Electric Pumps For Sea Kayaks: The Why And The How

The Why

There are valid reasons to always carry a hand pump when sea kayaking. In my home Canadian waters, a bailer of some sort is a legal requirement. If you’re assisting another paddler, a hand pump lets you empty the rescuee’s cockpit while leaving their sprayskirt fastened to keep out waves. It’s smart to have a manual back-up to electric devices. And I have successfully self-rescued using only a hand pump in moderate conditions. But when the surf really hits the fan, I don’t count on a hand pump alone to save my soggy ass.

My first generation electric kayak pump. The grey metal nozzle on the left side of the battery case is a pneumatic switch, activated through a hose by an air button.

My first generation electric kayak pump. The grey metal nozzle on the left side of the battery box is a pneumatic switch, activated by an air button at the far end of plastic tubing.

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