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January 21, 2012


Electric Kite Pumps – Pump Envy and the no Stroke Stoke

by flykitesports

OK, if you are offended by puns of a pumping nature please do not read this post.  I make many irreverent puns in this post and you may not like it or you may laugh, it all depends. *

So for the past two years I have had this major fantasy about kite inflation.  As immature as it sounds every time one of  our rinky-dink black plastic, stock pumps gets fussy I want  to shove it up someone’s dark and scary place.  I realize this can’t be done as the pump is way too large to fit there and  I really have no idea who this someone is, it’s an abstract concept that, never-the-less, helps deflate my pump frustrations.

My husband, err pumping up.

Our last bunch of pumps came out of the bags not working very well I tried every creative solution to make things better, I even tried lubing a gasket with vegetable shortening, which worked for a short time.  I almost purchased K-Y Jelly for the same purpose but stopped short when I saw how much it cost, I was standing at a gas station in the middle of no-where, at the time, and the shortening and K-Y Jelly where the only two things that looked like the may help my pump get its groove on.  I may have been thinking too hard about my pump’s personal comfort but there is nothing like a nicely lubricated pump.  I was personally embarrassed by the  ridiculously loud screeching noise the pump made every time I used it; you would think I was abusing the poor thing and was at risk of having it removed to Pump Protective Services from the looks and smirks I was getting on the beach.

Things got hairball on the pump front when I casually used a brightly colored two stroke wonder left on the beach by another kiter getting their ya-yas doing multiple down winders at Fort Stevens, OR.  I was happily stroking away, refilling my leading edge, when I heard: “Where in the F$@%! did my pump go, some F$@%! degenerate stole my pump!”

Yes, there was a moment of awkwardness when I first had to acknowledge that I was a degenerate and then fessing up that I was using their pump but I was not planning on stealing it, really.  The exchange then became even more awkward when the other kiter sheepishly asked if he could still catch a ride with us  back up the beach after the down winder, as planned.  With this I made a mental note: thy shall not covet an acquaintance’s pump and never, ever use it when they maybe around, always make sure the coast (another pumpy pun) is clear before stroking someone else’s pump.

The electric pump fantasies began in earnest when the kids began to kite.  Last winter I would sometimes pump up and run the lines for four kites, all on my own.  At first I coolly assured myself that my backside was getting shapely with the hamstring exercises pumping so many kites was providing, but with all things tedious the luster quickly wore off.  This fall I hurt my lower back moving furniture and had to defer all kite pumping to my husband, heck, he should be better at it than I am, he is a man after all.

To solve the problem I have done something sort of not very admirable; I returned my husband’s Christmas present to me and used the money to purchase one of those $279 Bravo pumps. The gift was a very lovely necklace and because  I have never lusted after other people’s jewelry I  shamelessly returned the necklace and quicker than Tron traversing the computer grid I did what I have become very good at: making an internet purchase.  Wham bam, the pump arrived two days later.

My husband with some of his favorite things: the dog, the lap top and the new Bravo pump.

Being in the possession of the only electric pump in our kite circle has filled my twisted mind with all sorts of sordid one liners that I will probably never use in the field but bring me delight anyway.  In one imaginary scenario I magnanimously offer all of our friends use of my pump.  I will let them get started the old fashioned way and then casually stroll over with Mr. Bravo under my arm and say; “Oh, you are pumping too hard, allow me to show you and easier way.”  And when I have inflated their kite in record time departing with a sultry: “Are you satisfied now?”  In yet another set I might say: ”Oh darling, to make that work for me we are going to have to pump faster, here allow me.” Of course I would never really  say these things to my friends but it surely is entertain thinking I might.

Oh yes, if this pump is anywhere near as wonderful as I am hoping  I think I may be too pleased with myself and I may even be a little hard to live with.  I hope my kiting friends won’t vote me off the pass or body of water and they find my new pump as wonderful as I do.  I do know one thing I will never have pump envy again and I hope will never have to yell: “Where in the F$@%! did my pump go, some F$@%! degenerate stole my pump!”

Me enjoying a no stroke stoke.

*After reading this post my daughter proclaimed: “Mom!  You can’t say those things about pumps you are a MOM!”  So I had to explain that some pumping was involved in bring her into this world and there is still pumping involved so she can go kiting, so there.

-Cheers, Mel.

Read more from BUZZ
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. WindChaser Sports
    Jun 25 2013

    Check out these new pumps from WindChaser Sports. These things kick ass for kiters. Just connect to kite, press power, and walk away:!pump/c1yc2

  2. Cole Russell
    Jan 27 2012

    I have been using the Bravo pump for years. It was out of commission for a awhile while I made some fixes to it but it is up and running again and everyone around is happy about that. You will definitely be happy over time with the purchase. When ever we go out everyone waits in line to use it.


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