Maintaining Your Kite Pump
by Jake Mitchell
One of the most frustrating things to have happen as you're prepping your kite on the beach is to have something with your pump go awry. Whether a kink in the hose, a missing attachment, faulty seals, or your dual action pump suddenly becoming a single stroke, if a spare pump isn't around, the above scenarios can quickly sully a would-be great kiteboarding session. Fortunately, with some routine maintenance and general care, you can keep your inflation companion pumping strong for sessions to come.
One of the easiest ways to prevent premature wear is to be conscientious of how you store your pump on the beach. Harboring it from the sand and elements prior to and after inflating your kite, rather than tossing it haphazardly into the sand in your pre-session excitement, will help guard against excess debris entering the shaft and seals. Wiping down your pump after each session to remove the sand and residual salt water will also help prevent these corrosive elements from wreaking havoc. Taking the pump apart and cleaning the chamber, as well as relubricating the shaft and gasket, will further extend its life. Below is a video detailing how to properly clean your kite pump. Furthermore, pumping with even strokes will help prevent breaking the base or plastic handles on the pump. After rigorously inflating a kite, be sure to give your pump a break, as the heat generated from the friction can be damaging to the internal components. Quickly touch the metal shaft of the pump after inflating a larger kite sometime - you'll be surprised how hot it is!
No matter the amount of maintenance you do, there is a certain point where getting a new pump is necessary. Fortunately, at MACkite we have replacement kiteboarding pumps, often on sale. Already have a pump? Consider a second spare for the car. Don't let a pump malfunction ruin your kitesurfing session.