I have the viking crusader. I had no idea to splash water in between passes. Great advice!

I have the Crusader also - it's.. not ideal. The blade feel is different on each side, partially deliberate as they scalloped one side and straight barred the other, and partially due to hit and miss QC as the exposure is a bit different from one side to the other. The continuously variable gap is also a poor concept, as unmarked, and so hard to duplicate settings that are not at one extreme or the other. The very long handle and heavy weight are also not my thing, but are more subjective.

An adjustable is hard to learn with, especially one with no set positions marked. The Crusader at minimum gap is too mild and at max gap is too harsh.

Much as I hate to suggest new hardware to a newcomer, a Maggard MR5 handle and V3 head for $23 plus shipping might be a good investment as it will offer the same mid-aggressive shave day in and out.

Other Amazon friendly options are the Merkur 34C or Jagger DE89, though those are about $10 more in base price. Again, you get an efficient mid tier shave in terms of aggression, and the same blade gap with every shave.

You can continue to work with the Crusader if you don't want to make another hardware investment, but unless you can figure out how to use the exact same gap from day to day, it will be a guessing game as to why a given shave went well or badly.