For surfers that are getting in the water on a regular basis - especially in colder water, getting surfer's ear isn't a matter of if, its a matter of when. That's why its important to consider non surgical preventative measures early on as advanced cases of surfers ear can lead to costly and painful surgeries. These surgeries carry risks with them and no one wants to jeopardize their hearing.
There are a few proven simple ways to prevent surfers ear. The first is to wear ear plugs. There are numerous brands, but Docs Ear Plugs have been a favorite among surfers for numerous years. The second way to prevent surfers ear is to wear a hood when surfing in cold water. In addition to keeping your head warm, a hood prevents cold wind and water from impacting your ear canal.
Neither of these preventative measures is 100% effective as water will likely still enter a surfers ear during a session. That said, these measures are likely to dramatically reduce the exposure to cold water and wind a surfer might face, and hence are likely to slow down the onset of surfers ear.