I often field questions about how easy or hard it is to pump up your inflatable stand up paddle board. It usually goes along with how long it takes. And since board pressure is such an important factor in their performance, I don’t recommend skimping on pressure to get you on the water sooner or easier. Some people find the standard foot pumps a little tough to use, want something that reaches higher pressure more easily or something that is more comfortable to use and travel with.
With that in mind I explored a few SUP pump options, did some research/testing and decided to stock K-Pump pumps and accessories. I was sent a few demo items and they really impressed me. I was a little sceptical at first since I’m used to the standard foot pump that ships with most inflatable SUPs, which is familiar to me from my decade of kiteboarding, but I found the K-Pumps to be exceptionally easy to use all the way to 25PSI, packed down tighter and fit more easily into the carry bag thanks to no handle, base or hose to deal with. They were easy to use because of their two stage design whereby you actually have 2 pumps in one. A high volume pump (good for about 6-10PSI) and a high pressure (good to 25PSI) pump. Read more about the technology in the K-Pump inflatable SUP pumps here.
Now that we have some new pumps in the range, I thought it’d be a good idea to do a comparison test so we can see how each one performs, differs and ultimately which is the best to use/buy.
But first, some info about each pump:
|K-20||1.8lbs||1.3l / 0.43l||21in||3in||3in|
|K-220||2.6lbs||2.2l / 0.7l||31in||3in||3in|
Now I set up a test whereby I’d pump a board to 15PSI and then on to 20PSI, make notes about the time it takes, how many pump strokes were required and the effort needed to get to that pressure. The board I chose was the Red Paddle Co 10′ Surfer: 10′ x 30″ x 3.93″ with a manufacturer stated volume of 190l.
|Pump||Time 0-15PSI||Pumps||Time 0-20PSI||Pumps||Effort|
|K-20||5min 45sec||200 + 400||8min 06 sec||200 + 700||Easy then easy|
|K-220||4min 20sec||170 + 120||6min 13sec||170 + 290||Easy then easy|
|Ezee||2min 37sec||180||3min 25sec||225||Easy, moderate then tough|
|Ezee HP||3min 0sec||220||4min 0sec||300||Easy then moderate|
For the K-Pumps you’ll see two volume measurements and two stroke counts. This is the high volume and the high pressure cylinders. To see more about how the K-Pumps work, watch the video here.
As you can see, the K-Pump pumps were easy to use for both pressures, just took a little longer since they are lower volume (less air is pumped in per stroke). The Ezee was the fastest to both 15PSI and 20PSI but required a lot of effort at the end, effort (weight) and technique that not every paddler has. My personal favourite is probably the Ezee HP because it’s a good compromise between effort and time but the K-220 was so easy and comfortable to use, it is an extremely close second. I prefer the K-220 over the K-20 as you can stand and pump rather than kneel or bend over. If you haven’t already followed this link to the K-Pump video, you should, to see how you use them. If I was travelling with my board more often, the K-20 would be more appealing over the K-220. Smaller, lighter and just as easy to use.
In conclusion, the K-Pumps are a bit more expensive than the Ezee and Ezee HP but they more than make up for it in ease of use for all and ease of travel. Board pressure is one of the most, if not the most important factor in the performance of inflatable stand up paddle boards so getting to the recommended pressure is the best way to ensure you get the best performance from the board. If that means upgrading your pump, it is absolutely worth it!