How It Started
SurfEars was born in 2011 when Christian Dittrich, a cold water surfer for over 25 years, had a serious ear infection during a surf trip to Morocco. He became totally deaf in one ear for nearly a week and forced to stay out of the water, the infection was a real pain to get rid of. It wasn’t the first time and surely not the last. Christian had his ears examined and was told he had a severe case of exostosis, or Surfer’s ear, in both ear canals. He was facing a future of either having to cope with bad ear plugs, stuff blu-tack into his ears, go through a nasty surgery (which would only temporarily ease the issues) or quit surfing.
Having tried nearly every single ear plug on the market, the conclusion was always the same – wearing earplugs sucked. Not being able to hear your environment takes away a big part of the surfing experience. Struggling to hear and talk to other surfers makes you feel isolated and also affects your balance, which is crucial for surfers. Adding to that, most ear plugs had a terrible fit, resulting in poor comfort and still let water leaking into your ear.
Tired of having to cope with poorly designed and constructed ear plugs, Christian decided it was time to come up with a better solution. With a background in mechanical engineering and experience from design of mobile phones and acoustic materials, Christian teamed up with a few surfing and engineering friends and started developing what would become a truly important product for surfers all over the world.
The earplug project quickly became an obsession for us and we worked on numerous ideas, concepts and prototypes with the goal of creating the perfect earplug. We invested in a 3D printer, a priceless tool for building and testing ideas, and it was running non-stop for long periods churning out new design concepts, eventually leading us to the final design.
The top requirements for our new ear plugs was to protect the ears without affecting important senses such as hearing or balance, since they are crucial for surfers and those taking park in other water activities like kayaking, white water rafting and diving. We wanted a product that made enabled you to hear the world around you, communicate easily with fellow surfers and allowing you to embrace the full experience of surfing. We also wanted product that was so comfortable to use that you could keep it in your ears for hours and never even think about it
Kicking off our project in 2011, we’ve spent over 25 000 hours to get to where we are today. They say it takes 10,000 hours to really understand what you’re doing, so I guess we should be experts at designing ear plugs by now!
Looking back at our first ear plug launched back in 2014 which was already a great product, we’re beyond stoked about the improvements we’ve made with SurfEars 3.0. It’s by far the best and most advanced earplug we’ve ever created.
More importantly, we’re proud to know that SurfEars 3.0 will help many thousands of surfers get a better experience on the water while staying away from the doctor.
Who Are We?
We’re EarLabs, a team of professional product designers, engineers and dedicated surfers with more than 25 years in the ocean. Our team has extensive experience from designing, developing and manufacturing high tech consumer electronics and sporting equipment. Combine that with our great passion for water sports and countless hours in the water and you have a recipe for success!