Earlier this year, we received our first shipment of Red Paddle Co’s long-awaited Titan high pressure SUP pump. The Titan pump was touted as a game-changer, with the ability to cut inflation time in half.
For years, the standard inflatable SUP pump was the Bravo HP single-action, high volume/low pressure pump, a squatter, thick-barrel single-action pump designed to put in more air volume, which in turn took more effort to reach higher pressures.
Higher pressures in an inflatable board vastly improves the board performance, by increasing rigidity (reducing flex).
In 2013, Red Paddle Co introduced the HP EZee single-action, low volume/high pressure pump, a taller, thin-barrel single action pump designed to put in less air per stroke, thus allowing one to more easily pump to higher pressures.
As the pros and cons of each are obvious – one fills a board up more rapidly, while the other takes longer but is less of a struggle to reach 18-20 PSI – numerous paddlers opted to purchase both pumps.
In response, other manufacturers expanded the slim-barrel design to a double-action pump, putting air in on the up and down stroke. While theoretically this will put air in twice as fast, in actuality it becomes a struggle on the “up” stroke.
In 2015, the Titan made its debut. What makes the Titan different? The Red Paddle Co Titan pump is an amalgamation of the two pumps. The new Titan pump has two chambers, basically one side is a high volume/low pressure, and the other a low volume/high pressure. A unique double gear system actually combines the two chambers, so that when initially pumping, paddlers are using BOTH chambers to fill the board, allowing them to put in a whopping 4.71 liters, compared with just over 2 liters for the standard HP pump. When the pumping starts to get tough, one can switch the internal gear over to the high pressure chamber, allowing one to easily attain higher PSIs with less effort. An integrated pressure gauge allows one to monitor the process.
While we were keen to test out the new pump, the Titans sold out before we had a chance. Our intent was to review the Titan, as well as update our Guide to Choosing A High Pressure Inflatable SUP Pump – which we published last summer. As we no longer had the Red Paddle Venus 10-0 used in the original comparison, we pulled out the Red Paddle Ride 9-8 – which is fairly similar in specs.
Three shipments later, we snagged the last Titan off the shelf.
So, here is our review of the new Titan dual-barrel high pressure inflatable SUP pump from Red Paddle Co.
The pump as arrived couldn’t be simpler – pump body with integrated pressure gauge and a detachable hose – the instructions are printed on the back of the pump. Pump dimensions are 12.5 x 5 x 23 inches and weighs in at just over 5 lbs.
To begin with, open the valve on your board, putting it into the inflate position (air goes in but doesn’t come back out).
Screw the hose onto the pump body.
Put the Titan into dual-barrel mode. On the back of the pump handle is a red plug with tether – this is screwed into the hole above the wider barrel. We did struggle with this a little bit before we were able to line up the plug threads, but after a couple of tries we got the gist of it.
What does the plug do? In conjunction with the inner pump design, plugging the hole allows you to use both barrels to push out air, increasing the air volume going into the board, and thus decreasing the amount of time it takes to fill the board out.
We attached the hose to the board and started pumping. It took us approximately 40 strokes (under one minute) for the pressure gauge to start registering and the board began to unfurl; at 50 strokes total we were at 5 PSI.
As it was getting tough to pump, we switched to the single barrel pump by unscrewing the red plug – a handy “plug post” allows one to seat the plug onto the pump. Once again, in conjunction with the inner barrel construction, this allows you to push air into the board using one barrel – air running through the big barrel swooshes back out the hole. This is not an issue as there is no “back pressure” allowing one to easily pump.
At this moment we should point out that the gauge on the Titan pump works on back pressure. Original adaptors for the Red Paddle boards had bars inside, which allowed the plunger to be pressed open when the hose was attached. While this allowed one to get “real time” readings, the back pressure was so great that occassionally the hoses would be blown off the board – along with all the air just pumped in!
The current adaptor has no bar, thus the valve is not held open. The needle will rise as the pump is made, but drop back down when air is not entering. What we are saying is that the needle will jump up and down, so watch how high it reaches to see what pressure you’re at.
The imprinted instructions direct one to pump “into the green zone” which is 15 to 25 PSI on the pump gauge.
Another 50 strokes with the single barrel (now two minutes total) and we were at 12 PSI. Another 20 strokes and success – we were in the green at 15 PSI! All in all, about 2.5 minutes.
We pulled up our review on the Red Paddle Ride 9-8 to see how we faired when using the HP EZ pump – which initially came with the 2015 boards. At that time it took us about 5 minutes to get up to 15 PSI so we truly did manage to cut the inflation time in half. We do have to send our accolades to Brett at Red Paddle, though, who holds the current North American record of 1 minute 17 seconds to get a 9-8 Ride to 20 PSI.
Bottom Line on the Titan High Pressure Pump:
The Titan high-pressure dual-barrel pump from Red Paddle Co is a winner, solving the problem of getting air in quickly, but with the ability to easily attain higher pressures with less struggle.
Some very nifty features make it a pleasure to use. First, the hefty, metal plungers feel solid, more-so than many of the entry level SUP pumps. And with double shafts, it seems less likely to pump off balance and crack.
The inline pressure gauge is also a great touch. Pressure gauges are notoriously “touchy” and easy to bang, knocking out their needle. The built in housing takes much of this issue away.
The handles feel SOLID, and are actually wide enough to withstand some pressure and give some pressure.
Another neat feature – the ergonomic angled feet allow one to step back from the pump, making it a more comfortable stance and solving the problem of the pump handle hitting your knees.
On the con side – it’s bulky and heavier than the other pumps (you’re carrying two) and harder to fit into the bag with the board. Those that need more portability may want to have two pumps – a smaller HP EZ pump or K-pump 220 for travel – and the Titan for times when weight or room is not an issue. And at an MRSP of $139.95, it’s more expensive if you need to purchase it separately.
That said, we highly recommend the Titan, which quickly became our “go-to” pump. We’ve used the Titan on Red Paddle boards, JP-Australia, Mistral, Jobe, C4 Waterman inflatable SUPs, as well as the AquaGlide, and Airis high pressure SUPS and kayaks and the Advanced Elements high pressure floors with military valves. (Please note: the adaptor on the Titan will NOT work with Innova kayaks, Boston valves, or the standard screw-in military valve on the Advanced Elements kayaks. It does work on the Advanced Elements high pressure DS floors.)
Watch a Red Paddle Co Video Comparison using three pumps on similar boards – Left side is HP Pump, center is HP EZee Pump and right is Titan Pump.
Watch a Red Paddle Video on Using the Titan Pump for Your Inflatable SUP.
MSRP $139.95. For more details or to purchase, see the Red Paddle Co Titan Pump product page at AirKayaks.com.