Choosing a pump for a kayak, raft, or stand-up paddle board:
Whether you bought your inflatable kayak, raft or SUP for the ease of transport or the simplicity of storage, there is no doubt that convenience is a major benefit to owning an inflatable boat. We all know that when you arrive at the put-in and unpack your boat or board, getting on the water quickly and with minimal effort is sure to be on your mind. The right pump or combination of pumps will get your kayak, SUP, or raft on the water as safely and as efficiently as possible with plenty of daylight to spare!
High pressure pumps for inflatable SUPs and kayaks with drop-stitch technology have dramatically improved in the last few years. These double-action, high volume pumps have you on the water in no time, with minimal effort. Many have both high and low pressure settings in order to reach the correct final pressure. There are many different valve styles available on modern inflatables, but most pumps come with multiple adapters so it can be used with nearly any inflatable boat you come across.
Most inflatables come with a hand or foot pump, though an electric pump makes short work of inflating a full-sized raft or when inflating multiple boats. These electric pumps plug into a 110v outlet or use your car’s 12v battery as the power source, which adds the convenience of being able to inflate your boat up at the boat ramp. Many boaters will carry an electric pump to handle 90% of the work and top off with a hand pump that can be stowed away in the boat while on the water.
Keep in mind that bike pumps and automotive tire pumps will not work as they do not have the same valve types. Air compressors are also not recommended as a substitute since they can easily overinflate your boat, potentially causing irreversible damage. Also keep in mind that temperature from the sun or cold water will affect the pressure of your boat or board. Pressure gauges are a great way to monitor the pressure. Some are even built into the pump for ease and convenience!
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or whether you’re trying out an inflatable for the first time, the right pump will ensure a quick transition from car to the bliss of moving water!
Check out our selection of top quality pumps for your kayak, raft, or SUP from brands such as K-Pump, NRS, Bravo, Carlson, and more!