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Gear Reviews

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 (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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