How To Choose The Right Swim Cap

How To Choose The Right Swim Cap

Swim caps used to be just two pieces of silicone or latex fused together (2mm thin), shaped like a bowling ball and one-size-fits-all. But technological advances in the material and construction have made swim caps way more functional. Here we recommend 5 factors for choosing the right swim cap for you:


So, let’s look at how to choose the best cap for your training and competition.

1. Safety

For swimmers, head injuries are more common than you think. There is a Concussion Protocol Training (CPT) across all states by major organizations like USA Swimming and the National Federation of High Schools Association.

How common are head injuries in swimming?

  • 96% of head injuries at meets are during warm-ups and cool-downs
  • 73% of all head injuries in practice occur from collisions with other swimmers and the wall.

For open water swimmers, during mass race starts and buoy turns, swimmers are all vying for a position and are on top of one another. A swimmer can easily get hit in the head. Protecting your head with a swim cap that has a safety cushion inside can make a big difference if you get an elbow or knee to the head.

We all know of the inherent risks in pool swimming. Novice swimmers learning the backstroke, daydreamers doing circle turns and flip turns, 5-meter flags blowing in the wind and crowded practice and warm-up lanes – all make for a greater likelihood for head strikes and injuries, especially in the young (12 & under) developing brain.

2. Speed

The outer surface of flimsy swim caps have wrinkles which cause frontal drag which is less hydrodynamic in the water. A racing cap with a smooth dome-like surface that can be worn alone or under your race-day cap can give you a competitive advantage.

Dr. Gary Hall Sr. and The Race Club tested various swim caps and here are some of his findings.

In a recent drag study we found that by wearing this technology at top race speed compared to wearing a conventional silicone cap, passive drag force was reduced by up to 10.5%

Dr. Gary Hall Sr., Founder of The Race Club

3. Durability

Basic swim caps can tear easily due to the seam that runs down the center of the cap. You have seen it happen, even at the Olympics. Choosing a swim cap made with one solid piece of molded 100% premium silicone with no seams will make it tear-resistant. This can greatly enhance the quality and longevity of your swim cap.

4. Comfort

If you have ever had your hair pulled – putting on and taking your swim cap off – you know that a cap made of a premium silicone material won’t pull your hair. There are also caps that are made in three sizes, ensuring just the right fit for your head. A cap which is a little larger in the back than in the front – like a human head – makes a big difference in comfort level.

5. Insulation

Water temperatures vary, but can be pretty chilly in colder months of the year. There are swim caps that help insulate your head. Getting a cap that is thicker on top will help hold your body heat in when you need it most.

Hammer Head is a simple but essential piece of safety equipment for every swimmer”

 Rowdy Gaines – Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist, International Swim Hall of Famer and NBC’s long time swim analyst

Disclaimer: WOWSA only recommends products or services used or recommended by the community. This post is sponsored by Hammer Head. Please see our privacy policy.

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