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Shaving or waxing for performance or comfort

  • In light of the watching the Olympics, wondering if (and what methods) recreational and team swimmers use to get rid of hair. Obviously the male Olympic swimmers are hairless. Does it help or make swimming more comfortable, enjoyable, and efficient for laps in the pool? I have my wife "mow" my back and chest occasionally and think it feels better/smoother in the water (drys faster too). Thoughts?

  • I've done the full body once, but found it wasn't a significant enough time drop to continue maintaining for recreational swimming. And the regrowing afterward had me swearing off ever doing it again. Now, I stick to the trimmer and keep most of the waist up between the lowest setting and an 1/8".

  • What type/brand of trimmer do you use?

  • Philips Norelco 7000 series body groomer

  • Yea, I would say just trim, doing the full shave doesn't really cut lap times.

  • in my opinion it is only really worth it for a meet or competitive swimming. otherwise you would be spending too much time shaving

  • Eric,

    Haha. Great question. I would stick with the 'lawn mower' method instead of full shaving. The problem with a full shave is sometimes you will get ingrown hairs after about a week or so. They can be quite painful. Unless you are swimming at a championship meet I would not do the full shave. I would stick with "clipping" (swimming lingo for only using clippers not a razor) because it does feel better in the water. Maybe just once, you should try a full shave just to see what it feels like but beware you may get an ingrown hair or two. Don't say I didn't warn you.

    All the best,
    Mark Gangloff

  • I started shaving below my waist several years ago and have become accustomed to shaving my legs each week. In the summer months I cycle three to four times a week in the Central Washington sunshine. For me, hairy legs and spandex just do not mix, regardless of whether you are talking a swim suit (briefs only, here) or cycle shorts. In the water I definitely "feel" the flow of water over my legs better having shaven-- Its almost like a gentle massage. Not sure it has that much to do with the hair-less-ness as much as the removal of dead skin cells. Perhaps a combination of both. Anyway, in cycling circles some say once you start shaving your legs you never go back. That proved spot on for me. I am not very hairy above the waist, and so I occasionally shave or trim those areas as well.

  • cavena w said:

    in my opinion it is only really worth it for a meet or competitive swimming. otherwise you would be spending too much time shaving

    Cavena: Cannot disagree. The smooth look is more like of cosmetic attraction than dragging resistance. Truly.

  • I bought myself one of the Norelco Body Groomer units (the top of the line one) as Randy recommended and it is GREAT !!! Can get as close to being shaved as possible and/or leave the setting up to where it looks good and does not itch. Highly recommend it. Also, the overall unit is long enough I can do my own back so don't have to beg my wife to "mow" my back for me. Get one, you will be glad you did. P.S. the trimmer blade is the same for all of the series so you don't have to buy the most expensive one to get the same trimmer.

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