How To Inflate An Inflatable Paddle Board - Shop The Best Blow Up Paddle Boards At Shrewsbury SUP Shop - Wake2o UKHow To Deflate An Inflatable Paddle Board - Shop The Best Blow Up Paddle Boards - Shrewsbury Surf SHop - Wake2o UK

Inflate a Paddle Board

So, you’ve just bought yourself a paddle board, welcome to the club.

Inflatable Paddle Boards, or Blow Up Paddle Boards as they are sometimes referred to, have become increasingly popular over recent years. 

Obviously, you want to go out on it straight away but you need to know how to inflate your paddle board correctly. In the guide, we will take you through step by step on how to unwrap the board, check the Halkey roberts Valve for correct inflation position, and how to check the PSI (pressure) of the board is correct.

How To Inflate Your SUP

Step one: Roll out your paddle board so its flat.

Step two: Time to get your pump ready. You will want to attach your hose and pressure meter if detached to your pump.

Step three: Remove the plug from the valve and connect pump to the valve. Make sure that the spring loaded pin inside the valve is all the way up before attaching the hose, otherwise you’ll have put in all the effort for the air to just come out when you release the hose! Inflate = Pin up, Deflate = Pin down.

Step four: Begin to inflate your board. Check your board's user guide for the correct PSI. This is also sometimes, depending upon the brand, printed on the board in the surrounding area that the valve is installed.

When it reaches the higher PSI levels it will become tough but keep going! Once the pressure meter on the pump reads you required psi then you can stop. (if you’re using an electric pump it will stop automatically when the psi you set has been reached)

Step five: Now your board is all pumped up you can detach the hose and close the plug.

Step six: Time to discover new places on your board.

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SUP Pumps


Were not going to lie, manually inflating your SUP is hard word and required a certain amount of elbow grease. Its well known that a lot of people give up before reaching the optimum recommended pressures and take their boards out on the water with insufficient pressures.


If you take your Blow Up Stand UP Paddle Board out on the water when it is under inflated, the following issues could occue:

  • Under inflation will make your paddle board will become incredibly inefficient. It will more than likely bow in the middle, or where your feet are placed. Pushing this bend through the water will reduce its ability to glide, making it slow and heavy.
  • A bent or bowed paddleboard, even though you may not know any difference if its your first board, will drop you closer to the water by up to 5 inches. This can make for an unstable ride.
  • Premature muscle fatigue can occur, due to the extra work you need to excert pushing your bent, heavy board through the water.

A note that is worth making, there are a lot, and I mean a lot, of budget blowup standup paddleboards in the market. The majority are cheap imports what will have the issues mentioned above even when fully inflated. Unfortunately, theres no way of knowing what budget board is good or bad. One thing we always mention is beware of gimic style packages - seats, phone cases, glaring colourways or designs that have had no thought whatso ever. If the package sounds too good for the price, it probably is. We refuse to sell these boards and stick to renowned brands that are well known for their R&D, Quality and Warranties. Jobe, Obrien, JP Australia and O'shea are our favourite go-to SUP brands that we know produce quality innovitive paddle boards year in year out.

Ok, back to the pumps.......

Your paddle board package has more than likely come bundled with a Double Action Pump - Cheaper budget boards sometimes are provided with a single action pump. Here are the differences:


These pumps only pump on the down stroke. This is the lowest spec pump you will get. They used to be the standard up until around 2016. Single action pumps require the most effort to reach full inflation.

  • Pro's - Cheap
  • Con's - Time and Effort are increased tenfold.
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Double Action pump

These are the standard of paddle board pumps included inside packages. They work by pumping on both the down stroke and the up-stroke. This greatly decreases the amount of time and effort required to reach optimum pressures. When the paddle board gets to a pressure that makes the up stroke difficult, there is a manual switch that will revert the pump back to a single action pump, so it only pumps on the down stroke.

  • Pro's: Time and Effort are reduced
  • Con's: Still require a certain amount of effort to reach inflation
Triple Action Pump

Now, this is the daddy of the inflatable paddle board manual pumps. A big, gargantuan double chamber pump that will reach the required pressure super fast and with a lot less effort.

The pump is in essence 2x double action pumps in one handy package. You begin your inflation journey using double action on both chambers - so 2x pumps on each stroke, up and down. Then, once it gets tough, flick the switch to stage 2, where both chambers become single action - remember, 2x chambers pumping on the down stroke. Then for the final stage, switch the pump to single action in one chamber.

We cannot emphasise enough, these pumps are a HUGE improvement over a standard double action pump.

  • Pro's: Time and Effort is reduced tremendously. 
  • Con's: They are pricey, and large in size.
Electric Pump

As the name suggests, these pumps are electric. The majority work via a 12v car cigarrette lighter socket. The beauty of these pumps is you set the pressure, press start, and leave it to do its thing. They have an auto shut off, so stop once the pressure is reached.

These pumps work in 2 stages, low pressure and high pressure. The low pressure is semi quiet, and is the first inflation step. Once the pressure reaches a certain psi, the high pressure stage begins, starting the compressor and making the pump a lot louder. These pumps are great for people that struggle with the manual pumps, or need to reserve their energy for their adventures to come.

Also available is rechargable electric sup pumps. These are expensive, but handy if you are no where near your car when inflating your paddle board.

  • Pro's: No effort required. Fully automatic inflation.
  • Con's: Expensive, and noisey.


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