View Full Version : My First Swim TOMORROW!: What do I need to know?

11-11-2013, 04:15 AM
So my tail should arrive tomorrow, or on Tuesday at the latest. I've never used a monofin before and so I'm wondering what I need to know for my first swim. It will be in a pool that's not too deep to stand on the bottom, but I'm also a very strong swimmer and did competitive swimming as a kid, and then have been surfing and swimming in the ocean now for several years. I can swim with a dolphin motion without any kind of monofin, "the dolphin kick," as they call it. Oddly enough, I've never actually used fins before though, so I really don't know what to expect in terms of the sensation and propulsion... I think I might've used a pair of fins to snorkel in Mexico when I was eight or nine years old but I can't remember for sure and even if so, can't remember much about the experience. The monofin I'll be using is a Finis Monofin and is really large. Any hints, tips, advice, opinions, or stories/personal experiences about how the first time using a monofin was would be greatly appreciated - thank you!

Mermaid Annariea
11-11-2013, 01:03 PM
tip number one: DO NOT STAND IN/ON YOUR TAIL. concrete will scrape the hell out of whatever your tail is made from and it'll end up ruining your tail :( if the pool has a rubbery/vinyl covering over the concrete, that's a little better, but still try to keep contact to a minimum. it WILL be tiring, but it's worth it to keep your tail in top shape :D

as for swimming in a monofin... i have an oceanika, so i can't say how your monofin will act, but mine tends to be a tad rough on my ankles, mostly because it's a bit heavy (all that soaked rubber, neoprine, and latex lol), but nothing bad, just a little tiring. and because they rub up against each other, sometimes my inside ankle bones are slightly bruised, but again that doesn't matter much because it doesn't hurt terribly and my ankles don't touch normally.

swim like a dolphin. i find it's easiest to get the motion at first if i put my arms out in front of me, one hand over the other, and start with my fingers, then work down like a one-person body wave, lol. less knee movement, more hips and let your ankles sort of follow through, don't necessarily try to swim from them.

this is some of the stuff that i've found out. (: good luck, and take pics/videos!!!

11-11-2013, 02:21 PM
Here's a guide to the dolphin kick: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EI9MNbK9Yk

Just be prepared to have your legs stuck together (not having the normal use of your legs can be scary)

My tail (a magicTail) only has a foot pocket which is fine but my feet hit each other when I'm swimming and it does "bruise" the sides of your feet where if you put them together they touch first (right on the balls of your feet...but on the side where the bone is) and also the tips of you toes. A lot of Mers use neoprene socks to keep the feet from slipping around in the monofin and to cushion them when they rub.

My first swim was in a shallow pool and I actually found it harder to swim in because the tail kept hitting the bottom. The second time was in a deeper part and I found it way easier to swim in, but I you're worried about drowning you should definitely start in a place where you can stand.

Good luck :)

11-11-2013, 02:22 PM
p.s. the bruising can be really painful but it goes away in a day or two. It also doesn't happen every time so you might luck out

11-11-2013, 03:22 PM
break in your monofin first. by that i mean wear it couple a times before swiming like watching TV in it or other things. i say this because when i got my monofin i got blisters. isnted of standing sit on the ladders by the deep end. swiming... i was told its like doing the worm under water

Mermaid Momo
11-11-2013, 04:09 PM
you should know that the amount of friction caused in the water is AMAZING like seriously. My monofin is a breeze to lift and move around on dry land but when I got in the water, It was so heavy and took a lot of effort to lift WITHOUT the tail on and with my tail (I have a neoprene tail) it was much much harder to lift. Also leg cramps. yeah all that force you have to use can be a burden the first time with a monofin. I cramped up so badly I had to sit down for a bit and rub my leg to get it to feel better.

Mermaid Oshun
11-11-2013, 04:13 PM
I agree Draggersprez! It was really hard for me to move my legs in the water. So I tried to make all the movement from my waist/core and let the legs just follow. That helped just a little for me.

11-11-2013, 04:41 PM
a wrote a whole guide about this that's stickied in the tail section: http://mernetwork.com/index/showthread.php?4156-What-to-expect-with-your-first-tail

11-11-2013, 04:42 PM
and my link for putting a tail on: http://mernetwork.com/index/showthread.php?5869-The-official-HOW-TO-PUT-ON-YOUR-MERMAID-TAIL-thread&p=84216#post84216

11-11-2013, 07:45 PM
Drink water! If you're not hydrated enough, cramps will hit you hard. I had cramps so bad after my first swim they ached for three days after. Drink a Gatorade or some water an hour before to prevent this :)

11-11-2013, 09:49 PM
Beware that if your mono fin is on the edge in sizing, swimming in a tail WILL make your feet come out. I wear a women's 9.5 and have very narrow feet. With just the Rapid, I could keep the monofin on fine, but with my tail over it my feet kept being pulled out. At one point I had no choice but to just stand up cause one foot was out and the other in, inside of my tail! Other than that I found tail and monofin swimming super easy (but a great workout). I agree with earlier posters about water drag, though. I cannot lift my tail up out of the water and slap it down, though I can easily lift it on land. My legs just aren't strong enough yet.

now the MOST important advice EVER (drumroll please).............


11-11-2013, 10:21 PM
Good mermaid kick form is achevied by using your abs and as little as possible of youyrvlegs... Let the motion from the abs/core follow through to legs naturally... Hope that madesense

11-11-2013, 11:26 PM
Ha ha, and don't get concerned if you veer left or right, or even go in sort of a spiral the first few times. Going straight requires practice. It comes pretty fast :)

11-12-2013, 01:16 PM
Thank you, everyone! The tail should be arriving here today any minute now :D