View Full Version : MerBellas (Raven) Tail Questions

10-13-2012, 12:04 AM
Hi, everymer! I know I've been super absent lately, I've been having lots of adventures but that leaves very little time to post about them! I'll get to it.

Back on topic: I've finally squeezed the money out of my budget so that I'll be able to afford a silicone tail by December! Yay! This is very important to me as many of the volunteer opportunities I want to do are at locations with a no-latex policy. I'm still fundraising to help supplement my out-of-pocket expense for the tail (it would be nice if I could eat, lol), but I've cut down on a few things to do this. I'm so excited about ordering my first silicone tail...but super nervous. I want a Merbella's tail because they are so gorgeous and I love them...but I have a few questions. (And yes...I know they're not accepting orders right now...I'm hoping hoping HOPING they'll start accepting by/in/around December. :$)

1) I had a problem with my Fish Butts tail with the waist being too big. This wasn't the tailmaker's fault; she matched the measurements I gave her. I added a drawstring to cinch the waist of the tail (which comes up high on me just the way I want it), and it works great. The thing is...when I measure around my waist, the measurements were right! IE: I gave Fish Butts the measurement of 28" for the waist, the tail is 28" in the waist, when I measure my waist it's 28"...but when I put the tail on the waist is too big and gaps/slides down like nobody's business! I have no idea what's going wrong here, and no idea how to fix it so I give the right measurements when ordering the silicone tail.

2) Are the monofins in the MerBellas tails adjustable? I have an adjustable fin in my Fish Butts tail and I had to glue the straps because they kept "popping out" to too large a size when I was pulling my tail on. If the MerBellas monofin is adjustable, I may want to talk to Raven about gluing the monofin straps.

3) If all goes horribly wrong (*sob*) and I end up not being able to get a MerBellas tail (would purely be if she's not taking orders for a long while), can any of you recommend a similar tail maker?

Thanks for any info or advice you can give me.

10-13-2012, 01:37 AM
I don't know about the straps :x

But I think two other great tail makers are Mike Van Daal and his Flip Tails http://www.facebook.com/fliptails
And Jesse's Mermaid Creations http://www.mermaidcreations-inc.com/

10-13-2012, 01:50 AM
MVD does not have straps nor an actual monofin.. is a pocket...

Jesse uses either a finis foil monofin or a finis competitor monofin..nierher of those have adjustable straps....

Honestly from personal experience.. between Jesse and Mike.. go with Jesse..

Ayla of Duluth
10-13-2012, 05:14 AM
Raven uses a foil or competitor. I don't think either of them have straps.
I highly recommend Jesse over mvd as I have heard complaints about the discomfort of the foot pockets, and his tails seem generally higher priced than anyone else I've seen. Jesse seems to respond much quicker to emails and orders as well. (Not speaking from experience, just from what I've heard, however I did talk to him about a possible order and he was quick to respond and friendly in every single email)

Winged Mermaid
10-13-2012, 06:30 AM
The waist issue is strange indeed :/ My advise would be to explain your misgivings about sizing and let them decide what to do about it. My thought would be to have more comprehensive measurements (waist, hip, length from waist to hip and maybe measurements every 2-3 inches) or to make it a few inches smaller- especially since silicone has so much stretch. Of course it is always the best idea to have someone help you measure. Self measuring is often not accurate unless you know how to do it, and even then it can get messed up. If I were having a silicone tail ordered (which I will eventually) I would go to a seamstress and have her measure me. Then do it again 2-3 times just to make sure. That's a LOT of money to be spending to have it messed up for not having the correct measurements. You know what they say- measure twice, cut once!

Above posters were right about the monofins. The competitor and foil do not have straps, and those are the fins that the makers currently use. I think not having adjustable straps in a silicone tail is a very wise thing. I think all of us have had issues with monofin straps!

A lot of mers think that Mike seems nearly out of the tail making game. Not sure about that, but I don't think I've heard of anyone who had full payment ready who contacted him to order ever getting a reply :/ It's too bad, but I can understand if he's burnt out. He seems pretty busy filling orders for bigger name mers like Melissa (and her group) and Doreene Virtue.

That leaves Fish Butts, Mermaid Creations, and the Mertailor. From what I know Fish Butts and Mermaid Creations are pretty much completely customizable with little if any price change. Mertailor charges for all his custom options, from fluke shape to paint job.

From what I gather, if you have a vision of what you want and work with him as he goes, Jesse is great at bringing visions to life. Also Fish Butts is working on their first silicone tail customers right now, so there should be some mers with reviews by the time you're ready to order. Stevie has an amazing reputation, I must say! However you will need to inquire about the monofin type with her. I know her prototype used a rapid (has adjustable straps) but you can inquire as to what other options are available. Oh, an oceanika merfin would be so great for that! If you like the shape at all that is.
In the end it depends on what kind of style you want to go for. Either way, I hope it all works out!

10-13-2012, 10:44 AM
As far as Merbella tails go, I can help you out with a couple of your questions:

There are no straps in the competitor monofin, which is what Raven uses. Rather there are foot pockety things. I used to have a little bit of trouble with my feet coming out of the straps in my Mertailor tail, but I haven't had any problems along those lines with my Raven tail. Once your feet are in, they're in. The pockets also don't go high enough to hit my achilles tendons, which was occasionally a problem with my other tail (something that I have to watch out for personally) but they're still secure on my feet. It's very comfortable to swim in, feet wise! Also, it's easier to get your hands into the bottom of the tail to get the pockets around your heels, as the silicone has a good bit of stretch to it.

As far as waist sizing goes- I had the same type of problem with my Mertailor tail. The numbers for my waist and the tail matched up, but when it was on the gapping was crazy. Near as I can figure, it's because nobody involved thought about the effect of a butt on the tail waist line. Raven actually takes her measurements differently- she has you take a measurement every three inches from ankle to waist, or wherever you want the tail to end. She had me retake my measurements because she thought they seemed wonky the first time I did it. When you couple the intense measuring with the nature of the dragonskin, you won't have problems with gapping at the waist. My further advice- if you're very hippy, as I am, have the waist of the tail go up farther than the hips. What we think of as 'waist' these days can be lower than the natural waist line, which is at the belly button, and that can cause issues with tail slippage. I love the look of the hip-tailed mermaid, but it's not feasible for me physically. Having Raven make my tail so it goes up to my belly button was the best decision I made, as the whole tail fits securely and tightly.

Hope that helps! :)

10-14-2012, 03:56 PM
:jawdrop: You guys just need to stop with all that talk! ;)

I just had someone order 2 tails with OceaniKa Merfins, so look for a new fluke style coming soon.

10-14-2012, 06:47 PM
I can say being tail owner of mercreations it is very comfortable and easy to get on and looks very realistic do not take my word just look at these pics of my tail and then judge for your self i do give jesse 5 stars for service since he was good in that department7118

02-11-2013, 08:54 PM
My dream tails are a Mermaid Creations and Merbellas tail, oh gosh.
I want one of each, in two different designs! They're just so beautiful... It's not fair, ughhh.

But just curious: does anyone know from experience if Raven would switch out the Finis Wave that she puts in her basic tails for a Finis Foil?
I should probably just email her, lol.

02-11-2013, 09:42 PM
Yep, she does Finis Foils on request.

04-30-2013, 07:03 PM
Ok, I'm sure this has probably been asked elsewhere, but it's dependent on time anyway so maybe it's good to ask again.

So, I've finally gotten funds together for a silicone tail (yay!) but I still can't bear to spend over about 1500 max (boo). So I realize that does limit my options somewhat. I know that silicone tails take quite a while to make, and this time of year with summer and all is busy, but I'm hoping at the very least to be able to have a tail by December...not for Christmas but because of a parade and because I'm going to be doing more public events at my work, etc.

So I decided on Jesse with Mermaid Creations (yay)...because what a great price for a customizable silicone tail, and I've met him and he's awesome and a fellow buckeye and makes BEAUTIFUL tails... but then found out that by paying now I would be queuing myself up to receive a tail in a year, because he is booked up until 2014 (boo...well, super yay for him being so popular, but, you know, boo!). Sigh...I'm torn because I know it would be worth it and he got right back to me via email in response, but DAMN that's a long time to wait. Double sigh.

SO, now I'm looking into getting Raven's basic tail...BUT here's the dilemma(s). I emailed her, putting "READY TO PURCHASE" in the subject line...saying I full well know that she's not currently accepting orders but that I know she will be soon (as it says so on the FB page)...but my question in the email was that when she does take new orders is there already a waiting list and do you have to email the minute she posts about it to be able to expect a tail within the next year? And of course I haven't heard anything in a few days in reply to my email. Not sure what to do...eep!

Any suggestions/tips/ideas about timing?

04-30-2013, 08:02 PM
she keeps your email, but it's always good to send a follow up if you see her posting that she's taking orders because she gets 100's of emails.

04-30-2013, 08:34 PM
Thanks for the tip, Raina...I will do that for sure :)

04-30-2013, 09:46 PM
EEEE! Wavy, congratulations on a purchase from RAVEN!! I will HAVE to see your tail like, the day after you get it, lol. Good luck with the order, I currently have some of her arm bracers I'm waiting on. <3

(also, you should post on the MerBellas "official" thread once you get your design if you're open to sharing it!)

04-30-2013, 10:00 PM
Hey Emma!
I haven't actually purchased it yet...I'm just waiting for her to take orders so I can place mine. I'm really hoping to be lucky enough to get an order in soon...seems to be a waiting game at this point. But hey, if and when I do get a Raven tail we'll definitely meet up so you can see it :)

04-30-2013, 10:09 PM
Oh, I know! I know you haven't ordered it yet. I'm just getting ahead of myself and going AHHHH CONGRATULATIONS!!! :P Do you know what monofin you'll be getting yet?

04-30-2013, 11:52 PM
Lol! You sound even more excited than I am! I have been debating the monofin choice, and I may end up going with the Competitor depending on how much extra $ it is...otherwise I will probably stick with the Wave because I am used to it. Though in a way I like the floppiness of the Foil...but I want to have some power in the water. Choices choices, I tell ya! This is all assuming I can successfully get a hold of her when she starts taking orders :p

05-01-2013, 12:02 AM
Haha, I'm psyched. I'd love to see a Raven tail in person but I won't be able to go to Merpalooza to see. I've seen that the Wave combined with the silicone is fairly floppy...Mizuko is one of the few mers right now with a basic tail, but several others have theirs on the way. Eeee! I'm so excited for you. <3

Mermaid Cecelia
09-28-2013, 12:47 PM
Does raven do the "ravens choice" thing on basic tails?

09-28-2013, 02:55 PM
I don't see why not.