Why do some shaving tutorials argue to do the opposite of "riding the cap"

Discussion in 'Shave School' started by SlaveShaver, Jul 30, 2017.

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  1. SlaveShaver

    SlaveShaver Member

    A few people on here have been saying that you should "ride the cap" to determine the correct blade angle. I just realised that that may be one reason why I'm getting irritation.

    However, I have just come across this video:

    He recommends the exact opposite approach to riding the cap. That is, hold the blade completely vertically and then start rotating the handle upwards until the blade contacts the skin, which produces a result where the handle is held in an almost vertical position, in contrast to the "riding the cap" approach, where the handle ends up being angled out very deeply.

    Clearly, he is able to get irritation-free shaves with this "wrong" angle, so does that indicate that it doesn't matter whether you "ride the cap" or do the supposedly "wrong" thing that he is doing?
  2. RetLEO-07

    RetLEO-07 likes his penguin deep fried, with pink sparkles

    I will defer to @Bama Samurai. But I will say that other than this apparent heresy Geo has some great techniques, i.e. his video on trouble spots, etc.
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  3. SlaveShaver

    SlaveShaver Member

    Because what he is doing in his video is essentially what I've been doing my last few shaves.
  4. RetLEO-07

    RetLEO-07 likes his penguin deep fried, with pink sparkles

    The only difference that I see is that Geo starts parallel to his face and tilts the handle up, while riding the cap starts with the handle parallel to the floor and you tilt down. For me the index is easier riding the cap.
  5. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

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  6. SlaveShaver

    SlaveShaver Member

    The angle of the handle to the face that he is using is quite small and the handle is positioned quite vertically. Contrast that with the people in these videos where they "ride the cap". They use a handle orientation that is much more horizontal:

    But if what you're saying is true, then that indicates that I have perfect technique because I'm doing exactly what Geo is doing here, which would indicate my inflammation and irritation problems are not the result of poor technique. Also, I am now quite skeptical when people say that improper blade angle makes such a dramatic difference when it comes to irritation because Geo is clearly using a much more vertical orientation of the handle, and many other people follow his advice and yet don't complain of razor burn/irritation/etc.

    But I will try "Riding the cap" anyway. Perhaps different people require different techniques? (I.e., smaller or larger blade angles)
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  7. SlaveShaver

    SlaveShaver Member

    Also, the people commenting under Geo's video make the point that his blade angle looks around 60 degrees rather than 30, and this point is not made in the comments below the first "Riding the cap" video above.
  8. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    Article Team
    If you use a 60˚ angle you are scraping, rather than slicing. "Riding the cap" is a default position to encourage the shaver to "find" (discover) the proper angle. I have found this adage to be quite useful and over the years it has afforded me irritation-free shaves. Keep in mind that every razor is different AND so is every face. Just try it and for the time being, ignore the videos.
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  9. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

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  10. clint64

    clint64 Blind Squirrel

    Excellent post.
  11. Steve C

    Steve C Active Member

    I just angle it enough so that I know I'm cutting the hairs. If all I'm doing is shoveling the cream, my angle's wrong.

    I listen for that "frying bacon" sound, to ensure that I'm actually cutting hair.
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  12. SlaveShaver

    SlaveShaver Member

    Which indicates that in the video Geo is scraping rather than slicing. Yes, I am going to try riding the cap when I next shave, but the argument I am making is that if he advocates for using what is essentially a 60 degree angle, and the people who follow his advice do as well and also state that they have "irritation-free shaves" (I can't see a single comment under that video that says they tried his technique and got irritation or razor burn), then that indicates that the people who say that "improper blade angle" is the determining factor for skin irritation must be wrong.

    I find it hard to ignore the videos when some of them contradict others' information. But yes, I will try riding the cap next time I shave.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
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  13. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord

    New shaving adage:
    "It's your face; use whatever angle works best"

  14. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    Article Team
    How the heck did our fathers ever figure out how to shave without YouTube?????*

  15. david of central florida

    david of central florida Rhubarb Rubber

    Easy going guys.
    Angle can be hard for some to understand. And advice can seem contradictory, but there normally is more than one way to skin a cat.
    Pressure must also be addressed.
    These are ways to get people to the cutting zone, once there, a guys gotta listen to his results to fine tune.
  16. LevelupShaves

    LevelupShaves Well-Known Member

    Angle is only one piece of the equation there is also pressure to consider. With all due respect unless you're trolling with these posts there's really only a few things to look at blade angle pressure and direction of hair growth. Given the inflammation and irritation you say you get your technique is probably not "perfect" unless you're having some serious allergic reactions or something. Get an alum block it'll let you know which if it's technique related. Simply put I feel you get a lot of sting from alum your technique is the issue if not then it's probably some kind of reaction.

    Sent from my XT1710-02 using Tapatalk
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  17. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
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  18. Steve C

    Steve C Active Member

    Yesterday I received in the mail, the butterfly TTO razor that I had ordered. A few days before that I had received a razor which is the type that the top comes off completely.

    The angle required on the new one that came in yesterday, was different than the previous razor. Go figure?!

    So apparently a great Shave is not just personal "face" dependent, but also razor dependent.
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  19. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    Article Team
    Exactly what I said in post #8. Another reason why shavers should stick with a razor until their technique solidifies---before trying new gear.
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  20. Norcalnewb

    Norcalnewb Magnanimous Moos

    This seems very appropriate in this discussion.

    As your technique improves, you often find that getting a great is not necessarily razor dependent. I agree that angles between razors is different, but a great shave cam be had with just about any razor (assuming no defect). It is just a matter of making minor adjustments for each razor.
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