Swimming Events Guide 2024

Calling all hipsters: swim faster with a beard cap

From Dalston to Brooklyn, here’s something for all you hipster open water swimmers out there. Tired of losing races by a few vital seconds because of the extra drag caused by your fashionable beard? Worry no more. The Beard Cap is designed to streamline even the most hirsute of beards.

The swim cap, launched by Virgin Trains, will be trialled at the Great North Swim at Windermere this weekend. The Lycra prototype wraps under the chin and packs the beard against the face.
According to ‘research’ commissioned by the rail operator and official train partner to the Great North Swim, over one in ten men (12 per cent) connected their beard to slower swim times, and nearly a quarter of men feel their beards hinder their sports performance. This could be because beards are an irritant for some sporting men (11 per cent), a source of discomfort for others (32 per cent) and a distraction for even more (42 per cent).
Alex Jackson, event director at Great North Swim said: “As a newly bearded man, who is also a keen swimmer, I can empathise! We’re sure our swimmers will appreciate the efforts Virgin Trains has gone to and perhaps the Beard Cap will solve the problem of ‘facial hair-drag’ and encourage more guys to suit up and take the plunge in 2015!”
It just so happens I am swimming in the 5km race at the Great North Swim this weekend. And I currently have a beard. An extensive product review will follow…

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I created Outdoor Swimmer in 2011 (initially as H2Open Magazine) as an outlet for my passion for swimming outdoors. I've been a swimmer and outdoor swimmer for as long as I remember. Swimming has made a huge difference to my life and I want to share its joys and benefits with as many people as possible. I am also the author of Swim Wild & Free: A Practical Guide to Swimming Outdoors 365 a Year and I provide one-to-one support to swimmers through Swim Mentoring.