Over the years, I have tried all sorts of ear plugs but they have never become a permanent feature in my surf bag. I didn’t like the dampening of my senses or I simply lost them when they fell out at inopportune moments.
Ongoing issues with exostosis (surfers ear) and a recently perforated membrane (busted ear drum) have forced me to re-evaluate this approach.
It looks like we have come a long way from the old blue tack!
Let Sound In. Keep Water Out
Hearing good things, I picked up a pair of Surf Ears. Designed in Sweden, these ear plugs are meant to counteract the age old issue of either hearing or keeping water out. The point of difference, is the inclusion of an acoustic mesh that allows air and sound to pass into your ear canal, while protecting it from water, wind and other nasties that lead to infection and surfers ear.
With a bodysurfing session at a slab in Cape Solander and a surf session at South Narrabeen, these plugs were inline for a pretty thorough examination.
Getting the right fit was a pretty simple exercise of determining the right size sealing gels and fixation wings. Having a big pair of lugs, I choose the large gels and medium wings. Swapping the gels is a cinch.
The initial fit takes a little practise and is best done using a rear view mirror. It would help if they were marked left and right but after a few goes its comes more naturally.
In ear, they are pretty comfy while still feeling secure. The security comes from lodging the support wing against your outer ear, which then acts as a sort of lock to hold them in place. Not having any form of leash makes them feel unencumbered.
Throughout the testing, despite multiple waves on the head and decent amount of full submersion – the seal on the Surf Ears remained excellent.
This is where the Surf Ears come into their own. The acoustic levels are that good, that you will think you have lost them or forgot to wear them. So for better or worse – lineup conversations will be possible again.
This also has a large impact on your sensory and balance perception – which is one of the major reasons most surfers neglect to wear ear plugs.
While not as expensive as the Sorky’s, these are definitely at the very upper end of the scale for ear plugs. For that, you do get a reusable set of plugs with fitting options and handy carry case.
Overall, this is an innovative design that provides a light weight, great fitting ear plug with real acoustic capability. You can find cheaper but you wont find better.
|Review: Surf Ears||
Overall Score: 90%
Has spent over 30 years of his middle aged life trying to spend more time in the ocean. Likes to surf, bodysurf, free dive and pretend he enjoys chasing big waves.