A pump, is a pump, is a pump right? They have come a long way from the handheld "balloon pumps" we used to use back in 1999, but essentially the trusted kite pump hasn't changed much over the last 15 years. However, there is a quiet revolution going on, and unless you've tried one of these new kite pumps, you probably think your old one is just fine...
These new pumps have arrived at a time of flux in the kite industry too, for many years Liquid Force championed the Max Flow Inflation system. It took a while though for the other brands to follow suit, now most kites feature a large inflation valve, and when you put one of those and these new pumps together, it's like Meg Ryan's "scene" in When Harry Met Sally. Google it if that means nothing to you, you'll thank me for it.
WMFG is a relatively new brand creating traction pads and pumps for kites and SUP's. Matt Aiken has been working on these new pumps for a couple of years and while a few brands have similar offerings, Matt still feels his sits at the top of the pile, and when it comes to the 1.0T pump he might well just be right!
What you have here are all new internals, which offer an incredibly low friction when you pump, the specially designed seals and pistons ensure a silky smooth action. The ergonomic handles which are stiffer and transfer more power to the air flow and reduce flex at high pressures, there is a threaded highly durable hose which reduces wear and tear and limits air loss, plus a kite tuned pressure gauge that actually works and an integrated sand filter. You get a sunglasses case filled with various connectors and nozzles; there is even a Max Flow Inflation connection and one for the CORE Kites system too. Just add whatever extensions you need with the handy rubberised leash and you are good to go!
Oh and the ace up its sleeve is the larger chamber which allows you to pump more air with each stroke, this also means you don't have to bend your back as much when inflating your kite. There are some other features too, which we love, the pump leash is long enough to hook around the handle so when you carry the pump around it doesn't extend and become a pain in the ass. This is a feature that is missing on a few of the more mainstream offerings out there!
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There is also a valve which allows you to pump to high pressures, over 13psi for instance if you are pumping something other than a kite. With the valve closed, you get a double action stroke and pressures up to 10psi, which is plenty for any kite. Arguably it is worth mentioning that kites should be inflated to between 6 and 8psi depending on the brand.
I would say the biggest mistake we see on beaches all over the world is underinflated kites. An underinflated kite won't fly properly, flexing as it moves around the window. It won't relaunch either as it won't hold its shape and you'll probably come off the water and say that kite is a heap of sh!t when actually it was just your lame ass attempt at pumping it up.
Anyway, we digress, what we have here is the Excalibur of kite pumps, one pump to rule them all, the crème de la crème, the dogs danglies. Don't believe us? Try one and see what we mean, you need this in your kite life, especially on those days when you feel a little fragile after a few too many Presidente beers the night before!
Height: 24"/61cm (Extra Tall!)
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By Rou ChaterRou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!