Style: Freeriding, Surf, Wake, Freestyle
Build Quality: 9/10
I have been testing the latest Bravo BST super turbo Kite pump for a few months now and thought it may interest those who dislike the manual method of kite inflation.
The Bravo pump which is made and designed in Italy (via China) has been around for some years now, mainly in the inflatable dingy market and has evolved into a reliable unit in its self.
It is a two stage/pump system, first stage is a high volume low pressure pump which will inflate the kite to about 80%, then the high pressure pump cuts in to complete the inflation, this can be heard by a change in the sound of the second stage motor.
You set the pressure you require on the dial at the top of the unit, this has plenty of adjustment and covers all the pressures we see in current kites and can be set as high as 11.2 psi which is enough to blow most bladders apart! I have found 6.2 - 8.3psi the most useful settings.
A note here I have found that some kites that use a one way pea valve inflation point can cause some back pressure which can cause the pump to change to high pressure stage too early, this it's self makes the pump over-work and will drain the battery sooner. This can be because the pea is sticking, the remedy is to use the unrestricted deflation point of your kite to inflate and this seems to cure the problem.
Operation is very simple and quick just set the dial to your kites' required pressure, connect the inflation tube which is about 1 meter long (adequate) and push the 'on' button. It is best to tether the kite while inflating, you can then go and layout your lines. I found more often than not the kite would be ready before I had the lines sorted.
I have used this pump with 17m, 14m, 12m & 10m kites with no problem and have been able to pump 5 kites up and it still seems to have power to continue.
Once you introduce an electrical/mechanical unit to sand the problems start, to combat this Bravo have fitted a new sand filter to the inlet manifold of the latest pumps which eliminates sand from getting into the pump. They have also introduced a zip up clear plastic bag that encases the whole unit which has a secondary sand filter. In practice I have had no sand getting into the system so far and the zip up bag doubles as a splash proof cover; note I did not say water proof!!
The internal battery is a 12volt 7amp hour and is a gel type meaning you can have it anyway up and it requires no maintenance, it comes with a 240v mains charger and 12v car charger.
To prolong the life of the battery, charge it after each kite session. They say it can last 500+ cycles but this is dependent on regular charging. However a replacement battery is between $20-40.
The Bravo is not cheap at RRP $300 but can be found at $280, I have had one that was below $200 but was old stock and the battery was dead on arrival and did not have any sand filtration and may not have the same internals as the latest units (test unit is April 2012 stamped).
In conclusion, I find the Bravo BST works very well and should last me many seasons if looked after well, it makes kiting more fun if that's possible! Call me lazy but I have a smile on my face while inflating kites and not sweating in 30-40 degrees trying to pump manually. If anyone is interested the guy I bought it from has a video showing the latest pump in operation, contact me via email I can give you the link
interesting . would have been nice not to have to stand on my head or lie down sideways to look at the pictures though
I like how its disguised as a cooler bag so thieving scumbags dont realise it contains a valuable bit of gear. The two stage design and sand resistant design seems great. Not my cup of tea but yeah best design i've seen so far.
I have the last model bravo, i love it, saves ya back a bit of strain especially if your pumping up everyday of the week....
one thing i dont like is the charger, it gets way too hot when charging and theres no led's or anything to tell u when its finished, to fix this i simply drilled a hole in the side of battery compartment down the bottom ran a positive and negative to the top of the bag, now i just plug my 240/12V car charger onto the leads, set it to trickle charge....last twice as long and probably lengthening the life of the battery.
i picked mine up for $230 + $20 freight of ebay
another product for the unfit and unco-ordinated
try pumping properly, no back problems even when you do it every day and the thiefs have one less target
Maybe use one for my blow up doll.
I have one, but after hearing some urban myth about how a kiters ligament tore because he did not warm up pumping his kite up after a session, I choose to pump up my kite the old way, with muscle. That + I lost my bravo charger. Where the hell can I get a 12 volt charger that fits a bravo pump?
Then there is the other story about how the old way of pumping is bad for your back.
When pumping large kites every day I see a value. I found it pretty heavy ( picked one up in a shop). I need to pump down beach, bit of a walk. Wouldn't want to drag this thing down there as well.
You can call me lazy (not the first time) but I have one. The only thing is I only use it when camping on the beach. It comes in handy when inflating big kites or swapping kites and having a beer in between but generally it's easier to carry a normal pump to the beach. You can also get the universal chargers and set them to 12v to replace the original. Funny thing is when everyone hears the pump going they give me **** but then want to use it.
Use one of these myself and wouldn't be with out it, great bit of kit! Just my opinion you understand.
Funny how some see it as cheating or below them to use some thing that makes life a bit easier, first man walk everywhere then came the horse so he rode everywhere and now the car so he drives everywhere, then the aeroplane and so on!
As some have already said, funny how so many ask to use these pumps when they see them on the beach.
Most things in life have two options the hard way and the easy way, personally life's hard enough so make it better where you can!
I have had about 4 or 5 over the years.
Love them especially to get your kite pumped up rock hard - break too many manual pumps trying to do the same.
Unfortunately they are unreliable and tend to break down in one way or another.
Yes even the latest ones.
Was looking forward to Island one but apparently they crap themselves as well pretty quickly.
The one I have now has about 3 pumps rolled into one for spares.
So, troll, I have a spare charger if you want it in Brisbane.
Electric pumps suffer from two main problems sand ingress and battery care or lack of it!
Put a plastic bag around the unit and filter the inlet and your pump should work fine what ever make you use.
12 volt batteries require topping up after ever use, if you don't do it the life of the battery is less than half.
Same old story look after your gear and it should last you well.
If you can't or wont pump up your own kite using a hand pump you are one of the following...
Combination of above
I had a certain seabreeze member (who will remain nameless) who was pumping their new north up with a compressor.. Compressor stopped and looked at me..
Guess what happened next????
^^^^Went home because was too lazy/unfit to push a pump handle a few times???
lol at the red thumb brigade. Stop being lazy fat bastards and pump your kite up
Dual action pump - 16 bucks from Big W
It's not compulsory, either you pump by hand or push a button, up to you, don't lose sleep over it!
Ive tried the cheap pumps from clark rubber, Dont waste your time.
Spend the extra $15 and get a genuine pump with the aloy shaft and the gauge.
What a ridiculous waste of money
We bought the Island pump, it's similar to the Bravo one but goes to slightly higher pressure and looks a bit more tech. We use them to inflate kites in the shop after doing repairs and we are leak testing. They are primarily stocked for people who purchase inflatable SUP's which need to go to high pressure and have a large volume. You can do it by hand but you're generally so knackered you no longer need to go for a paddle. SUP's need to be inflated to up to 25psi, the pump breaks the camels back then use the hand pump to finish off. We also use it to inflate racing marker buoys for kite or SUP racing events. Blowing up 4-5 of those things will test the fittest of kiters.
On a single charge we were able to pump up a 12m Core Riot XR2 to 8psi, 9 times before the battery finally clagged it. Our area we pump up kites is hot in the summer and it's a god send to plug in and push a button.
I'm not a big fan of using them for kites on the beach. I find them heavy, overkill, and I like the quick stretch/warm up prior to going out on a board. Having said that, If I was pumping up a 17m kite every day, I'd have to rethink that position.
They are a personal choice for people, I don't judge people. If you enjoy pumping up your kite by hand, that's fine and you should continue to do so knowing you have had a slightly better workout, but why do you feel the need to put sh1t on people who make the choice to use an electric pump?
Slingshot gave away a free pump with any 2 kite purchase way back when they were a 'hot' new product. Seems they werent that 'hot'. Theres quite a lot of slingy riders out there that have one of these laying around in the shed after trying them a few times and deciding they were just too much effort.
But then theres 2 I know of who have used them ever since and still swear by them. Surely everyones got the right to choose.
Dont pump it up, no ones forcing you!
I am told that the kite version of the BST pump has special valve adapters in it and were designed for the Kite version only re: sandy conditions. If you use a standard dingy BST unit it is very important to avoid sand as valve adapters are different and can create many problems. If you have one of the non kite versions may be try the zip up bags with the built in filter. Not sure if you can get them and at what cost but will try to locate a supply will depend on numbers, just trying to help!
We've sold a lot of electric pumps, to all sorts of end users, including gyms, dinghy owners, and of course lots of kiters. The bravo like the one pictured, has a simple rotating pressure adjuster that is seriously not designed for use anywhere near sand. It will fail. I've got several failed bravos gathering dust in my shed.
The Island Inflator pump has a digital, sealed, pressure adjustor, and metal conrods, cylinders and pistons, like a proper compressor. Much better design and excellent local warranty and back up, from the Australian importers.
After a hard days work dont really feel like pumping up, i just want to kite, i know how to pump up properly, im pretty fit and probably hell of a lot more co-ordinated than you judging by your stab in the dark....ever think the back problems are caused by something else and pumping up just adds to it, like crawling through ceilings or under houses, up and down ladders, all day, everyday....your probably just a pen pushing pussy. at the end of the day your prob just to poor to own one or to much of a tight ass.
I asked the question and got this reply from SCOPREGA re: where they are made.
BST 12 PUMPS are designed and Made in Italy (they are produced here, not in our factory in Ningbo).