View Full Version : New caps

July 11th, 2004, 08:37 PM
Tell me about the "helmet caps' worn over regular caps. Just curious.

July 11th, 2004, 10:58 PM
Do you mean the new "chin strap type from Speedo" They look like a wet suit hood. I guess they are targeted for surfers with surfers ear. Or do you mean the traditional ones? I have not seen any of the new Speedo ones. Except on web sites for sale. The traditional chin strap caps can be worn over a regular swim cap for a more water tight seal if you need it for hair or ear protection.

See the "Swim Cap Guide" for more details about more water tight caps. several other pages there too so follow the links. For double swimcaps see the swim team or kayak cap page.


Or Cold Water caps Some like the Barracuda Hothead are "helmet style"


July 12th, 2004, 12:45 AM
I think the basic premise is it's more aerodynamic (or hydrodnamic if you prefer). However, I would argue you would want to trip the boundary layer at the head, but maybe that's a little more advanced fluid mechanics theory than you want to get into! Suffice it to say it isn't clear that you would always want the absolute smoothest surface possible. that's why the Fastskin suit have slight ridges akin to a shark's skin.

July 12th, 2004, 07:58 AM
Right, I figured they would be more aerodynamic. I believe I saw Couglin and Dana Kirk wearing them yesterday and they looked very different.

July 12th, 2004, 11:38 AM
The TV announcer (Rowdy Gaines?) said the normal swim caps get folds and ridges, which will flap around in the water, causing drag. The helmet caps avoid that.

July 12th, 2004, 12:23 PM
Here's what they look like. This photo shows Dana Kirk on her way to the win in the 200 fly. Natalie wore a cap under her *helmet*.

Maybe Gary Hall should have worn one. :) Not sure if they come in extra large though. (I predict he'll get a spot with his 50M performance.)

July 12th, 2004, 12:24 PM
Forgot the photo...

July 12th, 2004, 11:25 PM
The new Speedo cap is the creation of Masters swimmer and coach Ron Johnson. Ron is also the inventor of the Catalyst hand paddles and Stroke Maker hand paddles as well as the latest paddles marketed by TYR, the Mentor.

I have had the privilege of coaching with Ron for the past 6 years. He is by far the most creative 72-year-old person I know. Despite the fact he has coached 14 Olympic medalists, he is always learning new ways to teach swimming and improve his understanding of how we swim.

The basic idea behind the cap is that by removing the wrinkles present in the typical latex or silicon cap, you can improve the flow of water around the head of the swimmer and lower resistance.

July 12th, 2004, 11:29 PM
Are we going to see you in a helmet cap at Savannah?

July 14th, 2004, 03:43 PM
they are very interesting helmets--and I can see the logic in it

the only thing is that one of the women had a big lumpy ponytail kind of sticking out of her helmet at the bottom. man, if I was trying to make the olympics, I'd cut the pony off so it wouldn't drag. i know that sounds severe--but come on. It's the olympics! People work their whole life for the chance!

July 14th, 2004, 04:42 PM
What material are these caps made out of? They look very stiff when the swimmers remove them from over their other caps. it looks kinda like a hard shell. Do they have to be fitted to your own head so they will stay on correctly especially during butterfly?

July 14th, 2004, 04:55 PM
Originally posted by jerrycat
the only thing is that one of the women had a big lumpy ponytail kind of sticking out of her helmet at the bottom. man, if I was trying to make the olympics, I'd cut the pony off so it wouldn't drag. i know that sounds severe--but come on. It's the olympics! People work their whole life for the chance!

I remember seeing that too. But it was either Coughlin or Beard (I forget which one), so I don't think the ponytail jeopardized their Olympic chances. :)

July 14th, 2004, 06:08 PM
I would love to know what they're made out of and how difficult they are to put over your cap. It seems like there's a big cut out in the back to allow for goggle straps, ponytails, radar, sonar, whatever!

July 14th, 2004, 11:02 PM
I wonder why the need for the inside cap. When I saw the thread I thought it was about the "chin strap " speedo "helmet caps that look like the wet suit hoods. Thats not the case, these are a new type of helmet cap for speed. so hair protection or ear protection is not a issue. Maybe the water flows thru this helmet and around the head with this new helmet and thus the need for the first cap for steamlining???

July 15th, 2004, 12:31 AM
Yeah, why are two caps needed?

I like the looks of these "helmet" overcaps because they are cut down around the ears. It appeals to me because I have a small head (pin head, , no brain...I've heard it all) My head is so small that baseball caps cover hallf my ears. Being a fashion failure, it's never bothered me EXCEPT that swim caps are too big... unless I fold the bottom up I could fit half a pull buoy between the top of my head and the underside of a cap. And that's with piling the ponytail on top of my head...

So the obvious questions -

1. Would this new cap help me and fellow pinheads?

2. Anyone know of small sized caps?

July 15th, 2004, 11:24 AM
I think the first cap holds the second cap in place. The first cap is to keep your hair contained and the second cap is to keep your head streamline. I'm guessing.

July 15th, 2004, 11:45 AM
yes--the cap underneath probably allows the helmet to have something to grip onto.

July 15th, 2004, 01:03 PM
Originally posted by swimlong

... because I have a small head ...

Don't fret about that. There's nothing wrong with a little head.


July 15th, 2004, 10:54 PM
For swimlong. Yes caps come in sizes, the standard type of cap (thin no strap Speedo,Tyr.ect.. ) they come in two sizes youth and adult. Also the bubble type caps come in sizes small medium and large. The small size is for children or smaller adult heads. Try a search for Allstar swim caps ..they are in Canada and sell the bubble caps in sizes and all kinds of colors. The small will fit a 19 " head if you have a pony tail. If you do order from them by mail remember its about 50 cents to send a letter to Canada. I have bought my self from them and they are a good company with good service. These helmet caps are probably custom made at this point experimental in a way something that Speedo or who makes them will be releasing later for the rest of us swimmers who want the lastest in speed head gear.

Myself I'll stick with my swim band ,bubble strap cap and goofy barracuda standards..Hair and eye care 101.. No speed need..cept I can still start kicking out and put some to shame!...

You make reference to "pinhead" .. when J. Edgar Hoover was FBI director he observed some new recruits at the training academy at Quantico Va. He simply turned to a agent and said.."get rid of the pinhead" The agents said yes sir but had no idea who he was talking about.. They were afraid to ask him who he was talking about so they went into the recruits lockers and checked all the FBI ball caps that were issued for head size. The fellow with the smallest head was shown the door. ..

July 16th, 2004, 08:08 AM
Two caps actually add buoyancy to your head. Jenny Thompson was wearing two caps before the new helmet cap came out. Try wearing two caps (even two latex caps) and you will be amazed, especially in the fly.

July 19th, 2004, 11:03 PM
I spoke with Ron Johnson, the inventor of the cap yesterday and he provided me with the following answers to your questions:

The Fast Cap (which is the name for the cap) is made of a polypropylene material. It is a stiff with some flexibility. The surface is textured much like a golf ball is dimpled. In tests, the Fast Cap proved to be better than a shaved or bald head from a resistance standpoint.

The purpose for the second cap underneath is to improve the seal the Fast Cap makes with the head. On the inside, there are two O-rings near the edge. These seal with the latex cap and prevent water from getting in.

Lenny Krazelburg wore the cap in the finals of the 100 back at Olympic Trials. So did Dana Kirk in the 200 fly.

The Fast Cap has been approved by FINA for use in competition and we will probably see it marketed by Speedo this fall.

July 20th, 2004, 05:06 AM
2. Anyone know of small sized caps?

I don't know about the sizes of helmet caps, but for reguular caps, try a silicone cap. I have a small head too and I can't wear the latex either. But silicone fits just right.

July 20th, 2004, 10:15 AM
Originally posted by JRidge
Two caps actually add buoyancy to your head. Jenny Thompson was wearing two caps before the new helmet cap came out. Try wearing two caps (even two latex caps) and you will be amazed, especially in the fly.
Neoprene caps worn under a reg cap were used by some marathon swimmers, they kept the head warm as a great amount of body heat was lost through the head. If they were caught doing this they were dq'd They called them floating devices.

July 20th, 2004, 09:07 PM
The English Channel swim requires one cap "of a standard type"
Some swim triathon events allow insulated or double caps ..some dont. check with your event before wearing this in that type of compitition. The bubble strap cap for example is allowed for the English Channel swim Carol Sing worn that type for her oldest women record.They have been around for 45 years and are "standard" The new Fast cap (double cap) would probably not be allowed in a Channel swim for record.
For Cold water open swim caps see

Cold water Swim Caps

July 26th, 2004, 01:23 PM
Careful about using two caps. I remember reading an article in "Swim" magazine (or "Fitness Swimmer" or something like it) a few years back about a guy who did the race around Manhattan ALL BUTTERFLY and he did it with two caps, and by the end he had a layer of water built up between them. I believe he estimated the extra weight to be about two pounds.

It probably won't be a factor in a 200 or a 500, but some people are talking about doing it for marathons, so that might be something to consider there.

Rob Copeland
July 26th, 2004, 02:38 PM
A few years ago open water rules had a 1 cap maximum. Today USA-Swimming open water allows up to 2 caps, USMS no longer has a maximum. However, a number of host organizations (such as English Channel and Manhattan have a 1 cap limit).

July 26th, 2004, 03:05 PM
From the description of the new Fast Caps it sounds like they are designed to keep air inside, doesn't that make them buoyant and illegal? Or is it just equivalent to a swimmer with "big hair" who thus manages to trap a lot of air in their regular cap? :)

August 14th, 2004, 09:20 PM
Just saw the new caps on TV with Jenny Thompson in Athens Now I understand, Its a latex race cap underneath with what looks like a silicon cap outside that comes down over the ears, I can not see any bumps in the outer cap looks smooth and streamlined. I think only the USA swimmers are using them.