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  #1  
Old 07-03-2014
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Default Swim Cap--To Wear or Not to Wear

Years back I had a swim coach (YMCA) who told me if I wanted to be a swimmer, I should look like one--i.e. wear a swim cap. At first wearing, it seemed that the cap made me more buoyant, but that feeling went away after the first few uses. Plus it did not make me a swimmer.

Then a few weeks ago, I found that I had forgotten my swim cap and I could not believe how much I could feel the water washing over my head. When I couldn't feel the water, I knew that my head was too high. An aha moment?

Anyway, what is the reason to wear a cap in the first place? Unless you have hair hanging down to your shoulders, what difference does it make in terms of drag? I' not talking about racing, just the average everyday swimmer. Also the cap does not prevent water from entering the ears, so scratch that argument.

So does the cap eliminate drag or is it just a sanitary measure?

Sherry
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  #2  
Old 07-05-2014
sclim sclim is offline
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@Sherry: I had no idea the cap made you lose sensory awareness of the water. In my intensive ramping up of swimming frequency this past month I have just realised how much general awareness I've picked up about water flow and direction (from differential pressure, I guess) through my arms and body. I never thought about it, but I guess my head (face, scalp, neck, I guess) would be part of that sensory input, and I might lose some valuable sensitivity if I use a swim cap.

The reason I'm pondering this is that I have been swimming with a Tempo Trainer this past month, and the clip is getting gradually looser. When I take it off to reset it, then clip it back on again to my goggles strap, sometimes I don't get it pushed snugly down on the clip, and the first push-off sends it tumbling off to the bottom of the pool. I have been meaning to try to bring a swim cap, and just stuff it under the cap for convenience and security, but I've forgotten to bring it so far. However, now I'm having a re-think.

Wait a minute -- in an open water race you wear a swim cap -- wouldn't that also throw you off? How about the wet suit? The only open water race I did last year was so chaotic, I can't remember. Besides, I don't think I was prepared enough as I intend to be next time.
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Old 07-05-2014
JediKnight JediKnight is offline
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I too have pondered the cap or no cap. I have started using the tempo trainer regularly and it seems that the cap stuffing method works best vs. the clip to goggles.

I don't really notice a difference in any capacity, with or without cap. But I'm bald and regularly shave my head with razor...so there's that...
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  #4  
Old 07-06-2014
Streak Streak is offline
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I used to use one because the center required it.
Now I only use when I do the odd open water ocean swim so I can be seen more easily by the life guards.
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  #5  
Old 07-07-2014
mishik mishik is offline
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I use the cap as I feel that it reduces the bad effect the chlorinated whater has on my hair.
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  #6  
Old 07-07-2014
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sclim View Post
... When I take it off to reset it, then clip it back on again to my goggles strap, sometimes I don't get it pushed snugly down on the clip, and the first push-off sends it tumbling off to the bottom of the pool. ...
I know what you mean except that .... mine floats.
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A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
~ George Kelly

"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov
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  #7  
Old 07-08-2014
sclim sclim is offline
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OK guys: First try swim cap today. I was surprised how the neoprene stuck to my hair and pulled it as I tugged the cap on. It may help if I cut my hair back to my customary summer length of 1/2". Tucking the TT under the cap was also a little sore due to accidental pulling on the individual stuck hairs. But I removed the goggle clip, and it sat smoother under the cap against my scalp -- the most comfortable place was nestled in front of my ear, but the beeps were really loud.

When I swam there was a new sensation of water turbulence over the slightly loose part of the cap at the back of my head. This surprised me, as I don't swim that fast. It got less when I pulled out all the wrinkles, or maybe I was able to tune out this background noise, but it definitely was different from the sound of the water going over my scalp hairs without the cap. You know, now I'm thinking hard about it, maybe it wasn't a noise; rather a sensation of brrrrrrrrr coarse turbulence as the neoprene wrinkles just flubbadubbadubbed in the water stream, particularly on the push-off and the most forceful part of the arm-stroke.

So, despite the extra layer of neoprene and trapped air and water, I retained just as much awareness of water sensation as before, it seems to me.

Using the cap may be easier once I get used to it. There must be some reason why Terry prefers to use one in all his teaching videos, at least, and he's not using it to stash his Tempo Trainer. If he isn't concerned about the dorkiness factor, neither am I lol.

I just remembered, DC Rainmaker, the tech gear reviewer bloggist uses a swim cap to stash his Garmin 910XT on open water swims, because it captured GPS data more consistently above water than when worn on the wrist, when the satellite capture tends to be on and off. I don't know -- when I wore it on my wrist on my one and only open water race, mine seemed to capture the GPS data ok, but maybe without as fine precision as if it had been under my cap. But I can't see myself using the cap for this.

Edit: Correction -- I think it's actually butyl rubber, not really neoprene.

Last edited by sclim : 07-09-2014 at 07:25 PM.
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  #8  
Old 07-08-2014
Caro Caro is offline
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Is it possible you were wearing a latex hat? They tend to get sticky which can be avoided by putting a bit of talcum powder in after use. You could try a silicone hat they are thicker and don't stick.
Neoprene hats are normally used for open water swimming in the winter. They are a bit dull so it's a good idea to put a colourful latex one on top to be seen.
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  #9  
Old 07-09-2014
Danny Danny is offline
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I just bought something called a Speedo bubble cap. It's a silicon cap that isn't smooth. Instead it is covered with small bumps or bubbles like the surface of a golf ball turned inside out. One purpose of this is to provide some insulation against cold water, but it also makes putting it on and taking it off much easier. The reviews say that women with long hair like it, but guys like me with big heads are also attracted to it. I should say that I haven't yet tried it in the water, so my feedback is tentative in this regard.
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  #10  
Old 07-09-2014
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
I just bought something called a Speedo bubble cap. It's a silicon cap that isn't smooth. Instead it is covered with small bumps or bubbles like the surface of a golf ball turned inside out. One purpose of this is to provide some insulation against cold water, but it also makes putting it on and taking it off much easier. The reviews say that women with long hair like it, but guys like me with big heads are also attracted to it. I should say that I haven't yet tried it in the water, so my feedback is tentative in this regard.
Mmm, sounds interesting. Please do report back :)
__________________
A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
~ George Kelly

"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov
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