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tomoy 03-01-2012 05:10 AM

Addicted to my Swim Cap
First I had a normal cap, water flowed in, my hair still smelled like chlorine, in 6 months it died like a cheap swimsuit. Next I got a Speedo silicon cap. It covered my eyes. I took scissors to it and jumped in. Immediately, I noticed my head had more buoyancy. It made breathing easier. Then I took it for granted and went mindless.

This weekend, for whatever reason, I thought it'd be liberating to swim without my cap. Ugh, what a terrible day. Gasping for air, sucking in water, not able to swim smoothly or efficiently.

As an IT guy, I know well this thing: give a person a 50% faster computer, and they'll be happy for a week, then 3 months later be unimpressed. Give that person a 33% slower computer, and they will complain every moment of the day non-stop. Basically, good things, easy to take, appreciate, then take for granted. Take a little benefit away though, and it's immediately painful.

So. Clearly, I'm getting 1-2cm of buoyancy from my cap. Before it, my videos showed my 'relaxed' position was a bit too low in the water. I think it's the curvature of my upper back. With a cap, totally relaxed, I think I'm straighter in the water. I kind of feel like I'm cheating with it. Do wet-suits do the same thing? On the other hand, it just feels natural.

If only it weren't so tight. The traditional poly cap is comfy, but not really better for my hair. The silicon cap though isolates me from the water, and makes life good.

Just curious what other's cap experiences are. Thanks!

jtravis 03-01-2012 06:42 AM

Swim caps make you more buoyant?? Can I put one on my legs?

I like my $1.99 latex Speedo cap. It keeps the hair out of the goggles! Sure wish it could improve my swimming as yours does.

andyinnorway 03-01-2012 05:24 PM

I have had 5 months off a cap as our pool water was too hot, then the last two weeks I have been in a 69F unheated pool so bought a cap again.

It felt like having a whole performance wet suit on in comparison 1-2 SPL benefit in a 30yard pool.

webster99 03-01-2012 08:26 PM

It is a relief to hear someone else talk about buoyancy and swim caps. I thought I was the only one to feel that sensation with a swim cap. The very first time I put on my latex cap I felt like I was wearing a floatation device. I'm used to the feeling now but feel the difference when I change caps.

Rincewind 03-01-2012 10:51 PM

Is it the cap or perhaps the air that gets trapped in your hair?

tab 03-02-2012 12:31 AM

I had thought it had just been an illusion. I do like wearing a cap as it helps hold my goggle strap from sliding around. I also suspect if can help keep loose hair out of the pool. So weird to feel a long hair tangled in your hand or across your face, good prep for open water.

tomoy 03-02-2012 08:15 AM


Originally Posted by Rincewind (Post 26889)
Is it the cap or perhaps the air that gets trapped in your hair?

Could be air. I can't get it all out / not sure I want to. I can say that if I push off the wall especially hard, I hear the cap rippling like a sail or flag in the wind. So maybe I'm not wearing it tight enough.

webster99 03-05-2012 04:08 PM

yes, its the air trapped between my head and cap, but it seems hard to eliminate, this "hole"...

CoachBillG 03-05-2012 05:11 PM

The swim cap is literally, a mini wetsuit for your head. It is basically rubber and it floats. If you don't believe me, take it off and throw it in the water. That is added buoyancy for your head which makes your head float easier.

Swimming requires a great deal of sensitivity and your body receives a great deal of feedback. That extra 1-2mm on your head is a huge change!

I just had one of my triathletes who is new to swimming return from Costa Rica from vacation. He swam every day for 10 days down there. When he returned and jump back in the pool, for the entire session he was completely out of whack, off balance and uncomfortable. He emailed me very concerned that he "forgot" how to swim. I told him not to sweat it and that he just became very use to the buoyancy of the salt water. It took him two pool sessions just to become familiar again with pool water.

Thinking you are cheating by wearing a swim cap is like saying it is cheating wearing a swim suit and a pair of goggles ;-p

CoachKris 03-05-2012 05:18 PM

Since we are on caps anyone had a chance to use speedo fs3?
5% drag reduction from hat and goggles ;) would you believe it?

P.s. I loved my TI hat very comfy and warm unfortunately it broke few weeks ago and as I have a drawer full of different caps I've decided to give them a chance but I miss my ti hat already ;(

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