The freedom of the open water and the rolling waves beckons to surfers at all times of the year, but there are dangers that threaten that freedom—not just in the water, but in your own body. Cold water surfer Christian Dittrich found that out for himself. During a surf trip to Morocco, Dittrich ended up with an ear infection that left him deaf in one ear for a week and unable to get in the water.
Dittrich went to a doctor and was informed that he had a severe case of exostosis, or surfer’s ear. Surfer’s ear is a condition where an extra bone grows in the ear canal in response to exposure to cold and windy conditions—like those found when surfing. Dittrich had a choice: get a surgery that might temporarily help with the symptoms, or learn to deal with earplugs that would keep the wind and water out, but would also keep out any sound (like conversations with other surfers) and would negatively affect your balance (so vital to the surfing experience).
Fortunately, Dittrich is an engineer with experience with mobile phones and acoustics. Dittrich developed SurfEars 3.0—earplugs designed to let sound in but keep water out. Not only do these earplugs help prevent surfer’s ear, but also swimmer’s ear. The earplugs come with multiple sizes for a customised fit as well as an adjustable leash and a storage case.
You can pick up your own for AUD$64.95 and stay out on the water.