Alternative to manual air pumps
I'm getting older (46 next week) and while I can ride all day, I get most worn out by pumping up my kites, expecially my 15 meter. I've blown through four pumps since last year so none of them work in both directions now. I know I sound like a dork, but after a year and a half of kiting three to four days a week during the summer I thought I would see if there was a better way. I tried a few different solutions. First found a battery powered car vac and blower, but while it gets air into the kite fast, it won't pump it to pressure. I looked around and found a very small (about 4 pounds) 12volt battery and car lighter powered air compressor that moves about 37 L a minute for $80. On car power it pumps up my 15 meter in 7 minutes to 9 psi. Tight as a drum. The problem with the compressor when using the battery charge for a full inflation, by the time it is getting to the higher pressure, the battery's running down. The battery charger also works off my car lighter, so whenever I'm driving its charging. Anyway for the purist who likes the sweat of pumping, don't laugh if the old guy with the red helmut (required by wife and three kids) pulls out a small air compressor to pump up his kite. In two session and three kites, I haven't had to pump in two days.
MF-1045 Cyclone Portable High Volume Air Compressor
Another old guy here, 50 soon. I've been planning on trying my portable work compressor (carpenter). I can fill the tank at home. I don't know if 1 tank of air will be enough but if it is, it should only take a few seconds to fill the kite.
I have been using a 20lb liquid Co2 tank desinged for Off Road Racing for a bunch of years and it is a great thing!
I it's the size of a scuba tank and will pump up 20-25 kites depending on kite size.
Refill cost is abput 20$ which I generally do twice a season.
It is not a small item, but it is super handy. I leave it in the Van, but it would easily fit in a trunk.
Can run AirTools as well if you feel like making something while waiting for the wind!/
Im sure you could buy the parts to make one locally.
You dont need a high tech valve as you can control flow with the blowgun.
Your calculations are correct sir! (I think)
The Co2 tank I have is 20lbs Liquid Co2.
Carbon dioxide has no liquid state at pressures below 5.1 atmospheres. At 1 atmosphere (near mean sea level pressure), the gas deposits directly to a solid at temperatures below −78 °C and the solid sublimes directly to a gas above −78 °C.
Which if my math is correct means that there is a whole bunch of Co2 when it comes out of the Tank!
If you want to check my out at the beach just let me know!
It's cheap and easy.
Its good for 3 - 5 kites between charges. Also, since its a low pressure device, you don't have to worry about over inflating. I still need the hand pump to top things off and get the pressure just right.
The rechargable pump looks great! is it small and light enough to carry to the beach for places like Waq bay?
KJJ's compressor looks small enough, the cheapo inflator I use is definitely small and light enough.
That would work if I pump in the parking lot but there's no way I would carry that work compressor out to the beach at Waq Bay. It sounds like your rechargable compressor is more powerful than OC's. But I wasn't clear about whether you can charge it while driving, carry to beach and have enough charge to pump a kite without a lot of topping off, or do you always pump with it plugged into your car?
Thanks for the info!
Anyone tried Helium yet? Up Up and Away...
Damn, that's a good idea! You could fly with 0 wind! Let me know how it works.
Offdalip.com in Hawaii carries a great portable compressor
for kites, $250, I have been using it all summer whenever Mike M comes to WB. Check it out, uses two different pump components, one to begin at low pressures, ends at higher pressures, can dial in desired end pressure. can recharge in your car, holds charge enough for about 20 kites I think. i am 46 also and laughed at Mike at first but its great for the nemesises which need very high (about 12psi) leading edge pressure. Whenever Mike brings it to beach he holds it low near his legs so noone sees him carry it! Its small , about 12 by 8 by 5 inches or so. weighs about 15 lbs I think.
I took a look at the picture of the air compressor from the link you posted. How do you get an adapter to fit to the air compressor to your kite adapter size?
I have similar compressor which I keep in the car for emergency road assistance but the hose is to small to fit any kind of kite adapter to it. if you have any trick, sould you please share.
I just pulled the trigger on one of these. Sounds too good to be true. I can't wait to give this a try. Pumping sucks.
You got one psych.. HAHA Fred your a hero!
What kind of kites do you fly with that the air compressor has adapter to fit your kites? I have Cabrinha Convert kites.
I bought KJJ's compressor, used it for the first time today. It works great, very well designed!
It came with 2 different size nozzles. The larger 1 fits my Royal kite just right. I think it would probably fit most or all kites.
It's a little heavier than I expected so carrying out to Waq Bay probably isn't going to happen but I'll use it almost everywhere else.
Thanks for the inside tip KJJ!
My kite instructor here in Brazil said I should look into buying an air pump which uses a rechargeable battery -- while I am visiting the U.S. in 2 weeks.
He said it would be about 6 lbs. in weight and would fill 5-6 kites and that I could buy the battery locally here.
I couldn't determine if this exists with what I've been reading on-line. Can anyone guide me on this?
Awe you need to change this post to "kite tips for girls" HAA!
I realize this thread is old, but found these really great kite pumps, which are portable, high pressure, have a sand filter, etc... Check it out:
Look at the BTP12 DIGITAL at
That Bravo pump is significantly more expensive than the WindChaser Sports pump. $280 (Bravo) vs $205 (WCS). They do the same thing, and the WCS one has a sand filter and you can connect it to your kite and walk away. This seems way more beach-friendly and user-friendly.
Now.. If anyone can find an automatic Kite decompressor and / or kite roller to pick up my gear at the end of the day I'd be all set. I'm not a fan of pumping / setting p the kite but at least I'm looking forward to kiting that will follow.... Putting the gear away is the worst part.
Mike its called the GF101...by the time they get to GF201 they know better.
Your going to spend 2+ hrs kiting, but that pumping shit man. whew.
Your going to spend 2+ hrs kiting, but that pumping shit man. whew.
Spatsy is right.....Pumping is part of the equation. Why cheap out on a kite and spend $300.00 on pump. Spend the money on the equipment. That $300.00 pump probably won't last more than two years. If you kite 20 times that's $15.00 per session...30 times in two years is $10.00 per session.
Plus all the extra weight schlepping to the beach and then worry that somebody steals it? Nahhh. Cheap pump like this sure helps to get most volume into the kite then hand pump the rest. This is the one I use, but just for big kites.
I know way too many people that have these. look at pumping your kite as a stretchering exercise.
Yes, pumping is your warm up for sure. And that is not a bad thing. BUT pumping a 16m is just quiet a chore. To get at least the full volume filled helps and pumping it to the 8psi is still a nice warm up. I even use it sometimes for the 12m, never for anything smaller.
C'mon guys, you gotta pump it up by hand! Added benefit is extra blood into your muscles to make you look huge and impress the ladies. Trust me, that shit works!
I grabbed one of those rechargable coleman pumps from Walmart( around 30$). Works great on my 15m kite. It blows up the kite to about 80 percent in under two minutes, then it took me about 25 hand pumps to top off. normally this kite takes over 100 pumps , and its the old two valve system that is much harder to pump than the newer sprint systems. I just keep the pump in a small plastic bag and put it right in the kite bag. I have no problem with any of my smaller Cab kites, but having the pump for this beast is nice.
Good tip Dani
It all depends on what size kite you're typically pumping, and how often you go. Yeah, if you're pumping 6-9m every time, it makes no sense to have an electric pump. If you're flying a 16-17m everyday and you have limited time to get on the water, that electric kite pump from Windchasersports.com definitely comes in handy cause you can do your lines during the 2-3min that the kite takes to inflate. yeah, warming up by hand-pumping is something to consider, but if you're hand-pumping a 16m everyday, there's 20min worth of energy you could've used to practice tricks....
Also, hand-pumps are not the most ergonically correct devices as well. You're bent over in this awkward position....If you have back issues like I do, having another method to pump your kite helps tremendously.