Fixing a leaking iSUP valve
During the latter part of summer 2020 I was plagued by a slowly deflating iSUP. After each session it was like wobbling about on a rubber dingy. You'd be surprised just how wobbly they are when not inflated fully!
Now I used to keep my board blown up in the garden during the summer months and sure as eggs is omelette each morning it was, well, floppy. I turned it this way and that way trying to find a hole, scrape or scratch that could reveal the source of my leak.
Anyway, after some research my attentions turned to the valve. You see iSUPS (Inflatable stand up paddle board) come with a valve spanner. Well some do - see if you have one.
So, I thought this warranted further inspection - I filled a jug with warm water and a dash of Fairy liquid which I slowly poured around the valve. A short while later a slow stream of small bubbles emanated from the location! The leak was found - now to repair it.
Problem number 2: I fully inflated the board and began to tighten the valve. To my horror it simply span around and around without tightening!
Now - most sites will tell you to inflate the board and then tighten the valve which of course I diligently did but it would not tighten.
That was last year! January 31st and after a particularly cold paddle in Exeter canal I was done with my deflating iSUP. My plan was to dispose of it. Well it is over 6 years old..!
Moving on to a few weeks ago I decided to give this valve one last try but this time I fully DEFLATED the board which enabled me to lock the valve inner workings by folding the back of the board until it could not spin freely. A few twists of the spanner and BOOM! The valve locked tightly into place - out came the Fairy liquid and I am delighted to tell you it was fixed!
So there you go - if you have a leaking board simply remember how I fixed mine and it may save you from the expense of a new board!
Hints and tips
- When you buy a new iSUP - leave it fully inflated over night to check for leaks
- Some new iSUP have lose valves so it is worth just checking that the valve is tight when it's new
- Check you have a valve spanner that fits your board
I have had my O'Shea iSUP for 6 years now and it is as good as new. I store it rolled up, hardy ever wash it and usually leave it in the garden during the summer. I do put it in the shade on very hot days but to be honest - we don't get many!
I hope it helps someone - unless you are trying to justify getting a new board in which case GO FOR IT!
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