Caps for Cred

Did you know HAST gives free caps to swimmers with exemplary report cards?  See a board member for more info and have your swimmer bring their report card to Coach Kristi for their free cap.  

Swim Caps come in all sorts of designs, a few different shapes and a couple different sizes.  The cap's main purpose is to reduce drag by smoothing the head.  They also do a great job of coralling hair, especially for girls with longer hair.  Longer hair will get in a swimmers face and possibly caught up on goggles- think flip turns!  Most caps are made of two different materials.  Latex came first, and silicone was the improvement on that. Latex caps are still around and are generally much cheaper.  Some people are allergic to latex, and that is the best reason to always chose silicone.  See below for an indepth description of the two.  For sizes, caps will often come one size fits all, but if you shop at a retailer that has a lot of swim specific gear, you will find youth sizes, adult sizes as well as caps designed to hold long/thick hair better.  HAST has a Team Store at SwimOutlet.com, there you will find an extensive array of swim caps that range from $4-$75 each.  During summer months, you may find swim caps at Target or Walmart and you can generally find a small selection all year at Dicks.  There are also a couple Deep End locations in our area that stocks swim gear.  The latest swim cap advancement is the Dome Cap.  This cap stays molded in the dome shape in a further attempt to get the head as smooth as possible, eliminating whatever drag may come from hair and/or the wrinkles that some caps have when on. 

Latex Caps

These stretchy, tight-fitting swim caps became standard equipment for competitive swimmers in the 1980’s. The latex material is non-permeable, and holds hair tightly against the scalp – significantly decreasing resistance through the water. Because latex caps are so elastic, they are considered one size fits all. Latex caps are thin and inexpensive, so they may rip as a result of regular use. Because latex caps are not sized, it is common for extra material to gather in wrinkles on the top of the head. These wrinkles can cause turbulence in the water, a problem that was addressed by later developments.

Silicone Caps

These caps are thicker and slightly less elastic than their latex counterparts – which means they are more durable and provide a sleeker profile in the water. Silicone caps are still very stretchy, but are offered in youth and adult sizes, and even a style designed for long hair, to provide a more custom fit for racing. These caps carry a noticeably higher price tag when compared to latex. However, because of their durability, they have become the new favorite among most competitive swimmers. The most advanced racing caps are also made of silicone, and include a multi-density design. This new design has a panel of thicker silicone covering the top of the head, thus eliminating all wrinkles. After extensive testing, such caps have shown to significantly decrease drag.

 

Here is a link to a site that goes into exptensive swim cap differences:  Swim Caps

 

If all else fails, ask another swim parent!