If you surf, chances are you’ve heard on the grapevine that a lot of surfers choose to wear ear plugs.
But why do some surfers wear ear plugs, and others not?
And do you actually need ear plugs for surfing?
We’ll break down all for that in this post, plus treat you to a list of the best surfing ear plugs on the market right now too.
Keep reading for more.
WHY DO SURFERS WEAR EAR PLUGS
Surfers wear ear plugs to stop water from going in their ears, not just because they don’t like the feeling, but more so to stop the onset of surfers' ear (more on that in a minute).
Ear plugs wedge into the ear canal, creating a barrier whereby no water can penetrate, keeping the ear canal perfectly dry - even in the surf.
You’ll find that surfers in colder climates are more particular about wearing ear plugs in the surf as the risk of surfers' ear is increased in cold water.
DO I NEED EAR PLUGS TO SURF?
No, absolutely not, in fact the majority of surfers choose to surf without them.
Most surfers however, do surf in warmer climates where their use is not quite so important.
Do you need to surf with ear plugs? Not necessarily.
Should you wear them?
Definitely advisable for sure.
Surfers ear is a condition caused from prolonged exposure to cold water and wind.
After a period of time the bone within the ear canal grows, narrowing the canal and trapping water and wax in the process.
Severe surfers' ear can cause the ear canal to close completely if not attended to, resulting in complete loss of hearing within the affected ear.
If things get this bad you’ll require surgery to resolve it, drilling through the bone growth to open up the canal.
Do ear plugs prevent surfers ear?
Yes, they do.
A simple solution that’s worth it in the long run.
6 OF THE BEST EAR PLUGS FOR SURFING
Ok, now that we know why surfers wear ear plugs, and how important they can be, let's take a closer look at which ones are the best on the market right now.
1. BLU TACK
If you're on a budget, and you want something to protect your ears from the onset of surfers' ear, then Blu Tack is not a bad option.
It's not ideal, but it works just about alright.
All you have to do is fashion two cone-shaped pieces of Blu Tack (one for each ear), and wedge them into the ear canal to stop the water going in.
Word of warning though, be careful not to make the buds too small as they can get stuck in your ear, and be careful too when it's hot as they get extra soft.
Other than that, for a budget surf ear plug they're definitely worth a look.
2. DOCS PROPLUGS
Doc's ear plugs have been around since the 70's, helping surfers fend away the onset of surfers ear.
Designed, and manufactured in the USA these surfing ear plugs have stood the test of time, ever evolving for nearly 50 years.
Available in multiple sizes (you'll need to test them out to get the right fit), and made from soft dynaflex plastic, they're a great all-rounder.
3. OKEN SURFING EARPLUGS
Yes, these are a budget ear plug, mass produced in China no doubt, but they do the job.
Not made with the best quality materials, but certainly adequate.
A really good option for someone wanting to try out surfing ear plugs for the first time, that don't want to spend a fortune.
4. SURF EARS
Surf Ears are the most expensive ear plugs on the market by far.
Are they worth it?
Well, in my opinion (I've used a lot of different ear plugs over the years) these are the best, and well worth the investment.
They are a lot when you consider that you can get a similar result with Blu Tack, but, when you invest in quality you can really feel it, and it'll make you look after it too.
I choose to surf with Surf Ears because they're really comfortable, and I just like the feel of them, and you can tell they're well made.
I'd recommend trying a cheaper ear plug first, then if you're into it, consider upgrading to these.
5. BANAWARE SURF EAR PLUGS
The poor mans version of Surf Ears, Banaware surfing ear plugs are a great option for the surfer looking for that extra bit of quality, without the crazy price tag.
Each pack contains multiple different ear bud sizes, so regardless of your ear shape and size, you'll get your perfect match.
My one bug bear with these ear plugs though is the shape, as a personal preference I like to have them moulded to the inner ear for added security.
Just my two cents.
6. MACKS EAR PLUGS
If you're looking for a cheap and cheerful, budget-bob ear plug option, then Macks are for you.
Not the comfiest ear plugs in the world as the plastics they use aren't the softest, but again, for an entry level ear plug they're not a bad option.
One thing to consider though, is not to be put off by ear plugs by going the full budget options, as the more premium ones are much, much comfier.
If I could advise one thing, it'd be committing to, and investing in, some decent ear plugs.
Why do I say that?
Well, I know first hand about surfers ear (my ears currently are about 90% closed, and it's annoying), and wished I'd bothered to use ear plugs as a kid surfing growing up.
Anyway, all of the ear plugs on this list will serve you well, so better to invest in something, anything, rather than going without.
Rowan is the technical nerd behind the scenes. A lover of everything entrepreneurial, and living a minimal, simple life.