does anyone out there have a source for cheap reusable silicone rubber earplugs with a cord.

(maybe someone does the ordering for safety equipt. at work)

every year I think about buying a box to bring to the symposiums for when I work with people on their roll.

Most people never seem to think ahead and show up to learn a roll in cold water and don’t bring any ear protection(Lake Superior)…about 2 or 3 times under and the vertigo sets in and they are all done learning.

I don’t care so much about the nose plugs as that’s something they can learn to control…but the ears have no way to stop the influx of water without outside aid.

I need to find something somewhere that is cheap enough to buy as a give away. So far, all I’ve found out there would cost me too much money in order to buy enough pairs to make it worthwhile bothering.

I think that at “ALL” symposiums it should be anounced ahead of time, that ear plugs or a suitable water inhibiting hood is a must if you plan to spend any amount of significant time with your head underwater. (warm inland Lakes are an exception around here not the rule)

Best Wishes


ear plugs
I use inexpensive soft rubber ear plugs and keep them in the whistle, compass, and match combo in my PFD. They’re really cheap so its no big deal if I loose them. You can get them at places like Menards and Lowes.

Doc’s Proplugs

Available tethered and vented. Available online and at most whitewater shops I’ve patronized.

Thought about the cost
The Doc’s PropPlugs aren’t the cheapest solution for sure, especially since you’d need to have an assortment of sizes and would want the colored tethered ones to reduce loss. But they are also probably more reusable than many cheaper alternatives since they hold up very well and are reasonably dense plastic.

Perhaps I am overly squeamish, but I’d hesitate to put ear plugs into my ears that weren’t a solid and hard enough surface that they could be cleaned of bacteria etc. When not paddling I play an instrument and sing for my sanity, and can’t really afford to pick up someone else’s ear fungus. My concern with the silicone types is that they get wadded up and refolded from use to use, and it could be much harder to assure cleanliness than with pre-formed ones.

All that said, many congrats on thinking about this. Physical comfort isn’t trivial when it allows a newbie to focus on the skill rather than their stinging eyes in a pool or the dizziness from cold water in their ears.


Thanks All
guess it was just a pipe dream.

The thought that I had was to find something like what CD1 shows in his link…but instead at a price that I could afford to buy about 50 pairs so I could just give pairs out as needed in the spirit of helping them be able to focus on getting at least one roll.

Bacteria is not the issue here, since they would be new, not used. And My concern was for a single time period (the symposium)not beyond. That would be up to them just like doing their own wash is.

I know that they are out there since every municipality buys them in quanity as part of their safety equiptment. I just have not been able to find a cheap enough source.

this usually isn’t an issue at the Greenland gatherings since many people tend to wear a tuilik and many others have hoods or their own ear protection.

It only seems to be an issue at the regular symposiums where the rolling students haven’t really thought out what they need to be comfortable enough submerged to actually spend some quality time learning.

I figured that if I could get about 50 pairs for somewhere in the 20 to 30 dollar range thru an industrial outfit. I could just have them with this summer for those who forgot to bring any.

It is quite frustrating to try to work with people on their rolls when they can’t even sit upright in their kayak after a few times under.

People not at all used to paddling or rolling in very cold water are also very suceptiable to not thinking that they would need any protection from the vertigo.

These are the ones I was hoping to be able to help instead of just saying to them that they better just sit on the beach for awhile.

Best Wishes



– Last Updated: Mar-01-08 5:21 PM EST –


No need the leash cord; they float in the pool if they fall off, you'll find 'em.

Thanks Cd1
That looks like a price that I can live with. And they have corded ones reasonable too. I prefer corded because I don’t work in swimming pools and don’t want to litter the beaches with little bits of lost plugs. Leanning toward the Howard Leigh corded.

Thanks again

Best wishes


ear plug
Roy - Try the following site to see it is what you are searching for @ 100 pair for approx $27.00.


I use the rollup foam earplugs when swimming and they work fine for me.

I have these
actually got them for work (construction sites) and tried them out for kayaking classes when I knew I’d be upside down.

they work very well for both situations. Tho I soon discovered that I didn’t really need the earplugs, they were just extra insurance getting started.

I’m with Celia, rather carry my own nose and ear plugs, thank you, kudos to fadedred for his willingness to provide them.

Though it does seem to me that if someone really wants to learn to roll they’ll purchase these items beforehand, just the same as bringing any other type of equipment or clothing to a class.

Everyone is different. if they have sensitivity to vertigo or holding their breath then they should purchase plugs as backup. That to me is just personal responsibility.

The AO case has room for both ear and nose plugs and a small gauge wire or chain can be threaded thru to secure the case inside a PFD or drytop pocket.

What typical percentage of students are usually affected? I thought the risk was headaches not vertigo.

I get vertigo in water less than 60 F
I am good for a several rolls at that temperature. Once it dips below 55F I get vertigo after about 1 roll. No headaches, just vertigo. I don’t get vertigo at all in water above 65F.

This past winter I bought a couple of pairs of Doc’s Pro Plugs (the vented kind) and they work great. I went to an ENT specialist because none of the kayak or surf shops carried them.

Well, I’ll have to see what happens. I have not yet rolled more than a few times in cold water.

spongy earplugs soak water
Had my husband try the typical soft sponge earplugs (industrial work ones) like those cheap ones on the website while in the shower - they soaked up the water in his ears so dont know how good they would be in the water - he figured if coated in vaseline maybe would help them not “sponge” up the water. Dont know how they would work submerged though.