our Story


The idea behind SurfEars® was born out of necessity back in 2011 when Christian Dittrich, mechanical engineer and cold water surfer since 25 years, caught 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.

Having tried nearly all ear plugs on the market Christian had always came to the same conclusion: wearing ear plugs sucks. Not being able to hear your environment takes away a big part of the experience on water. It makes it hard to hear and speak to other surfers, and it affects your balance in a negative way. Adding to that, most ear plugs has a poor fit, lousy comfort and leaks water into your ears.

Tired of having to cope with lousy ear plugs,  we decided it was time to come up with a better product ourselves, and the company Ear Labs was born. We needed something to protect our ears without affecting important senses like hearing or balance, since they are crucial for surfers and other water athletes. We wanted a product that allowed you to hear what’s going on around you, embracing the full experience of surfing, swimming or whatever watersport you’re practicing. A product that made it possible to hold a normal conversation and that was so comfortable to use that you could keep it in your ears for hours without even thinking about it.


Throughout the project we generated tons of ideas and concepts of how to solve the problems at hand. We designed, built and tested literally hundreds of prototypes, and our 3D printer (a priceless tool for concept validation) was running non-stop for long periods. After about two years of hard work, having been exposed to anything from icy cold winter swells in Sweden to tropical surf in Barbados, we eventually felt we had an ear plug that worked better than anything out there. We decided to put it on Kickstarter to validate if there was a large enough market demand. People loved it and the rest is history…
Today SurfEars® is the market leader in ear plugs for surfers, distributed globally by Creatures of Leisure and sold in over 1000 stores and 30 countries.


swimmers next

In 2015 EarLabs joined forces with Danish open water swim champion Hans Henrik H. Heming, who came on board with the mission to bring our great innovation to swimmers, who we know share many of the ear-related issues surfers have. SwimEars® allow swimmers to hear their environment, greatly improving safety in open water and make communicate with your coach or fellow swimmers much easier.

Ear Labs have teamed up with leading swim brand Finis and 6x Ironman Hawaii World Champion Dave Scott to take SwimEars® to market globally.