Cruising around on an iSUP is much more enjoyable when you have a great pump to help you out. Use the guide above to help you find the ideal paddle pump for you inflatable paddleboard. We tested these models and loved them all. We’re sure you will, too.