Swim cap


Swim cap

A swim cap, or bathing cap, is a silicone, latex or lycra cap worn on the head by recreational and competitive swimmers.

Caps are worn to keep the hair relatively dry or free of chlorinated water, and keep water out of the ears when worn with ear plugs. Some facilities require the wearing of swim caps, as they are used to protect filters from becoming clogged with hair.

Competitive swim caps are made of tightly fitted silicone or latex that hugs the skull of its user, providing cover for his or her hair. This reduces drag in the water caused by loose hair. During longer swimming sessions a swim cap keeps the head warm.

History of the swim cap

Swim caps were made of rubberized fabric during the early 20th century. By the 1920s they were made of latex. The earliest chin strap caps were known as "aviator's style" as they resembled the strapped leather helmets of flyers of the day. During the 1940s swim caps became scarce as rubber was needed for war materials. It was a lucky girl who had a swim cap to protect her "wave" (hair style) during that period. The permanent wave hairstyle took time to obtain and was expensive, so many women wanted to protect their hair while swimming. The 1950s saw decorated caps come into vogue, and during the 1960s colorful flower petal swim caps became popular. Men's long hair styles of the late 1960s and early 70's made swimming pool operators change rules requiring swim caps for swimmers with long hair. Without swim cap requirements wearing swim caps fell out of fashion during the early 1970s. Competitive swimming in the 1980s and 1990s made the swim cap popular again. Today swim caps are available in competitive racing styles, chin strap type with inner sealing to keep out water and colorful floral styles reminiscent of the 1960s as well as other graphic prints.

English Channel Swimming Rules for Swim Caps

The English "Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation" states that "one standard swim cap" may be used for official English Channel record swims. The cap must be approved by the official observer who accompanies the swimmer on the pilot boat across the channel. "Standard swim caps" used by English Channel swimmers of record over the years include solid rubber "tank" style swim caps, molded rubber swim caps with chin strap, bubble crepe rubber swim caps with chin strap, silicone swim caps and latex "racing" swim caps. Swim caps that have neoprene within the cap construction such as the "Barracuda Hothead" or are completely made of neoprene are not allowed for record English Channel swims. Several other long distance swims such as the Santa Catalina Channel California swim have similar rules for record swims.

External links

* [http://www.geocities.com/lapswimr/swimband.html "Swim Band" for dryer hair under a swim cap]
* [http://www.whooshheads.com/ Whoosh heads Designer Swim Caps]
* [http://www.geocities.com/lapswimr/scg.html Swim Cap Guide]
* [http://www.geocities.com/lapswimr/vintage.html Vintage Swim Caps From Playtex]
* [http://www.channelswimming.net Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation]
* [http://www.geocities.com/lapswimr/coldwatercaps.html Cold Water Swim Caps/Open Water Caps]


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