Whenever I went to the pool and saw ‘those’ people in swimming caps, I always thought they looked expert, were fast and have likely swam for many years. Of course, this is a bizarre assumption to make, and definitely not a solid reason to purchase a swimming cap. That being said, the benefits of swimming caps are rather apparent when you dive deeper into the science behind them (pardon the swimming pun).
In this post, we are going to look at the different types of swimming caps available, as well as the pros and cons of wearing them. Let’s get to it…
Do You Need a Swimming Cap?
Olympians would not insist on wearing swim caps if there weren’t inherent benefits to them. So as recreational swimmers, is there any benefits we can take? The answer is yes.
Three Benefits of Swimming Caps
1. Reduce drag: this might be a higher priority for Michael Phelps than it is for us mere mortals, but swimming caps were originally invented to improve hydrodynamics and increase speed in the water. Time to go get yourself some new personal best laps!
2. Contain hair: perhaps the most obvious reason, but long hair swimming caps are ideal for keeping hair out of your face and out of the pool water. They also reduce chlorine damage, this is especially important if you swimming frequently.
3. Open water swimming safety: wearing high visibility swimming caps in open water could quite literally save your life someday. It’s never a bad idea making yourself easier to spot, so something fluorescent on your noggin is the only way to go.
Three Drawbacks of Swimming Caps
We aren’t going to lie to you, swimming caps aren’t all sunshine and rainbows. Professional swimmers cannot wait to pull them off after a race and there are reasons why.
1. Finding the right fit can be tricky: since everyone’s head is different (and hairstyle) getting a swimming cap that fits perfectly is a bit of trial and error. The wrong fit will feel loose and move around. Too tight, and your head will feel like it’s about to burst.
2. Gender stigma: it’s fair to say that, unless you’re an Olympian, wearing a swimming cap as a man can take a lot of confidence. However, we advise not to worry about how you think you look, but how much faster and more expert you appear!
3. Latex allergies: many people suffer from latex allergy, which would be made very uncomfortable with a latex swimming cap. Fortunately there are polyester swim caps available that can completely alleviate this issue!
If you’ve not tried a few laps in a swimming cap, we urge you to give it a go. It will take a little getting used to at first, but once you experience the dolphin-like streamlining and a face free of hair, you won’t look back. There is also quite a range of colourful swimming caps on offer to suit all tastes and personalities.