ear plugs?

my ears are getting sensitive to cold water rolling. unless i wear my tightest thickest hood, which is rare, and never for river paddling, my ears get wet.

i’m thinking of getting custom ear plugs, but am wondering if it’s a waste of money. would std foam plugs work as well? i have an old pair of Doc’s but they hurt my ears.

is venting important? i don’t even know what venting is for, but i see it on Doc’s. any frequent cold water rollers out there wear ear plugs?


use anything
I used those silicone wax ones from the pharmacy. In the summertime Chesapeake water it got to the point I’d get an ear infection in 24hrs from repeated immersion. Different issue from your cold water protection but the same need to keep water out of the ear canal. Before I used the ear plugs heavy lycra hoods slowed down the entry of very cold water. fit better than neoprene.

Vented Doc’s

– Last Updated: May-26-08 5:39 PM EST –

I just put them in at the beginning of paddles these days.

Even if it isn't a cold water thing, if you are wet enough long enough without good ear plugs you are risking ear problems. If the Doc's don't work for you find something else that you'll use.

Could the Doc's problem have been a combination of sizing and/or venting? You may need to try another size. At the least, consider the vented ones to keep the pressure more equal. Hear OK, no water gets in.

I use the cheap foam sound-deadening earplugs from the hardware store. They come in bags of 50. And I haven’t had vertigo from cold water or an ear infection from rolling in over 12 years.

Doc’s plugs vented should work
There are lots of different sizes of Doc’s plugs. I contacted Doc’s to get a list of retailers who carried their plus. The only ones in my area were ENT practices so I made an appointment to be fitted. It was worth it because I found out I wear a Large in my right ear and a medium in my left.

I found the vented ones to be more comfortable when rolling. Here is a link of the vented plugs “in action”… http://www.proplugs.com/media/plugsinaction.mpg

and tethered
I like the vented AND tethered Doc’s Proplugs.

There are reasons why the ww centers around us carry Doc’s plugs.

Mostly I use the nonvented plugs

– Last Updated: May-26-08 7:59 PM EST –

The soft small "pine-cone" type. I also use Doc's vented plugs.

I prefer the former because it keeps out water better. Combine them with a thin neoprene hat/hood and that does the trick.

Combining the Doc's vented plugs with the hat/hood still lets a little water in but it's not too bad--and it would be my choice if I wore the plugs during the entire paddle, not just for rolling practice. Hearing is barely affected with the vented plugs, unlike the solid type.