How to inflate a Basketball Properly (With Pictures) 5 Steps

Inflating a basketball is not really a difficult task you all need to do it. Usually, when we buy a basketball it comes inflated already. After playing with it in cold weather basketball may lose some little air. Secondly, when you don’t play for a long time it would be flat definitely. Even regular use of outdoor basketball may need a little bit of inflation. So, today we will guide you here on how to inflate a basketball properly in the right way with its recommended PSI.

How to inflate a basketball

How to know if a basketball needs inflation or not? Want to know that! Of course in a simple way, you may go outside and play with it. If the ball doesn’t have a consistent bounce back when dribbling and shooting as it has to be, then definitely it needs some little bit of inflation.

Read more: best indoor basketball

How to inflate a basketball in a proper way?

How you should take care of your basketball in cold weather? what is the proper way to inflating a basketball? What is the recommended standard air pressure or psi by NBA  players? You might have these questions and today we will answer them

So, let us answer each and every question here today!

What is the proper way of inflating a basketball?

Inflating a basketball in the wrong way without equipment maybe got damaging its air valves. However, we have watched different videos regarding inflating a basketball in the wrong way. We always recommend inflating a basketball in a proper way with the equipment as you spend dollars on a basketball. Using the equipment in the right way prevents from damaging a brand basketball.

Similarly, deflating a basketball may also cause damage to the basketball we have also a detailed guide on how to deflate a basketball

Why you should inflate a basketball properly?

Every professional player needs a properly inflated basketball. Without a properly inflated basketball, a player cannot dribble and shoot the basketball. Inflation plays an important role in dribbling drilling. An underinflated basketball will not have consistent bounce which will make the dribble more difficult. Also, a player may face difficulty in dunking and passing the ball because the ball will not bounce back properly after dunking.

Similarly, an overinflated basketball is not good practice also. An overinflated basketball will bounce too high due to overinflating hence it will be difficult to dribble, dunk, and passing off. That is why it is important to inflate a basketball in a proper way to show up your skills.

How to know if a basketball is properly inflated or not and its recommend PSI?

The recommended standard pressure of a basketball is 7 – 9 PSI (48.26 – 62.05 kPa) depending upon how much bounce you want. The standard pressure can be measured by a pressure gauge and by air pumps. But, we have a simple way which we have tested through which you can check the inflation of your ball easily. However, the given method will not give the result in PSI. But, it will help you to measure its inflation probably.

checking without air pressure guage

  • Hold the basketball up to the level of your face.
  • Drop the basketball from the level of your face.
  • Let the ball bounce back.
  • if the ball bounces back up to the level of your waist, then keep in mind the ball is properly inflated.

Being a regular basketball player, you can check its inflation by dribbling it for 5 minutes. you will know probably about it is overinflated or underinflated. There is a number of recommendations on inflation by every professional player.

So, the best way to check the proper inflation is the player should check the inflation according to his own required level whether you want more bouncy or a little bit flat. But, the recommended PSI is 7 – 9. It should not be more than the mentioned level.

Another way is to watch an NBA session notice the players when they grab the basketball from the referee. After grabbing it from the referee. they dribble and check the basketball properly walking over the court.

So, the above-mentioned ways are without equipment now we’re going to tell you about how you can properly inflate a basketball with equipment.

Read: Best basketball shoes for jumping

Best way to inflate a Basketball (Recommended) How to pump a basketball with a needle

The best way of inflating a basketball is through equipment. It is always the best way to use the equipment for inflating a basketball because it will know that you’re inflating the ball in a proper way as it also prevents damaging the ball’s valves.

Best way to inflate a Basketball

let’s have a look at the required equipment for inflating a basketball

Inflation needle

An inflation needle is the first tool that is used in inflation. It is almost available in any store and or you can buy any athletic equipment from here.

have a look at our recommended inflation needle

An air pump

Secondly, an air pump is required for inflation. Basically, there are many types of air pumps available in the market such as a bicycle pump, an electric pump, you can use them as well but our recommendation is of basketball pump that can be connected to an inflation needle easily. There are some air pressure gauges that show the air pressure level when you’re inflating a ball. Some recommended hand pumps are below if you wanna purchase them.


Apart from an air pressure gauge, you can use an air compressor as well but it seems to be a complicated process rather than inflating the ball by an air pressure gauge depending upon the compressors and connectors.

Air Pressure Gauge (optional)

if you buy a pump that doesn’t have an air pressure gauge, you can purchase a separate air pressure gauge for checking the pressure of your ball. Pressure gauges are available eas on online and offline stores or you can buy them from here. However, it is not necessary equipment to inflate the ball. If you don’t have it no matter.

Read: Best traction basketball shoes

No 2: steps of inflating a basketball

Step 1: First of all, attach the inflation needle to the basketball pump.

Attaching the needle depends upon which type of pump you’re using. If you’re using a basketball pump there is no need for an attachment of latch or connector you can direct screw the inflation needle into the basketball pump. But, if you’re using a bicycle pump, then it probably needs a connector or a latch. You have to put the needle into the connector after connecting it, make sure the latch is tightly holding the needle to the place or not.

If you’re using an electric pump it may have a different type of latch. Electric pumps came in different types of latches depending upon their industrial usage. If you’re using a compressor for inflating it may need some kind of adapter and also we will no recommend the compressor until you don’t how to use them.

Read: Best pool basketball hoops

Step 2: Moisten the needle with a wet paper towel

Take a wet paper towel to rub the towel on the towel slightly to moisten the needle. Secondly, if you don’t have a paper towel, you can spit on the needle to moisten it. As moisture helps the needle to insert in the basketball valve easily and prevents damage to the valve. If the air valve of the ball is damaged, it can cause air leakage during the game. So, always follow the steps for preventing any damage.

Step 3: Insert the needle into the basketball valve

After spiting or moisturizing the needle, insert the needle into the basketball very slightly until the needle is fully inserted into the valve.

Step 4: Start inflating the ball

inflate the ball with an air pump if you’re using a manual air pump then you have to pump it up manually you will definitely know how to pump and how to pump up a basketball. But, if you’re using a compressor or an electric pump you have to turn it on it will automatically inflate the ball. Remember you should know how to use an air compressor and how to inflate a basketball with an air compressor.

best mini basketball hoops


Electric pumps are automated and fill the air quickly. If you’re using an electric pump and you don’t know the proper way of how to put air in a basketball through a compressor we recommend monitoring the air of the basketball all the time. As the electric pumps are automated and fill the air very quickly hence it may cause damage to the valve if you would not check the pressure from time to time.

Step 5: Check the pressure of the ball

When inflating the ball put one of your hands on the basketball for feeling the pressure of the ball and the other one hand for pumping. if you purchase a pump with having a pressure gauge, check the pressure regularly. But, if you don’t have a built-in pump no matter check the pressure by using the bounce method which we’ve described above.

Once the inflating is done, the ball is ready to play with. roll up your sleeves and start dribbling

Best outdoor basketball shoes

Final Verdict

Every basketball needs inflation time by time because the ball loses air over time. The process by equipment or without equipment is quite a simple way of inflating a basketball. you would not have any question now about How to inflate a basketball. Also, the equipment needed is quite cheap and affordable as mentioned above. Make sure the ball is always ready and properly inflated so that it won’t cause any problems. Now, show up your skills and have a great fun!

Leave a Comment