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.

What do you think? 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

What's New at CKS?

View all
If I Won the Runoff Robbery... (Part 2)

If I Won the Runoff Robbery... (Part 2)

Julia Pershken
First things first, you need to take the time to enter the 1st Annual CKS Runoff Robbery giveaway! It is absolutely free, no purchase necessary, n...
Spring Boating: What Do Rafters Really Need?

Spring Boating: What Do Rafters Really Need?

Day Trip Reports + HacksJake Castle
It's time to hang up the skis and reach for your PFD. Make sure you have everything you need for big water season.
If I Won the CKS Runoff Robbery Giveaway...

If I Won the CKS Runoff Robbery Giveaway...

Jonny Ortiz
Already dreaming up what you'd do if you were to win the Runoff Robbery? Us too! Read one of our Gear Expert's takes on it today.