Gear Review: SurfEars

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Even as a kid I suffered from ear infections, but once I became a diver this seemed a problem that would be something I just had to put up with. Having tried all manner of potions and taken advice from plenty of divers, last year I suffered 2 perforated ear drums from particularly nasty infections. I had to see a specialist and his advice….”you need to stop diving”. I was shocked and tried to explain that diving was how I made my living, but he was unmoved and told me that I was risking permanent damage and ultimately loss of my hearing.

After some further discussions, he offered the suggestion “wear ear plugs” and I tried to explain that this was not possible as I needed to equalize the air space to avoiding causing serious damage. I came home from the hospital dejected. Luckily a diving friend phoned that afternoon and put me in touch with the team behind SurfEars.

They very kindly sent me a set of their ear plugs designed for surfers, assuring me that they were safe to dive in. They let air and sound in, but keep water at bay. I have to say that it seemed to good to be true! The ear plugs arrived in a neat case and had different sizes to enable the perfect fit. As they are very comfortable to wear, and you can still hear perfectly with them in, I could wear them on boat rides and protect my ears from cold winds too.

But…the big (and somewhat scary) test was to dive with them in. I waited for a nice easy going and shallow dive to test them out and to my surprise the ear plugs made it easier to equalize. After a couple of minutes I completely forgot they were in and I allowed myself to continue on a very pleasant dive.

I have used them for a couple of dive trips now and have not suffered from any infections or soreness of my ears – this is a major improvement from the previous diving trips! I even clip the handy pod to my BCD so that I do not forget to bring them along. They are now a permanent addition to my dive gear.

For more information visit the SurfEars website by clicking here.

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown are a husband and wife team of underwater photographers. Both have degrees in environmental biology from Manchester University, with Caroline also having a masters in animal behaviour. Nick is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in underwater wildlife photography and he also has a masters in teaching. They are passionate about marine conservation and hope that their images can inspire people to look after the world's seas and oceans. Their Manchester-based company, Frogfish Photography, offers a wide range of services and advice. They offer tuition with their own tailor made course - the Complete Underwater Photography Award. The modules of the course have been written to complement the corresponding chapters in Nick's own book: Underwater Photography Art and Techniques. They also offer equipment sales and underwater photography trips in the UK and abroad. For more information visit www.frogfishphotography.com.

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