re: Vent plugs...

The issue of vent plugs has been discussed on Mr J’s “Vacuuming Project ASH” thread. For anyone who is interested, Eva Hollman has posted a photo of what can happen when you forget to use it. She has many other informative photo essays on her “” site. Although much of it is geared towards windsurfers, the same techniques often apply to surfboard construction and repair, especially the epoxy composite variety. Here’s the EPS board that blew up when the vent plug wasn’t used properly…

Almost finished with board #4. I just finished re-installing the vent plug. The first time I got a little epoxy in the thread area and it got stuck!@&?! Had to drill the whole thing out and put a new one in.

My question (or observance) is… there was epoxy at the bottom of the vent apparently blocking the vent! The second time I used glass bubbles to thicken the epoxy and buttered it only on the sides. HOpe this works to keep the vent area to the foam open.

Any suggestions for future boards on how to put vents in so that they’ll work properly?


Vent is 1’ back from the nose, it has tape sticking up to unscrew to make sure it’s not epoxied!

I’ve had a lot of success installing vent plugs by inverting them once potted.

Basically have the plug taped-off on the outer surface AND the inner surface with the plug screwed tight. Put some epoxy mixture into the hole in the deck (should look like not enough) and stick the plug (taped outside surface and opposite inside surface; outer perimeter is exposed) into the hole. Now, use wide tape and cover the hole and plug. Flip the board over and let cure.

Gravity will make the resin flow to the wide tape and flush with the deck. Lastly, pull all outer tape, unscrew the plug and use a stick to puncture the inner tape. I usually pierce about an inch past this tape into the blank to insure breathability…

Hey Tridrles,

What is your board made from. I’ve seen Berts boards and they have a hole in the middle of the deck covered with wax. If it gets too hot the wax melts and everything equalises.

I’ve only installed vents in Hollow Wooden boards. I prepare the hole and make sure the plug fits then paint the epoxy on the underside and slip it into the hole. Then use a fine paint brush (or Q tip) around the perimeter to make sure everything is sealed.

Your board looks great, keep up the good work…



hicksy , you must have seen one , where the vent plug was missing ??

normally have an aluminium vent screw tightening onto a rubber seal …

one of my own boards doesnt have a vent screw , i lent it to a customer years back , the next time i went surfing it wasnt there (i forgot) so i just jammed wax in there , its stayed that way ever since …

i have met the ocasional guy who had lost his vent plug and did the same thing as me …

i have one team guy who actually prefers the wax in his vent , hes real forgetful .

he reckons by using wax hes covered, if it gets hot enough to do damage , the wax melts and pushes out , next time he goes for a surf he just double checks the seal …

then the only thing he has to do is push a nail or matchstick through to break the seal if hes getting on a plane …



Hey Bert

Remember that I told you about an older guy that bought your board second hand for $XXXX.

That board had a vent hole mid board that looked like it had a reinforced hole like what you use on paper in a two ringed file. It was covered in wax.

It was about 8’ to 8’6" long mimi mal shape and I could hold it aloft using just 2 fingers. I remember because it was sooooo light. (compared to my 28lb HWS)

That’s my only experience with your vent holes so forgive me for thinking that’s how you do it.



PS. We really have to meet up sometime…really, we both live in the same state.

Hicksy - 2#EPS, sealed with epoxy/glass beads, 2x5oz. carbon top, 1x5oz. carbon bottom.

+1 - Thanks for the inversion technique! I’ll use it on the next board.

Speaking of next board and having all of you BALSA people here…

 2# EPS (because I have more of it) 

 1x5oz. carbon (I have it) 

 1/8" Balsa 

 2oz. 'S' Glass 

Now for the question…

 I want to put a design on the balsa.  What do you suggest?  I'm thinking of    

 air brushing using a wood stain on the balsa prior to 'S' Glassing? 


Balsa is so porous, a stain will get really fuzzy around the edges. I’d inlay some dark wood. Its not hard. Or just print lams on rice paper.

im sure miki made a post way back and showed some pictures of an old legend board builder who made balsa boards , he did some amazing artwork with a soldering knife and burnt the patterns into the wood , it looked pretty kool …

i couldnt quote what the thread was ?



Benny - Thanks, didn’t think of soft pouris material balsa is.

Bert - EXCELLENT! I could even heat different types and textures of metal and press it on the balsa!

          It'll be about a month or so but I'll post how it works.