How to Inflate a Basketball Without a Needle or Pump?

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Would you like to know how to inflate your basketball without a needle or pump? At some point or another, many basketball players find themselves in the dilemma of having a basketball that is not inflated. To compound the dilemma, a lot of the times, they also cannot find either their basketball pump or their needle.

Whenever this happens, it can be quite frustrating for the basketball player because not only are they not able to play with the deflated basketball, but they are also unable to find the right tools to remedy this problem. Not many people know that there are other ways to inflate a basketball without a basketball needle or a basketball pump.

We have uncovered some of the ways that a basketball can be inflated without these tools, and we are going to take a look at them today. So, how do you pump a ball without a pump? How do you pump a basketball without a needle? In this article, we will be reviewing the various methods or hacks that can be used in these unfortunate situations when you lose your basketball needle or your basketball pump. 

Lost Your Basketball Needle or Pump What to Do Next Lost Your Basketball Needle or Pump? What to Do Next

We are very familiar with the problem of losing our basketball needle and sometimes our basketball pump. Let’s be honest, this tiny ball needle is quite easy to lose. We have to be very careful when we are finished with the needle. We need to ensure that we store our needles in a safe place where they can be easily found when they are needed for use.  

The fact of the matter is, we don’t always do this, and this is where the problem lies. Basketball pumps are a little bit harder to lose because they are larger than the basketball needle. It may be harder to lose, but not impossible. Sometimes we are downright careless, or sometimes others may borrow our pumps and not return them.

People sometimes put our stuff in places that they shouldn’t, and then we can’t find them. Whatever the case may be, it all comes back to us not having the pumps and or needles when we need them.

So, what do we do when we are in these situations? How do we inflate our basketballs without pumps? How do we inflate our basketballs without needles? The first thing that we should do when we can’t find our basketball pumps and basketball needles is try to locate a nearby store that is very close so that we can repurchase them for use. 

If there are no stores close by, another option for us can be to borrow a ball pump or a ball needle from our friends. If we do not have any friends that currently have basketball pumps or needles, we may just have to improvise, and we need new friends. After all, we need to play, and ball is life.

Lost Your Basketball Needle or Pump What to Do Next

So how do we improvise? There are a few hacks that you can use to inflate your ball, but you will need to have a few things handy. You can inflate your basketball with compressed hair from a can. If you have lost your needle, you can use a tubeless valve stem from a bicycle tire to replace the needle. The final hack that we will go through today is the use of a pen tube from a pen to replace a lost needle. 

If you have any of these or a combination of these, you should be able to put something together that can get you back on the court in no time. So, to answer the question, what should you do next after you can’t find your pump or your needle? You should search your home to find any one of these items and then read the rest of this article to find out how to use them. 

How Do You Inflate a Basketball Without a Needle 3 Ways Inflating a Basketball Using a Compressed Air Can 200 How Do You Inflate a Basketball Without a Needle? 3 Ways Inflating a Basketball Using a Compressed Air Can 200

Compressed air cans are customarily packaged with straws or extended nozzles. If you’ve lost your basketball pump and or needle, compressed air can get the job done for you. A basketball usually requires 8PSI to inflate fully. Compressed air cans are typically packaged up to 145PSI. This means that they have more than enough compressed air to inflate a deflated ball.

Here are the steps to inflating a basketball without a basketball pump and needle while using a compressed air can.

Step 1– To use the compressed air can, you would assemble the nozzle to the can.

Step 2– Insert the nozzle or straw into the valve of your basketball. Ensure that the nozzle is inserted securely into the basketball air valve or otherwise it will not be successful.

Step 3- Once you have successfully inserted the straw from the compressed air can into the basketball air valve, go ahead and spray the compressed air into the ball. Periodically check your ball to see if it is fully inflated. 

Once your basketball is fully inflated, you are ready to play.

This video demonstration shows you how to use compressed air to inflate your deflated basketball:

Inflating a Basketball with a Bicycle Tubeless Valve Stem Inflating a Basketball with a Bicycle Tubeless Valve Stem

How to put air in a basketball using a tubeless valve stem? Using a tubeless valve stem from a bicycle to inflate your ball is quite easy. The principle is quite similar to that of using a ball needle. 

Here are the steps to inflating a basketball without a needle using a tubeless bike valve stem. 

Step 1- Tubeless valve stems can be replaced, and that makes them quite easy to be taken from bicycle tires. All you would need to do is unscrew the fastener on the stem and remove it from the bicycle tire.

Step 2- Once you remove the tubeless valve stem, just go ahead and attach it to the pump. If it does not connect to your basketball pump (we don’t see why it shouldn’t), you can attach it to any tire pump, and it will work. 

Step 3- After you have attached the tubeless valve stem to the pump, you can insert it into your basketball’s air valve and then pump the ball as you would if you were using a needle. Because this method is so easy, and quite similar to using a needle, we would recommend that you try this method first. 

Some people do not have tubeless bikes, so it may not be easy to get a tubeless valve stem. This may be the only disadvantage of using this method. However, if you do not have any difficulties in locating a tubeless valve stem, go ahead and try this method first, and you should be able to pump your ball in no time.

This video shows you how to use a tubeless valve stem to inflate your deflated basketball:

Inflating a Basketball Using a Pen Inflating a Basketball Using a Pen

If the previous two methods are not viable options for you, and you are still asking how to inflate a basketball without a needle? This next method has you covered. Using a pen to inflate a basketball may be the trickiest method of all.

To use this method that you will need to get a pen, preferably one that no longer has ink in the tube. You will not be able to use the pen alone, or should we say the tube from the pen alone. Yes, we will be taking the tube from the pen. To use the tube from the pen, you will also need the tube valve from an old tire.

Here are the steps to using a pen’s ink tube to inflate your deflated ball.

Step 1- Remove the tube from your pen. If there is still ink in the tube, remove the ink from the tube.

Step 2- Cut the ink tube down to 1.5 to 2 in. 

Step 3- Cut the tube valve off the tube.

Step 4- Connect the empty ink tube to the severed end of the tube valve by forcing it up into the cavity.

Step 5- Connect the tube valve to your pump. 

Step 6- Insert the empty ink tube into the air valve of your deflated ball securely. After you have firmly inserted the ink tube into the ball, you can start pumping air into the ball using your pump.

Here is a video demonstration on how to inflate a basketball with a pen:

Can you Inflate a Basketball at a Gas Station or Bike Shop Can you Inflate a Basketball at a Gas Station or Bike Shop?

Gas stations and the bike shops usually have air pumps available. If you know how to use them correctly with your ball needle, then yes, you can inflate your basketball at the gas station or the bike shop.

I would suggest you try the bike shop first because they usually have smaller, manual pumps that are easier to use. If they have the smaller bike pumps, simply connect your needle to the air tube and then manually pump air into your ball while periodically checking to see if the ball is inflated. 

Using an air pump machine, like the ones found at the gas station, may require some amount of technical knowledge and savvy. If you go to a bike shop and they only have a large automatic air pump, chances are you can locate one that goes down to 8PSI. To safely pump your basketball, we recommended that you use 8PSI. 

Can you Inflate a Basketball at a Gas Station or Bike Shop

You can key in 8PSI into the pump’s computer and then attach your ball needle to the pump’s outlet. You then need to connect the needle to your ball. You would then press the trigger or allow the air to flow into the ball automatically if it’s an automatic pump. 

You need to be careful not to over-pump the ball as it might explode. The procedure for these large air pumps is the same, whether it is at a bike shop or a gas station.

How to Deflate Basketballs Without a Needle How to Deflate Basketballs Without a Needle?

Contrary to popular beliefs, a basketball can be easily deflated without the use of a ball needle. If you wish to deflate your basketball for any reason, and you cannot locate a ball needle, do not worry. 

There are many other alternatives to a needle that can be used to deflate your basketball easily. To flatten your basketball without a ball needle, all you would need to use is a sewing needle or anything that has a similar shape and size, such as an unfolded paper clip or an open safety pin.

Whatever you choose should not be easily broken. All you would need to do is carefully insert the make-shift device into the ball, and then press it to one side of the ball. Pushing the needle to the side of the ball should trigger the release of the air in the ball. Make sure whatever you choose is not too wide, so it does not damage the ball permanently.

Until next time ballers, keep your rocks hard, remember ball is life, and ball never stops. 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll like our other basketball FAQ articles here.

Hoops Addict
Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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