Surfers face both water and wind when they surf, and although they will usually protect themselves from the cold by wearing a neoprene suit, there’s something else that they need to worry about: their ears.
With swimming and surfing, your ears can begin to trap water and wax, which can then lead to pain, ear infections, otitis, and sometimes even worse.
You can also end up developing a surfer’s ear, known as exostosis, which is an abnormal growth of bone within the ear, caused by repetitive and prolonged exposure to water and cold wind. And you’re going to want to avoid this!
The best way to prevent any of those issues is by protecting the ears, and earplugs are perfect for the job. But not just any earplugs, earplugs specifically designed for surfing.
They need to stay in your ear throughout the entire surfing session, sitting comfortably while being completely waterproof, and they’re medical in that they protect your ears from the weather conditions and water that can cause health problems.
It’s important to choose the right earplugs so that you can ensure they are comfortable and highly effective at protecting your ears. However, with so many available options in the market, it can be quite a challenge to determine which product is best suited to your needs.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the top five best earplugs for surfing, which we completely vouch for and highly recommend!
The Mack’s brand is by far the most popular and highly recommended amongst surfers and swimmers alike, as they have multiple options for earplugs of excellent quality that help prevent the health risks of an exposed ear during surfing.
And this mack’s Pillow Soft Silicone Earplugs comes as a value pack of 6 pairs, which is ideal if you’re prone to losing your earplugs!
They are made from moldable and non-irritating silicone rubber and are completely non-toxic and safe for use. And, of course, they are 100% waterproof.
It’s one of the most comfortable earplug options available, as it will mold to the unique contours of your ear, so that it results in a perfect fit, allowing it to be secure throughout your entire surfing session.
It helps prevent the swimmer’s ear effectively, and it also reduces noise, with an NRR of 22 decibels. And although it’s ideal for both swimming and surfing, it’s also good for sleeping, studying, bathing, flying, and many more, making it completely versatile and multipurpose!
- The number one selling surfing earplug in America: highly reliable and popular
- Non-irritating and non-toxic: safe to use and ideal for preventing swimmer’s ear effectively
- Completely moldable: molds to the contours of your ear for a perfect and secure fit
- Versatile and multipurpose: protects from water and noise, can be used in many different situations
- Not very durable, should be switched regularly
The JBL Spearfishing Hydro Seal Aqua Plugs are a close second on our list of top picks, and they are highly recommended by many surfers and swimmers, as they are effective at protecting your ears in a comfortable way.
They are also available in three different sizes, so you can choose the one that best suits your ears!
These earplugs are made with a polymer construction so that they are completely hypoallergenic. They also feature a dual baffle design, which locks into the inner ear and keeps it hydro-sealed so that the ear canal is completely protected from water.
It also offers a comfortable and secure fit, as long as you use the right earplug in the right ear and the left in the left!
Apart from protecting, these earplugs also prevent bacteria, therefore reducing the chance of ear infection, and they prevent the loss of equilibrium. They also feature an exclusive hicks noise breaker, which will allow you to pressure clear your ears.
And, on top of this, the earplugs do not block out any sounds, so you will be able to hear as normal!
- Made with polymer: completely hypoallergenic and safe to use
- Dual baffle design: they provide a strong hydro seal to fully protect the ear canal from water and wind
- They prevent bacteria and the loss of equilibrium: less risk of ear infection, comfortable to use over a prolonged time
- Exclusive hicks noise breaker: they allow you to pressure clear your ears
- Normal hearing
- No significant downsides
The Creatures of Leisure SurfEars Plugs are another amazing product option, and they are incredibly popular amongst customers, which has turned them into a top-selling item!
They’re an appealing red and teal color, and they are available in two different sizes: junior and adult.
Made from silicone, these earplugs are designed to be thinner and softer. They also have a customizable ergonomic design, so that they can adapt to many different ear canal sizes, for a more secure and comfortable fit.
They feature a cutting edge double curved wing design, with a tilted core, which keeps out water and wind to effectively prevent the swimmer’s ear, as well as many other health issues.
Although they offer full protection, they do not affect your hearing in the slightest, so you can still hear as normal. They come with an improved leash, which helps keep them secure and attached, with the earplugs themselves being super easy to use.
Plus, they come with premium eco-friendly packaging which is reusable, ideal for taking the earplugs with you when you travel, or for storing them away.
- Made from silicone: thinner and softer, comfortable and durable
- Customizable ergonomic design: designed to better adapt to your ear canal size, for a better and more unique fit
- Double curved wing design: they effectively protect your ear from water and wind
- Normal hearing: they do not block out sounds at all
- Eco-friendly packaging included: perfect for travel on the go and for storage purposes
- Very expensive compared to other options
Another great product option for protecting your ears while you surf is the Oken Swimming Earplugs. Available in a green color, they come as a 15-piece set, which is ideal for ensuring you always have a pair of swimming earplugs on hand!
They are also available in three different sizes so that you can choose the most suitable for you.
With a plastic frame and a silicon insert piece, these earplugs are highly effective at preventing any water or wind from entering your ear canal, therefore protecting you from ear infections and the swimmer’s ear.
They feature a great design that aims to perfectly match your ear shape, so that the fit is as comfortable as possible, and remains secure throughout your entire surfing session.
The bright color helps them be more visible, so you aren’t as likely to lose them, even if they fall in the water (which is unlikely to happen). And despite offering full protection, they allow sound to enter as normal so that they don’t affect your hearing at all.
The product also includes a satisfaction guarantee, so you get your money back if you aren’t happy with the purchase, and a replacement if there are any issues or damage to the earplugs themselves!
- Plastic frame and silicone insert piece: effective prevention against swimmer’s ear or ear infections of any kind
- Comfortable and secure fit: they adapt to your ear shape, as well as being available in 3 different sizes
- Normal hearing: they allow sound in, so you can use them as normal!
- Satisfaction guarantee included: money back if you aren’t happy, plus a warranty in the case of any issues or damage
- The fit is not as secure or as comfortable as advertised
Last but not least on our list of top picks, we have the Doc’s Pro Plugs Clear with Leash earplugs for surfing, which come available in different pack options depending on the size that is best suited to your ears.
They have been specially designed for scuba divers, and are therefore one of the best options for diving. However, they are equally as effective for surfing, as they keep out both wind and water, helping prevent ear infections and swimmer’s ear.
Plus, they also prevent vertigo or thermal reaction!
As these earplugs aren’t solid, they are vented and allow for equalization, ideal for diving down into the waters. They also keep your ears warm, so that there’s less of a shock, and if you’re surfing in high winds this can be extremely useful.
They come with a leash so that they are securely attached and you’re not as likely to lose them, and overall, they’re a great option for protecting your ears while you adventure in the sea!
- Effective prevention against water and wind: ideal for protecting your ear against infections and others, specifically designed for divers to go down deep
- Vented design: they allow for equalization
- Thermal and vertigo prevention: they keep your ears warm, to prevent thermal shock. Ideal for diving, and for surfing in cold winds!
- Leash included: securely attached, easy to use
- No significant downsides
Earplugs designed for surfing, swimming, or diving, are essentially medical devices that can effectively prevent ear infections, swimmer’s ear, and other health issues caused by prolonged exposure to water and wind.
They can allow you to enjoy your surfing, without the risk of harming your ears, and are therefore incredibly useful and highly recommended to be used on the regular.
There are plenty of options for earplugs for surfing available in the market, so the challenge isn’t finding one, but rather finding the best possible one.
It’s important to get earplugs that are as high quality as possible so that they are safe to use, secure, comfortable, and as effective as possible in regards to swimmer’s ear prevention!
So…how do you choose your earplugs for surfing? What things should you look out for?
We like to take a few basic factors into consideration, comparing different product options so that we end up with a choice that suits our needs and preferences as well as possible. Here is a small summary to help you out!
The type of earplug
There are different types of earplugs that you can choose from, and this also applies to those designed for surfing and swimming. Primarily there are two main types you can choose from:
- Pre-molded earplugs
These are earplugs that come with a solid shape. This means that they will usually be available in different sizes, and it’s super important that you get the right size, so that the earplugs are comfortable and secure in your ear, so that they offer the right protection.
- Moldable earplugs
Moldable earplugs don’t have a defined solid shape, so they can be molded to fit your ear to perfection, with a unique fit that will be all the more comfortable and secure.
However, they tend to offer less protection than the pre-molded ones, so that’s something to take into account!
Size and design
The size of the earplug is one of the most important factors to consider because it will determine whether it fits you properly or not and if it doesn’t the protection will be compromised and they won’t be effective.
If the earplugs that you’re looking at don’t come in the right size, then look for another option, or try switching to moldable ones.
As for the design, it will usually determine the way in which the earplugs provide protection and seal away your inner ear canal from the wind and water.
Some earplugs have unique advanced designs that are high-quality and extra effective, but what’s important is that it gets the job done and suitably protects you from ear infections, swimmer’s ear, and more.
Materials and construction
Most earplugs for surfing will be made of silicone, which is the most comfortable and moldable material for the job, and some will also have a plastic frame for a firmer and more secure fit.
You should ensure that the construction is non-toxic and safe, and if needed, you could also search for a hypoallergenic option.
It’s also good to find out how durable the earplugs are. Most will need to be switched quite regularly, but some are washable and highly reusable, while others are completely disposable.
Most earplugs for surfing and swimming will come with a leash, which we completely recommend you look out for, as it is extremely useful and convenient.
The leash will keep the earplugs securely attached to each other, and also to you so that you won’t lose them if they do end up falling off!
Once you’ve covered all the basics, if you’re still deciding between various product options, you can look out for additional features as the deciding factors.
One of the most useful additional features is a travel or storage case, as it will allow you to keep the earplugs safe when not in use, and will be super useful for taking with you on the go.
The appearance can also play an important part, beyond the aesthetic and style. Brighter colors will be a lot more visible, and underwater, they will be easier to spot or find if lost.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I wear earplugs when surfing?
You can surf without using earplugs, however, if you’re a regular surfer it is 100% recommended that you do wear the appropriate earplugs for protection. Wearing earplugs can help prevent ear infections, swimmer’s ear, and many more health issues.
This is because the earplugs will block out the water and the cold wind so that your inner ear canal is protected!
Besides, earplugs for surfing will not be detrimental in any way, and they won’t get in the way of your surfing. In fact, most earplugs for surfing allow for sound to get through as normal, so you will still have a normal hearing!
How do you get water out of your ear after surfing?
If you haven’t worn your earplugs and you’ve got water in your ear while surfing, you’re going to want to get it out to try and prevent infection.
The easiest way to do so is to lean sideways and let gravity do its job. You can also jiggle your head to help the water come out better.
Does ear water go away?
Usually, water trapped in your ear should go away by itself within a day or two. But if it’s still trapped and causing discomfort after a few days, you should call your doctor as you might be developing an ear infection.