If you’re buying multiple paddle boards you may be wondering whether you can carry one 12 volt paddle board pump and use it for them all. Or maybe you’re wondering if you can buy one electric pump for all your SUPs.
Or maybe you’re simply curious and, like many paddlers, are asking yourself: are paddle board pumps universal?
The short answer is no.
Paddle board pumps are not universal – so this means you’ll have to check whether a given pump is compatible with your board.
Inflatable paddle boards have varying valve types and different pumps are compatible with different SUP valves. Most pumps, however, come with adapters to make them compatible with different types of valves.
- Paddle board pumps are not universal because different boards have different valve types.
- The most common valve type for inflatable paddle boards is the Halkey Roberts valve, which can handle high pressure and has a push pin inside.
- The Leafield valve is another high-quality valve that is used by some brands like NRS. It has an internal mesh filter to prevent leaks.
- The Boston valve is common in inflatable kayaks and boats. It has three parts and allows air in but not out. It requires an adapter to work with most pumps.
- Most electric pumps come with adapters for different valve types, so you can use one pump for several boards and other inflatables.
The Four Common Inflatable Valve Types
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common inflatable valve types.
1. Halkey Roberts Valve
The Halkey Roberts valve is the one you’ll find in most inflatable paddle boards, including the high-end ones. These valves are high-quality and easy to use. They can handle high pressure without a problem.
The valves have a push pin inside. When you’re inflating a paddle board with a Halkey Roberts valve, you have to make sure that the pin is raised to keep air from escaping. This is a tiny detail that can frustrate you if you don’t understand how the valve works.
If you inflate with the pin pushed down, air will escape as soon as you disconnect the pump. Your inflatable SUP won’t be as stiff as it should be.
Since the Halkey Roberts valve is the most common type of valve for iSUPs, most pumps are compatible with it.
Note that even Halkey Roberts valves come in different sizes and designs, which are not interchangeable.
Luckily, many pumps include adapters and O-rings for compatibility with almost all inflatable SUP valves. You can also find these adapters easily on Amazon.
2. Leafield Valve
NRS is one popular brand that uses Leafield valves on its inflatable paddle boards.
This is another valve that has been around for decades. You’ll find it in paddle boards, boats, and other inflatables.
The Leafield SUP valve is made using tough plastic that withstands rough conditions and being exposed to the elements.
Like the HR valves, Leafield valves are available in several different designs. The D7, C7, and D7 Dropstitch valves are what you’ll mostly find on inflatable paddle boards and boats.
The D7 Dropstitch inflation and deflation valve has an internal mesh filter. It prevents debris and dropstitch threads from getting into the valve seal and resulting in leaks. Since all inflatable paddle boards have a dropstitch core, the D7 Dropstitch valve is perfect for iSUPs.
If your inflatable paddle board has a Leafield valve, get a pump that is compatible or one that comes with compatible adapters. The Bravo BTP 12 electric SUP pump, for instance, comes with Leafield D7 and C7 valve adapters.
3. Bravo Valve
Many of the popular electric paddle board pumps, such as Seamax, are compatible with this SUP valve.
The valve type is not as popular as the others here, at least not for inflatable paddle boards. I haven’t seen it much in the well-known SUP brands.
If this is the air valve type you have on your paddle board, don’t worry. There are still many good pumps that have a compatible nozzle. You can also buy an adapter from Amazon.
4. Boston Valve
You may have seen some popular electric SUP pumps that are compatible with the Boston valve. The Sevylor water sport pump is a good example.
This valve type is common in inflatable kayaks and boats. If you’re a water sports enthusiast you should have an idea of what the Boston valve is and how it works. There’s a high chance that you’ll come across it at some point–if you haven’t already.
The Boston valve can seem complicated if you don’t understand how it works. Unlike most of the other valve types, a Boston air valve allows air in but it doesn’t let air out. The valve has three parts and the middle part is the one that seals air in, preventing it from getting out.
The pressure of air getting out is what seals the valve. If the pressure is high, the seal will be tighter.
When you want to deflate your kayak, you have to remove the middle part.
Not every pump will work on a Boston valve–you’ll need an adapter. Luckily, these valves are common, so it’s easy to get your hands on an adapter.
So, are paddle board pumps universal?
No, it wouldn’t be accurate to say that SUP pumps are universal because different boards have different valve types. The most common air valve type for SUPs is the Halkey Roberts.
However, most electric pumps come with adapters for different valve types. So you can use one pump for several SUPs and even other inflatables. You can also buy your own adapters to use with different inflatables.
Do you have any questions? Feel free to leave a comment below.