If you’re looking for a high-performance pump, then you’ll be hard-pressed to find an affordable model that can outperform the Airhead Hi pressure pump. This model runs on one hundred and twenty volts and offers both an inflation and deflation port, a faster than average inflation speed and a pressure release that’s designed to limit pressure to 1.4 PSI, which will prevent you from over-inflating your board.
Our Verdict: This model comes with an interchangeable adapter, which will work for most types and styles of SUPs, kayaks, and rafts. The pressure release valve will automatically shut off the air supply to your board, preventing over-inflation, so you can be sure your board is as rigid as it should be, for optimal performance in a variety of water conditions. The higher PSI level capability is a huge selling point, especially if you own more than one type of high-pressure inflatable. The motor’s ability to handle inflating boards back to back is another huge incentive to buy, as does the set it and forget it operation that will allow you to connect your board, switch on the pump and focus on other tasks while your board inflates. Of course, the slower inflation time and the lack of the deflation feature are both drawbacks that you may want to consider before you buy, but for most SUP users, these issues won’t be a deal-breaker.
Overview and Features
How much weight a paddle board can handle can depend on whether or not your board has been inflated to the recommended PSI level. You’d be surprised at how difficult it can be to achieve the correct level when you’re using a hand pump or a low-quality electric pump, one that doesn’t come with any built-in safety features that are specifically designed to precisely inflate your board.
This high-performance pump comes with an accordion-style hose, a valve that’s designed to limit the pressure to 1.4 PSI, to protect against over-inflation, a ten-foot-long hose for easier use, and seven adapters, so you’re sure to find one that’s compatible with your SUP. This lightweight, compact pump is highly portable, so you can take it with you, wherever you go. It’s able to handle a variety of high-pressure inflatables including SUPs, kayaks, air mattresses, exercise balls, and more. If you’re tired of wasting time and energy inflating your board using a hand pump, then you’ll love using this electric pump for all of your inflatables. It makes the process simple and fast, so you can hit the water in a matter of minutes.
The ten-foot hose makes it easy to connect the pump to your board, without any tension in the hose or any fancy maneuvering on your part.
The alligator clips attach to your vehicle’s battery, which offers a faster inflation time compared to plugging the pump into your vehicle’s twelve-volt outlet, however, it also offers this connection option as well.
In this package, you’ll find an interchangeable Boston valve and H-valve adapter. This attachment will fit securely on the hose and the board’s valve, so you won’t have to hold the hose as the board is inflating. The lack of other adapter options may be a deal-breaker if you’re looking for a pump that can handle inflating a variety of other inflatables. Make sure you check your board’s valve type to ensure this model is compatible.
The air port offers a single level of inflation, while some competing models will offer a two-stage inflation design that works to speed up the inflation time.
The single port is designed for inflation only, so you cannot use this pump to deflate your board. A deflation mode allows you to quickly deflate your board, so the lack of this feature will be a disappointment for some potential buyers.
If you want to paddle faster, then your board needs to be inflated to the precise PSI level. This will have an impact on how your board handles in the water and how rigid the board is. This model offers a higher than average inflation PSI level of eighteen, while other models in this price range are typically only capable of inflating boards up to fifteen. However, the Seamax SUP20D 20PSI Double Stage Electric Air Pump offers a twenty PSI level, but it comes with a steeper price tag.
One of the biggest issues with this pump is the longer inflation time. On average, you can anticipate the pump to take approximately ten minutes to fully inflate your SUP. This may not be a deal-breaker for some potential buyers, however, if you’re looking for a pump that can inflate your board in five to eight minutes, then you’ll need to look for a higher-powered model.
Pressure Release Valve
The pressure release valve is a great safety feature to have and one that can prevent serious damage to your board, preventing over-inflation. The valve works by automatically shutting off the air supply to the board once the desired PSI level is achieved. This prevents your board from popping and tearing, which makes it a must-have safety feature for beginners who are prone to under-inflating or over-inflating their board. This safety feature will allow you to set up the pump and start the inflation process as you focus on other tasks. The fact that the pump will cease inflating your board once it’s reached the desired PSI level will give any SUP user much-needed peace of mind.
If you’ve tried electric pumps in the past with no luck, finding it difficult to get your board to the correct PSI level, then you’ll appreciate this model’s beginner-friendly design, built-in safety features and it’s ten-foot-long hose that makes it easier to connect the pump to your vehicle’s engine and your board. The pump’s built-in handle makes it much easier to carry around. The pump’s pressure release valve works by automatically shutting off the air supply to your board once the board has been inflated to the correct PSI level. This prevents over-inflation. The included ten-foot hose is well-designed and securely locks onto the pump and the included adapters, so you don’t have to worry about any type of accidental disconnection. This versatile pump offers a higher than average PSI capability, so it’ll work for rafts and kayaks, as well as SUPs, air mattresses, and any other type of high-pressure inflatable.
For more of my thoughts on some of the best SUP pumps, visit my full Buyer’s Guide!
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Pressure release valve
- Eighteen PSI capability
- Two connection options
- Low price
- Highly portable
- Does not feature two-phase inflation
- No deflation feature
- No carry bag
- Long inflation time
Conclusion and Rating
The Airhead Hi Pressure electric pump is versatile comes with built-in safety features that are designed to make this model more beginner-friendly by preventing under-inflation and over-inflation. The portable design allows you to take this pump with you, wherever you go, using one of the two connection options, which further adds to the pump’s versatility. This model is a great buy for the price and earned a rating of four and a half out of five stars.