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Old    59yroldkid            01-03-2009, 12:42 AM Reply   
I tried Doc's Proplugs and lost both of them the first time I fell. Which helmet is best when the principal concern is ear protection? Should I wear earplugs with it? Thanks.
Old     (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       01-03-2009, 12:54 AM Reply   
no helmet will completely protect your ears from getting blown. it might lessen the severity but completely prevent blowing them? no helmet will do it. stick w/ the plugs.
Old     (sp0tts)      Join Date: Jun 2004       01-03-2009, 8:21 AM Reply   
Like Joe said, no helmet will completely protect you, but Gath are probably the best for ear protection.
Old     (joe_crawley)      Join Date: Jan 2007       01-03-2009, 8:33 AM Reply   
Joe, respectfully disagree, I've only got my experience to go with. I use the protec ace wake helmet and I haven't had a ear problem since the day I started using it. It the 5 years prior to using it (I've been using it for 3 years now) I blew my eardrums 3 times. I've got no experience with the doc pro plugs, but I did try plugs and I wasn't able to get used to the muffled hearing.

1 vote for a helmet over plugs- in fact, I'll sit out a butter day if I don't have a helmet with me.

edit- if anyone has seen me ride, they know I fall hard a lot, and I ride 50+ times a season

(Message edited by joe_crawley on January 03, 2009)
Old     (toesideturtle)      Join Date: Oct 2002       01-03-2009, 8:45 AM Reply   
I have blown out my eardrums 3 times.
twice without a helmet and once with. I wear the Protec Ace Wake helmet ever since and can say that the severity/pain was much less when wearing a helmet. I recommend wearing a helmet.
Old     (lizrd)      Join Date: Jul 2002       01-03-2009, 10:36 AM Reply   
Here's another vote for the Ace Pro-tec
Old     (newchicago)      Join Date: Nov 2006       01-03-2009, 10:48 AM Reply   
I've blown mine with the Protec.
Looking to try plugs next season.
Old     (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       01-03-2009, 10:49 AM Reply   
gangstar, my buddies have blown their ears wearing protec.
Old     (bwood)      Join Date: Jul 2003       01-03-2009, 1:10 PM Reply   
Here's the Gath, I've never tried one but it looks like it might do the trick.
Old     (mike2001)      Join Date: Feb 2008       01-03-2009, 1:20 PM Reply   
Another vote for Pro Tec ace wake helmet
Old     (sp0tts)      Join Date: Jun 2004       01-03-2009, 10:52 PM Reply   
I should mention I own a Protec, but still think Gath is the best. Didn't hear of the Gath till after I bought my Protec, but have some friends who swear by them and to me it seems like a better design if ear protection is truly what you're after.
Old     (coreym)      Join Date: Sep 2008       01-03-2009, 11:54 PM Reply   
If you really want to be completely protected I would check this clip out!
Old     (unclejessie)      Join Date: Jan 2004       01-04-2009, 9:07 AM Reply   

I looked at your profile and I doubt you are doing huge inverts, 5s, 7s or other advanced tricks. I would say wearing a helmet with ear protection will protect you from any fall you will have.

I wear a Pro-tec ACE with ear protection and I crash very hard, very often and I have been ok. The side of my head has been planted sooo hard on ts5s gone bad that I swear by them...

Having said that... you can't throw out what some of these guys are saying. What I do think is important is to understand what tricks were being tried when these guys blew out their drums?

Hearing people say "their buddy blew their eardrums" makes me wonder... what was the crash... was it a w2w jump or was it Crow Mobe 5 or S-Bend gone bad?

The fact is that the higher and faster you go, the more impact you will have when you crash. I 100% believe there is a point where ear protection stops working. I also 100% believe that point is extending vs. not wearing them.

Old     (lfrider92)      Join Date: Sep 2008       01-04-2009, 9:33 AM Reply   
i dont know if your intrested. but i shoot shot guns in competition, and i have a custom set of ear plugs. they are reletively cheap ($50) i decided to try wearing them when i board because i get ear infections really easily when i swim. ive never had them fall out and when i wear them NO water gets in your ears. they help a ton. i also wear them when i free dive. so i think they are awesome. i dont wear them when i ride anymore because id rather listen to music and get an ear infection haha

this link is just from google, but if you have a gun club or gun store near by they will be able to direct you to a place that does them.

good luck, hope this helps
Old     (wake_upppp)      Join Date: Nov 2003       01-04-2009, 11:28 AM Reply   
And another vote for ProTec.
Old     (wakerider111)      Join Date: Jul 2006       01-04-2009, 1:31 PM Reply   
Corey James (coreym)
Old    59yroldkid            01-04-2009, 4:02 PM Reply   
Thanks for all the thoughtful suggestions. Corey has the best idea, although I don't think I can afford one of those suits. I will look at the Pro-tec Ace and the Gath tomorrow. From the pictures I've seen so far, the Gath looks better, but as long as the ear covering is rigid enough not to collapse against my ear during a hard fall, either helmet will probably work.

I bought a water polo cap on ebay recently, and the ear cups on it are really solid. They have numerous holes punched in them, most of which would have to be sealed off. The water polo cap would not work by itself, though, because a serious face plant would probably strip it off. It might be okay with a good helmet worn over over it, though.

As you expected, Uncle Jessie, I'm not doing any advanced tricks. I'm not even clearing the wake yet. I blew my left eardrum last month on a less than w2w 180. I was tired and not concentrating on my form and I caught the front edge when I landed. The ENT Dr. said I could continue to wakeboard if I wore earplugs. So the next time I had a chance to ride, I lost the plugs and blew it out again. I was trying to take it easy, this time, but again, I wasn't paying attention to my form, and caught the leading edge again.

David, I get the impression that the earplugs you are recommending are better suited for wakeboarding than the Doc's Proplugs. Maybe mine were just too small for my ears.
Old     (lfrider92)      Join Date: Sep 2008       01-04-2009, 6:17 PM Reply   
paul, they are MEANT for shooting guns, but they are also water tight (even says so on the package) laughs, but seriously, i wore them from probably around 3 dozen sets and never had one fall out or even come close to it. and i didnt get an ear infection while i wore them. you should seriously look into them though. good luck
Old     (davey_boy)      Join Date: Dec 2005       01-04-2009, 6:52 PM Reply   
Paul, sounds like you had some bad luck on those falls, glad to see it hasn't deterred you from riding! Just wanted to mention that I use the Docs ProPlugs and have never had them fall out. I do think the sizing is important. My wife has them as well and hers are smaller than mine. I put them in by mistake one time and I could tell they were a little loose. So, if you didn't get your ear sized when you bought them, then maybe they are too small.
Old    59yroldkid            01-04-2009, 9:04 PM Reply   
David C., I am seriously thinking about getting the plugs that you recommended. If I could just buy them locally, I would get them for sure.

David W., I guess I'm in denial about the actual size of my ears. The ones I lost were "large." Yesterday I went back to the scuba store where I bought them and got the X-L's. They seem to fit more snugly. I didn't try on the XX-L's, but I will go back and do that before I open the package that the X-L's came in. Right now I'm trying to figure out why I didn't try out all the sizes the first time.


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