paulownia vent

I just airing another crazy idea to see what you guys make of it.
My boards are EPS and need a deck vent.
I have been doing a little research into paulownia wood and as most people know it has some pretty amazing sea water proof chariteristics.
It is a fairly light and looks a fairly porous, infact seams to feel pretty similar to high density balsa.
I have been thinking about using a plug of this stuff as a vent.
I think the thickness would be critical I'm guessing about 10mm thick, as anything too thick air won't be able to pass through.
I have to say this is litterally a crazy idea at the moment, I haven't got any paulownia wood to test this idea.
But maybe some one has already tried this? or has some feed back.


Hmmm . . . not completely crazy, but iffy.  If you can score an endgrain cutoff from somebody, you might want to test its porosity and hydrophobicity by cutting a disc the desired thickness, setting it on some white paper, and putting a few drops of colored water on the disc.  If the paper stains, I'd say it's a no-go.  Oh yeah, the experiment may be a little more realistic if the water was 3-4% saline.  Also consider that when your board hits the cooler water, a vacuum will be created until eq. is achieved . . .Sure there are other nuiances that can be pointed out, but that's what I've got to offer.   

Hey Ned,


I'm thinking it a dubious proposition:- I don't think the pawlonia will breathe adequately...but with anything, I'd hold off judgement til I see results. I can in try it somehow with some of my skin scraps. Camplus suggestion of endgrain makes sense.

A material which can be laminated into the board, then the lam pierced and left, is another elusive ideal I seek.




this may sound crazy but I have a hole (intentional) in my favorite eps longboard

before I surf I put masking tape on the hole and when done I remove the tape and stick it elswhere on the board to save for next time

are you actualy gona let the palowena grain be the vent?

I thought saturating it in thined out resin and drill and tap a hole for a plug

so you get a wooden plug/vent

maybe Im lost??????

why not use a gore-tex vent? lets air in/out, doesn’t let water in.

install and forget about it. no need to open and close it every time you go surfing. 

Every piece of paulownia you use is going to be different. first, see if you can pull a vacuum through the wood to check if it breathes . second, submerge it in water for a few hours/days and then cut a cross section and see how far the water has leeched in. If it passes both of those tests then its possibly worth trying. also keep in mind that wood continually exposed to water is going to deteriorate eventually. the grain will be raised and aesthetically, it wont be that nice, unless you seal it, but thats going to stop the air flow…

let us know if it works for you. 

if you haven’t seen these already, they offer a great gore-tex venting solution for EPS and hollow boards -

its a leash plug with a gore-tex membrane at the base and there is a simple way to install it so your resin doesn’t saturate and block the goretex.


Hey thanks for the replys and giving some credit to a very strange idea.
Yes I think tests are the way to go but at the moment I dont have any scraps of paulowinia to hand.
My Wegener says Paulowina is seawater proof but not fresh water proof, he does however seal all his alaias with a
blend of vinegar and linsead oil.
I hate speculating about stuff because for all the brain power you put in you just do one little test and it changes everything.
I don't know wheater end grain or not would be best, I think if the plug was end grain it would need to be slightly deeper, 
and if it were going with the grain you could get away with less depth. But as i say speculation is pointless with out doing a few tests.
I'll try to get hold of some and let you know how I get on.
Yes I am aware of the gore vents and I currently use them, I was just thinking, if this does the same job.....
I think the vacuum test is the best way to test wheater or not air can pass through. 
If say the wood does detirorate maybe you could inset a solid peice of tube into the board and then ram in
(or sightly more refined- epoxy in) a cone shaped peice
of paulowina and then say every year you just drill it out and relpace it.
I duno bloody vents!