How To Inflate a Basketball – Using Pump and Air Compressor

How to inflate a basketball? This is a common question that hits your mind; especially, if you are a basketball enthusiast. When it comes to dunking your basketball in the hoop with the proper capability of rebounding, there must be an accurate pressure of the air inside the basketball; otherwise, you might not find it an appropriate ball to play with. So, having told you about the pumping of basketball without a needle, here are the details about how to inflate a basketball.

When you a basketball, it is inflated with the recommended PSI. However, having played a few games, your basketball might get deflated, resulting in poor dunking and bad performance. Here you need to get your basketball inflated again to use it properly and enjoy your game. At the same time, extreme weather is also directly related to the pressure of the air inside your basketball, and you might need to regain the recommended PSI for your basketball even when you were not using it.

So, due to any of the abovementioned causes, if your basketball gets flattened, you can apply any of the following processes to inflate your basketball.

How to Inflate a Basketball

How to Inflate a Basketball – Detailed Guide

When it comes to ensuring the durability of your basketball and inflicting thrill to your game, the recommended PSI inside the basketball is too important. With the low pressure of the air inside the ball, you may not be able to experience the perfect bouncing of the ball while dribbling. In addition to it, with reduced air pressure inside the ball, the dunking ability will certainly get affected adversely.

Meanwhile, if the ball is overinflated or the pressure of the air inside the ball is greater than the recommended pressure, the ball will bounce too high that will lead you towards a misplaced dunking. In the same way, the ball will travel more than the expected distance that will again weaken your performance.

Therefore, considering the related reasons, it is inevitable to comply with the recommended PSI suggested by the basketball company.

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Inflate Your Basketball with Pump

How to inflate basketball with the pump? When it comes to inflating basketball, using a pump appears to be the most convenient and easy. These pumps are easily available at a reasonable price and remain easy to carry in your basketball bag. To inflate your basketball with a pump, you need the following things:

  • Air Pump
  • Inflation gauge to check the pressure of air
  • Needle
  • A wet paper towel (if possible)

1. Attach Needle with Pump

To inflate your basketball, you need to attach a basketball needle with the pump. If you have a basketball pump, it will already have a needle. However, if you are going to use a conventional pump to inflate your basketball, you need to attach a needle with the pump. For this purpose, you may use a connector with a latch to attach the needle to pump.

2. Wet the Needle Before Inserting into Valve

The insertion valve of the basketball is too sensitive to bear the forces applied to insert the needle into the valve. To avoid this problem, it is better to wet the needle before it is inserted into the basketball valve. Otherwise, there are chances of getting the ball damaged that might result in the form of leakage.

3. Insert the Needle into the Valve of Basketball

Once you have wet the needle, gently insert it in the valve, applying the same force throughout. Keep in your mind that you have to keep the needle straight unless it goes all the way into the valve.

4. Inflate the Ball

Having inserted a needle into the valve, you are now ready to inflate the ball. If you are using a conventional pump for this purpose, make sure that you are observing air pressure, as it may inflate in no time or earlier than your expected time.

5. Apply Gauge to Check the Air Pressure

Most of the time, the gauge is already attached to the pump. In this scenario, you can watch the pressure of air on the pressure gauge. If the gauge isn’t attached to the pump, you can check the pressure of air after inflating the ball. In the case of a separate gauge, you might need to check the pressure multiple times.

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Inflate Your Basketball with Air Compressor

When we talk about inflating the basketball, using an air compressor appears to be one of the most feasible solutions. However, you might find this method a little bit costlier as you need canisters that contain compressed air. To inflate your basketball with an air compressor, you need the following things:

  • Air compressor, and
  • Inflation gauge

1. Attach Straw in the Hole of Canister

If you do not have a basketball needle to inflate your basketball, this method will help you, as the air compressor has a small straw that can be attached with it to inflate the basketball. Having opened the packing, insert the straw gently into the hole of the canister and hold it tightly unless it goes all the way. Once you have inserted the straw into the hole, make sure that it is in the right place.

2. Push the Button or Handle

Now, push the button or handle of the canister down to release the air into the basketball. The air will flow into the basketball through an attached straw. To inflate the basketball to its recommended PSI, you need to repeat the process multiple times.

3. Check the Pressure of Air Inside the Basketball

Having filled the ball with air, it is imperative to check the pressure of the air inside the ball. For this purpose, you need to attach the nozzle of the pressure gauge with the basketball hole to check the pressure inside it. If the pressure inside the basketball is less than the recommended pressure, it is inevitable to repeat the process again.

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How to Know If the Basketball is Properly Inflated or Not?

The pressure of the air inside the basketball is a leading factor that directly affects your performance in the game. Neither an over-inflated nor a deflated basketball will be able to serve you with your desired shots. So, it is too important to check the pressure of the air inside the basketball to ensure the best performance out of it.

To check the air pressure inside the basketball, an inflation gauge is a perfect tool to use. Typically, the official NBA balls are inflated in the range of 7.5 to 8.5 PSI. Meanwhile, the manufacturers of the basketball also recommend keeping the pressure of air from 7 to 9 PSI.

How to know the Pressure of Air Inside the Basketball without Inflation Gauge?

In case, you do not have inflation gauge to check the air pressure inside the basketball; you can follow the given procedure to do it:

  • Hold your basketball at the level of your face
  • Drop it down without inserting an additional force or let it hit the ground under the force of gravitation
  • Remain still at your place and wait until the basketball hits the ground

If the basketball comes back to the height of your waist after hitting the ground, it is properly inflated; otherwise, the pressure inside the ball is lower than the required pressure.


Whether you use your basketball regularly or use it once a week, the air pressure inside the basketball will certainly go down in both cases. In this situation, you might not be able to enjoy the game. So, we recommend you buy your own basketball pump, instead of spending money on canisters of compressed air. Your own basketball pump will not cost you more than $10 to $15, but you might save yourself from the anguish of inflating your basketball using expansive methods.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How to Inflate a Basketball at Home?

The recommended pressure of the air inside the basketball is very important to take the joy of the moment. While being at home, you can still pump your basketball using an air pump or canisters of compressed air. With an air pump, you can inflate your basketball, attaching it with the basketball needle. Meanwhile, for canisters of compressed air, you don’t even need a basketball needle, as it has a sturdy straw that makes possible the passage of air from the canister to the basketball.


2. How Inflate Basketball without Needle?

You might find a lot of ways of inflating your basketball without a needle; however, using canisters of compressed air is one of the best options. A canister of compressed air comes with a sturdy straw which is attached with the canister from one end, and the other end is inserted into the basketball to allow the passage of air. On pushing the button or downing the handle of the canister, the passage of air is made possible.


3. How to Measure Air Pressure in Basketball?

The most convenient way of measuring the pressure of the air inside the basketball is using an inflation gauge. However, you can measure the pressure of air manually too.


4. What is the recommended PSI for Basketballs?

For basketballs, the recommended PSI ranges from 7 to 9 PSI. Meanwhile, the official NBA balls have the pressure of air between 7.5 to 8.5 PSI.


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