When it comes to inflating (and deflating) your board, there are 2 main types of pumps you can use to accomplish this: Manual and Electric. If you’re looking to channel your inner Popeye and keep your arms toned or if you’re simply looking for a slightly more convenient and affordable option, the hand-powered, manual pump is most-likely your best choice.
One of the rad things about inflatable boards is that they usually come accompanied with a hand pump included with the purchase of the board. Here is a picture of the one that came with my BOTE HD Aero inflatable paddle board in action:
Manual pumps are especially convenient when you consider that you can pack it in your bag and inflate your board right ON the water without needing a power source like you would with an electric pump. Although it is more affordable and slightly more convenient (especially if you’re not wanting to walk and carry your inflated board too far to the water), it is a bit more time consuming and is similar to a mini arm workout.
Now, let’s compare manual pumps to that of an electric pump and see how they weigh up against each other.
Electric Inflatable Paddle Board Pumps vs Manual Pumps
When it comes to electric pumps, a couple of the main benefits you’ll recognize from the start is that they not only save you time, but let’s be real, they save you energy too. It’s worth mentioning that most inflatable paddle boards will require an average PSI (pounds of force per square inch) of 10-15 so keep this in mind when considering what type of pump you end up purchasing. That being said, while manual pumps can take up to 15+ minutes to inflate your board (I can typically manually inflate my 11’6 BOTE HD Aero board in about 7 minutes), electric pumps can generally inflate your board to the proper PSI within about 5 minutes.
Types of Electric Inflatable Paddle Board Pumps
Now, like all good things in life, not all electric pumps are created equal. There are 2 different types of electric pumps that you’ll want to be aware of when making your consideration-let’s talk about them. The first type of electric pump is going to be a 12 volt pump that typically requires a hook-up to your vehicles’ power source-are cigarette lighter compartments still even a thing in cars these days?
The second option is the ISLE BP20 Electric Pump. With this model, you can pump up your board right on the water if you want as this pump has a built-in, rechargeable battery pack. This gives it that lightweight, portable and convenient feeling of a manual pump without having to worry about pumping yourself up simultaneously (unless you’re into that kinda thing in which case, you go Glenn CoCo).
Regardless, both types of electric pumps typically allow you to set your PSI level and let the pump do the rest, allowing you to do other activities while your board inflates (and deflates) such as gathering all your gear, etc.
Ultimately, the type of pump you choose will depend on the amount of time, energy and money you are willing to put into it. If you still aren’t sure which pump is best for you, don’t forget the key takeaways: Manual pumps will be slightly more convenient and less pricey than electric pumps but will also require more time and energy when inflating your board. On the other hand, electric pumps, although slightly more expensive, will save you both time and energy while still providing convenience in the long-run.
You can watch me use my manual pump in action here:
If you’re interested in more articles I’ve written on inflatable boards, check out the Paddle Boarding section of this website. Enjoy your adventures!