How to Pump a Basketball Without a Needle
If you like to play basketball then you know that there are times you need to add air to your ball.
12:47 07 March 2020
You probably already know that there are times when you need to add air to your basketball and you cannot find the needle you need to use your air pump to inflate the ball.
Do not get discouraged if your ball needs air and you can’t find a needle to inflate it with. You can put air into a basketball even when you do not have a needle handy.
The following tricks should help you be back on the court ready to play in just a short amount of time.
Make your own Needle
You can craft a device that will work like the needle that you are missing. A few simple things that you probably already have on hand will get your ball inflated in no time.
Materials to Gather:
- Old style fountain pen
- Metal paper clip that is encased in a plastic coating
- A friend
You need to take the pen apart and remove the tube that holds the ink. You need to flush the ink from the tube. Remove the writing point on the end of the tube and the ink should freely drain away. Then you can clean it up using a little alcohol poured through the tube.
You need to cut a small piece of your tube and insert that into the writing cap of the pen.
Straighten the paper clip and insert one end into the air inflation port on your ball. Stick the paper clip about halfway into the ball. Then cut the metal coating on the end of the clip that is protruding from the ball so that you can pull the metal portion of the clip out and leave the plastic portion inside the ball.
Attach the writing cap that has a portion of your ink cartridge attached to it to a ball pump.
You are now ready to attach the other end of your writing cap into the plastic casing that is protruding from the ball.
You need a friend to help you hold all of the components together and get them inserted into the ball.
Once everything is in place you must hold the makeshift needle in the ball while you pump air through it using your ball pump, you can get more details on HoopsLab.com
Use Compressed Air
The majority of us have a can of compressed air in our homes. We use this air to clean our keyboards and electronics, and you can use it to air up your ball.
You will need:
- 1 can of compressed air
- A coffee stir stick (or something that is small like a stir stick. As long as you have something small in diameter that can be used for the air transfer.)
- A large balloon (those punch balloons that kids play with are perfect for this because they are very big and tough)
- Paper clip
First you need to blow the balloon up using the compressed air. When the balloon is inflated you will use the paper clip to close the end of the balloon so the air does not escape. Do not tie a knot in the end of the balloon because you have to transfer the air from the balloon and into the ball.
Take the coffee stir stick and put one end of the stick into the balloon, and the other end of the stir stick goes into the air inflation port that is designed into the ball.
Slowly release the paperclip so that air can pass from the balloon, through the stir stick and into the basketball. You can increase the rate of transfer by gently squeezing the balloon and forcing the air out at a faster rate.
When you find yourself needing to air up a basketball and you do not have the proper needle you can always visit a tire shop, a bicycle shop, or a full service gas station. These establishments almost always have something that can be used as a needle to put air into balls with.
Most establishments will not charge you a fee to put air into your ball. Remember to thank the attendant, and try to remember to buy a ball needle the next time you are at a store. Henceforth, until you have a ball needle you can always act like Macgyver and create a needle out of something you have readily available to you.