HOW IT STARTED
The idea behind SurfEars was born in 2011 when Christian Dittrich, cold water surfer since 25 years, had a serious ear infection during a surf trip to Morocco. Totally deaf on 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 went to examine his ears 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, go through a nasty surgery (which would only temporarily ease the issues) or quit surfing.
Having tried nearly all ear plugs 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 bad fit, resulting in poor comfort and water leaking into your ear.
Tired of having to cope with lousy 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 / engineering friends and started working on what would become a truly important product for the world’s surfers.
The earplug project quickly became an obsession for us and we worked on numerous ideas, concepts and prototypes in the mission of creating the perfect earplug. We invested in a 3D printer, a priceless tool for building and testing ideas, and it was was running non-stop for longer periods churning out new design concepts, eventually lead us to the final design.
The key requirements for our new product was to protect the ears without affecting important senses like hearing or balance, since they are crucial for surfers and other water athletes. We wanted a product that made it possible you to hear the world around you, communicate easily with other 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, without even thinking about it.
Kicking off the 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 pretty good at designing ear plugs by now.
Looking back at our first product 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 earplug we’ve ever tried.
More importantly, we’re proud to know that SurfEars will help many thousands of surfers get a better experience on the water while staying away from the doctor.
Who are we?
We’re a team of professional product designers, engineers and dedicated surfers with more than 25 years on the water. Our team has extensive experience from designing, developing and manufacturing high tech consumer electronics and sports equipment. Combine that with a great passion for water sports and countless hours on the water and you have a recipe for success!