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Gear Reviews

Gear Review: SurfEars 3.0

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Back in 2019 I was at a really low ebb. I had just been told that I could not dive anymore due to recurrent ear infections causing perforations that eventually would lead to permanent damage. I got home from the hospital, slumped on the sofa, and the phone rang. It was Steve Warren from INON UK and I told him my woes. Don’t give up yet, he told me, I think I have just the people to help – SurfEars.

I tried to argue that wearing ear plugs whilst diving was not safe. What about equalization? But he stopped me in my tracks and said that these would work, he had tried them already on several dives. Could this be the answer that would save my diving career and allow me to continue my passion? Well the short answer is yes!

I wrote a review back then which you can read here: https://www.scubaverse.com/gear-review-surfears/

However, I am not sure that I stressed enough at the time that these earplugs saved me. They allowed me to dive, swim and snorkel in the ocean, and I have not had an ear infection since.

Recently the team at SurfEars sent me the latest design – SurfEars 3.0 – to try out. The earplugs come in a really handy pod that I clip to my BCD so that I do not forget them. They come with a range of plug sizes so you can customise them for a perfect fit. The ‘wing’ tucks into your ear, holding the earplug securely, so you feel they will be secure even when rolling or striding off the boat into the water. You can even use them even when putting on a hood in cold water.

The SurfEars allow you to still be able to hear clearly, as they allow air and sound to travel through, and just prevent water ingress, so safety in hearing instructions from the boat or your buddy is not compromised.

I find that wearing them has not only completely stopped any ear infections, but also makes equalization easier too. They are so comfortable that I never really notice that they are in.

If you suffer from ear infections from diving, then do give these a try. They are the first thing on my packing list now!

For more information visit https://surfears.com/

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

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Gear Review: Mares Puck4 Dive Computer (Watch Video)

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In a video recorded exclusively for Scubaverse.com, Jeff Goodman reviews the Puck4 Dive Computer from Mares.

Find out more about Mares dive equipment at www.mares.com.

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Gear Reviews

GEAR REVIEW – Revolutionising Diving Comfort: The Sharkskin T2 Chillproof Suit

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In a review written exclusively for Scubaverse.com, diver and blogger Katy Woodroffe from Katy Jane Dives takes a look at the T2 Chillproof Suit from Sharkskin.

Sharkskin wetsuits attract a lot of attention in online forums, with some divers swearing by them whilst others just can’t understand how a suit so thin and lightweight can provide the warmth they require. I too had my doubts, but I was able to put this suit to the test in one of the most challenging open water environments we know.

Embarking on an adventure in the Galapagos, I found the Sharkskin T2 Chillproof Suit to be an incredible ally. Designed to offer warmth, UV protection, and defense against the many marine stingers, this suit surpassed my initial reservations, providing a level of thermal insulation I did not expect and durability amidst the archipelago’s rugged underwater landscapes. Its lightweight, easy-to-wear design clearly sets it apart from traditional wetsuits, proving essential for divers prioritising comfort and efficiency.

Exceptional Performance in Varied Conditions

The suit’s performance was thoroughly tested in the Galapagos’ unpredictable waters. Despite its seemingly thin material, it offered extraordinary warmth and flexibility. The inclusion of Titanium Far Infrared (FIR) nano-technology within the fabric reflected my body’s heat, enveloping me in a warm embrace that countered the cold without adding bulk. This level of tech came in handy when we hit the common thermoclines, with my dive computer recording a drop of several degrees in water temperature. This, combined with the suit’s ease of use and quick-drying capabilities, in my opinion marks a significant advancement in dive gear.

However, the perception of warmth in the Sharkskin T2 Chillproof Suit can indeed vary among individuals. Divers accustomed to cooler waters may find the suit exceptionally warm and sufficient for their needs, due to their higher tolerance and acclimatisation to the cold. This aspect underscores the importance of considering personal resilience to cold and usual diving conditions when evaluating the suit’s effectiveness in providing thermal protection.

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Durability Meets Innovation

Diving the volcanic underwater landscape of the Galapagos, the Sharkskin T2 Chillproof Suit proved its resilience. Engineered for both warmth and resistance to abrasion, it stands as a testament to high-quality construction and thoughtful design. I also tried out the optional accessories, including the hood and socks, which I felt complemented the suit well, and offered enhanced thermal protection and convenience.

The feature I enjoyed most about this suit was its neutral buoyancy, significantly lightening my load underwater. I found myself needing almost half the weight I typically would with a neoprene suit, making me feel incredibly free and unburdened.

It was a dream to travel with, folding up really small and didn’t take up much room in my dive bag.  It was also super easy to get on and take off, even when wet, compared to your standard neoprene wetsuits (we’ve all been there), particularly when I used the socks with it too.

I also appreciate how Sharkskin has produced two styles, one for males and the other for females. The female fit was flattering, and it’s clear that the design team have worked hard to achieve this, all adding to the overall comfort of the suit.

A Worthwhile Investment

The suit is certainly priced in the premium segment, but I think it does justify its cost through the unique advanced features and excellent comfort. Its innovative features, such as the chest zip design and FIR technology, provide divers with a unique blend of warmth, flexibility, and ease of movement.  

My personal journey from skepticism to trust in the Sharkskin suit has affirmed its value, making it a highly recommended choice for divers seeking excellent performance in diverse diving conditions.

Find out more about the T2 Chillproof Suit and other Sharkskin products at www.sharkskin.com.

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