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View Full Version : Making monofins out of old swim fins!



Kanti
08-03-2011, 08:39 PM
Hey guys!
I had come up with a pretty nifty way to recycle my old fins and turn them into a pretty decent looking and sturdy monofin.

Here's a quick picture of what they look like:
http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l79/_Kanti_/IMG_1296.jpg

I made a tutorial on my blog explaining everything!
http://kantikane.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-to-turn-diving-fins-into-fluke.html

I've had these monofins for a few months now, and I've swim tested them both rigorously and they've held together very well so far. The smaller black ones are meant for me, so I can swim quickly when testing them, but the big white ones are actually my cousin's shoe size so I have to swim slowly while in them. I've slammed them both against the water very hard, kicked strongly, and swam as I would normally and they haven't budged so far.
I know they look kid of ugly, but I'm planning on sticking them in my mermaid tails anyway, so I don't really care for the outward appearances.

Hope this helps!

Princess Kae-Leah
08-03-2011, 08:43 PM
I love the dolphin or shark-like shape of your homemade mono! So many mass-produced monofins have a rounded shape to them that doesn't look right to me in a tail without some cutting or fabric rearranging.

Kanti
08-03-2011, 08:55 PM
Thank you!
Yea, the great thing about cutting your own fins, or even just cutting an already made mono is that you get to shape it exactly like how you want :')

Moonflower
08-03-2011, 09:43 PM
That's similar to what I did to make mine, except I added the fluke to the fins. There's pics in my profile.

These look great, and I like the shape of them; but my only worry is the way the feet are placed with the heels together. It might be harder for some people to swim with their legs in that position, as the knees are slightly facing outward.

Kanti
08-03-2011, 09:52 PM
Yea, it is a bit strange, the feet point a bit outward since the blade increases towards the end of the fin, but it's honestly not too bad.
I practiced swimming with them ahead of time just to be sure, and it wasn't too troublesome.

Yours are very nice :')
Did you layer neoprene to make the monofin shape at the end? It looks wonderful~
Lots of bolts on there too lol

Moonflower
08-03-2011, 10:37 PM
As of right now, it's still in the 'testing' phase. I like the way it moves, but I'm worried it might come unglued so I haven't put it in a permanent 'case' yet. I'm planning to cover it in neoprene when I'm satisfied with it.

Kanti
08-04-2011, 12:38 AM
You should try neoprene cement!
It's very hardcore industrial-grade stuff they used to attach them together. (Assuming it's neoprene you used)

MermaidAiera
08-08-2011, 01:05 PM
Awesome! I'll have to try this method in the future :3

ShyMer
01-01-2012, 12:02 AM
I've had this thread sitting in the back of my mind for a while now... has anyone tried using this in neoprene yet? I'm not going to try to make a latex tail anytime soon, but when I do I'm thinking about using swim fins to make my fluke instead of a rapid. I think I want a more flexible fluke anyway, I'm not a big fan of how flat the competitor looks in a tail.

I was thinking about sandwiching it between rubber or flexible plastic or something to make the fluke smoother and wider. I don't like seeing monofin imprint, and the foil look is too narrow to me.

Any thoughts?

mermaidondine
01-02-2012, 10:05 PM
This is a really awesome tutorial! I love the idea of making/fastening the monofin yourself, especially because you can create the shape that you like. The tail that I'm designing for myself (my first tail ever!) is a bit different than the "traditional" look of mermaid swim-tails I guess you could say (as far as the fin goes anyway). I think I'll definitely try out this method when it comes time to put mine together :)

Mermaid Dottie
04-07-2012, 06:05 PM
Oh hey! those have great flexibility in the water! I watch the vid in your tutorial- Great Job!

Kanti
04-07-2012, 06:25 PM
Yea, the whole fin stays together really great and takes a lot of abuse. The fins are still together
as of this day and they've been crammed into boxes and yet everything seems fine. It was a difficult
thing to do in the sense that you have to draw it out and plan a bit where the pieces will go but if you
reinforce it enough everything should work out pretty well in the end.

I'm attempting to finish one of the tails that I put the black monofin into this summer. Last time I swam
in it the caulk hadn't fully cured so it was gross and I had to wait forever for everything to dry out again.

I'll try to finish everything up and post the final tail soon!

Thanks for all the interest and comments :'P I appreciate it and hoped you found it helpful!

Mermaid Momo
04-07-2012, 07:14 PM
what i was thinking when i thought of making a monofin from swim fins was this:2356

Kanti
04-15-2012, 11:40 PM
That could work, daggers :'P
I mainly did this because I wanted the fluke to be as thin as possible while still having the same materials
throughout it. I reattached them all together to conserve materials.
You can do it anyway you'd like, I just tried something and it actually worked so I was pretty surprised xD

Mermaid Momo
04-16-2012, 08:03 PM
yeah that's why i scrapped it, because it would be so thick

malinghi
04-16-2012, 10:31 PM
this is so clever. I'm going to post a link to the blog post in the how-to guides section. If I forget to, please remind me.

MermanJV
06-10-2012, 06:29 AM
this is so clever. I'm going to post a link to the blog post in the how-to guides section. If I forget to, please remind me.

pssst. I think you forgot to post it.... go do it. ;P

This is the most phenomenal thing ever. This is a lot more cost effective, and gets the absolute perfect shape. My main "thing" is that my tail is styled after an orca. That being said, it's important for the shape to be perfect. So, Thanks so much for devising this method and posting it.

<3 JV

MerAnthony
07-02-2012, 11:22 PM
Well I made my own monofin and it works great I used both. A sheet of lexan and a set of flippers i bought off ebay.3696

AniaR
07-03-2012, 12:04 AM
Kanti Im not sure how I missed this thread back in 2011 but it rocks. You're upcycling and I love it

Mermaid Momo
07-05-2012, 01:29 AM
Well I made my own monofin and it works great I used both. A sheet of lexan and a set of flippers i bought off ebay.3696
do you remember about how much it cost? i want a fairly big monofin (about the size of a competitor) an i was thinking about using all Lexan instead of buying the actual competitor (because i can get a giant sheet of lexan that i can make about 3 or 4 monofins from for $70 instead of the $40 for one small monofin)

@kanti:does the Duct tape loose some of it's stickiness or does it get all disgusting and soggy? Do you think it'll also work the same if i used some kind of latex to bind the pieces together instead of duct tape or maybe some kind of super strong adhesive?

MerAnthony
07-09-2012, 11:10 AM
the sheet of lexan I bought was about $16.00. The size is 18 inches by 24 inches and I cut to shape with a scroll saw but a jig saw would work with a fine tooth blade. The fins were about $20.00 off ebay and not counting the hard wear. So i would say about $45.00 total. But remember if you are going make your own use stainless steel nuts and rounded head bolts or screws. Steel ones will stain a tail fabric and rust or brass will work as well. The thickness of the thickness of lexan is .093 which still has alot of flex.

Mermaid Saphira
07-09-2012, 11:15 AM
Hey guys!
I had come up with a pretty nifty way to recycle my old fins and turn them into a pretty decent looking and sturdy monofin.

Here's a quick picture of what they look like:
http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l79/_Kanti_/IMG_1296.jpg

I made a tutorial on my blog explaining everything!
http://kantikane.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-to-turn-diving-fins-into-fluke.html

I've had these monofins for a few months now, and I've swim tested them both rigorously and they've held together very well so far. The smaller black ones are meant for me, so I can swim quickly when testing them, but the big white ones are actually my cousin's shoe size so I have to swim slowly while in them. I've slammed them both against the water very hard, kicked strongly, and swam as I would normally and they haven't budged so far.
I know they look kid of ugly, but I'm planning on sticking them in my mermaid tails anyway, so I don't really care for the outward appearances.

Hope this helps!



I've done this before! Surprisingly it works really well and you can make almost any shape. I love them! <3

MerAnthony
07-09-2012, 11:25 AM
I used (methyl ethyl keytone) aka -MEK, I cold welded the peices together. Clamp them then pour a small amount into a glass and slowly pour onto the edges where they meet. DO NOT TOUCH after you pour the MEK on the edges it will fully cure in about 30 minutes but for full strength wait 24 hours. It melts the lexan together for a permenate bond. An if you spill some on the monofin do not wipe it off ,it will dry fast and clear. REMEMBER IT WILL EAT REGULAR PLASTIC.

Mermaid Kate Silverfin
01-04-2014, 09:12 PM
I was just wondering how the fins are holding up with the duct tape? I just bought a monofin from Fin Fun, which is polycarbonate (Lexan, I assume), but very flexible, and I was looking to make it a bit stiffer with duct tape. However, I read on one website (hardly a consensus, I know, but I don't want to wreck my fin) that duct tape degrades polycarbonate. Has anyone had experience with this either way?