The Essential iSUP Accessory
Original source: https://www.turquoisefloatingyoga.com/tfy-blog/ -
Meghan Swanson, Yoga Teacher
My first paddleboard was an inflatable. I remember being so excited to take it out… only to be shocked by how long it took to inflate it using the handpump it came with. I was almost too exhausted to paddle!
The good news is, there’s a simple fix: invest in an electric pump. That way you can have the board inflating while you put on your sunscreen and get ready to paddle out.
After having several different pumps for my fleet of inflatable SUP yoga boards, I can tell you they are NOT all the same. They vary widely in terms of inflation time, power source, and durability.
Here’s why it's awesome:
Let’s start with plugging into the 12V cigarette lighter. I have other pumps with their own external batteries, which is great if you need to pump your board up in a remote location away from your car. But then you have to remember to charge the external battery, and it adds size and bulk to the pump as well. So for most paddlers who can set up near a car, I would recommend this style pump since it will be small and low maintenance. Keep it in the car and it will be ready to go when you need it.
Having the board blown up to the right PSI is super important. If it’s underinflated, it won’t feel rigid and stable. It’s no fun to be bouncing around on an underinflated board. If you go too high over the PSI you risk damaging the board. Most good pumps will have this feature, but it’s a must. You don’t want to spend 10 minutes staring at a pressure gauge. It’s much better to set it and use the time to get yourself ready to hit the water.
If you just have one board to inflate, you may not be overly concerned with the cooling fan. But if you also have a board to inflate for your paddle buddy, or a whole family, you could easily overheat other pumps by running them while you inflate multiple boards in a row. When I used a different pump for my fleet, I had an issue of melting pumps when inflating 2-3 boards in a row before I learned I needed to give them a break to cool down for at least 5 minutes in between. This is the first one I used that has a little cooling fan inside that cools it even while it runs. I can actually tell the difference because the hose doesn’t feel super hot to the touch the way the other ones do.
Timing will of course vary with the volume of your board. But for reference, this inflates my 11 x 33 x 6 fleet boards in 10 minutes each. This is not the fastest pump flat out. My pump with an external battery can inflate the same board in 8 minutes, so if you have just one board, you could have it ready slightly sooner. But remember what I said about the cooling time in between? If I have to blow up two boards with the other pump and allow it to cool for 5 minutes in between 8+8+5 makes it 21 minutes to get the two boards inflated. This one running continuously for 10 minutes per board winds up being faster (and easier) if you have more than one board to use.
Now let’s take a look at the final feature - the fitting for the hose. One of the pumps I’ve had said they come with different fittings. However, the different fitting options were in the box, then I had to pick the one that worked for my board and hot glue it into the end. First of all, that was a project I hadn’t planned on. Second of all, I wouldn’t be able to change it without cutting off the other one and fully committing to glueing a new one - not very versatile. Yet another pump I had previously had fittings that slid on to a secondary attachment - this was a little more versatile than the glued one, but it was not air tight and was a bit of a hassle. I was excited to find a better design for this on the OutdoorMaster pump. It has the various fittings, each of which screw on or off the hose to easily change them, each with an airtight fit. While I almost always have it with the fitting that works for my fleet of paddle boarders, I’ve also quickly switched this out on occasion. I just switched the fitting on it the other day when I saw a kayaker struggling with a hand pump and was able to lend my pump.
Final verdict: you can’t go wrong with the OutdoorMaster Shark II if you’re looking for an easy to use and durable pump for your iSUP.
Now get out on the water and have some fun!