How to stop air leaking from an inflate or deflate valve
The high amount of air pressure used to inflate the bladders on a kite surfing kite can cause air to escape between the plastic bung and neck of the bladder valve.
The neck of the valve can be under constant attack from temperature, sand, salt, sea water, grit and the tapered pump nozzle. These can wear the neck of the valve, cause it to warm up, stretch, expand, crack and air to seep out.
It is important that the pressure is held by having a well fitting seal between bung and neck of valve.
Velcro closures on the leading edge and strut valves, help the bung stay in, but do not create the perfect seal.
If the kites leading edge and struts are inflated and left exposed to hot temperatures on beaches, in cars and storage, this can also over a period of time wear and expand the neck of the valve.
In the past I have been asked to replace the valve or bladder because of this problem.
I have been asked many times for advice on this common situation.
I have had a kite where the valve frequently popped out on impact with the water.
I have also taken the bladder out of a kite convinced I had a puncture only to find nothing - grrrrr!
Here is a simple way to stop the air leaking between the valve neck and bung. It is neat, simple
It can be done with the bladder in or out of the kite.
It is important that the tension of the cable tie allows the bung to be put in and taken out of the neck of valve.
The picture shows 2.5mm/100mm self–locking cable ties, for tidying wire and cables. The position of the tie is just below the ridge on the neck.