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View Full Version : Resources for Facing Tail Bans in Pools



AniaR
07-28-2015, 03:56 PM
We've all been seeing how rampant the fear over tail related drownings is becoming. To the point that pools are banning tails. Here are my tips on how to deal with and start communication with your pools so you and kids can keep swimming! http://rainamermaid.tumblr.com/post/125279707530/facing-the-trend-of-pools-banning-tails

(do me a favour and read the link before commenting ;)

Mermaid Menanna
07-28-2015, 04:41 PM
I read the link and would like to comment. First, great resource and I hope it helps many. Beyond that, it should be noted that not all monofins have emergency releases on them. The finis foil is one of those. That will be an important bit of info since the foil appears to be so popular as a beginner fin.

I like the suggestion of swim tests, but am wondering... where is there room for the learning curve to be able to pass the swim test? There are many mers who don't have swimming access anywhere except a public pool. To be required to pass a swim test before being allowed to swim in the public pool disallows for the person to learn to swim in the tail in the first place. I would very much like to see some suggestions offered for beginners facing that situation. I, personally, have faced that very struggle. If it weren't for my neighbor agreeing to let me use his pool, I would still be landlocked.

Lastly I'd like to make note of the fact that not everyone can afford to rent public pool time. An example I can offer is my own situation. The only public pool near me that would consider allowing a monofin (not a tail) requires a minimum of $250 for rental fee, plus deposit and in large time blocks, such as 4 hr minimum. There are no other mermaids in my area, so I am on my own if it were to come down to renting pool time. The average person can't afford such a thing, especially if it's to accommodate that learning curve, which isn't going to happen all in a 4 hr time span in one day. That's a LOT of money for recreational swimming only. Personally, if I had that kind of money I would just invest in my own pool, which I can't afford to do.

Please don't take offense to my comments, I just would like to see someone add to what you have listed in your link to cover these types of situations. Not every mermaid is looking to turn this into a business. Many of us simply want to swim for our own recreation and/or for health reasons, and we are facing the same battle with tail/fin bans. Here in the states we are also facing bans on tails/fins in hotel pools now too, which, especially during winter months or for those who have no public beaches to swim on, leaves people entirely landlocked unless they have deep pocketbooks... and even then, many pools & hotels aren't even open to discussing it. No means no, end of conversation. It would be helpful to have suggestions and ideas for those who face these situations, too.

I have also run into a situation with a beach that limits the use of monofins/tails to the shallow 4 ft deep children's area only, because the fins are considered "toys". Swimming in a very limited space that is crowded with children is not safe for anyone, but the people in charge are not willing to discuss it. I don't know what the perception of a "toy" is where you are from, but here in the states people perceive the title of "toy" to mean "idiotproof" and "totally safe without risk of injury". Perceptions go a long way in what is happening with all of the bans.

While I realize that not all are going to warm up to the idea or change their minds, it is becoming an increasing issue here in the states with NONE of them allowing such things, none of them willing to discuss it or to consider it if liability waivers and such are offered. After getting my first fin and tail made I spent the majority of my summer just trying to find somewhere to learn how to swim in it. I got lucky, but there are many out there who don't have access to generous neighbors with pools such as I do and I would like to help advocate for them. There is no worse feeling than to spend the time & money to live a dream and then to be stuck without a place to even learn how to use it.

Thank you for putting together this resource. I look forward to seeing what can be added to it for the sake of all mers facing such difficult situations. :)

seakaren
07-28-2015, 06:57 PM
I am equally concerned about isolated mers and low-income mers losing access to public pools. I am really interested in putting together a resource packet for pools that focuses on recreational use of monofins and tails. I am interested in fundraising to hire someone - possibly from the community, but I think this should be a paid gig - to create something really professional looking that can be both accessible on a website and downloaded and distributed for free so that there's something people can hand to the person making decisions at the pool. I started thinking about doing this recently - my local pool has been supportive and interested as long as it's just me (and just recently my daughter) swimming in monofins, but I'd like to help them get a policy in place now before the trend hits any bigger.

Mermaid Kelda
07-28-2015, 07:05 PM
I agree wholeheartedly with Menanna and Kraken!

Thanks so much for putting this together, Raina. Perhaps we can use this thread as a place for others to post their experiences and ideas regarding non-business tail use in pools (and exploring Kraken's ideas for a resource pack)?

seakaren
07-28-2015, 07:28 PM
Did you misread my name as seakraken? That's AWESOME, I'm going to change my name!

Celaeno
07-28-2015, 07:37 PM
Did you misread my name as seakraken? That's AWESOME, I'm going to change my name!
You totally should! I kept misreading your name as that, too...

AniaR
07-28-2015, 09:25 PM
Beyond that, it should be noted that not all monofins have emergency releases on them. The finis foil is one of those. That will be an important bit of info since the foil appears to be so popular as a beginner fin.

All commercial monofins have emergency release protocol- it's a point I heavily researched when publishing my first book and I reached out to several companies. Whether it's a strap, a button, or the way the strap is made (such as in the foil case- incredibly soft rubber that will often break if you pull too hard) they're required to for safety compliance. The information just isn't always as apparent as it should be which is why mers need to research their specific monofins they use. But it's a moot point if your fin is incased in silicone. I had to be pretty general in my points; seeing as there are so many monofin options.


I like the suggestion of swim tests, but am wondering... where is there room for the learning curve to be able to pass the swim test? There are many mers who don't have swimming access anywhere except a public pool. To be required to pass a swim test before being allowed to swim in the public pool disallows for the person to learn to swim in the tail in the first place. I would very much like to see some suggestions offered for beginners facing that situation. I, personally, have faced that very struggle. If it weren't for my neighbour agreeing to let me use his pool, I would still be landlocked.

Honestly, you can't have your cake and eat it too. If you're going to be creating a liability for yourself and the lifeguards, this is the compromise. The swim tests finfun designed that I cited, are done without a tail. So people demonstrate they can do the skills before even putting on a tail for the first time, and the skills are fairly basic. You should already know how to swim before using a tail. I know some people don't. But you have to accept the fact is sky rockets your risk. Finfun's specific swim test it being used right now all over the world actually. I don't think it's at all unreasonable for people to be able to demonstrate they wont drown.


Lastly I'd like to make note of the fact that not everyone can afford to rent public pool time. An example I can offer is my own situation. The only public pool near me that would consider allowing a monofin (not a tail) requires a minimum of $250 for rental fee, plus deposit and in large time blocks, such as 4 hr minimum. There are no other mermaids in my area, so I am on my own if it were to come down to renting pool time. The average person can't afford such a thing, especially if it's to accommodate that learning curve, which isn't going to happen all in a 4 hr time span in one day. That's a LOT of money for recreational swimming only. Personally, if I had that kind of money I would just invest in my own pool, which I can't afford to do.

Every hobby costs money. Every business costs money to start. My point was specifically in the context of people starting a business. And then I suggested if recreational mers want to use the idea it's good to get together with a group to bring the cost down. I recognize that not everyone can afford it, but that doesn't mean that pools should just allow anyone to do what they want in their pool- right? You DO put yourself and others more at risk swimming in a big tail during a public swim. You can't tell me you don't. It's very hard not to hit others, and you can easily get over crowded, and overrun.

In most hobbies this is STANDARD. If you want to be a swimmer for instance, you'd take your lessons, book your lanes, belong to a club. If you want to play hockey you practice on your own but you can't just take your goalie net and stick out on the ice during a public skate.


Please don't take offense to my comments, I just would like to see someone add to what you have listed in your link to cover these types of situations. Not every mermaid is looking to turn this into a business. Many of us simply want to swim for our own recreation and/or for health reasons, and we are facing the same battle with tail/fin bans. Here in the states we are also facing bans on tails/fins in hotel pools now too, which, especially during winter months or for those who have no public beaches to swim on, leaves people entirely landlocked unless they have deep pocketbooks... and even then, many pools & hotels aren't even open to discussing it. No means no, end of conversation. It would be helpful to have suggestions and ideas for those who face these situations, too.

Sure, I see that. But what I see from the community is a huge amount of complaining, and not enough action. (not saying that's you, just my observation in general. I sincerely appreciate how hard it must be!) the other thing is, IT'S ONLY GOING TO TAKE ONE OF US SCREWING UP to ruin it for everyone. Just one!!!

If we do not collectively raise the standard here, rise to the occasion, we are ALL going to lose the ability to not only do this recreationally, but as jobs as well. Look at my country. Not even an actual incident. Just the thought of an incident, and already 1/4th the country has banned tails in 3 months.

It is disappointing that things cost money and we don't all have it. But, the mermaid hobby has NEVER been a cheap one. It is absolutely harder for the mers who don't have the money to buy a big silicone tail, or rent a whole pool. But there's actually only a very small percentage of mers like that.

For example, people see me as very successful but often forget I spent years in fabric. That my company still to this day only ever gets to practice maybe once or twice a year because renting a pool is expensive and that's all we can afford. We learn a lot on the go and we've swam in some terrible pools that allowed us just for the sake of gaining some experience. (hello that time I got crypto anyone?)


In terms of people unwilling to talk I often find the mer community GIVES people too many opportunities to say no. That's why you have to do all these things around the same time. Make the info package, mail it, and hand deliver it to all the important people at the pool. Releasing statements to the media with your info packet at the same time puts pressure on them. And if you can get clients interested in booking you there and can come to them with "well, X amount of people are willing to book parties if you'll allow it" they see the money making. You can't just go in and say "oh hey can I do this weird thing you've maybe never heard of and seems super risky?" ya know? :p

No one had ever heard of it before I started it here either. And in all my years of doing this, this is the first year that mermaids are a topic across the country. I know it's hard to be all alone but it wont always be that way.



I am equally concerned about isolated mers and low-income mers losing access to public pools. I am really interested in putting together a resource packet for pools that focuses on recreational use of monofins and tails. I am interested in fundraising to hire someone - possibly from the community, but I think this should be a paid gig - to create something really professional looking that can be both accessible on a website and downloaded and distributed for free so that there's something people can hand to the person making decisions at the pool. I started thinking about doing this recently - my local pool has been supportive and interested as long as it's just me (and just recently my daughter) swimming in monofins, but I'd like to help them get a policy in place now before the trend hits any bigger.


I have found getting in and doing a lot of volunteering either dry or wet REALLY helps the cause! It shows that mers support their community and also adds more pressures to the pools.


Thanks so much for putting this together, Raina. Perhaps we can use this thread as a place for others to post their experiences and ideas regarding non-business tail use in pools (and exploring Kraken's ideas for a resource pack)?

I actually said resource pack in my link and gave loads of points and items that should be put in it ;)



Folks, this is just my approach I've tried locally and it's working. We got wind they were banning tails after all this media backlash. I wrote a letter, made sure lifeguards knew our safety capacity, put together a resource package and hand delivered it.

You gotta be willing to fight for it and not just decide ideas aren't going to work before trying, or before trying them differently.


These are just THE BASICS. I can't guarantee a single thing will work. But guess what? prior to this we had nothing. Now we got something to start with and hopefully people can use it, and hopefully people can keep adding to it- as I invited them to right in the original post

I just can't express enough we have to look at this from both ends. While we're trying to earn our right to swim, we can't jeopardize it as well. Because it only takes one incident and we're all screwed.

UltimateSwimFin.com
07-28-2015, 09:43 PM
I wouldn't let my niece you a mono until she could tread water indefinitely with JUST her hands.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

seakaren
07-28-2015, 09:49 PM
Maybe the answer to the problem of how to get the practice in to pass the swim test could be classes? My local pool is interested in having them, I am not qualified to teach but it's a real opportunity here for somebody more experienced and qualified.

seakaren
07-28-2015, 09:54 PM
Also, as far as mermaiding not being cheap - I think that there's a place in this discussion for people who aren't mermaiding as even a serious hobby, let alone professionally. Maybe I will take this further and develop a mersona, maybe I won't. Maybe my daughters and I will become Mama Kraken and the Krakenettes and take our show on the road; maybe we'll just keep doing monofin swimming in the lanes. As of now, I have spent under $200 on two monofins, and bought a pool pass, which I would have done for the summer anyway. That's it. A good monofin/tail policy would cover everyone from people at my level right now to professionals.

AniaR
07-28-2015, 09:56 PM
Maybe the answer to the problem of how to get the practice in to pass the swim test could be classes? My local pool is interested in having them, I am not qualified to teach but it's a real opportunity here for somebody more experienced and qualified.

yeah I made a point about workshops and gave the example of what my company does. Not everyone is qualified and that's ok. but we need some people to rise up and be leaders or it isnt going to change.


I wouldn't let my niece you a mono until she could tread water indefinitely with JUST her hands.

yup, the swim test (and swim tests have been a common thing long before mermaid tails) finfun have are geared to CHILDREN. So adults have to pass a kid's test. It's not that hard. Yes we all need to learn and start, but if you can't swim at all maybe it's not time for a tail. I was a terrible swimmer when I started but I could still do the basics.

I know people don't like these points but the thing is, these are the pools concerns, they are VALID concerns, and so far this is all I can come up with to meet each concern. Some cost money, some are hard work. At least they are a start.

seakaren
07-28-2015, 09:58 PM
Also, sorry for multiple posting but the Krakenettes are rowdy - you have already done nearly all of the necessary research for a resource pack, Raina, and I am personally really grateful. I would just like to help organize getting the pack actually made, because I don't have the skills or time right now to do it myself.

AniaR
07-28-2015, 09:59 PM
Also, as far as mermaiding not being cheap - I think that there's a place in this discussion for people who aren't mermaiding as even a serious hobby, let alone professionally. Maybe I will take this further and develop a mersona, maybe I won't. Maybe my daughters and I will become Mama Kraken and the Krakenettes and take our show on the road; maybe we'll just keep doing monofin swimming in the lanes. As of now, I have spent under $200 on two monofins, and bought a pool pass, which I would have done for the summer anyway. That's it. A good monofin/tail policy would cover everyone from people at my level right now to professionals.

Im not trying to exclude people who aren't doing it as a business. Like, 90% of my suggestions work for everyone. It's really just insurance and pool rentals people seem to think are only meant for business. All of the other points are still valid for those who just do it for fun.

But regardless of doing it for fun or doing it for business, we all create the same risks, and we all have the capacity to ruin it for everyone else if we don't take personal accountability and enact change.

AniaR
07-28-2015, 09:59 PM
I like rowdy krackenettes it's all good lol

seakaren
07-28-2015, 10:05 PM
They like you too!

I'm brand new to the community so I'm not totally comfortable taking charge here, but what seems like a good idea to me is to fundraise +/- $350 to hire a web designer and writer to make and post this pack. (I'm basing that number on what working writers make for articles on places like Cracked, and throwing in extra for web design pretty much out of my butt. This may not be a good number.) I'm happy to make and run the gofundme and find the person to do the job, but if other people with more time in the community would like to step up that might be better.

seakaren
07-28-2015, 10:06 PM
And of course if someone wanted to just volunteer their time and skills that would be great, but this is something I'm personally willing to pay for and I imagine other people would be also.

Mermaid Kelda
07-28-2015, 10:36 PM
I actually said resource pack in my link and gave loads of points and items that should be put in it ;)
Sorry, I wasn't clear! Like Karen (/Kraken ;D) said just above, I was thinking more of a physical representation that can literally be printed out and handed in as-is, using your points and others'.

seakaren
07-28-2015, 10:46 PM
I am totally in agreement about swim tests, btw. I wonder if another thing to do would be to contact national lifeguarding associations to see if there would be any interest in developing standard ones.

seakaren
07-28-2015, 10:52 PM
oh, duh, two monofin companies have already done that. Well let me rephrase that - getting national lifeguarding associations to *adopt* standard ones.

AniaR
07-29-2015, 12:11 AM
I am totally in agreement about swim tests, btw. I wonder if another thing to do would be to contact national lifeguarding associations to see if there would be any interest in developing standard ones.

I've been contacted by the life saving society about giving workshops so we'll see if it pans out


Sorry, I wasn't clear! Like Karen (/Kraken ;D) said just above, I was thinking more of a physical representation that can literally be printed out and handed in as-is, using your points and others'.

Yeah I think they'd need to be specific to each group. Ours helped us big time but would be too specific for others which is why I just made a few points people could utilize. :)

seakaren
07-29-2015, 12:18 AM
I think there's a need for very basic information about tails and fins being safe and not crazy, with very simple bullet points, and directions to further info. Anybody could use it, and groups with special needs could add to it.

AniaR
07-29-2015, 01:33 AM
but see it still needs to be specific to the type of mnofin and tails your group uses.

e.g.: we have specific bullet points about the safety and how we cope with emergencies in our silicone tails since we can't easily access the monofins or get out of them very fast. we also use 3 different kid's monofins that all have their own different features and don't work the same (a finfun monofin is miles away from a mermaid linden bodyglove) our fabric tails for kids aren't made like all the ones on the market and are different too. That's what I mean by specific. Even someone who has made a fabric skin to go over a wave monofin, it's different than say a finfun tail. A finfun you can reach up through the open fluke to pull it off if you need to. Water also flows right through it. Whereas another tail would be different. It's all stuff lifeguards have asked us, and all they'd need to know, and all subjective depending on each group and what they're doing with tails and what types their using.

That's why I just put in general points about safety, fitness, the history of no actual drownings etc. Because everything else would have to be a bit more specific.

AniaR
07-29-2015, 09:07 AM
I was just invited to speak to my local news this morning and demonstrate kids fins :)

PearlieMae
07-29-2015, 09:50 AM
I was just invited to speak to my local news this morning and demonstrate kids fins :)

That's great!

seakaren
07-29-2015, 11:46 AM
That's so great!

Mermaid Menanna
07-30-2015, 01:34 AM
I think my questions about the swim test were misunderstood. Again I will use myself as an example because I don't have any other mers in this area to use for reference/examples. A swim test without a tail or fin, no problem. I have been swimming since I was a young child and am an avid swimmer without those things. The learning curve and swim tests I was referring to are those WITH fin and/or tail, as I can see where pools may want to require a person to demonstrate their abilities with the use of fins/tails. THAT was where I was asking about the learning curve allowance...

Again, I am not objecting to any of the points made here, all are valid... but when a person wants to swim with a fin/tail for recreation or health reasons, having to rent a pool for such a thing is a bit over the top. Yes, hobbies can be expensive, but for some this wouldn't necessarily qualify as "hobby" really. Swimming in general could then be perceived as a hobby, especially when things like "pool toys" and floaties and etc. are used, yet people go to public pools with this stuff and spend all day for $4 - $6 without a problem. Add the fin and suddenly it's $250+ for 4 hrs?
I already had 1 bad experience with a swim school pool. Entrance tickets cost $10 for 2 hrs of swim time plus the 1+ hr drive to get there. Within 45 minutes it was too crowded for me to swim there safely so I had no real option except to leave... That's expensive and horribly time consuming for 45 minutes in the water, not to mention stress & frustration. We are expected to respect others with safety concerns and such, but where does it work both ways? Where is the respect for us? Just because we put on a fin/tail doesn't mean we are less deserving.

I understand the risks and liabilities. I am not dismissing those at all. I have been quite vocal about safety first and safety measures that people need to take, especially when first starting out. At the same time, while nobody expects pools to just let everyone do as they please, there has to be some kind of in between somewhere that we can come up with that can accommodate everyone without being ridiculous. At the present time this is becoming a "hobby" that only the wealthy will be allowed to do because they'll be the only ones who can afford it. I am just asking that we, as a community, work together to help find some kind of common ground somewhere that will help to accommodate the many "poor" mers out there who either want or need to swim (for health reasons and/or recreation). Things like the one beach I mentioned, FORCING the use of fin/tail to ONLY the crowded children's section is a good example of my concerns. By doing that THEY become the ones creating more hazard and risk to all, not the mer who knows better than to do such a thing. Pools/beaches giving the choice of endangering children and the mers or not being allowed to swim? Totally ridiculous.

I don't have all the answers, only a few suggestions as I live through these experiences and strive to find somewhere to swim. Soon the weather here will be too cold for outdoor swimming in my neighbor's pool and then I am stuck. I am doing this for health reasons more than anything else and have no desire to turn this into a business. Being restricted to a few wks/yr when the weather allows it isn't going to do much to help my health problems, so I am forced to seek out alternatives and solutions... which is why I came here and commented. I am asking for help, ideas, etc. because I am at a loss right now and I don't have any other place to turn for help except the online community. I am in no way trying to dismiss or trivialize safety concerns. I just need to be able to swim somewhere, and right now, am looking at the entire fall and winter being landlocked unless I can find some way to offer affordable suggestions/solutions to a hotel or public pool that currently bans fins and tails completely. I need a chance to learn to swim well in my fin & tail. I am not finding this easy (because of my disability issues) and it's only going to get harder if I only have a few wks/yr to practice/learn. And... after talking to other mers on facebook I am hearing that there are a lot of other lonely mers out there struggling with the same issues in their area that I am struggling with here. Anything that I can learn or take from the discussions here is stuff I can also then share with the others on facebook.

seakaren
07-30-2015, 02:12 AM
Menanna, I'm really sorry you're having such a hard time and I hope things get easier for you soon.

AniaR
07-30-2015, 09:37 AM
Here's my interview with the news this morning talking specifically about fin safety for kids! http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=668572&binId=1.1145745&playlistPageNum=1

Madison MerFaerie
08-01-2015, 03:29 AM
Maybe my daughters and I will become Mama Kraken and the Krakenettes and take our show on the road

I'd pay money to see that show. Just wanted to throw that out there.

seakaren
08-01-2015, 12:03 PM
When they start screeching in public I'm gonna start saying it's a show and passing the hat.

Mermaid Jaffa
08-02-2015, 12:36 AM
Here's my interview with the news this morning talking specifically about fin safety for kids! http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=668572&binId=1.1145745&playlistPageNum=1
EEE! Where did you get your scale suit from??

AniaR
08-21-2015, 03:36 PM
great new video from finfun https://www.facebook.com/finfunmermaid/videos/988369534555786/

Saren
09-27-2015, 11:22 PM
Hello! I've read through this thread and through Raina's tips on her blog. I talked with the pool director today about swimming with a fabric tail with an open end. She is on the fence which I take as a good sign! She wants to see for herself how something like this woulod work, how I demonstrate quick and safe emergency exit from the pool (taking my tail off ect) and will at least hear me out if I'm serious about this.

Now this is months from now. But I'm going to make a packet for her, and maybe the lifeguards too. I'm just trying to get a list of things together that I should demonstrate and include in the packet. Just to note, I've asked at two different base pools, they do not rent out the pool for private parties/swim time, so even if I had the money, it's not a feasible thing.

So far I plan on:

doing their standard swim test in a tail
demonstrate how I exit form my tail quickly in the water
demonstrate proper tail use in and out of water
bring them treats
signing a waiver if they have one
agreeing to only swim in a tail in the lap lanes/only during lap times
asking if having liability insurance will ease their fears


In the packet I want to include:

info on my fabirc tail and monofin
brief history of mermaiding
a few of Raina's point from her "dealing with tail bans" article


Should I include anything else? Do anything else? I'm allowed to swim in a monofin no problem, the goal is to be allowed to swim in a fabric tail with an open fluke (similiar to FinFun).

AniaR
09-27-2015, 11:23 PM
You can link them to the finfun videos in your packet :)

Saren
09-28-2015, 12:09 AM
You can link them to the finfun videos in your packet :)

Good idea...I'll have the video ready on my phone too, since it's a meeting. Luckily I will get some practice in my tail on the beach during Christmas, so hopefully this means I won't make a fool of myself.

Mermaid Kelda
09-28-2015, 03:55 AM
So far I plan on:

bring them treats


If I were a pool director these would be my only terms

Saren
09-28-2015, 08:37 AM
If I were a pool director these would be my only terms

Hahaha, if only it were that easy. How do I go about giving them treats anyway? I don't want to be creepy or obvious, but I do want to be nice and be like "Have some treats!"

Mermaid Kelda
09-28-2015, 08:48 AM
I'm not sure you could give them treats without being obvious. In a lot of professions it's illegal to take gifts from people even on the off chance it could possibly be seen as a bribe, so in general I think it'd be regarded as poor form. I'm not sure what the social etiquette is for that sort of thing in Japan, though!
That said, if they do end up saying yes, I don't see a problem with making the pool staff a mermaid-themed thank you card or something!

saborigakusei
09-28-2015, 10:37 AM
In Japan it should be fine right? When I went were were expected to give gifts to literally everyone... it seems like the mentality there is that you're imposing on them/asking a favor, so they should receive something in return? I could be wrong though xD.

I'm very glad to have found this thread! My tail won't be here for at least another year, but I've been wondering whether or not the pools around here would allow it. After reading this I've decided to be preemptive and get together some information to give to the pool staff and supervisors before I get my actual tail. I'm feeling pretty confident though, based on the positive reaction from my monofin.

I swim at a public rec center and no one batted an eyelash when I brought in my HUGE hydra and swam with it. And I made friends with one of the lifeguards who already knew about the mercommunity and had looked into getting a tail herself! She was super excited to hear about mine, so I have at least one person on my side, haha. ^_^

lulubelle
09-28-2015, 03:51 PM
KayNS and I have started swimming in our tails at a local pool, and I think the groundwork Raina has laid here has helped a lot! The lifeguards didn't even bat an eye when we sat poolside and pulled on our tails.

AniaR
09-28-2015, 06:41 PM
I always bring lifeguards treats. They love it. They often feel like they have a thankless job. You can even make it obvious and funny and say "hello I brought my bribe!" lol.

Mermaid Kelda
09-28-2015, 07:41 PM
I see nothing wrong with bringing people gifts or treats, I just think it's bad form to do it while they're thinking of granting you permission for something. But that's just my personal preference!

Saren
09-28-2015, 08:33 PM
Hmmmmm...I think if I wait for the meeting to bring treats...it should be ok. As a thank you for hearing me out and speaking with me kind of thing. Then if I get permission then I could bring treats more often as thanks for your hard work.

It's not expected to give gifts to Japanese people unless your on very close terms because due to cultural stigma, they feel obligated to gift back.

But now that I think about it, on base they don't celebrate Japanese holidays so they'll have to work during Labor thanksgiving day, but I can totally bring the whole gym and swim staff treats since it's a holiday to thank workers!

Saren
12-22-2015, 08:07 AM
Hey everyone! So I'll be having that meeting with the aquatics director very soon (maybe tomorrow or right after Christmas). I'm bringing the following letter to the meeting so she can have a physical copy of my shpeil to her. Please let me know if I should add or change anything:

Dear Aquatic Director,

We have discussed back in September about the possibility of granting me permission to swim in a fabric tail accompanied with a monofin. From our brief meeting you expressed concerns for safety and wanted to know more information and ascertain for yourself the probability of granting me permission. With this in mind I am more than willing to agree to the following:


Demonstrate how I can exit quickly and safely from the tail and monofin in case of emergency


Demonstrate proper tail use in and out of water


Signing a liability release waiver


Obtaining liability insurance

I am willing to do more per your suggestion. I would like to note that I have SCUBA training and know that safety must be number one where water is concerned. I can already pass the pools swim test of swimming 50m unassisted and treading water for two minutes. I can also do a dolphin kick swim for more than five kicks both on my front and back. However, I would gladly take the swim test with the tail or just the monofin, if you like.
To give you more information, the monofins I use are both made of rubber, and the straps are easily removable so I can quickly remove the fin. The fabric cover in question is made of swimsuit fabric and has an open end design made to simply slip over the monofin. I can easily access the monofin to remove it, then quickly slide the fabric tail off and can exit the pool quickly.
Id also like to say that while all safety concerns are valid, there have been no incidents to date concerning anyone who has swam in a tail, be it fabric, neoprene, or silicone. Swimming in tails has actually been done by various women and men for the past 100 years. In fact, a very well-known company, known as Fin Fun, makes fabric tails for children similar to my own. They strongly stress safety, have created a swim test for children, and have several videos demonstrating how to safely use and remove a tail.

To finish, I would like to thank you so much for your time and letting me speak to you on this matter.

Merman Andrew
01-02-2016, 11:16 PM
YMCA Victoria (Australia) have just banned tail swimming in all their pools! Please sign this petition! https://www.change.org/p/anthea-hancocks-ymca-victoria-remove-the-ban-on-mermaid-tails-at-ymca-victoria-swimming-pools

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AniaR
01-25-2016, 10:12 PM
Here's a radio interview I gave where I used the event to promote safe monofin swimming


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVLUN0JKTMU

Merman Andrew
01-25-2016, 10:57 PM
My concern over these bans is where the information about tails being unsafe is originating from. Media and the general public making a fuss is one thing but what is really concerning is when so called experts such as the Royal Life Saving Society Australia come out and make a statement that Mermaid tails are not safe. Pools listen to these 'experts' and therefore enforce bans based on their statements. But are they really experts in Mermaid tail safety? Have they even seen or in fact used a Mermaid tail? Are they even aware of the safety features of a Mermaid tail? Have they spoken to an expert in Mermaid tail use and safety? And this matters because as I've said their opinions are respected and enforced on a large scale.

Without investigating or conveying all the facts making such statements is really unfair and frankly unprofessional for them to be putting their name behind it. I know they are just saying it as a waning since there may be a risk with using them for inexperienced swimmers but so many other toys and sports equipment can also be unsafe if misused especially by someone who is inexperienced.

Also, there are lots of people are drowning in without tails (59 in just over a month here in Australia) so if RLSS and pools want to crack down on pool safety they should crack down on this unacceptable number.

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AniaR
01-25-2016, 11:12 PM
but they are unsafe lol. I use monofins with kids all the time. I have saved 8 kids (and counting) from drowning. We can't pretend they're unsafe. Kids do almost drown with them all the time, I've seen dozens. The only thing that will stop that is information and training. It's the minsinformation that people HAVE drowned when they havent.

The fears arent unfounded. It's a disconnect between the product and how findable (for lack of a better word) the safety information is or isn't. Finfun thankfully replied to this this year with stepping up their safety info, but none of the other makers have.

These regulatories havent said though that anyone drowned. Their official statement is that they could be dangerous without proper supervision. Which is a responsible statement to make. The media spins it.

Mermaid Adrienne
01-27-2016, 07:55 AM
I live far away from any place I could swim really a part from a public pool that has banned tails and monofins. If I go, I have to leave my fins behind and the only pool I can swim in it with is 2 hours away from where I live.