This valve has been tucked away under the edgelape at the nose to give a clear deck so as to reduce the likelihood of unwelcome union during duck dives and wipeouts. This positioning wasn't my idea. My first go at this was on a mat for the living legend that is Henry Hester on his mat "Stinkles", so I call this "Hestering" the valve away.
I don't know if Henry is keen.
My initial concerns were that the valve would catch but, as you can see from the shots, the valve is clear of the water at full inflation and the nose of the mat is always fully inflated. It's easy enough to get at the valve to reduce air by twisting the valve and the air pressure during deflation seems to prevent water from getting into the mat.
All in all, I think it works pretty well. Henry has given positive feedback as has Ian Wraith regarding his mat "Badger of Honour". I think my personal preference is still to have the valve on the deck but this is certainly a valid option for those who are into it.
Back to the ASB mat, I've ridden it once in very nice walled up glassy reef surf and she went really well. I need more sessions but am confident that it's a good design. To be honest, if I thought it was bad then I would be questioning my riding rather than the design as ASB is a far more able mat surfer than me.
More to come.