Surfer’s ear is terrible. Surfer’s Ear is the common name for an exostosis or abnormal bone growth within the ear canal. It is caused from exposure to both cold water and wind. After years and years of exposing your ears to cold water and cold wind, bone growths show up on the inside of the ear. Thought to form to protect the inner workings of the ear or brain, they end up trapping water and causing painful ear infections. The surgery is unpleasant, to say the least.