Inflate basketball

How To Inflate, Deflate And Tune Up A Basketball

A basketball is a great way to have fun with your friends and family. It’s also an excellent exercise for people of all ages. But inflating, deflating, and tuning up a basketball isn’t so easy! Luckily, the steps are laid out below in this blog post that will help you inflate your ball just right every time. We’ll give you tips on how to deflate it too if needed! And once you’re finished inflating or deflating, don’t forget to check the pressure of the ball!

How to Inflate a Basketball

A basketball can be inflated in a variety of ways. You can use an inflator or bring your ball to the neighborhood gym and have them inflate it for you. Or maybe even use a pump and some strength to inflate it yourself! We’ll outline each of these actions below because they must all be carried out correctly:

inflate basketball

Inflate basketball using inflator ($15-$20)

  • Make sure needle is attached properly to hose
  • Turn inflator on and place nozzle inside valve opening
  • Hold basket upright while inflating (this will avoid dirtying/damaging the ball surface)
  • Remove inflator once full inflation has been reached (~12lbs pressure) **Do not overinflate as this can damage the ball

Inflate basketball using a pump ($20-$25)

  • Make sure needle is attached properly to hose
  • Place inflator on top of valve opening. And turn inflator handle to inflate (while holding basket up). Some pumps come with a pressure gauge, if yours does not one can be purchased separately for around $30
  • Remove inflator once full inflation has been reached (~12lbs pressure). Do not overinflate as this will damage the ball

Neither a hand pump nor a foot pump should be used to fill a basketball past the suggested breakpoint. This is risky and might result in serious harm! Use just the sports goods store’s or petrol station’s air compressor or blower.

How to Deflate a Basketball

You might need to deflate your basketball on occasion. It can be excessively stiff or simply plain flat. The steps are as follows:

  • Deflate basketball by placing a sharp object inside the valve opening and pushing down to release air. Be careful not to damage the ball.
  • Or use an inflator and push the inflator nozzle onto the valve opening to release all of the air insides
  • Remove inflator once full deflation has been reached (~12 lbs pressure)

The amount of air in the ball will influence how long it takes to deflate. Avoid over-deflating your basketball because doing so could harm the rubber bladder or seams, which could be dangerous.

After you’ve deflated it, what should be left is a round object that weighs less than 24 ounces. Remember though, if either inflation or deflation takes place too quickly (overinflating/underinflating), serious harm may come to both players and objects alike!

That’s why we recommend using an inflator for quick inflation times and taking extra precautions when inflating or deflating.

inflate basketball

Always Check the Pressure of The Basketball!

Now that you’ve inflated and/or deflated your basketball. You should check the pressure of it before playing to make sure everything went smoothly!

Wait for around 15 minutes for some of the air to leak out if the pressure is too high (overinflated). If necessary, place an inflator nozzle inside the valve hole and press until the desired PSI is obtained (around 12 pounds).

On the other hand, if there isn’t enough air in your ball (underinflated), attach needle tip onto hose on inflator and inflate until full inflation has occurred (~12 lbs). Your basketball now awaits its next game with you which can be played without fear of injury due to over-pressurization.

How to Check the PSI of a Basketball

There are several ways to check the PSI of a basketball. One way is to purchase a pressure gauge from your local sporting goods store. This will be able to let you know how much air pressure there is inside the ball. As well as if it’s over or underinflated.

Another method that doesn’t require anything other than what you already have on hand would be inflating and deflating the ball several times in succession until desired measurements are reached (12 lbs).

What is the Right Amount of Air Pressure for a Basketball?

You must check your basketball every so often to make sure it is inflated properly. There are many ways to do this but we recommend using either:

A basketball tester ($20-$25), or a needle/pin which goes inside the valve opening and pops back out displaying the pre-measured amount of air in the ball (this is very accurate and requires no inflator)

In the instance that your basketball pressure falls below 12lbs/50psi, DO NOT FORGET to check it. In order to use your basketball securely if this occurs, you must inflate it as quickly as you can!

Why Does my Basketball Keep Deflating?

If your basketball is deflating, it could be because of many reasons!

One reason is that you are playing basketball outside and the ball has been exposed to extreme elements such as rain, snow, or ice which can cause your air pressure to drop.

Another reason for deflating balls is if they have not reached their full inflation after inflating them with an inflator (15-20min wait time should do).

This may also happen due to overinflating/underinflating where too much air inside the basketball can lead to either a lack of proper form when holding the ball. Or too little air leads to poor bounce back speed once dribbled on or used in other ways.

The last, and most obvious reason why your basketball has deflated is due to punctures. This can happen if you accidentally step on the ball (on accident) or hit it against something hard which could rupture parts of the air bladder inside, causing all of its pressure to leak out quickly!

If this occurs, simply re-inflate your basketball. Before doing so, make sure you check for leaks because a fast repair from an inflator won’t prevent leaks from growing worse over time.

inflate basketball

Few more tips on taking care of your basketball

To get the most out of your basketball and to ensure that you can shoot hoops both indoors and out for years to come, its important to take proper care of it. 

Shortlist of caring tips

  • Store at room temperature
  • Keep the right amount of air in your basketball
  • Wipe off dirt and debris with a damp cloth after use
  • Clean using a mild soap and warm water
  • Do not soak
  • Do not expose to cold, heat, direct sunlight, rain, or other harsh elements
  • Use your basketball for its intended purpose

How should I store my basketball?

If you regularly play basketball, keep it full of air and store it indoors at room temperature. If you don’t use it regularly, or need to pack it, you can deflate it – but still store it at room temperature. Do not leave it outdoors, in direct sunlight, or store it near a heater.


You should store your basketball out of direct sunlight and maintain it clean in general to preserve its vibrant color. After using, wipe away dirt and debris with a moist cloth. If necessary, use warm water and a light soap to brush away stubborn filth. It’s crucial to avoid soaking the ball and to let it dry naturally rather than using a heater or a cloth.


If you follow these steps when inflating or deflating a basketball, not only will you get good use out of your new toy but also prolong its life by preventing damages caused due to overinflation or underinflation.

Remember everyone loves playing with inflated basketballs but make sure they are always at their optimal pressure levels for maximum safety! When inflating any kind of sports equipment please remember all inflators are different and you will need to adjust your inflator accordingly to the size of valve opening, PSI settings etc.

We hope this blog post has been helpful in explaining how one can inflate or deflate a basketball along with other important information which is crucial for safety reasons! We look forward to future comments from our readers so please leave us feedback on what could be added/changed!


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