The conveniences of inflatable paddle boards have made them a favorite among paddle boarders. To use this type of board, you need a pump to inflate it to the right PSI level. In this regard, there are electric and manual pumps you can pick from.
While most inflatable paddle boards come with hand pumps, you can still get an electric one for faster inflation. However, the choice between electric and hand pumps is all up to you as each comes with their respective advantages and disadvantages.
In this article, we present 5 best SUP pumps in the electric and hand categories for you to pick from. As each category of pumps has its users, there are separate lists for each category to make it easier for you.
5 Best Electric SUP Pumps
The first category to focus on is that of the electric pumps. In this area, the best pumps include the following:
1. OutdoorMaster Shark SUP Air Pump
For the best experience with your inflatable paddle board, our real-life reviews gave us the OutdoorMaster Shark air pump as the best of them all. It’s a 2-stage pump that inflates your board to 20PSI in a few minutes.
It comes in a small package that allows it to fit into small backpacks or a small part of your car and gets it power from your car’s accessory outlet (car charger port). After setting the needed PSI level, you let it run and, in a few minutes, you’ll be ready to hit the water with your paddle board or kayak.
The other advantage with this SUP pump is that it automatically goes off when the set PSI has been attained. This is important as it helps prevent damage to the paddle board caused by too much inflation.
It also comes with a deflation connector which helps in quick and safe deflation of your SUP after you’re done using it. Another safety feature is proper cooling which enables it to inflate up to 4 boards before needing to cool down. It also comes with a fuse to shut off the power whenever it experiences a power surge.
- Works with the car’s 12V power output accessory.
- H3 valve works with other inflatables besides paddle boards.
- Dual stage high pressure inflation.
- Auto-shutoff for safety.
- Can be used to deflate the paddle board.
- Fused for safety.
- Quick inflation to 20PSI in a few minutes.
- Flexible hose.
- You need a car nearby to use it.
This is the best pump on the market and will inflate various inflatables in a very short while.
2. Bravo 20 SUP Electric Pump
Another very dynamic electric pump for your paddle board is the Bravo 20. It differs from the OutdoorMaster in various ways and will be a great option if the OutdoorMaster doesn’t cut it for you.
Out of the box, the Bravo 20 is compatible with various valves given its H3 SUP valve setup. You can thus use it to inflate various inflatables including kayaks, paddle boards, air mattresses and many others.
This is a single-stage pump which has very little noise production and is very quick in inflating your paddle board. On average, it takes just 5 minutes to inflate to 15 PSI. You simply set the desired PSI then wait for the pump to work its magic.
When set the PSI is attained, the pump will shut itself off then seal the air vent to prevent the air escape. This also ensures the safety of the paddle by preventing overinflation. When it gets too hot from overworking, it’ll shut itself off to protect the whole machine.
For the power input, this pump comes with a 12V DC battery which needs charging to work. This is advantageous in that you won’t need your car to inflate your boards. To charge the battery, your normal home socket and car charger port will do just fine. It even has alligator clips to charge from 12V car batteries. It takes between 10 and 12 hours to fully charge the pump.
- Auto-shutoff feature for safety.
- Flexible hose.
- H3 valve for compatibility with most inflatables.
- Works with 110V and 12V chargers.
- No need for car as it has an internal battery.
- Inflation and deflation features.
- Automatic shutoff feature when overheating.
- Requires charging to work.
If you can’t access a car straight away, this is the pump to get.
3. BTP Mano Two Stage Electric Turbo Pump
This is a 2-stage electric pump that inflates the paddle board to 14.5 PSI in a few minutes. It’s one of the best electric pumps and has two versions one with a battery and the other one relying on external power input to work.
You can choose either one depending on your situation and what best works for you. With the battery version, you can inflate the paddle board many times over with a single charge.
When the desired PSI is attained, the pump will switch itself off automatically as a safety feature.
In our review, we took both versions of the pump and ended up going for the one with a battery. The fact that you get to fill up your paddle board several times over on a single charge is something you don’t easily find in your typical electric pump.
- 2-stage pressure inflation.
- Auto-shutoff for when the paddle board is fully inflated.
- Available as a battery-only or power-only option.
- Battery-only options stores enough charge for several inflations.
- Fits various other inflatables.
- Doesn’t use the car charger port.
We loved the fact that you can inflate your paddle several times over with a single charge of the pump’s battery.
4. ISLE 12V Electric Pump
The ISLE 12V electric pump is a favorite for many users as it’s among the most affordable electric pumps on the market. Even with its low price, you still get the right features for a fast and safe inflation of your paddle board and other inflatables.
It’s a safe and quick 2-stage pump with a maximum PSI of 20. It can be hooked to your car’s battery with the alligator clips provided, or use the car charger port to power it up. Either option works fine for the inflation process.
To use this pump, you dial in the PSI level you need then make the necessary connection and wait. When it attains the needed pressure, it’ll shut off by itself to prevent damaging the paddle board.
It’s also one of the most adaptable pumps as it comes with 5 universal adapters to work with just about any valve on the market including Bravo and Halkey-Roberts valves. You’re thus guaranteed that it’s the only pump you’ll need for all your inflatables.
- 2-stage turbine inflator for quick and safe inflation.
- Overheat protection.
- 20 PSI pressure level.
- Works with car charger port and car battery terminals.
- Automatic shutoff when the right PSI level is reached.
- Dependent on the availability of a car to work.
You save a good amount of money without sacrificing anything in terms of the features you get with this pump.
5. Seamax 20PSI Intelligent Double Stage Electric Air Pump
Winding up our list of the best electric pumps for your SUP is the Seamax 20PSI electric pump. As its name denotes, it can pump inflatables to a PSI of 20 and takes only 10 minutes to do so. Most SUP’s will take about 5 minutes to get fully inflated as they need about 15PSI.
It derives its power from your car’s cigarette lighter (car charger) port which is a major convenience. When you set the desired pressure level, the pump automatically shuts off after attaining it or after 20 minutes of running. This works well in preventing overinflation of the paddle board.
Besides having 5 universal valve adapters, the Seamax 20PSI comes with compatibility for Bravo and Halkey-Roberts valves out of the box. You can this be sure that it’ll work with jut about every inflatable available.
It’s also one of the few ruggedized pumps as it has a reinforced air hose that ensures there are no air leaks or damage for years on end. Besides that, it’s made of nylon and marine grade ABS materials for longevity against salt water and other such conditions.
- Tow-stage inflation for speed and safety.
- Maximum pressure of 20 PSI.
- Auto-shutoff feature for safety.
- Compatible with Bravo and HR valves besides having 5 universal valve adapters.
- Works with car charger port.
- Tends to overheat.
These fives names are the very best when it comes to electric pumps for your SUP. The good news is that you can use these pumps for other inflatables as well. These include kayaks, mattresses, kites and many others.
5 Best Manual/Hand SUP Pumps
For the hand pumps, you have five of the best as follows:
1. K-Pump K20 High Pressure SUP Pump
The K-Pump is the best hand pump no matter the type of inflatable you have on hand. It takes all the features of large and premium models and packs them in a small body that costs very little.
This pump has a 2-stage inflation design with the high volume mode limited to 9 PSI and the high pressure mode going all the way to 25 PSI. With these settings, you can quickly inflate a large paddle board in a few minutes to the right pressure.
It’s a very tough and long-lasting hand pump given its ABS construction that’s coupled with a rugged storage bag. The pump is also resistant to the sun’s UV rays. That means that it can withstand some time on the sunny beach without getting discolored and brittle.
The K-Pump is compatible with most valves and can be used on uneven ground and even during rough waters out in the ocean. Given its small size and minimalist look, you can always take it wherever you want.
- 2-stage design for safety and speed of inflation.
- Can inflate to 25PSI.
- Valve adapters can fit most valves for use with most inflatables.
- Minimalist design and weighs just 1.8 pounds.
- Durable due to ABS construction and UV resistance. It also has a rugged storage bag.
- Can be used on uneven ground or while afloat and in rough water conditions.
If you need a hand pump that just works, this is it.
2. GRI HP6 Pump
While the K-Pump aims to find the sweet spot between functionality and form, the GRI HP6 goes for function over form. It’s one of the heaviest hand pumps (3.81 pounds) you can find but also the fastest at inflating your inflatables.
This is a triple-action hand pump with two chambers for a fast and smooth inflation rate. The first setting allows for a rapid inflation of the paddle board with both upward and downward strokes working both chambers to inflate the paddle board. The second setting makes the pumping easier by using only one chamber to add air to the paddle board with the up and down strokes. The third setting uses one chamber and the downstrokes alone to add air to the paddle board.
The handles have the pressure gauge on top of one cylinder and the air outlet between them. Below them is the knob for the 3 settings described above. While it’s a weird location to place the air outlet, we didn’t get into any trouble using the pump.
- The double-chamber setup makes it fast in inflating paddle boards.
- 3 settings for proper inflation.
- Handles can be used by both hands at the same time for better generation of force.
- Pressure gauge faces upwards for easy reading.
- Tough material for longevity.
- Costly and heavy.
If you’re looking for a power hand pump, this one will serve you well.
3. K-Pump K220 HP SUP & Kayak Pump
The K-Pump K220 is the bigger brother to the K-Pump K20 and packs the same great features but in larger and heavier package. If you loved the features of the K20 like we did and have a bigger budget and ready to have the same in a bigger 3-pound version, this is the hand pump for you.
The K220 weighs in at 3 pounds and is 33 inches long. This added length provides more space for pumping motions besides making it easier on your back as you inflate your paddle board. Compared to the smaller version, it provides 40% more air volume in each stroke.
It also comes with compatibility for most valves and is a 2-stage setup which ensures fast and safe inflation mechanisms. In our tests, this pump and its smaller sibling put some electric pumps to shame.
- 2-stage inflation mechanism for safety and speed.
- Compatible with most common valves.
- Simple and efficient design.
- Inflates to 25PSI.
- Highly durable materials with UV resistance.
While it’s termed heavy, 3 pounds isn’t much to carry around.
4. BRAVO SUPer Pump
Another one of the bigger but highly convenient models, the BRAVO SUPer pump’s clever naming is equaled by its great features. It has a single chamber and is a great 2-stage pump meant for the busy traveler and paddling enthusiast.
At 2.67 pounds, it’s a medium sized pump with removable handles for easy inflation. At the top of the handle is a pressure gauge which is vital when inflating your paddle board. The fact that it also allows for deflation is a great addition to its long list of features.
On its back is a switch for switching between double- and single-action inflation. In the double-action setting, the pump inflates your paddle board with up and downstrokes. When you turn to the signed-action setting, only the downstrokes will inflate the paddle board. You can inflate your paddle board or other inflatable all the way to 29PSI.
- Single- and double-action inflation for speed and safety.
- Removable handles for ease of packing.
- Inflates to 29PSI.
- Compatible with most common valves.
- Air vent located on the body for easy and uninterrupted inflation.
- Can be used for deflation as well.
- Slightly heavy.
You get value for your money with this pump especially with the fast inflation rates.
5. Solstice SUP High-Pressure Pump
Rounding up our list of the 5 best hand pumps is the Solstice high-pressure pump. This pump is one of the cheapest makes we can recommend as it offers what you’ll need is a pump without any unnecessary extras and at a bargain price.
It comes with a dual-action pressure mechanism to provide a fast and safe inflation for your paddle board and other inflatables. The fact that it uses the standard H3 valves means you can use it with lots of inflatables without a hitch.
If you need a simple upgrade from the pump that came with your paddle board without spending much, this is that upgrade.
- Dual action high pressure action.
- Gauge for determining the pressure level.
- Uses the H3 valves for universal compatibility.
- Has a second hose for inflatables in need of low pressure.
- Slightly slower than the premium versions.
These five hand pumps are what you need if you’re not into electric ones. The advantage with a hand pump is that you won’t need to worry about having batteries or cables.
Electric vs Manual Pumps
Your paddle board will come with a hand pump out of the box and, for a good number of people, that’s enough. However, others may find these default pumps underwhelming and may want to upgrade. If you need to upgrade, the choice between an electric and hand pump will depend on whether you have one paddle board or more, and how often you use your paddle board.
If you have one paddle board and only occasionally venture out unto the water, you’re better off sticking with the default pump or going for a hand pump. If you have more than one paddle or use yours frequently, an electric one is a good upgrade.
When making the choice, the pros and cons of each type of pump are as follows:
- Take less time to inflate.
- Easier to use in general.
- Little input on your end.
- Can damage the board if they don’t shut off automatically due to overinflation.
- Tend to overheat.
The main advantages with electric pumps is that they are faster and easier to use.
- Cheaper than electric ones.
- Included with the paddle board.
- Cannot damage the board due to overinflation.
- No need for battery or car.
- Takes long to inflate a board.
- Requires some energy to use.
As seen here, an unbiased assessment of these pumps reveals that you can have either with its benefits and be just fine.
Buy Guide: What to Look for When Buying SUP Pumps
Whether you’re going for an electric or manual pump, the aspects to consider include the following:
The best pumps will cost a significant amount of money. However, let not the cost be the only aspect you base on as some expensive pumps may have features you really won’t be needing.
The functionality aspects to consider include the number of stages a pump offers. For a single-stage make, the pump is meant to steadily blow air into the paddle board until the set PSI is attained. On the other hand, a dual-stage pump starts at a high volume then reduces it after a certain level to save time and reduce the chances of the paddle board being overinflated.
You should also consider the power of the pump for both electric and manual pumps. The more powerful an electric pump is, the nosier it’ll be. For a more powerful hand pump, you’ll need more energy to pump it.
Having the feature to deflate the paddle board is another advantage you can look for in a pump as it makes deflation easier and safer.
In this regard, you need a pump that has a valve compatible not only with your paddle board, but also with other inflatables. While most pumps will come with universal valve adapters, compatibility with Halkey-Roberts, H3, HR, H-valves, Leafield, Pinch, Double Lock, Boston or Bravo valves is an added advantage.
At best, get a pump that’s compatible with at least the H3 and Bravo valves as they’re among the most used worldwide.
4. Speed of Inflation
The inflation speed is especially important if you have more than one paddle board to inflate. Basically, the higher the speed, the better the pump.
5. Pressure Gauge
Most pumps come with a pressure gauge to help you attain the recommended PSI for your paddle board or other inflatable. For the electric ones, having the ability to shut off automatically is vital in keeping the board safe. You can choose between a digital and analog gauge although the digital ones are more accurate.
6. Source of Power
Most electric pumps use either a car’s battery power or an internal battery. A few use power from a wall socket. You should go for a pump that uses a power source that’s easily accessible to you. When using a car battery, it’s better to keep the engine running to avoid draining the battery and get a higher power output from it as well.
For the hand pumps, the source of power is the pumping mechanism from your arms or legs.
7. Length of Connectors
In this case, the connectors are the hose for delivering air to the paddle board and the power cord. While longer connectors are better, very long ones will make it hard to inflate the board as they require more power to work.
8. Maximum Pressure
Pressure is measured in PSI (pound per square inch) and the higher the attainable pressure, the better. While most paddle boards only require about 15 PSI, going for a pump with a maximum PSI of up to 25 or more is better as it allows you inflate other items with a higher pressure requirement.
9. Size and Weight
If you’ll be having a car, the weight will not be an issue since most of these pumps weigh less than 4 pounds. However, if you’ll be carrying it in a backpack or have a bike to carry it, consider going for a small and light option that won’t strain you.
10. Other Aspects
The miscellaneous aspects in this regard include having a carry bag, the amount of noise generated, and the deflation capability of a pump. While not dealbreakers, you still need them for a complete experience with the pump.
These aspects are important when deciding which pump to go with. Keep in mind that what features you go for mostly depend on your personal choice and the situation you’re in.
How to Inflate & Deflate Your Inflatable SUP
Further SUP Ideas & How-tos
- How to Prepare for Paddleboarding
- What to Wear for Stand Up Paddleboarding?
- How to Paddle Board: SUP Techniques, Strokes & Tips for Beginners
- How to Get on a Paddle Board, After Falling & from a Dock
- How many Calories does Paddleboarding Burn?
- Best SUP Workouts to Instantly Improve your Paddling
- Benefits of Paddleboarding(SUP)
- Types of Stand Up Paddleboards
- How Long Do Inflatable Paddle Boards Last?
- What Size Paddle Board Do I Need?
- Inflatable vs Solid/Rigid Paddleboards
- Best Bamboo Paddle Boards Review + Buy Guide
- Best SUPs for Bigs Guys
- How to Store SUPs