Mermaiding is increasing in popularity fast, and it’s no wonder, who wouldn’t love to become a creature that was thought to only be in legends? So, YOU want to become a mermaid? Mer-mazing, welcome! Below are the steps you need to start your journey, as well as a few things that you need to be aware of:
1. Become a confident swimmer: Practice in a pool; then try with your legs together:
Swimming is an important part of being a mermaid, after all, they do live in the water! Therefore, it is extremely important that you are a confident swimmer before you buy a mermaid tail.
Pools are the best place to try anything new to do with swimming since there are people around you (usually a lifeguard), sides you can hold onto, as well as a shallow and deep end (you can also take lessons or enroll in a freediving or mermaid course). Once you are a confident swimmer, try opening your eyes underwater and holding your breath; then you can try swimming with your legs together (no tail), and when you are assured that you can do that safely.
2. Buy a monofin: Practice swimming in a monofin and kicking it off in the pool:
A monofin is fundamentally 2 flippers welded together to create one big flipper and, they are essential to safe mermaiding. It is a common misconception that mermaid tails do not use monofins but rest assured they are REQUIRED inside tails to provide propulsion and help counteract the weight/drag of the tail! Swimming in a tail without a monofin is highly dangerous since your legs are bound together, your feet can get tangled in the fabric and the bottom of the tail (fluke) can create drag making it hard to swim. There are fake and unsafe monofins out there so do your research and ensure you purchase a reputable one. Pictured below are the FinFun, Linden, Mahina, & Finis monofins. Many monofins are specific to particular tail brands so keep that in mind when purchasing!
3. Practice using your monofin: In the pool
As stated previously, you should always try new things in a pool first! Unfortunately, many pools do not allow monofins so, it’s best to call beforehand and check! Before you go, look up some basics on how to use a monofin, and, when you arrive, start in the shallow end. You will have both feet inside hence, your legs will be together and you will swim in a mermaid motion; using your core and kicking your feet to power you forward. Make sure you also practice how to kick your monofin off in case of an emergency. Do not stand on the tips of your monofin, rinse after each use and dry your monofin in the shade.
4. Purchase a beginner-friendly mermaid tail: Without vinyl
The step you have been waiting for! Once you have practiced and are 100% confident in your swimming abilities using a monofin, you can finally purchase a beginner-friendly mermaid tail! Shop around as each brand has a different style and colour palette!
- It is best to choose a tail that does not include vinyl. Vinyl is essentially thin plastic that is put inside tails with big flukes so that it keeps its shape in the water. Vinyl is not a replacement for a monofin as it does not provide propulsion and causes drag (making it harder to swim)!
- It can be tempting to buy a big tail with a massive fluke but, it is best to choose a tail that does not have excess fabric when your monofin is inside as it can also cause drag.
- Make sure you are purchasing a tail that will fit your monofin and ensure that it is from a reputable mermaid company since many unsafe tails and tails with stolen designs are being sold on popular websites. Pictured below are tails from the reputable companies Finfun, Mertailor Guppy tails, Finfolk Discovery tails, CapeCali, click on the links to explore! These types of tails are much cheaper than tails with larger flukes which makes them perfect to practice in. Did you know that mermaid tails are quite delicate? They can get damaged very easily when coming into contact with concrete from hopping in the pool or swimming around rocks or other hard-grit surfaces. Hence, learning in one of these tails can save you lots of money!