How To Properly Inflate Your Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (iSUP)

how to inflate your paddle board

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We are aware that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy so taking up a sport is one of the best ways to relax our bodies. Everybody has a particular taste when it comes to games, and some prefer water sports. However, you can never really enjoy something until you get the right equipment for it hence if you love paddling then obtaining an inflatable Standup Paddleboard (iSUP) and maintaining it is a must. Of course, safety always comes first, so before heading out to the beach, you should learn how to inflate your iSUP so that you keep feet steady as you paddle so let us get on with it.

Issues when inflating your iSUP

For you to understand the importance of inflating your iSUP, you should know the main issues you might run into and here are some of them:

Using an electric pump

It is easy to quickly fill your board with too much when using an electric pump therefore always ensure that the electronic gauge is in good working condition. Still, if you prefer using it, take care and have a hand pump with you so that once you pump the board up to 11 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch), you can switch to a hand pump. A hand pump makes it difficult to fill up the board, but it is worth it because you have full control. However, if you are using your car to plug in the electric pump, make sure that it is running to avoid the risk of killing your battery if using the battery when your vehicle is off.

Having an Underinflated Board

You may not fill your board too much, but you can also underinflate your board. If the board is less than 15 PSI, then it does not have the required amount of air to properly function, and it can easily bend in ways it should not. You can tell if have an underinflated board if it feels soft such that the feet sink into it. An iSUP should have a specially designed pump custom-made for it, as well as a pressure indicator to indicate when you have inflated it fully.

However, you must remember different weather conditions cause a change in pressure in the board. For instance, leaving or paddling your board in the sun for too long increases its pressure; therefore pull it to the shore and let out a bit of pressure. Contrastingly, introducing it to the cold waters of the ocean reduces it pressure hence always carry your pump with you for that extra needed pressure to keep it within the right PSI.

How to inflate your Paddle Board using an electric pump.

electric sup pumpWhat you need are a pump, gauge, and board and you can begin.

  1. Take your board out of the bag and completely unroll it.
  2. Ensure that the yellow pin of the valve or inflation cap is in an upright position before you begin pumping, which implies that having the valve closed will keep air does not rush out immediately you are done with pumping. If you have no idea of how a valve should like when in the right fill orientation, most boards have an arrow and a cap which connects once in the proper spot
  3. Take your pump and attach its hose to the board. Ensure that you connect the nozzle to the inflation side since most boards have two sides, the inflation and deflation sides.
  4. Attach the hose’s other end to the valve by right twisting it to lock.
  5. You can now start inflating and since electric pumps do not stop even when they get to a specific PSI, pay attention. The first part goes quickly, but once it reaches 10 PSI, you will recognize the sound of your pump working harder to finish up the last bit.
  6. When it gets to 12 PSI, you have the option of using a hand pump to finish up the pumping process but if you do not have one, be careful with your electric pump and do not allow it to exceed 15 PSI.
  7. Disconnect your pump by left twisting the hose and pulling up.
  8. Replace the cap, and you are ready to start your paddling.

Using a Hand Pump to inflate an iSUP

hand paddle board pumpYou also need a pump, gauge, and board.

  1. Unroll your board entirely on a smooth surface such as grass.
  2. Locate the gauge, install it and attach the hose to the pump
  3. Unscrew the cap on your board.
  4. Ensure the valve head is in the upright position and you can experiment by twisting it since when entirely pushed in, it permits deflation, but the outer position allows for inflation while keeping air locked inside.
  5. Attach the hose’s other end or the bayonet fitting, to the valve by pushing and twisting.
  6. Have the pump standing on a level and firm ground. Place your feet on either side or the footrests and begin pumping. You will realize that the first few pumps, until around 10 PSI, will use minimal effort but the last part will need a lot more energy.
  7. Ensure that you keep your hands, when pumping, are facing the center of the pump’s handles. Also, make sure to firmly plant your feet on the footrests and push down directly over the shaft.
  8. Upon reaching 15 PSI, disconnect the pump by quickly twisting the hose to the left then pulling up.
  9. Replace the cap and hit the water.


Now that iSUPs are becoming increasingly popular due to their ease of transport and affordable prices, learning how to inflate using the two methods described above is invaluable information. Having a good pump is the key to inflating your iSUP, and though an electric SUP pump will take you less time, usually 2-5 minutes, compared to a hand pump which takes you 4-8 minutes, the result is the same. However, you must always take care not to overinflate your board when using an electric pump. Until you master how to inflate using an electric pump, you should preferably have both pumps at hand since you now know how to use them.

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