Surfer's ear is a common condition affecting the hearing of those who go in the sea regularly. Whether this for surfing, swimming or kite surfing they are all at risk of surfer's ear if they don't take precautions. The body reacts to the cold by forming tiny bony nodules around the opening of the ear. These slowly grow over the next few years, narrowing the opening. This leads to conductive deafness and a higher rate of ear infection in sufferers. To avoid this they need to protect themselves.
Having not used protection, the only treatment for the condition is surgery. The extra bone is chiselled or drilled away by a surgeon under local anaesthetic. ZenPlugs wanted to find out how often surfers needed to have the operation. They carried out a survey of 203 avid surfers who were contacted using social media and a hospital staff newsletter. Surprisingly, in this group 6% of the surfers had the operation at some point in their lives. This comes to 1 and 17 surfers. Several of them had even had it more than once. Having the operation does not protect against the condition coming back if protection is not used.
The research also showed that wearing surfing earplugs and a surfer's neoprene cap more than 90% of the time prevented the condition.
Summary. One in 17 surfer's have had their ears chiselled or drilled. If you don't want to be one of them wear your surfer's cap and ear plugs more than 90% of the time.
You may of heard of surfers ear?
However it is not just surfers that the condition effects and is something that all water users need to be aware of.
In the UK it is a major concern for Kitesurfers and Windsurfers as it is not just cold water, but the cold wind which can cause 'Surfers Ear'.
I personally always wear ear plugs when I'm on the water as I know a lot of people who have had to have the operation which is not only painfull but puts you off the water for 3 months!
Check out some more info from Zenplugs below-
Warning: Surfers Are 17 Times More Likely To Go Deaf If They Don't Protect Themselves Against Surfer's Ear
If you are a keen surfer you may well have heard of surfer's ear. It is a common disorder among people who have been surfing for several years. Nobody really knows why but the bone of the outer ear canal creates small lumps which gradually get bigger and close the camal over. This results in deafness and more ear infections.
Research by ZenPlugs shows that most surfers are aware of the need to wear ear plugs. Unfortunately the majority do not know that they also need to wear a surfing cap as well. This is because wind or cold water on the bone behind the ear can have the same effect as on the ear itself.
ZenPlugs wanted to find out just how effective wearing both surfing ear plugs and cap are at preventing the problem. They carried out research using a questionnaire and received 203 responses. This showed that people who wear both more than 90% of the time were 17 times less likely to develop the condition. In fact, all those in the survey who had been wearing them more than 90% of the time were free of surfers ear. In comparison, people who only wore them 40% of the time were developing the condition after 11 years of surfing on average.
It is a common misconception among surfers that they do not need to wear protection against surfer's ear during the summer or in warm climates. It is still possible to develop surfers ear under these conditions.
The reason for this is due to the cooling effect of sea water evaporating from the skin of the ear and the mastoid bone behind it. Even if the sea and air temperature are warm the temperature of the skin may drop below the temperature as a result of evaporation. Even the wind on it's own can be enough to chill the skin and the underlying bone. This means that protection should be worn all year round and in all climates.
Summary. If you want to protect yourself against surfer's ear make sure you wear your surfing earplugs and cap more than 90% of the time. Keep them on all year round and whatever the climate and you will be free of the condition for many years to come.
Our 2014 Dakhla coaching holiday ran from 1st - 12th March. Arriving we were greeted with strong winds and had the first morning on the Lagoon at Dakhla Spirit Camp to assess the level and get used to the wind before moving to the beach break wave spot of Point d'lor in the afternoon. The following days we had amazing kitesurf wave conditions at Oum Laboiur the famous right had point situated near the town and the guys all learnt lots and started to really improve their kitesurfing in the waves.
Unfortunately on day 5 the wind dropped off and was not enough to kite so after a board chat we had a trip around the town exploring the markets and eating some great seafood.
Over the next 3 days the swell came back but not the wind so we went to surf at Arish, one of the best waves in the whole of Africa where you can ride for over 500m with 20 turns before walking back up the point and doing it all again. In the afternoons and evenings we covered all aspects of theory related to kitesurfing in waves.
On the final few days the wind started to come back in the afternoons enough for a few more lagoon sessions to polish off the tacks and gybes before the last day which saw head high perfection at Oum Laboiur again.
A great trip was had by all with amazing food, nice people, a great place to stay at the Surf House and action on all but one day. We were pretty unlucky with the wind as it had been blowing non-stop for 3 months, but that's the way it goes and we still had some great surf!
Stay tuned to the website and our Facebook page for news of our next Kitesurf Coaching Holiday and be sure to book early for Dakhla 2015.
Feedback so far-
'Golfers get lessons all the time. We spend thousands on kit and yrs making same mistakes. Lee teaches you to appreciate real strapless surfing and you can save money buying the right gear after! Really recommend for anyone into waves . I felt real improvement in just few days and was good fun'Mark Stephen
We are really excited to be going back to Dakhla, one of our favorite places in the World to Kitesurf.
For 2014 we have sorted out a really great deal with our friends at Kite Morocco staying at the new Dakhla Spirit Surf House.
Strictly limited to 6 people per coaching session. (i.e 6 for wave, 6 for freeride).
Private room and beginner packages available, details on request.
Flights are currently around £300-£330, for the 1st - 12th we recommend using Royal Air Maroc, Gatwick - Dakhla
and for the 1st - 8th we recommend using the RAM Heathrow - Dakhla flight which we have found cheapest with Edreams.
Due to the need for an overnight stop in Casablanca on the return leg we recommend staying at the nearby Relax Airport Hotel (formally Atlas Hotel) which has a free shuttle outside the airport and costs around £60 for the night including breakfast.
Places are strictly limited to a max of 6 for Wave coaching and 6 for Freeride. Please don't hesitate to contact with any questions or queries. We have been to Dakhla many times so can help out with most things!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book, this is a one off special deal and probably your last chance to visit Dakhla for under £1000!
More info on the website http://www.pastyadventures.co.uk/dakhla.html
Here we are coming to the end of my 3rd week in Cape Town and we have only had 2 days without any action on the water which meant we could be cheesy tourists for a day;)
Although its not been as windy as normal with the Cape Doctor (se wind) mostly turning up late in the day, we have had some great conditions for kite wave riding and also a few days of epic surf down the point. I'm staying at the super nice Cape Town Kite Club and recommend anyone coming to South Africa to stay here as it is right in Big Bay within a 2 minute walk of the beach, restaurants, pubs and shops with all the facilities on hand including an indoor Braii (bbq) and lovely swimming pool which is perfect for cooling off in whilst waiting for the wind.
Last week we had the South African Kite Tour event at Big Bay where I placed 4th in the waves, losing in the semis to event winner and 3 time SA Champ, Luke McGillewie who was the only other competitior riding strapless in the challenging close out waves. Still a great event with some awesome riding in the Freestyle final by Jonno and Ozzie wowing the crowds.
While out here I am super pleased to be involved with a new Kitesurf Wave Coaching series from Progression which is due for release towards the end of the year. Be sure to Like their page on facebook to stay up to date with how its going and to see some teaser clips. Below is our first test with the amazing FS700 super slow mo camera on a NW day down the point at pumping Witsands.
Be sure to follow Pasty Adventures on Facebook to see all the news and pics from our time out here in the Cape of Good Fun!
Have you checked out our upcoming Kitesurf Holiday in Dakhla 1st - 12th March. Currently still have space, click here for more details.
Thanks for reading, stay safe and Happy Kiting :)
Lee 'Pasty' Harvey
Had our 1st summer surf at Gwenver 1 week after we lost Jake. You should of been there with us bro!
Heres a little vid I put together.
Love you forever
Check out these latest couple of videos from recent sessions kitesurfing and windsurfing at Gwithian, Cornwall.
Remember we are No.1 for kitesurfing lessons as well as all watersports in Cornwall.
Gift Vouchers available for all courses.
Despite the crazy weather with torrential rain and hosepipe bans up country, its been almost perfect for learning to kitesurf down here in Cornwall.
With small waves and North to West winds, Gwithian has been amazing with all the beaches around St Ives bay offering up amazing kite conditions.
In the southerly winds we have been having, Marazion has been perfect, although some waves last week have stirred up a bit of weed making for some line tangles and the students learning about the importance of staying away from weed and cleaning your lines after your kitesurf session. The beach have now been cleaned by Cornwall Council who use the weed to fertilize the farms around Penzance.
With great winds forecast again all this week and the beaches pretty empty, there has been no better time to learn to kitesurf in Cornwall, so make the most of this summer and get in touch today to book in your extreme adventure with Pasty Adventures, West Cornwalls only British Kite Surfing Association recognised school.
We also pride ourselves on offering the best value kitesurf instruction in the UK concentrating on giving intimate instruction to the students. To do this we recommend 1:1 instruction so that you can learn at your own pace. We also offer the 'Learn with a friend' option for all of our kitesurf courses as kitesurfing is a really socialable sport and great to learn with your mates. 2:1 is the biggest class size we run, unlike most other schools who operate on a 4:1 basis. We believe this is unfair as you spend a lot of time hanging around and we want you to learn quickly, while having an amazing time and feeling like you are getting amazing value. Kitesurfing is an expensive sport to learn but we feel it is worth every penny and want you to feel this right from your first lesson!
We can also sort you out with some great deals on new equipment thanks to local shop Westcountry Watersports in Truro and our sponsors North Kiteboarding so there has been no better time to get into the Worlds fastest growing extreme sport.
Lee is now back in Cornwall running kitesurfing lessons at Gwithian and Marazion after his 3 week adventure in Portugal for round 1 of the 2012 KSP World Tour.
Unfortunately the wind did'nt play ball after Lee dominated his Round 1 heat advancing straight to a round 3 match up with 2008 World Champ, Mitu Monteiro from Cape Verde. After hanging around all week, with the wind teasing and numerous heats starting and stopping, the event finally ended without a result as there were still 2 heats left to run in round 2.
Some great waves were had both surfing and kiting at some of Portugals numerous World class spots, with Lee making the most of being away from Cornwall in the sun and having the van to get around, taking with him some of the best kitesurfers and surfers in the World, such as Ozzie wiz kid, Keahi de Aboitiz and former ASP Top 44 surfer Pedro Henrique from Brasil.
Check out the small vid from the trip below.
Next up for the tour is Mauritius in September and you can be there amongst it while enjoying a week of top class coaching from Lee and 2011 womens One Eye Pro winner, Ninja the week before the event. More details in the Holiday pages