For everyone from surfers to sailers, ear protection is a major concern. Whether it's exposure to pollution, high winds or simply spending too much time in the water, ear infections are a common and debilitating ailment. While most earplugs hinder hearing and throw off one's equilibrium, the new EQ Seals use an innovative design and medical technology to protect the ears of water sport enthusiasts without throwing off their performance. After seeing a lack of ear protection for active seafarers, a group of medical professionals in France's Basque Country set out to create an artificial eardrum to protect the ears without completely blocking the auditory canal. What sets the EQ Seals apart from the rest is their SympaTex one-way membrane, that allows for breathability and airflow without letting water and moisture in.
Testing the EQ Seals in the chilly and less than pristine waters around New York City on a recent surf session, the plugs stand up to the claims. Both hearing and balance were completely intact and it's easy to forget they were there at all. EQ Seals are available online for £40.
Photos by Hans Aschim