View Full Version : Up Close and Personal with my Tail

11-18-2011, 07:32 PM
I made a little video showing my tail up close and personal. I'm always using little tricks both at events and when I model to make sure it looks better than it actually looks. I wanted people to see the wear and tear of a year on it (it was a year ago I sent it to Raven!) I think it's really important if people are considering a realistic tail from any seller or are making one they consider the up keep. I can only swim in the summer (2 months for us usually) and once in a while in public pools for the other 10 months. I wouldn't say Im able to use my tail in water near as much as other people but you can see places where it's melted a bit, wont bond anymore, paint issues etc.


So things to consider for maintenance:

1) After every use of my tail I clean it with a gentle soap and a soft body brush (helps me get sand and salt off without ruining paint)

2) cleaning the inside is important too- I put a fan inside it to blow it as dry as can be then I spray a solution inside to kill mold and smells

3) find out what paint is used on it because even with the best paint job and the most careful swimmer you'll lose some paint and you'll want to repair

4) if you can find out specifically what it's made out of you can purchase more to fix it with. But BE CAREFUL. If you get the wrong thing it wont bond. I was told my tail wasn't made out of Alex plus but Alex plus is the ONLY thing that bonds to it and it's what Raven had to use to fix it for me. I tried actual latex and it didn't bond. Alex plus takes a LONG TIME to dry. Raven had to hang on to my tail from November-January because it was still not dry. When I tried to re-alex the inside of the fluke after 6 weeks it still was not dry.

5) If your tail is glued down around the monofin it wont stay that way forever. It's very beneficial to do that because it keeps it from bubbling up and the monofin from moving around but it will wear with continued use and takes a long time to dry again because it's sealed in there.

6) Neoprene will stretch even when you have it fitting perfectly, and latex breaks down, paint will crack. It just WILL. It's no one's fault. It happens over time. When Raven adjusted my tail so it fit my measurements and I first got it back in January it fit like a glove. Now it's super baggy again. One of the reason I have not taken it in is because I am giving it away to someone else when I get my new tails and I'd rather we see how close it fits them. Also I DONT KNOW HOW TO SEW but I think if you're investing in either purchasing one of these or making one you should learn how to sew, lol. (I say making cuz some people get other people to do the sewing for them)

7) A heat gun will seal your paint better and you can get them for dirt cheap at craft stores. But dont hold them too long they'll bubble the paint.

8) latex (or alex plus) and paint SMELL so even if you aren't sensitive these chemicals aren't great for you to breathe in, wear a mask and open windows.

9) your tail will hold impressions/wrinkles and lines until it gets wet again if you fail to put it away properly. I hang mine on two industrious hangers but I didnt know it slipped off and crumpled on my closet floor so now it's got big wrinkles till I swim with it again!

10) when all else fails, learn how to use the blend, smear, and clone tools on photo editing- they will allow you to edit out seams and fix paint mishaps on your photos :)

I hope this has been some help to those of you out there considering buying or making realistic tails or maybe those of you who are trying to "Refresh" the ones you have.