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How To Prevent Surfer’s Ear? The Best Kitesurfing Ear Protection

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Which are the best Earplugs for Kitesurfing?

For Kitesurfing, the best ear plugs are Creatures of Leisure Surf - Ears Water Out Sound in Ear Plugs.

However, this will depend on several things. If you use them a lot, for example, if it is your principal job, or perhaps just minor use. Also, if you want to use these ear plugs for other things, like listen to music.

There are earplug options available, for example: Convenient Fitting, Noise Reduction Rating (NRR), Long-Lasting, Flexibility, and if you want earplugs or headphones. As you can see, there is a lot in picking the best fit.

Best Ear Plugs

The following are the best earplugs  (They go from low price to high price.)

How To Prevent Surfer’s Ear? The Best Kitesurfing Ear Protection

Why are earplugs for kite surfers important?

If you often kite surf in the sea or on inland water, it is crucial to shield your ears from cold such as wind and water. Especially in Autumn, Winter, and Spring, it is very crisp for our delicate ears, and because of that, we can suffer from the so-called surfer’s ear. In order to prevent this, you should use earplugs for kite surfers that will protect your ears from cold and dirt. You also want to keep hearing well, so the earplugs must be sound-permeable.

You also want to protect your ears against hard blows on the water where you can experience an eardrum tear. So, for earplugs to be adequate for kitesurfing, they need to provide protection from:

  • Cold
  • Wind
  • Water
  • Dirt
  • Hard blows

What is a surfer’s ear?

Surfer's ear (exostosis) is a condition that causes irregular bone growth within the ear canal, which can cause severe damage to the ears. Irritation from cold wind and water exposure causes the bone surrounding the ear canal to form lumps of new bone growth, constricting the ear canal. As soon as the ear canal gets blocked by this condition, water and wax can become trapped and increase the chance of an infection and hearing loss.

These bone growths narrow your ear canal resulting in lower sound wave transmission, a plugged feeling, and conductive hearing loss. If ear infections become more frequent, hearing loss noticeable, or they grow big enough to touch each other or block your eardrum; they will need to be removed surgically.

You can avoid all this by purchasing a good set of earplugs! A big downside (outside of having an operation) is six weeks recovery period and no water contact during this recovery period! It’s worth mentioning that this condition is also encountered (although less often) in warm water locations as the wind cools the water even on a warm day.

Sadly, many kiters are struggling with this problem. That's why we strongly advise wearing ear protection before you hit the water, especially on a freezing and windy day.

The good in the bad is that the forming of exostoses is a slow process. If you wear earplugs to keep the water and wind out of your ears, you shouldn’t develop the condition in the first place. If you already have exostoses, they probably will not continue to grow if you prevent further cold water/wind exposure, whereas the exostoses you already have are permanent and will not abate by wearing plugs.

Kitesurfing at cold temperatures can lead to a surfer's ear. Nevertheless, you can already damage your ears if the water temperature drops 20 degrees, so you should still protect them well during a kitesurfing session. There are a number of ways to protect your ears against the risks of getting a surfer's ear. Here are some options you should consider:

Surf Cap

You should wear a surf cap in the spring and autumn and especially during the cold winter months. A surf cap blocks the cold wind blows and will give your ears proper protection against the cold in general. If you have long hair, it keeps your hair in place, too, so your vision won't be impaired from the side wind or after a water crash.

Surf Earplugs

An effective way of protecting your ears from the cold while kitesurfing is by using SurfEars. The improved 3.0 SurfEars fit even better than the previous edition. Since your left and right ear are dissimilar, there is now a plug for your left and right ear. They are also clearly visible through different colors.

The outside mesh of the SurfEars, where the sound can pass through and the water can not sometimes broke with the 2.0, but in the new 3.0 SurfEars, the mesh is made with advanced construction behind the mesh so that you can no longer poke a hole in it with your finger. Also, the composition of the gel has been modified to close the ear even better for water. This prevents hearing damage and bone growth (surfer's ear).

Another alternative is Doc’s Pro plugs, very affordable earplugs that can easily be adjusted for deviating ears. This ear protection is also broadly used by divers and endorsed by multiple ENT doctors. The plugs have the asset that they close the ear canal in the auricle, so there is nothing in your ear itself. For kitesurfers, there are so-called ‘vented’ caps with a tiny hole in them, so that the cap does not draw a vacuum in your ear. You can only use them a limited number of times though.

Noises When Kitesurfing

The following infographic shows a list of the various noises when you are out and about. Any noise over 70-80db over a long period of time may cause damage to your hearing. A noise of over 120dB may cuase immediate harm to your ears

The right size

The size of the earplug is crucial (like the size of your kite). With the right size, the cap closes your ear properly, and it is in the right place in your ear. If you are going to buy a new set of hearing protectors, go to a store where you can try them.  The majority of earplug brands supply fitting sets so that you walk out of the store with adequate size. If you know what size you are wearing, you can order them online too.

Surf Spray

The ultimate solution to protect your ears while surfing/kitesurfing is by using water-repellent ear spray. This spray brings an oil-like substance into the ear, which lets water slide directly off the ear, preventing dirt from sticking to it. This type of spray usually consists of natural ingredients, such as olive oil and 0.5% tea oil.

Conclusion

By now you should have learned that the surfer’s ear (exostosis) certainly is not a thing to be joking with. When out in the water, especially during the cold days, wearing proper ear protection is strongly advised, unless you want to develop a condition that’s going to cost you numerous times more than a pair of decent earplugs.

In A Hurry?

If require the Best Hearing Protection for this item, and do not want to read the entire article, below are my recommended ear protection.

Other Questions

What is the difference between kite-surfing and kite-boarding?

There is a thin line that differentiates kite-surfing from kite-boarding. Kite-boarding is a water game involving a double tipped board that looks like a wake-board. For safety, strap the board on your feet though pros use it in freestyle mode, i.e., strapless.

Kite surfing uses a surfboard that isn't strapped to the feet. It's used on the shores with the help of a kite. Kite-boarding is safer for beginners, while experienced sailors use kite-surfing. While skate-boarding uses twin tip boards, kite-surfing uses directional surfboards.

 

How can I protect my ears from the wind?

Harsh weather conditions can harm your ears. Strong winds are noise and can cost you hearing ability. Motorcycle riders are more exposed to strong winds. That's why a motorcycle comes with a helmet for protection.

There are specific devices that can protect your ears from wind beside a helmet. By the way, helmets are basic wind protectors stuffed with earmuffs to protect you. You can put the earmuffs on when riding.

Others include earplugs, which stay inside the ear and can work well with the head helmet. They cancel the wind noise but maintain an allowance to let you listen to the engine performance. Noise-canceling headphones are bulky. They can't fit in the helmet, although they serve the intended purpose.

 

How fast can you go on a kite- board?

Kite-boards are for surfing. Their speed is dependent on water calmness and wind strength. Beginners can do a speed of between 15 and 25 mph, while veterans can do between 50 and 60 mph on a good day.

When the winds are very strong and the water unstable, kite- surfing might not be possible. Because of the high tides' drowning risk. So kite-board speed may not be constant thus unpredictable.

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  • 【BLOCK OUT WATER, LET IN SOUND】 The Eartune Aqua prevents water from entering the ear while surfing and/or swimming. The waterproof membrane blocks the water but allows the sound to come through so you can hear the surrounding.
  • 【UNIVERSAL FIT】 Comes with 2 sizes of ear tips (S/L), 2 sizes of ear hooks (S/L) to fit all ears with different shapes and sizes.
  • 【PREVENT SURFER'S EARS & SWIMMER'S EARS】 Eartune Aqua U Ear Plugs prevent Surfer's Ear and Swimmer's Ear from developing. Protect your ear with the Eartune Aqua and enjoy the water activities that you love.
  • 【MUST FOR ALL WATER ACTIVITIES】 Protect your ears while swimming, surfing, diving, snorkeling, and any other water activities.
  • 【HYPOALLERGENIC & NON-TOXIC SILICONE】 The ear plugs are made from 100% hypoallergenic silicone, perfect for maximum comfort and prolonged use. They do not cause itching or allergic reactions like other plastic or PVC material.
Waterproof Super Soft Silicone Ear Plugs for Surf, Surfing, Swimming...
  • 👂🏻 Protect your ears from water, cold air and dirt without compromising your hearing or balance. Your ears need to last you for a lifetime. Don't let anything permanently damage your hearing.
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Creatures of Leisure Surf Ears Plugs 3.0 Red Teal
  • PROTECT YOUR EARS - Keep water out with our cutting edge design double curved wing and tilted core for a secure fit, helps prevent surfer & swimmers ear
  • COMFORTABLE FIT - The silicone surfer earplug tips are thinner, softer, and have a customizable ergonomic design developed to suit a wide variety of ear canal sizes
  • LET SOUND IN KEEP WATER OUT - The worlds only surfer ear plugs that helps protect your ears without affecting your hearing. Our new plugs are designed to let sound in so you can engage with the lineup
  • FAST & EASY TO USE - Improved leash for quick attachment and detachment & a foolproof fitting with color-coded plugs
  • TRAVEL READY - Premium eco-friendly packaging designed for simple, reusable ear plug storage

Last update on 2020-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

References

If you require more information, please check these references

Kitesurf injury trauma evaluation study: A prospective cohort study evaluating kitesurf injuries , article, "www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov", retrieved on, Tue 10-November-2020

Injuries among Portuguese kitesurfers: The most affected body regions A pilot study , article, "revistas.rcaap.pt", retrieved on, Tue 10-November-2020

Human recreational exposure to antibiotic resistant bacteria in coastal bathing waters , article, "www.sciencedirect.com", retrieved on, Tue 10-November-2020

Author: Nick

Hi, I am Nick, and I have suffered with ear problems my whole life, mainly tinnitus. I have tried a lot of products to help protect my ears over this period, and several devices to block out the constant ringing

“Are you having problems hearing? If so, those around you already know it. Hearing loss is no laughing matter, so don’t be a punchline.”

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