The purpose of this technical brief is to investigate comparatively the static characteristics of the double-pad inwardly pumping and outwardly pumping water-lubricated spiral-groove thrust bearings (SGTBs). Firstly, a thermo-hydrodynamic lubrication model including the cavitating, centrifugal, and turbulent effects is established for the double-pad water-lubricated SGTB operating at a high-speed condition. Subsequently, the film thickness and volume flowrate are verified by an experimental study for the high-speed water-lubricated SGTBs. Finally, the effects of the operating conditions and configuration parameters on the static characteristics of the double-pad inwardly pumping and outwardly pumping SGTBs are analyzed systematically. The simulated results show that when the radius ratio exceeds 0.7, the outwardly pumping SGTB can perform better than the inwardly pumping version, with good axial load capacity, higher resistance to tilting and always positive radial flowrate.