View Full Version : Swim Caps and Swimmers speeds

November 11th, 2008, 09:20 PM
See this link for a study that was done to see what types of caps affect speed. I dont know
why they tried a bubble cap as they are a hair/ear care fitness swim cap and not a race cap. Also they tried a lycra cap and those are not as fast either as the fabric offers more friction. They were surprised that no cap was as fast as the others. Why they did not try the race latex or silicon I dont know. They used three swimmers for lap times and push off distance from the wall for the results. I dont really think any cap really would slow a swimmer that much unless they were world class.


jim thornton
November 11th, 2008, 10:53 PM
Even to this layman, a test involving three people and three caps seems to have some major flaws in methodology, from miniscule sample size, to fatigue effects, to placebo or related problems (if you know you are wearing the "bubble" cap, you might think it's going to be slower than an official racer's latex cap.)

Moreover, friction is a relatively modest drag force in fluids. Dimpled golf balls have greater friction but fly further than smooth ones because the dimples give them a reduction in other forms of drag.

Bad science! Bad! Bad!

It seems like an excuse for Ms. Hernandez to test some "male swimmers" whose greater musculature, she hints, might change the kinds of friction generated. If this is the case, I might be willing to volunteer myself for some potentially bad scientific investigations in her "lab". Do you have more info, such as photographs, of the young scientist in question?

November 12th, 2008, 02:22 PM
The author should learn how to spell the word "versus."

November 12th, 2008, 08:33 PM
Oh well it appears to be a students page on a biology professors site.

Allen Stark
November 13th, 2008, 11:29 AM
Interesting study with NO relevance to competitive swimming.None of those caps is used in competition and as noted the N is very small for real statistical validity.A good experiment would be latex vs silicon vs the new dome caps.

November 13th, 2008, 12:23 PM
shaved head is always fastest, especially if it is slightly pointed