Windsurfing & Stand-Up Paddleboarding in Michigan
OK guys I would really like to hear some input on this one! It's all about the vent plugs on windsurfing boards. I am at an impasse as to weather to remove them when the board is not in use or not. JP's and some others are set up so that if you are using a twin bolt base you can remove the vent plug and put it in the slot where your universal joint goes and then lock the plug in thereby making it impossible to put the universal on the board and forget to put the plug back in place. While this might be a good idea for Jp's you may not be able to do this with all boards. OK so this brings me to my point, I have been leaving my vent plugs in for fear that the constant removal and replacement will eventually flatten or damage the O-ring around the plug and the board will take on water. (This happened with Annabel's x-cite ride, and I am currently in the process of drying it out via leaving it in the sun while a fish tank aquarium pump hose is shoved into the vent hole and lightly plugged and allowed to run for days in order to aerate the inside of the board somewhat.). The other thing I have seen happen time and time again is the board owner gets to the beach, and in all the excitement of rigging and getting out there, does a few runs and soon afterwards comes back in realizing that he has either missed tightening the plug or forgotten about it all together, yikes!!! The other point is they say that if the board is left on the beach on a hot day with the vent plug left in it this, because of the expanding air in the board can lead to delamination, and of course that makes sense, however I have yet to see someone loosen or remove the plug while it is laying about waiting to be sailed perhaps after lunch?
Some O-rings on some manufacturers boards may also be very difficult to locate easily if they have to be replaced. If you are flying with the boards or travelling for a long time with the boards piled on top of your vehicle, and especially if they will be stored there for the duration of your stay, in the sun it may be a smart idea then to remove the plugs especially if your board bags are not aluminized to reflect the suns heat!
I have been opening mine usually twice a year once in the fall and once in the spring, and I was upset to see Annabel's boards vent O-ring had a nick in it and had appeared to have leaked water into the board albeit hopefully a small amount. Would be nice if the manufacturers would use a self venting plug as the do with SUP's.
Mine came in the board already
dont know where to purchase either, but never looked, should have with my last project board
You can buy retro-fit or new construction vent plugs:
I have a gortex vent in one of my SUP's. It seems very fragile, but it's recessed in the deck so that there's less chance of damaging it. I think I prefer the manual vent plug. I do change my O-rings every year.
I noticed while I was in Hatteras the new Fanatic boards have no vent plugs,,
It looks like the 2013 Fanatic Fly does not have a vent plug. Am I correct. How is the construction different in boards with and without plugs. Fanatic is a great brand, but is having a vent better?