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Thread: MONOFINS, THE OFFICIAL THREAD

  1. #1

    Exclamation MONOFINS, THE OFFICIAL THREAD

    Hey guys, this is an excerpt out of something I've been working on. It's in progress (will add on more later), but I figured you guys could use the reference information, so here it is! All commercial monofins, DIY monofin information, cutting monofins, and monofin shaping additions.

    MONOFINS

    In the bottom of each tail is a fin used to propel the wearer through the water. The most common type of fin used in mer tails are monofins. They are a single (mono) fin with a dual foot pocket. These fins were made for fast and lengthy swimming- mostly for freediving. Instead of kicking like you do with dual fins, the monofins use your body motion for the propelling force, like a dolphin kick. It is a fluid like motion that concentrates more around your abs and not your legs- this movement is not only very mermaid like, but is a very efficient one.

    Monofins can be made from a few different materials- mainly polyethelene, fiberglass, carbon, or lexan. The more stiff the material is, the faster propulsion you can achieve with the fin.


    COMMERCIAL MONOFINS

    Plastic Monofins:

    The most popular monofins for mers are the recreational monofins, which are made of a flexible plastic like material called polyethelene or polypropylene, and have adjustable rubber foot pockets.



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    The Wave by Finis is made for men's US shoe size 1-7 or women's 2-8. The blade is on the small side and is less stiff than most.


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    The Rapid by Finis is made for men's US shoe size 8-12 or women's 9-13. The blade is large and stiff. For this reason most recommend the Rapid over the Wave for most tails. If you wish to use the Rapid but have smaller feet, use aqua shoes or a few pairs of neoprene socks can help with size difference.

    For reference, Finis also use to make a Tempo monofin (sizes 4- 9 ½ F), but it has been discontinued.

    Here's a size comparison of a the blade size of a Wave and a Rapid:

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    There are two types of cheaper mermaid shaped fins from finis. One is the Mermaid and Shark fins, by Finis. It comes in pink, purple, and blue; it fits male sizes 1-6, and female sizes 2-7. The other is the Aqarius monfin by Finis that comes in blue and pink and fits sizes male 4-10 and female 5-11.


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    The cheaper alternative to the Rapid would be the Finis Foil. With the ability to order a range of sizes, this fin is designed to fit Men size 3-15, and Women 4.5-17.5. This is a popular option to put in silicone tails so the fluke will have a more flowing movement but still be able to achieve good propulsion.


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    Sweammer Monofins Are polypopylene fins, favored for their smooth (no ridge) and shapely blade. They come in three sizes- the “Triton” sizes for children, the “Hydra” sizes for women, and the “Minos” sizes for men. Also available in 5 colors.


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    Mahina Merfins- Based out of Australia, Oceanika provides the first monofin specifically made for mermaiding. They're eco friendly, made completely out of recycled rubber, and known for their beautiful shape and colors. They are made for both children and adults, ranging from the smallest being able to fit a US size 2, to the largest for a US size 12.5 (please see the sizing chart on their website for more information). They come in teal and orange colors.
    Please note that you now can get adult Mahina Merfins from Urban Outfitters (in the US) with FREE shipping!



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    Dol-Fin Monofin comes in once size that will accommodate up to a Men's size 11. Made of carbon, it is somewhat heavy in the water and will not float.


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    Custom Monofins by Victoria are uniquely shaped made-to-order monofins with mermaid shapes, specifically made for mermaiding! They currently come in two shapes, "Classic" mermaid and "Sirena".


    Fiberglass Monofins:

    Monofins made of fiberglass offer large, stiff, very propulsive blades. Mers who swim in the ocean and face strong ocean currents prefer the fiberglass fins for this reason. However, they are more expensive than their polyethelene counterparts, starting at over $100. Here are 3 popular choices:


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    Finis Competitor by Finis- With the ability to order different sizes of foot pockets, the competitor can accommodate Men's 6.5-16 and Women's 7.5-17 sizes. This monofin is made of fiberglass, made to competition standards. The blade is quite large and very stiff, giving it excellent ability to propel you. This fin is reccomended for mers who do a lot of open water swimming.


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    Leaderfins is located in Estonia, and offer a variety of different fins in which you can chose your size footpockets and softness of the blade. They are a good choice for a realistic look inside of a tail, as several of the monofin's foot pockets taper down to the blade, giving it a more seamless and less bulging look.


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    Specialfins is located in Estonia, and provides affordable alternatives to the competitor with a choice of size and softness of the blade.


    Finis is currently the only monofin maker in the US. However, there are many different monofin distributers throughout the world. Often there are more choices and the blades are far more customizable outside of the US, since finswimming is has many serious enthusiasts and competitors. Here is a list of some of the options for other monofin sellers, taken from an article in Finswimming Magazine. It is a translated article, so forgive the slips in translation.


    Monofin Manufacturers


    1) BINFINS
    Binfins are Chinese Monofins built by Chen Bin [INTERVIEW], former World Champion in Underwater Races. He has some web sites such as http://www.binfins.com and http://www.chen-bin.com/.


    2) LUNOCET Lunocet is a new kind of monofin, ultra technologic and futuristic. They are made in the USA. Website: http://www.lunocet.com/


    3) MAT MAS Until 10 years ago the Mat Mas Monofins were one of the bests, used mostly by Italians Finswimmers, good for all kind of distances. Now they are used for Apnea. Website: http://www.mat-mas.it/


    4) ROCKETFINS A lot of people says they are the best, but imho I never find them confortable. They are made by some Ukranian Guys, Viktor Panev and Igor Soroka [INTERVIEW] and a lot of World Championsh use them. Website: http://www.rocketfin.com.ua


    5) LEADERFINS These monofins comes from Estonia made by Maksim Mercuri [INTERVIEW]. Website: http://www.leaderfins.com/


    6) STARFINS Starfins company is a manufacturer mainly specializing in monofin, giperfins and bi-fins production, as well as all kinds of finswimming accessories. The company was founded in 1997, by Alexandr Lichenko. Website: http://starfins.com


    7) SHARKFINS Sharkfins made by the Ukraine Kotov Max. Email: sharkfin@ukr.net


    8) GOLDFINS Goldfins made by the Ukraine Alex Zolotov. Email: zolotov@starline.lg.ua


    9) WATERWAY (GLIDEFINS) Waterways are probably the most used in trainings sessions, and Glidefins are good for competitions. They are made by the Ukraine Bogdan Lyashuk [INTERVIEW]. Website http://www.waterwayfins.com and http://www.finswimworld.com/


    10) FINIS Finis are from the USA and I think that no finswimmers use it, maybe some classical swimmer for trainings. Website: http://www.finisinc.com/kids/monofins/wave-monofin.html


    11) TRITON Tritons are made by the Ukraine Maksim Moroz [INTERVIEW]. Website: http://www.finswimming.net
    13) YAKOVLEV YAKOVLEV Monofins are made by the former Ukranian Champion Evgeny Yakovlev from Kiev. Email: yakovlevfins@bk.ru


    14) SMITH AEROSPACE Smith Aerospace is similar to the previous Lunocet, ultra-tech Monofins and they are made by in the USA. Website: http://www.smithaerospace.us


    15) ANDRONOV MONOFINEvgeny Andronov is a Russian Monofin Maker. Good monofins from him. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003034619128


    16) GRANKIN MONOFIN Alexey Grankin from Tomsk (Russia). Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002575749336


    17) KERSHKOV MONOFINVitalyi Kershkov is Ukrainian, from Kiev.Email: kershkov@i.com.ua Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1052223766


    18) ARSENAL FIN [KUTIKOV]This is an Estonian Monofin Maker from Tallinn. Emails: aastuudio@gmail.com arsenalfins@gmail.com serkutikov2010@yandex.ru Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sergei.kutikov Website: http://videoprazdnik.com/index.php?o...=88&Itemid=197


    19) PUDOV MONOFINMonofins created by the Russian Oleg Pudov, now trainer of Aix Natation. Email: pudov.oleg@yahoo.frmonooleg@mail.ru. Facebook: http://facebook.com/monooleg


    20) SALMIN MONOFIN The builder is Aleksandr Salmin and he was a Russian Champion. His monofins were the bests like 10 years ago. Email: yan7@yandex.ru Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php...903127&sk=info


    21) HYPERFINS [SHAKOV MONOFIN]Russian Monofins, used for some time by the World Champion Cherevko Brothers in Immersion competitions. Website: http://www.hyperfins.ru/


    22) SHUMKOV MONOFINThis is a Russian Builder Mr. Alexander Shumkov. Website: http://news.yandex.ru/people/shumkov_aleksandr.html


    23) AQUAMASTER MONOFIN This is a Russian Builder, it is also a Finswimming Club. Website: http://aquast.narod.ru


    24) SPECIALFINS Another Estonian Builder. Probably they have just Training Material. Website: http://specialfins.com/


    25) MAXDIVEPRO Another Russian Builder. Probably they are used mostly by Apnea Divers. Website: http://www.maxdivepro.ru/


    26) C4 CARBON MONOFLAP It’s an Italian Builder, not only of Monofins. Used specially by Apnea Divers. Website: http://www.c4carbon.com


    27) TROPOL MONOFIN It’s a Czech Builder, used probably by Apnea Divers. Website: http://www.tropol.cz


    28) ANEMOSFINS It’s an Italian Builder, used probably by Apnea Divers. Website: http://www.anemosfins.com



    CUTTING MONOFINS

    Some people are glad to work around the shape of monofins, others like to cut theirs to shape. Polyethelene can be cut with sharp sissors or a raxor knife. Fiberglass monofins can be cut a dremel, bandsaw, or jigsaw- be sure to use proper safety equipment, including eye and nose/mouth protection!

    Be sure not to cut sharp edges into your the blade, but instead round ones- cutting sharp edges will lead to tears in the blade later down the line. The reason for this is stress concentration at a corner- basically things are more likely to crack or tear at a sharp notch or inward corner because stress is concentrated there (such as package that has a small cut in the plastic to make it easier to tear there).


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    The correct way is shown on the left, the incorrect way on the right.

    If you have already have a tear or crack in your monofin, you can stop it by drilling a hole at apex of the crack.


    MONOFIN SHAPING ADDITIONS

    Some people chose not to shape the the monofin by cutting it, but rather by adding additional material to extend it to their preferred shape (example video here). The most common way of doing this is to either attach vinyl or sheet rubber. Some attach the rubber by glue, others by sewing with fishing line or other highly strong thread. The important thing to remember is that you must either completely seal (watertight) the rubber to the monofin, or leave plenty of space in the bottom, via holes/gaps in glue or stitching. This is because as water flows in and/or through the fabric it can become trapped in the rubber insert, greatly weighing down the fluke as you swim or try to lift it out of the water. Holes allow the water to flow freely in and out of the rubber, fixing the issue. A water tight seal of course would avoid the issue, although with the natural ridges in most monofins this may be difficult to accomplish.

    Mermaid Moonflower made a terrific tutorial on how to do a monofin extending mod!







    DIY MONOFINS

    There is also the option of making your own monofin. There are a few sites and some information on how to make custom monofins, but nothing extensive. Most people would much rather buy a commercial fin than go rounds of trial and error with materials. One thing I highly suggest is to do extensive testing before you glue them in any tail. I have seen people that seem successful in making a custom fin, only to find out that somewhere down the line (from the 2nd time of usage to a month or two later) the monofin fell apart or cracked due to a stress point (which would be a design flaw). The last thing you want is to glue a fin in a tail you spent lots of time, energy, and money on only to have it fall apart or break in the tail and not have a way to get it out. Here we will compile all the information we can to help you to build a sturdy monofin successfully.

    Lexan (polycarbonate) is the preferred material of choice for homemade monofins. It is durable and clear, making it preferable for those with sheer fabric or people looking for translucent or transparent flukes. Sheets of Lexan can be found at hardware stores such as Lowes or Home Depot.

    Making monofins out of PVC is not recommended, as it stress fractures (not durable). NEVER MAKE A MONOFIN OUT OF ACRYLIC/PLEXIGLASS- it will snap and/or shatter into razor sharp pieces, leading to severe injury!

    Monofins need stiffeners. These are needed to to stiffen the blade to reduce bending forces at the footpocket and to increase the power of the kick. The more force that bends the blade, the more force transmitted to the wake and the faster you go.

    You can make stiffeners by layering material on lexan monofins. They can be adhered together by solvent welding with methelene chloride.

    You can cut Lexan with a jigsaw or bandsaw for coarse/general cuts, and router for finish cuts, then sand to smooth after. Jigsaws can bog down and get hot in Lexan and begin to melt the chips leading to nasty looking cuts. Use a new blade every time you start a plastics project, and have several extra on hand to swap out if the blade begins heating up.

    For more information on DIY monofin making, look at the design for Capt Nemo's Titania Monofin.

    For foot pockets on DIY fins, there are several different options. Some people attach aqua shoes via screws. Some people use footpockets from bifins. Finswimworld offers individual monofin pockets for sale here. http://www.finswimworld.com/finswimming/footpockets.htm

    There are sites around on how to make custom monofins, but nothing extensive. Most people would much rather buy a custom monofin than go rounds of trial and error with materials. One thing I highly suggest is to do extensive testing on the monofins before you glue them in any tail. I have seen people that seem successful in making a custom monofin only to find out that somewhere down the line (from the 2nd time of usage to a month or two later) the monofin fell apart or cracked due to a stress point, which would be a design flaw. The last thing you want is to glue a fin in a tail you spent lots of time, energy, and money on only to have it fall apart or break in the tail and not have a way to get it out.


    BIFINS

    Regular bifins can be used in a tail, but they are not as athletically pleasing, and less efficient for propulsion. The vast majority of mers prefer to invest in a monofin rather than using bifins.


    HOW TO GET A MONOFIN OUT OF A TAIL

    Provided your monofin is not glued into your tail and is made of polyethelene or rubber, it is easy enough to get it in and out. Simply roll down the body of the tail to the fluke, reach in and grab the opposite edges of the fin and roll them in on themselves to roll the monofin blade into a tube like shape. Keep a hold, and pull it gently out of the fluke opening. To put in, roll down the body again, roll the monofin up as before, insert into the fluke hole, release so it unrolls, and adjust to desired position.
    Last edited by Winged Mermaid; 02-25-2015 at 02:21 PM. Reason: fixing links & formatting, adding info

  2. #2
    hi!!! im making a monofin with lexan , i took a photo of what i did caus i so not sure if im heading in the good direction so i need advice.
    the heal of the swim fin is positionn at the beginning of the lexan but after watching a lot of photo im wondering if it ok. i did not cut the lexan yet please help!!!
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  3. #3
    me again, i was thinking if i use my tempo monofin and seal it in my silicone tail, do you think if i cut strip of lexan and seal them in silicone it will make an extend of my monofin? caus the fluke is bigger than my tempo

  4. #4
    what is solvant welding with methelene chloride? where can i buy it?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    great work

  6. #6
    Senior Member Euro Pod Azurin Luna's Avatar
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    Dol-Fin Monofin (http://www.dol-fin.net/products.html) comes in once size that will accommodate up to a Men's size 11. Made of carbon, it is somewhat heavy in the water and will not float.
    Great list, but I saw something off. I have this monofin and I can tell you it's made of rubber and not carbon, on land it's heavy but in water it isn't, it's almost weightless.

    And I really do advise everybody using this one to use socks or neoprene toes as you might get blisters on top of your feet.
    Your imagination is your only limit

  7. #7
    Exceptionally wonderful thread! Thank you so much for compiling this information & making it understandable for all of us on here. <3

    ~ Facebook ~ Youtube ~ Model Mayhem

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  8. #8
    hello

    Do you have adviced for how choosing my monofin ? because i don't know wich one is the best : an expensive monofin like for competitor or a monofin for leasure ?

    thanks

  9. #9
    If you're mostly swimming in lakes or pools, go with a recreational monofin. With heavy currents, or swimming in rivers and/or oceans frequently, go with a fiberglass fin. There are plenty of fiberglass fins for hundreds less than the competitor and more custom ability also. The most popular for tails are LeaderFins and SpecialFins. For recreational fins, you're willing to spend a little extra, I've heard that the Oceanika Merfins are worth the extra price. They have nice propulsion, no monofin ridges to worry about, and have a beautiful shape. Hope this helps

    Wingéd Mermaid Iona

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  10. #10
    Thanks you so much for your help.

    Is there a thread for presentation ?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by starlite View Post
    Is there a thread for presentation ?
    What do you mean?

  12. #12
    where people present them :-) hello i'm Virginie, i live in France ...

  13. #13

  14. #14
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Narina's Avatar
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by meremily View Post
    hi!!! im making a monofin with lexan , i took a photo of what i did caus i so not sure if im heading in the good direction so i need advice.
    the heal of the swim fin is positionn at the beginning of the lexan but after watching a lot of photo im wondering if it ok. i did not cut the lexan yet please help!!!
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    the heel of the fins you're using as footpockets should be a bit further off of the blade ( from the
    Picture it looks like maybe where the pocket for the foot begins at. So where the hole for your actual feet starts. ) I suggest looking at other monotone to see where they placed theirs. Sorry if I'm replying too late to be of any help

  16. #16
    Would a foil fin be a smart choice to put in a latex tail?
    Hugs, fishes, and mermaid kisses!

  17. #17
    The foil is good with propulsion ive heard, but when I look at pictures of it, i see that the ankles are very spread apart, so i'd say to put in a tail... the wave or rapid are good ideas. If youre willing to spend a bit more, id suggest the fiberglass monofin from this website, its like the competitor and has awesome reviews!!! http://www.freedivinginstructors.com...&category_id=1
    OR if thats too expensive and you don't like wave or rapid, maybe some on this website? the hydras http://www.scubastore.com/scuba-divi...onofins/1081/s
    Good luck!

  18. #18
    Thank you so much for posting this. I found a mono fin I love so much better for 1/3 of the cost of the finis competitor!
    "Somebody's got to nail that girl's fins to the floor"-Sebastian from The Little Mermaid

  19. #19
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod MerAnthony's Avatar
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    By the look of the monofin I just might have to invest in one of those or even a hydra monofin.
    Be Happy Swim Free

  20. #20
    I've got a question for anyone who has purchased a Competitor monofin from Amazon! Unfortunatley there is nowhere in Australia that stocks them (or has them in stock) so the only place I can buy it is from Amazon; the issue is, it doesnt state the hardness of the blade!! Has anyone purchased from there and knows what hardness they send? Thanks so much!

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