Water polo is a sport that blends swimming, soccer and handball. It’s incredibly difficult to master and requires an impressive amount of stamina and endurance to compete at the highest levels. Players are required to wear several pieces of equipment including a tight-fitting suit and a cap. The caps are designed to reduce friction in the water and protect a player’s ears. When shopping for a cap, you’ll most likely be buying a full set for an entire team of 13 to 19 players with backups.
The best is the Turbo Standard Water Polo Cap Set, which comes in a red color with white numbers, one for each member of a 19-player team.
Water polo takes place in a pool of 30 by 20 meters in size. The pool must be deep enough so the player's feet can’t naturally touch the bottom. There are seven players on each team playing at once. Six players are in the field and one acts as the goalie. Once you’re in the pool, all you need are two goals and a water polo ball.
Field players can only use one hand to throw, shoot and pass the ball. Much like a basketball or football game, there are four quarters in total. However, each game lasts only 45 minutes to an hour. The objective is to work the ball towards the opponent's side of the field and throw the ball in their net.
If you’re new to water polo, try putting your cap on before you get into the water. It can be troublesome at first, so it’s best to have your footing while you’re getting it situated on your head. First, put your regular swim cap on your head — if you choose to wear one. Next, make sure it’s facing the right direction. You can tell by the extended length which goes to the back of your neck. Also, you can see which way the numbers are facing to make it easier. Once it’s secure, tie the straps under your chin in a bow tie knot.
Water polo is a physical sport where players constantly make contact with one another. If you’re playing at the professional level, you’ll be required to wear a cap. These caps protect the players from damaging a player’s eardrums. Also, the ball can be thrown very fast which can damage the ears if you get hit. Each cap has a plastic ear guard which extends outward. This will keep your ears from getting hit with the ball or by another player’s hands or head. Caps also help distinguish each team, much like uniforms or team jerseys.
Nylon is a highly durable fabric that’s also very comfortable on the skin. This makes it a great choice for high-quality water polo caps. It’s a better option than polyester because it will stand up to more abuse during gameplay. It takes years for nylon to degrade so you can expect your cap to be usable for a long time. Nylon is also water-resistant so it won’t retain extra weight as you’re swimming.
If you’re a casual water polo player or you simply want to practice in small groups, look for a numberless cap sold as a single. These caps are usually one solid color but don’t include a number on the side. They still maintain the other properties, such as plastic ear projectors and nylon straps. You can save hundreds of dollars by purchasing a single cap which usually costs under $20. Keep in mind, you likely won’t be able to use this type of cap in an official game.
Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) is a form of polyester that’s ideal for indoor swimming. It has a strong texture and is stretchy like elastic or Spandex. This makes it a great material for water polo because it will sit firmly on your head without shifting from side to side. Also, it’s chlorine-resistant. This means it will last much longer than a normal silicone swim cap. It also repels water. Much like nylon, it won’t take on the extra weight from the water that touches it.
Water polo caps cost $12-$350.
A. Some players wear a standard swim cap under their official water polo cap. This is mainly for those with long hair to help to keep the strands out of your eyes.
A. Most caps are sold for a full team. It’s uncommon to purchase a single cap because yours will need to match the rest of the team’s caps in order to compete.
What you need to know: This set of water polo caps comes with all the numbers you need to protect a full team.
What you’ll love: Each cap has a solid red color with white numbers. You’ll receive #1-#18, as well as #1-A for the backup goalie. This set is competition ready with it’s chlorine-resistant PBT material and sturdy ear protectors.
What you should consider: Turbo is more expensive than other brands.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This practice cap is ideal for solo gameplay or with small groups where you don’t need a number.
What you’ll love: It comes in three colors with the Turbo logo printed on the front in white lettering. The ear protectors match the base color of the cap. It’s made with chlorine-resistant PBT for added durability and comes at an affordable price.
What you should consider: One reviewer mentioned the sizing was smaller than advertised.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This team set of caps has a classic look and color scheme that makes it stand out.
What you’ll love: The cap is made of sturdy nylon and has a comfortable form-fitting shape. There’s a white nylon piping around the bottom edge that turns into the chin straps. The caps are numbered 1 to 13 with white lettering.
What you should consider: The ear guards are a different shade of blue than the cap.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Jordan Beliles writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.