female ocean swimming with a fluro swim cap

A cap in the hand is worth two in the season

Why do we wear swim caps and are we wearing them for the right reasons?

Ocean swimmers tend to fit into two caps, I mean two camps.

Those who look good in a swim cap, and those who don’t – and I’m the captain of the latter group.

I actually remember the one time I shaved my head back in high school and immediately regretted it. I just don’t have the head for the shaved look, and so it seems, for a swim cap either.

So why do we wear swim caps and are we wearing them for the right reasons?

When we’re swimming socially, wearing a cap can keep our hair under control, keep our goggles in place, keep us warm and ensure we’re able to be seen in the water.

Choosing the right swim cap will depend on what you desire most. If it’s warmth, then a thicker silicone cap (or two) over a latex cap will serve you best. However, the latex variety seems to stick better, especially to longer shiny hair (apparently).

Either way, if you put your goggles on first, then your cap, you’ll have a better chance of not losing them to the goggle monster when you’re body surfing down the face of that sweet wave.

For water safety, there are really only three colours that you should choose from: fluro yellow, fluro orange, or fluro pink. These high visibility colours are easily discernible from any background, and it’s why you’ll always see road workers in these colours.

At events, organisers employ caps for water safety, but also have additional motives, like categorising swimmers and selling sponsorship. The caps can also make good trophies for participants.

Interestingly, there are organisers still using dark coloured swim caps, even blue, in their events, which completely misses the mark and I think is completely irresponsible. Let’s hope we don’t see this during the upcoming season.

The swim cap question that is being asked more frequently each season though, led by eco ocean swimmers such as Angela Van Boxtel (blog: Green with envy ideas) and Marc West from Recap, is whether we need to be using as many swim caps at events as we do each season.

Do we really need a new cap for each swim we do? I can’t see any reason why we couldn’t just bring our own fluro cap to each event, can you?

It’d save organisers money, allow swimmers to wear their preferred style, and to cap it all off, we’d be doing our bit to save the planet. Let’s do this.

Yes, I’ve been waiting to use that pun the whole time.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
  • No comments yet.
  • Add a comment


    Season runs from 1 Oct to 30 April. Some contact out of season.

    Be informed

    Join 10k+ swimmers who hear about upcoming ocean swims & get tips from us

    Every swim, every state. 220+ swims!