We’ll readily admit that inflating iSUPs over and over again can be arduous. In fact, for some it’s just too much. In this instance an electric pump may be a better call. Not everyone is Arnie after all. The fact is, however, that air boards rely on the correct amount pressure so you, the paddler, get the best performance possible out of your stand up paddle board when on the water.
You may have heard the term ‘deflection’ which refers to the weakest/bendiest point of inflatable SUPs. All iSUPs have this, regardless of how premium/quality the product in question is described. What is the case is how much of this bend depends very much on the quality of the stand up paddle in question. Better materials and technology equates to a more rigid platform and less deflection, which in turns delivers a more efficient experience.
The point about reducing deflection as much as possible isn’t just aimed at performance SUPers either. It’s something every paddler needs to be aware of and aim to reduce. In fact, we’d argue that beginners and intermediates need to reduce deflection of their iSUP MUCH more than the experienced. When you’re learning the ropes of something new the last thing needed is to be uphill struggling against your ‘tools’. It’s your ‘tool’s – in this case board, fin and paddle – that should be aiding your progress not hampering it. And speaking of ‘tools’…
SUP pumps come in many different shapes and sizes. Back in the day they were just single flow types that made the inflation process even longer than it is now. With advancements in technology manual iSUP pumps today are WAY more efficient. Take the McConks HP2 for instance. With its two way flow control you’ll get more air into your board at the start than you ever could previously. Having the ability to inflate via both the up and down motion of pumping means it’s lease arduous a process. As you get towards the correct PSI simply untwist the screw and revert back to single air flow action to finish up hardening your SUP.
But, you can go one step further. McConks’ double chambered HP6 manual iSUP pump, with three way air control, is the Mac Daddy of manual inflation tools. With its double chamber you get so much more air into the board quicker. And being able to adjust the amount of flow by three counts take a lot of strain of the rider doing the work. So more efficient, quicker and therefore less time faffing about on the beach. Also, you’ll be less fatigued from blowing your board up.
Bottom line is: if you can stump up the extra for the McConks HP6 manual iSUP pump then we’d recommend it. If you can’t, however, then no worries. The HP2 will still do a very good job. Whichever pump you choose you’ll be guaranteed an efficient ‘tool’ to help you on the way with your continuing stand up paddle journey.