View Full Version : Archive: "My Mertailor experiences"

Winged Mermaid
07-19-2011, 10:15 PM
This is an archived thread that was originally posted on mer.yuku.com, the predecessor to MerNetwork. For more information about mer.yuku.com, click here (http://mernetwork.com/index/content.php?136-About-MerNetwork-article).

http://static.yuku.com/common/bypass/images/off_line.gifAlohaMermaid (http://alohamermaid.mer.yuku.com/)

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Posts: 109
12/15/10 08:42:14

Hi Mermaids and Mermen!

I'm so happy to have found this forum! I swim with a small group of other mermaids in Hawaii. We swim about once a week, mostly in the ocean but also in swimming pools.

I have two tails from Eric and just ordered a third. My experiences with him have been positive. I bought my first one from him on ebay. It is a neoprene tail, with beautiful colors of red-violet purple and copper. I love that it has a zipper going all the way up the back, making it super-easy to put on and even easier to take off. Amazingly, it fit me almost perfectly, although it was made for someone else originally. My friend who's a seamstress took in the waist, and now it fits great.

My only issue with the tail is the monofin, because I swim in the ocean and need the push of a stiff fin, and his original fin is a less expensive Finis. Easily resolved, though, because my friend who sews is puttiing a Finis Competitor into the tail. I spoke with Eric about this and he says he's very happy to build his new tails with Competitors for those who ask and who pay for his cost in doing so, so that's what he's doing with the new tail that he's making for me, yay!

My second Mertailor tail is a latex one, which I haven't swam with yet, mostly because it has the same thinner blade type of monofin with it, and I don't want to take that type of fin into the ocean. It's a gorgeous and stunning turquoise tail, so I'll use it for topside photo shoots and probably some swimming pool mermaiding. This tail was custom made for me, and the wierd thing was that it fit me exactly like the one I'd bought from him on ebay . . .fitting perfectly everywhere except a little too big in the waist . . . and this was easily fixed by my friend who sews. It took her 10 minutes to take in the waist and now it fits like a glove. He delivered this tail to me exactly on time, 5 to 6 weeks.

So I just ordered a third tail from Eric because I really wanted a silicone one and he's now offering them! With the Finis Competitor fin in it (an extra charge, which I expected, and he's only charging me for his cost of the fin), tax, shipping, etc, it came to $2000, which seems very reasonable. I adjusted my measurements with him so that the waist will fit better. His tail lengths have been great, with the top coming up almost to the rib cage, which is very flattering and comfortable.

I actually had contacted Mike Van Daal about getting a silicone tail because I didn't know Eric made them. I wrote to Mike and immediately got his very thorough form letter back, explaining my options. So I was ready to order a silicone tail from him and wrote to him 3 times at his email address and through ebay, asking him where to send the money, but he never responded. I do hope to get a tail from Mike some day, because his work is beautiful, and hopefully he'll write me back. Maybe he's busy. But in the meantime, good old Eric did let me know he's now making silicone tails and he responded immediately. So I'm thrilled to get a silicone tail from him.

I'm waiting for photos of my Mertailor neoprene tail which a friend of mine took in the ocean last week. Once I get those photos, I'll put them on my profile (I don't have photobucket) and mention it here.

The tail that's on my profile right now is a neoprene one made by my Mermaid swim buddy, Dana Richardson. She's an amazing mermaid! Her tails are gorgeous, and very sparkly with lots of sequins. They are also form and function, because they are soooooo amazing to swim with in the ocean currents! It's truly an extension of my own body when I'm in it. Her monofins are performance oriented, and you can kick twice and be down at 10 to 20 feet and back to the surface in two kicks. This, to me, is what's important when mermaiding in the open ocean. Dana's website is danamermaid.com, by the way, if you'd like to see her photos and talk with her about her tails.

Happy Mermaiding!

Last Edited By: AlohaMermaid (http://alohamermaid.mer.yuku.com/) 12/15/10 09:13:53. Edited 1 time.

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Posts: 109
12/15/10 09:12:49

Thanks, Freethinker, and glad to hear you had a good experience with him, too.

I wanted to add that these are all recently acquired tails. I ordered the ebay tail and the latex tail in October, 2010.

http://static.yuku.com/common/bypass/images/off_line.gifMarla (http://marla.mer.yuku.com/)

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Posts: 248
12/15/10 09:22:44

AlohaMermaid I've seen pics of you with Dana. They are amazing! I am hoping to make one like Dana's too as they seem very easy to swim in and hug the body. I love my mertailor tail also except that it wasn't made for me (I bought it used) so it's a tiny bit too short, but I think I have some ideas to add-on to it from all the great topics on here.

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Posts: 109
12/15/10 09:33:08

Aloha, Marla, your tail in your profile pic is stunning! Is that from the Mertailor? Love the size of your fluke!

Yes, Dana's tails are amazing and they definitely hug the body. The one I have from her wasn't custom made for me, but it fits great.

I would be interested in reading about your ideas to make your tail longer in the waist, too.

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Posts: 536
12/15/10 11:03:30

Even tho your happy with the tail, I wish you hadn't paid so much for it....I knew when he listed it, someone would probably like the color scheme and buy it however the tail was made from old tail parts and was thrown together in only a few nights. I don't believe it was fair of Eric to charge 500.00$ for something with puffy paint.

I was the original owner of that tail and I do believe the tail was made the way it was out of spite, and was not up to my standards for tails and thats why I got my money back.

But if you feel it was worth the money and you are proud to wear it than that all that matters I guess. I hope your silicone tail turns out well, as to my knowledge he has only ever made one before.
Good luck and happy to have you here.

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Posts: 838
12/15/10 11:55:45

I'm glad you had such a good mertailor experience and I never ever thought about the monofin difference because I have yet to use my tail in the ocean actually swimming. I'm not looking to do anything amazing but I was planning on swimming with it in LA just after Christmas- do you think it would be safe? I'd love to talk to you further about that.

You'll have to forgive us, a lot of us have been quite spurned by the mertailor recently and it's very hard to post positively about him (you can read any of my threads in this section of the site for photos etc of what I paid 1000 for). If you're happy with your tail then I am happy for you. The last time we saw it it was covered in mold and bird poop. It's kinda a legend on this forum because of all the drama that went down around it. I do agree that you shouldn't have been charged so much for it but heck, I was charged 1000$ for a tail 10 inches too short that in all liklihood was made of something similar to carpet backing. *shrug* All that really matters at the end of the day is that it fits you, you can swim in it, and you like it. I don't think the tail is what makes the mermaid- it's the person wearing it. So you do your best with it and I hope we'll see some photos!

I have seen previous images of you on facebook with Dana and you really look great! It's exciting to have you here and I hope we can learn a lot from you.

Last Edited By: raina (http://raina.mer.yuku.com/) 12/15/10 12:01:17. Edited 1 time.

http://static.yuku.com/common/bypass/images/off_line.gifAlohaMermaid (http://alohamermaid.mer.yuku.com/)

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Posts: 109
12/15/10 12:08:07

Okay, I can see that we're a very open and bluntly honest group . . . just like merpeople, LOL!

Yes, that's the tail that I bought. I'm SO sorry that you went through painful drama with it! I see that my tail has a legacy. Yes, it was a bit of money, but I have altered how it looks with a lot of sparkle, sequins, silky trim, and more paint and I think it looks gorgeous, especially underwater. I actually like the puffy paint scales, as do my friends who've seen it. Maybe in Hawaii, we like things that in other places are considered tacky? Just look at our "Aloha wear" as an example, LOL! Anyway, when the sunlight was hitting it through the ocean, it looked amazing. I'm waiting for my friend's photos from last weekend and I'll then post them for you to see.

I still would LOVE to buy a tail from Mike Van Daal . . .maybe if you know him, you can ask him to please reply to me? I just sent him a message on facebook. The delay may be because I've asked him about putting a Finis Competitor in the tail he'd make for me. I need a very stiff blade in the monofin for the ocean currents. If his custom monofins have stiff blades, that's fine, too

Raina, I think swimming in the ocean with a mermaid tail is the BEST! I'm a scuba divemaster and I think freediving with a mermaid tail is way more fun. I used to dive and swim in L.A. waters, and the currents are pretty strong there, so I'd suggest replacing the monofin in your tail before you go. When I freedove last week with the Mertailor standard monofin, it was during a pre-storm ocean swell with strong current in Kona. I didn't get any traction from his monofin, and it was a bit scary trying to swim against current with no-to-little push response from the monofin. His monofins are fine for the pool, in my opinion. But even on a calm day, I'd want a really stiff monofin for the ocean.

http://static.yuku.com/common/bypass/images/off_line.gifMermaidRaven (http://mermaidraven.mer.yuku.com/)

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Posts: 536
12/15/10 12:43:52

Sometimes Im too blunt for my own good.

If you have made improvements to the tail I would LOVE to see them (ill keep an eye out for pictures). If I didn't get my money back I was going to redo it myself so Im glad you have added to it. I don't think puffy paint is tacky, I just think for 500.00$ you should get a little more as you can buy puffy paint at wallmart for like .49cents and because eric now sells his realistic tails for only $499.00.

Mike makes amazing tails, Mertailor has recently been upsetting a lot of customers who are now looking to mike for tails so Im sure hes pretty busy, but he really is fantastic.

http://static.yuku.com/common/bypass/images/off_line.gifAina (http://raina.mer.yuku.com/)R (http://raina.mer.yuku.com/)


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Posts: 838
12/15/10 13:01:28

Yah Mike can take a bit to respond, only because he typically responds with all the info you need.

I'm used to water barely above freezing. But I never thought that it might be dangerous for me! I'd really like to get a couple under water photos so I guess I'll feel it out. If it's calm and I'm with a lot of people who can help me stay safe I'm still going to try it. :) If I don't think I can handle it I'm not the kinda person to jump in lol Perhaps Eric should consider a disclaimer though about the monofins so people know they work best in pools and I imagine lakes.
I'm really excited to see what you've done with the tail :) Let us know how it feels in the water!

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Posts: 249
12/15/10 13:08:10

I don't know how the currents work on the west coast, but here on the Georgia coast, we have these wicked sideways currents. Pick your feet up off the sea floor for a minute and let yourself float, and you'll be 500 feet to the left of your blanket spot in the blink of an eye. I'm a VERY strong swimmer and I can't go against it if it's a windy day or a storm's coming in. One of the reason I'm glad that I'm getting a Rapid instead of a Wave or Tempo :/ But I think as long as you have someone with you (DON'T EVER SWIM IN THE OCEAN ALONE), as in, in the water with you, you should be fine for shoots. Don't get cocky, though, and if it's hinting at a rainstorm you best stay on the land.

http://static.yuku.com/common/bypass/images/off_line.gifMarla (http://marla.mer.yuku.com/)

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Posts: 248
12/16/10 06:26:50

AlohaMermaid - I definitely want to make a tail with a competitor or WaterWay monofin just for the purposes you mentioned above. Yes, my profile pic and all my pics on my profile are my Mertailor tail. It is definitely great for photoshoots. I've only had it in the surf once and the currents were to much for the tail, so I didn't get much done that day. As for the waist, I'm going to ask Raven about it, but I think I can glue in some additional neoprene/fabric and then go over it with some Alex to blend in with my tail and touch up with some netting/paint, etc... We'll see. I really want to make one like Dana's/Kariels tho as they seem to be better for ocean swimming. The latex/silicone tails seem to have too much drag and trap too much water, whereas your Dana tail is all neoprene which lets the water go thru with ease...

Anyway - I have a lot of ideas for a new tail, but just have to get thru the holidays first! I was just on Maui in September and really wish I had brought my tail there... oh well, maybe someday!

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Posts: 109
12/16/10 08:23:39


I just uploaded three photos of the purple Mertailor tail to my Profile here on this site in the album labeled "Mermaids." The color on the tail looks so rich underwater!

I agree with you, Marla, about the performance of the neoprene tail. The key is to get both form and function with the mermaid tail, and I'm still experimenting with that.

I'll be curious to know how your waist lengthening goes. Your tail is gorgeous! Please let me know if you come over to Kona.

We are going out Mermaiding in the ocean today, and I think I'm going to try the new Mertailor latex tail if the waters are calm enough. I'd love to see it underwater. Not sure how I can get a new monofin into the latex tail, I'll have to ask Eric about that.

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Posts: 60
12/16/10 15:21:02

its so sad that tails are having to be completely redone in size, color, photo shop seams, ankles, create belts inside to keep it up on the hips, and add extra things to the tail.... call me crazy but i believe when you buy a tail it should be perfect as is from the craftsmanship of that tail maker.
that's why mike van daal is the only one out there.... besides raven when she takes on more orders.... -that have shown they are the only ones bringing quality to the mer community.

Last Edited By: Mermaid Melissa (http://mermaid-melissa.mer.yuku.com/) 12/16/10 15:23:10. Edited 1 time.

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Posts: 894
12/16/10 16:55:57

I think I need to remind everyone to be respectful. If you've had a bad experience with a tail maker, do NOT go on positive posts and make "but I had a horrible experience" and "this is why you shouldn't be happy with it" type posts. By the same token do not go on negative reviews and post on your positive. We've had problems with people doing both of these. It makes it sound like you're challenging the truth of the review, and is rather disrespectful. It comes off as more badmouthing than anything else, and we don't tolerate that here. If you had an experience and wish others to know, WRITE A REVIEW or make a separate post.

I understand this particular tail has had some bad history. However, it has found a home with an owner who is happy with it. She understands the past of her tail, you need to understand that she has no issue with it's quality or design and leave it at that.

I'm glad everyone is being supportive of Mike, but it seems posts are starting to get out of hand. If someone wants to order from a tail maker, they will chose themselves- the information is on the forums for them to make an informed decision without people nearly spamming topics.

Please keep these points in mind. I don't want to have to start deleting/editing replies.

Winged Mermaid Iona

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Posts: 848
12/16/10 18:29:33

Oh forum posting, lolz. I think this is more of a special and difficult circumstance because the tail has so much history. There have been other mertailor posts where we've all given honest balanced reviews like on Cynthias. I think this specific tail is just a touchy subject because it was intended for a person on this board who didn't like it and ended up with someone else on the board. I think Our lovely Hawaiin mermaid sees that point and clearly understands :) . Those of us who have had a bad experience feel we have a responsibility to voice our concerns, and I dont think it's too out of line to comment that we're saddened she had to pay so much for the tail and still have to do so much to it to have it be the way she wants it. If you're paying 1000$ for something I agree it should be exactly like you ask. It just doesn't make sense otherwise. So I don't mind saying as much.

I will take this opportunity to say I also think it's more appropriate if we have issues with things being posted that we contact a moderator like Iona and allow them to make their post and leave it at that. There's no reason to go back and forth on the matter- it just causes arguments and encourages the negative topic to continue. Chris, you may disagree with things being posted and that's fine, I've agreed with you on things, but if you're mad people aren't in your opinion being respectful you have to consider that calling them out publicly or calling them rude just isn't respectful or appropriate either. This is why we have lovely moderators like Iona :)

That being said, I checked out the photos and you sure seem to be having a lot of fun miss mermaid! I'm so glad you're happy with your tail and I hope the latex one works out for you in the water too! I'm still not very big on that tail design but I totally see your point about the neoprene and the monofin so I'm looking forward to what you have to say about your swimming experiences!!!