Nathan Klema Reviews Doc's Pro Plugs

Growing up in Colorado I started hearing about surfers ear early on. Also known as Exostosis, surfers ear is the body's natural reaction to repeated exposure to cold water, where a bone will slowly grow over the ear canal in an attempt to protect the eardrum. With most ear canals ranging from 7-12 mm in diameter, hearing impairment and/or total closure usually occurs after ten to fifteen years of continued exposure. Much earlier Exostosis can trap water in the ear leading to painful and dangerous ear infections. Bone growth can be removed however surgery is expensive, takes out of paddling time, and can lead to permanent hearing loss. My mother bought me my first set of earplugs ten years ago, which I wore with insufficient regularity. I first saw the effects last year when an infection nearly had me evacuated from the Grand Canyon. Since then I get infections at the drop of a hat nearly every time I get water in my ear. The moral to the story? If you're boating in spring runoff earplugs are worth the trouble, and pro-plugs are the best.


  • More comfortable than other ear plugs.
  • They don't stick out of your ear which makes them work better under a helmet.
  • The vent hole in the middle of the plug helps you hear what's going on.
  • Varying sizes(click link to see sizing chart) help you get a perfect seal.


  • Slightly more expensive that other ear plugs (a couple of dollars).
  • Easy to lose, so buy a couple of pairs.


Ear infections will ruin any trip and nobody likes surgery. Get some earplugs.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

About Us

We're a group of whitewater kayak, raft, and stand up paddleboard enthusiasts committed to stocking the highest-quality gear and deliver it to you as quickly as possible.

Learn more about us

Don't Forget About These

What else are we up to?

View all
Down and Dirty: 9 Items You Need for Your Dry Suit Repair Kit

Down and Dirty: 9 Items You Need for Your Dry Suit Repair Kit

GearJonny Ortiz
Whitewater dry wear is the largest apparel investment any boater can make. For those who want to extend the life and use of their dry suit (or dry top), it's best to keep a dry suit repair kit on hand. Read our 9 recommendations for the best dry suit repair kit!
Whitewater Kayak Paddle Buying Guide

Whitewater Kayak Paddle Buying Guide

Jonny Ortiz
Choosing the right paddle for whitewater kayaking can be daunting with all the available paddle options to consider. We are here to help! ...
All Aboard the Love Boat!

All Aboard the Love Boat!

Benjamin Thornton

Have you ever had a tough time convincing your family that your black eye isn't that big of a deal? Or spent an hour explaining to your Tinder date the difference between "homeless" and "houseless," just so they would understand why you brought them back to a tent in the woods? 

If you answered yes to either of these things, hopefully this blog can help avoid some of those awkward conversations!