In this episode of the Views From The Bus podcast, Bob Rief is joined by Tradian Maier, Founder of EarPro. Many surfers and water sports participants have a common issue of Surfer’s ear, a condition that causes blockage of the ear canal. Tradian caught Bob’s attention when he applied to the SDSI Accelerator Group with a solution for Surfer’s ear. Listen to Tradian and Bob discuss the importance of ear health and how SDSI teamed up with EarPro to launch their product successfully in the United States. 

Podcast Highlights

2:40 – How diving enlightened Tradian on the issues of Ear Health: “I used to work in the scuba industry, down in Asia and people were paying a whole bunch of money to actually do four to five dives a day. And where actually the issue first came up to me was when we had guests sitting out basically every single dive trip because of ear problems.”

5:00 – How does Surfer’s ear develop: “It’s basically a problem that when water goes into the ear and gets stuck in. It’s important to say water in the ear in itself is not really an issue I’ve learned. The problem is when you go in and you get a little bit of water that actually sticks there and you cannot get out. And that’s where really the issue starts. Even the swimming pool water will have bacteria in it and those bacteria, if the water sit in the ear where it’s a moist, warm environment, the skin is getting a bit soggy. That’s a perfect way actually for the bacteria to enter the body.”

8:00 – What is Surfer’s ear?: “The bone starts actually to grow out and make the ear canal smaller and smaller, which means that water gets trapped easier and easier…as the ear canal gets smaller and smaller a lot of surfers experience more and more ear infections because the water doesn’t manage to drain out from the ears.”

10:30 – The problems with ear plugs: “You can just imagine trying to force the kid for the full summer to where your ear plugs. It’s going to be a very hard sell.”

“They are definitely not cool. The problem with kids in ear plugs. Let’s say you managed to wear them. Obviously they don’t hear you. So if you scream or you try to get them back on shore or whatever, that’s also gone at the same time. So it’s really not an ideal solution.”

15:45 – EarPro’s solution for ear health: “If we use a highly hydrophobic or water repellent oil that will coat the ear canal. So think they call it the ‘Lotus effect’ or think when you wax your car and see how the water actually runs down the newly waxed car. That will do the same thing with the inner ear and water drops, the water molecules don’t have a way of actually getting stuck to the surface of this.”

“We worked together with a professor at the University of Berlin whose specialty was Natural oils and their anti-infective properties. We realized that the oregano oil was something that was actually already researched that kills off the full bacterias on two fungus that are causing your infections.”

26:00 – How SDSI accelerator group helped EarPro: “This has been above and beyond actually what we could even imagine. So in four months we went from absolutely nothing to have an absolutely huge support network. Thanks to Bob, but also thanks to some other, really, really heavy hitters within the SDSI network we did a very successful launch, even though COVID hit we did a launch during COVID, but even, so we have really taken off in the US both online and also with the reps in the specialty stores.“