SEKI founder Chris Ryan knows the pain of surfer’s ear as well as anyone.
As a mad-keen young surfer growing up in New Zealand, Chris never thought about protecting his ears. Even as the symptoms of surfer’s ear set in, he still chose not to wear earplugs.
After 15 years of stabbing ear pain, hearing loss, infections and repeated no-surfing periods, he finally had surgery. Having his right ear sliced open, drilled out and stitched back together was harrowing enough for Chris to start using earplugs.“I went and bought the best earplugs I could find. First surf, it was pumping. I put these plugs in my ear and had to keep pushing them back in. On about my third wave I came up and one earplug was gone. That was $35 down the tube. I was fuming!”
The Kiwi designer set about creating the earplugs he wanted to use. He formed a business team, invested in research and development, spent 800 hours interviewing surfers and testing his prototypes among Mavericks chargers like Matt Becker, Hunter Murison and Luca Padua.
Two years later, Seki earplugs dropped into the market – designed to keep surfers in the water for a lifetime.
“I want to be surfing with my grandkids when I’m 70 and I want every surfer to enjoy this sport for a lifetime. That’s why I created Seki earplugs.”