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.

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