View Full Version : What age do you begin to shave for meets?

March 6th, 2009, 04:37 PM
The coach at the local Y suggested that 11-12 year olds should shave for a big meet this weekend. I know there are individuals on this site who have children swimming, past and present. How early to shave? I believe 11 years old is too young. How much time can be dropped by an 11 year old wanting to shave. Is it me? Old fashioned? Have times changed in the arena of swimming? How young have kids be encouraged to shave? What was the result?

March 6th, 2009, 04:57 PM
Could the coach be saying that to the 11-12's to help them get pumped up? They probably have heard of the older kids shaving for meets and asked their coach about shaving.

Personally, I think I started about 15.

March 6th, 2009, 05:06 PM
Personally, I think I started about 15.

Why did you start at age 15? What were the circumstances? Why not age 14?

March 6th, 2009, 05:10 PM
Why did you start at age 15? What were the circumstances? Why not age 14?

Wookie, age 9:

March 6th, 2009, 05:12 PM
Seems a bit young to shave and maybe a bit gung ho on the coach's part. Shaving was odd enough in high school let alone at 11 or 12, and as you asked, how much time will they drop because of shaving versus all the other elements (training, weights, etc). I never heard of kids younger than high school shaving for a meet , even big meets, when I was in high school, but then again that was 30+ years ago. Kids have enough to worry about - if the other 11 - 12 year olds in school find out it will be miserable for them - especially if they don't win or drop times. Wouldn't it be better to let the kids enjoy the sport before they get ultra competitive. I don't think I'd push my kids to shave at that age.

March 6th, 2009, 05:33 PM
I don't think I ever shaved for a meet that young, but I don't really see what the harm is. I certainly aways shaved in high school, so I suspect I started a couple years before this. Kids do have body hair, after all. It might not be like an adult's, but it's there.

March 6th, 2009, 05:37 PM
I shaved for two meets in my entire swimming career - the "sectional championships" for my high school swim team (Junior and Senior years). I mainly felt weird with leg hairs sticking out the fastskin leggings I had for the meets. I never shaved for age group JO's or even some of the USA swimming AA meets and so on. In my opinion, it just was not worth it.

All this being said, how many 11 year old's have enough body hair to significantly change their swimming times by shaving? Sounds like a mental boost - mostly copying the older swimmers and feeling cool for it.

March 6th, 2009, 05:45 PM
In my opinion, it just was not worth it.

I never really understanded this stance. You're in the pool training for possibly hundreds of hours, working your butt off, but it's too much trouble to spend an hour shaving down?

As far as hair, there's evidence suggesting it's not just the elimination of hair that gives the benefit.

March 6th, 2009, 06:25 PM
what age?
9 or 10 if you're italian.

March 6th, 2009, 06:41 PM
what age?
9 or 10 if you're italian.

Northern German mixed with 1/2 Irish. I just answered my own question. Thanks.

Allen Stark
March 6th, 2009, 09:54 PM
I didn't hear about shaving down until college(high school in the 60s.)A big part of shaving is the removal of hair to decrease drag,which may not be much of an issue at that age,but another big part is ritual,knowing you have done EVERYTHING to go as fast as possible(not to mention sacrificing your hair to the gods of speed.)

March 7th, 2009, 02:23 AM
I was 16, and in my sophomore yr at states, everyone else shaved but me. I was beat by guys that I was beating durinng the regular season. it was at my next big meet that I shaved for the first time. what a difference. i've shaved for 2 meets a year while active, and 3 meets a year as a masters

we have a '92 (almost 17) and a '93 (about to turn 16) on our team, and neither have even considered shaving. they both where pants for anything over 200m and full body for anything under 200m

the '92 swims only freestyles. His times in scm are 24.71, 53.22, 1:56.38, 4:10, 16:43

the '93 swims fly, free and IM. his times in scm are free 24.50, 53.89, 1:54.78, 4:10 and 16:20, in fly (his best) he's got 25.77, 56.44 and 2:04.03 and in IM 1:01.55, 2:11,07 and 4:38.85

March 9th, 2009, 09:45 AM
A possible benefit to shaving at 11-12, besides those already stated, is that it removes the dead skin layer (outermost layer of your skin). This enhances the "feel" of the water.

March 9th, 2009, 10:48 AM
I was certainly no older than 12. May even have been 11. I think I shaved for many meets that year. As someone else posted here - you spend many, many hours training, why not spend a few minutes shaving to get any boost you can get? I definitely remember getting psyched for meets when I would shave. And I don't remember getting razzed by the guys at school, either. Most wouldn't notice. And if anyone did, I just explained that it was for a swim meet, and they accepted it. I would expect it to be even more acceptable to the general public now, just months after Phelps took the world by storm in Beijing. "Yeah, I shave my legs for meets, just like Michael Phelps."

March 9th, 2009, 11:03 AM
Just stuff the little kiddos in nero comps and don't worry about shaving.

The real question is: At what age do we stop shaving for meets?

March 9th, 2009, 11:13 AM
I probably shaved when I was around 13 or 14, probably for my first Junior Nationals, but I honestly can't recall. My oldest daughter is now 13 and she's going to shave for her state championships this year; but this is probably more related to the fact that her non-swimming girlfriends are shaving their legs than for the competitive edge. Still, she's kind of excited about the prospect.

The real question is: At what age do we stop shaving for meets?

When I started swimming Masters. I've been back at Masters since 2000, competing most years with varying levels of intensity. This past December was the first time I shaved as a Masters' swimmer and, as I was wearing a B70, I only shaved my arms. Took about 15 minutes max. I don't know if it mattered, but it was so simple, I'll do it again for my two taper meets this spring. Thanks to full body suits, I can't see a day when I'm going to shave my legs again ... which is good because my 5 year old daughter already thought I was bonkers to shave my arms; I don't know what she'd think about Dad shaving his legs!

March 9th, 2009, 01:41 PM
I think my two sons shaved first around 13 years old. No magic to the age. They had some hair at this point in their lives.

I think 11-12 is a bit early - mainly because there are so many other things that matter at this age. Good turns for example. Breathing correctly. I'd hate for them to think that shaving was a big deal at this age.

And to the person who suggested Nero Comps.....I think 11-12 cannot wear suits below the knee any longer. And boys can't wear suits above the waist.

March 9th, 2009, 03:54 PM
Ten years old............yes, sheds the dead skin layer.

If you feel like it, get them a tight Nero Comp (with your USMS Discount) and let them 'Rip!

Have them wear it over legskins or jammers

any age beyond 10 is good for a shave down.