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Thread: monofin =/= swimming aid

  1. #1
    Senior Member Euro Pod Mermaid Livou's Avatar
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    monofin =/= swimming aid

    Hey guys, I just want to stress it even more, coz I see many times written in discussions this way: 'yeah u can swim here and there if ur monofin is strong enough' things like this, and there are lots of new people getting into mermaiding, jumping directly into deep water ( literally and/or theoretically ) and I just want to say:

    MONOFINS ARE NOT SWIMMING AIDS.

    One need no(t just) strong monofin in a wild open water (or anywhere), but a STORNG SWIMMING SKILL first (and a buddy of course). Monofin's original purpose is to make skilled swimmers even faster, it just 'happens' that the movement required and the look it has is desired for mermaiding.

    So please please: first be a confident swimmer THEN practice with monofin (after get ur dream tail )

    ( ps: I know it was already topic many times, but I see lots of concerning comments recently, just wanted to underline it <3 *plunges back into silence*)

  2. #2
    Thank you for this, I once got really annoyed when a lifeguard likened a monofin to one of those float board things, generalising it as a 'swimming aid.' Nope. Floats assist beginner swimmers by helping them stay above the water. Monofins are for confident swimmers, and there are risks with using them.
    Last edited by Glinda Rose; 05-08-2017 at 11:14 AM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    I think the problem comes from them being marketed as such. They aren't as bad as they were before, since there's been so much controversy. I will say though some people like me are terrible swimmers without fins. If I had to pass a swim test to use a monofin, I'd fail. I can doggy paddle, and not go very far, and I am so floaty that dolphin kick is pointless. But for me using a fin totally changed the dynamic of how my body moves, and in my case... makes me a million times better hahaha.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Pod of The South Slim's Avatar
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    I am exactly the same way except for the floaty. With me being all bones; I have no buoyancy so I'll sink. Oddly enough the floaty feel of the fin fun monofin really balance me out in that regards underwater.

    Quote Originally Posted by AniaR View Post
    I think the problem comes from them being marketed as such. They aren't as bad as they were before, since there's been so much controversy. I will say though some people like me are terrible swimmers without fins. If I had to pass a swim test to use a monofin, I'd fail. I can doggy paddle, and not go very far, and I am so floaty that dolphin kick is pointless. But for me using a fin totally changed the dynamic of how my body moves, and in my case... makes me a million times better hahaha.
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  5. #5
    Moderator Pod of Cali Mermaid Wesley's Avatar
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by AniaR View Post
    I think the problem comes from them being marketed as such. They aren't as bad as they were before, since there's been so much controversy. I will say though some people like me are terrible swimmers without fins. If I had to pass a swim test to use a monofin, I'd fail. I can doggy paddle, and not go very far, and I am so floaty that dolphin kick is pointless. But for me using a fin totally changed the dynamic of how my body moves, and in my case... makes me a million times better hahaha.
    I'm so glad I'm not alone there!
    I can't do much more than breaststroke without fins on.

    For anyone just starting out, I would recommend getting used to dolphin kick with a set of the little training fins (bi fins) It's surprising just how much propulsion they can give you and you can still separate your feet if you need to.


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  7. #7
    Senior Member Euro Pod Mermaid Livou's Avatar
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    Hehe, Raina, Slim and LouLouBelle, you might not have excellent technik then, but atleast are CONFIDENT in the water. I just got anxious myself when I read advice for someone just starting to swim, like ' just get the stronger monofin and u will be fine ', even pro freediving monofins stiffness is calculated to the swimmer weight/height/strenght, not for how easily they want to swim with

    yep, bifins are useful when I've been finswimmer (sounds cool now but actually was very bad at competing XDD ) my coach didn't gave me a monofin (even to try) for 2 years. Of course there is difference when the goal is to achieve perfect technik in favor of speed nah but you guys got what I meant by starting this thread

    About kids monofins, I recently found a hungarian (or at least was automaic translation I dont remember) selling them and was nicely, lenghtly explained how is not an aid

    ,\n/ <3

  8. #8
    I think a good way to find out if you're ready for a monofin is to be able to perform the way you'd like to underwater without ANY fins. The ability to maneuver and swim freely without any assistance is the first step towards your goal. Swim fins are training devices--they are used not to make a swimmer move faster, but to make their legs work harder by pushing more water. In the same way one can wear stockings in the water or wear a parachute to increase drag and make a swimmer work harder, fins are designed to STRENGTHEN swimming--not to instantly make a poor swimmer suddenly an adept mermaid swimmer. Mermaids should aim to use training swim fins first and become confident, THEN move on to monofins. LAST comes adding the tail. Training with stockings and a monofin is a good trial before adding a full tail skin.

    People who have never before worked with basic swim fins or a bare monofin should NOT put on a tail and hop in the water expecting to magically swim well. Swimming takes practice, just as running or doing gymnastics does.

    Here is a video of my friend and I swimming without any fins, we've been competitive swimmers for about 12 years when this video was taken:

    Last edited by MermaidAiera; 06-18-2017 at 06:42 PM. Reason: Add video

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MermaidAiera View Post
    I think a good way to find out if you're ready for a monofin is to be able to perform the way you'd like to underwater without ANY fins. The ability to maneuver and swim freely without any assistance is the first step towards your goal.
    while this is the ideal case, as others have already pointed out, the dolphin kick is HARDER to do without fins than with a monofin, as it takes a lot of strength and special muscles.
    A monofin can thus help swimmers new to dolphinstyle* to work up toward being able to do it without any fins.
    People who are very buoyant have it extra hard.

    I'm quite fast and comfortable dolphinkicking entire laps without any fins now, but when I started out, I couldn't do it without a fin, I'd just float up and move inch-wise, haha.


    *obviously you should be at home in the water regardless.

  10. #10
    I guess I was just never in the position to call myself a beginner when it comes to tails By the time I got into the mermaid scene, I had already been through years of training and was just ready to dive in. You should see some of the old videos I have of me swimming though--I started out like a drowning cat just like most people XD

    Either way, everyone is different. Butterfly is the hardest stroke because it does use a lot of muscles and skill to undulate properly, so whatever each person needs to do to uniquely strengthen them is really up to them. I feel like using a kickboard is a great way to try out using monofins; while it isn't a lifesaving device, it can help steady new swimmers while they try out the new motions and work underdeveloped muscles.

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  11. #11
    I'm one of those people who CAN swim fairly well in ordinary pools and doesn't really go beyond comfort level (at least for now) but amusingly always goes a bit clumsy when "normal" swimming right after using a fin. I definitely say I swim better in a monofin, but maybe just out of comfort and speed.

    Oh fun fact. I love swimming backwards in the monofin on my back so every flipping time I go to do so without one I still automatically do the legs-together movements and then stop like wait what am I doing.

    As said in another thread the lifeguards at my pool once almost didn't let me use my fin saying "We allow [my amputee friend] hers because of her disability, but..." and I got annoyed because it's NOT a swimming aid.

  12. #12
    Hey, I'm new Mermaid. I'm a strong swimmer under the water. I was wondering if I should get a monofin to train with or if I should go straight for a cloth tail. Mermaid lessons isn't an option for me so I have to be self-taught on this. So I was just wondering what you suggest? If you do suggest the monofin first, which one would you suggest?

  13. #13
    Hi Mermaid Artemis! Before even getting a monofin, you need to make sure you've had proper experience using swimming equipment in the water. You should be completely comfortable using bi-fins for extended periods of time before even thinking about a monofin.

    That said, no matter what level swimmer you are, it's always a good idea to practice with a monofin first before completely bounding your legs in the water. If you know you're dead set on getting a tail, you can always order one from FinFun (or any other fabric tail company) and start by practicing with the monofin that goes in the tail before eventually moving up to swimming full tail once you have more experience. It's typically best to start with beginner monofins (like the plastic ones that come in children's tails) before moving up to training monofins like the Wave or Rapid, even the Mahina. Definitely DON'T get a competitor or other carbon/fiberglass freediving fins intended for professional use.

    Starting small is great, because if you swim in a monofin and decide it's not really for you, you didn't waste too much money on a tail. And if you get a fabric tail/basic beginner monofin to start and don't really like it, you haven't invested in expensive equipment intended for training/professional purposes.

    Best of luck!

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  14. #14
    Senior Member North Pacific Pod Mermaid Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MermaidAiera View Post
    Hi Mermaid Artemis! Before even getting a monofin, you need to make sure you've had proper experience using swimming equipment in the water. You should be completely comfortable using bi-fins for extended periods of time before even thinking about a monofin.

    That said, no matter what level swimmer you are, it's always a good idea to practice with a monofin first before completely bounding your legs in the water. If you know you're dead set on getting a tail, you can always order one from FinFun (or any other fabric tail company) and start by practicing with the monofin that goes in the tail before eventually moving up to swimming full tail once you have more experience. It's typically best to start with beginner monofins (like the plastic ones that come in children's tails) before moving up to training monofins like the Wave or Rapid, even the Mahina. Definitely DON'T get a competitor or other carbon/fiberglass freediving fins intended for professional use.

    Starting small is great, because if you swim in a monofin and decide it's not really for you, you didn't waste too much money on a tail. And if you get a fabric tail/basic beginner monofin to start and don't really like it, you haven't invested in expensive equipment intended for training/professional purposes.

    Best of luck!
    Second this! :3



  15. #15
    Thank you so much, Mermaid Aiera! So if I understood you right, I should try to find the cheapest monofin and practice with that? Then once I get comfortable and find I like it move up to a better tail and mono fin? I'm interested in doing this. It's so unique and I've wanted to be a mermaid since forever (Then again who doesnt xD) and want to make sure I start the right way and etc

  16. #16
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania The Water Phoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid_Artemis View Post
    Thank you so much, Mermaid Aiera! So if I understood you right, I should try to find the cheapest monofin and practice with that? Then once I get comfortable and find I like it move up to a better tail and mono fin? I'm interested in doing this. It's so unique and I've wanted to be a mermaid since forever (Then again who doesnt xD) and want to make sure I start the right way and etc
    If I were you, I'd get the foil monofin It's small affordable, made of rubber and has decent propulsion. The Finis Wave/Rapid is also a great starter (you get whichever depending on your foot size) my first proper monofin was the Wave which really helped with my dolphin kick, despite being a swimmer since forever XD.
    I have two homes: One in the sea and one in the sky for my love of the sea and my love for aviation.

  17. #17
    Thank you so much! I can't wait to get them and get started I've tried to self teach myself the dolphine kick (But since I ddin't have fins and was a using a diving ring to keep my feet toghter, it didn't work to well xD) I can't wait to try it the right way! By the way you said, "Depending on foot size," is that like my shoe size or how do I detemine if its the right size?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania The Water Phoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid_Artemis View Post
    Thank you so much! I can't wait to get them and get started I've tried to self teach myself the dolphine kick (But since I ddin't have fins and was a using a diving ring to keep my feet toghter, it didn't work to well xD) I can't wait to try it the right way! By the way you said, "Depending on foot size," is that like my shoe size or how do I detemine if its the right size?
    It's your shoe size The Wave is for mers who have fairly small feet and the Rapid is for those with larger feet. The blade is also larger than the Wave The straps on both the Wave and Rapid are adjustable but they are fixed on the Foil
    I have two homes: One in the sea and one in the sky for my love of the sea and my love for aviation.

  19. #19
    So out of those 3 I should get the foil as my first? My feet are kind of meduim xD

  20. #20
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania The Water Phoenix's Avatar
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