After 25 years on a board…all around the world, I want to share with all surfers the most important annual investment I make. It has nothing to do with boards, wetsuits, shorts or the type of wax. Although my skins under the boardies are No.2 😉
It’s not a set of exercises or stretches to keep me in shape for such a physically demanding activity. I do Relaxaback daily… that keeps my spine lengthened and ready for all the rotation.
At the beginning of the year I suffered the most excruciating pain in my life. Worse than the accident in 2004 where I put a circular saw into my leg and severed the quadricep tendon in my right thigh. Youch!
For the first time in my life I contracted an ear infection that blew all past injuries out of the water. The pain in my outer ear and down the side of my face was unbelievable and it scared the life out of me. It felt like my ear might fall off for a few days.
Once the antibiotics (my first for almost two decades) did their thing and I stayed out of the water for 4 weeks (yep, the swell picked up beautifully during this time, just ask my web man Cesar)the ear specialist helped clean it all out and sat me down for some stern advice.
Thanks to travelgrom.com for this image:
The flow of cold water in and out of the canal is believed to cause bony growths to develop. Water, wax and other stuff gets caught behind these humps and can get infected. I have for a long time had itchy ears… and many a cotton bud has found it’s way in to help reduce the irritation, something I knew was not a good idea. But what do you do with ignorance and the maddening itch?
When I look back… water always seemed to get stuck in my right ear when surfing and I just put up with it. In the end, I put up with it for too long.
Oblivious to what had been developing in my ears for all these years the inevitable infection occurred and now I am fully compliant with the doctor’s advice! Pain does that. BluTack works better than anything else to block out water, don’t waste your money on the stuff in the pharmacy. On the odd occasion I have to swim without blocking my ears, Aqua Ear gets dropped in straight after to dry them out. It’s a slight hassle, but nothing compared to the pain!
Every 6 months I go to the Malouf Ear Clinic in Cooloongatta for a checkup. Dr McCormack takes a look, cleans out anything that is clogging and sends me on my way. The reassurance that my ears are fine and there’s no time bomb ticking in there is great. The appointment costs $60! I’d happily pay double. But that’s not all, you get about $28 back on Medicare. What a lucky country.
So, for $32 every 6 months, I call this the most important investment a surfer can make each year.