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Thread: Advice needed: Travelling with monofin on plane!

  1. #1
    Member Euro Pod Sherl's Avatar
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    Question Advice needed: Travelling with monofin on plane!

    Hi everymer!

    Itís been eons since I last posted but Iíve finally taken what I hope is the first step of my mermaiding journey Iíve been living in the UK for the last three years, having moved there from Singapore for university. Recently graduated and got my first monofin Ė a Mermaid Linden (Body Glove) one Ė with the intention of bringing it on my summer holiday to Portugal!

    However ever since its arrival in the mail I am becoming increasingly pessimistic about travelling with it on Ryanair...

    Does anyone have any advice and/or experience travelling with a monofin in Europe? Iím not sure if I should boldly walk through with it as carry-on (in addition to my carry-on bag) and let the crew put it in the hold, or try and stuff the monofin into my boyfriendís suitcase (which may or may not fit... I donít think many suitcases are usually 119cm in width! Need to get exact measurements for his suitcase!).

    Any thoughts and advice would be much appreciated!
    Always in need of Vitamin Sea!


  2. #2
    Senior Member MeliPixie's Avatar
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    Hi Sherl! Having flown only a handful of times, and only in the US, my advice is very limited here, but hopefully helpful.

    I would absolutely not recommend you bring your monofin as additional carry-on just by itself. They may not allow you to carry it on and instead make you check it in like luggage, and the folks who handle the luggage are not careful with the stuff they're handling. It's possible your fin will be damaged.

    If they DO allow you to carry it on and put it in the overhead storage, being such an awkward shape as a monofin it could be damaged anyway. Or take up space that others could be using and earn you dirty looks or unkind words. Airplane people are the worst kind of people sometimes.

    All that being said, I think that a suitcase will be your best bet. If your boyfriend's isn't big enough, then purchase a larger one for yourself and pack your clothes all around your fin for cushioning, and check your bag. That is most likely your safest bet.

    I also have a few Pod members who have mailed their whole tail to the location they are vacationing, but I don't know if you still have time for that, and it is expensive.

    Anyway sorry for writing you an entire essay, hope it was helpful! Good luck!
    Currently deciding on a color/design and saving up for my first tail!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    你好,欢迎于 mernetwork

    you can try putting the fin in a padded suitcase and take it into the cabin, but I'd recommend not bringing it and to just use normal bifins instead.
    You can swim dolphinkick in any kind of flippers, and many of those are cheap, sturdy, made from rubber etc, far easier to stow in a suitcase, you can even buy some in Portugal proper.
    Unless you plan to use a tail with the fin, you will almost guaranteed also be faster and more manouverable using bifins with dolphinkick.

    Have fun in Portugal! It's a great country to swim.

  4. #4
    Member Euro Pod Sherl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeliPixie View Post
    Hi Sherl! Having flown only a handful of times, and only in the US, my advice is very limited here, but hopefully helpful.

    I would absolutely not recommend you bring your monofin as additional carry-on just by itself. They may not allow you to carry it on and instead make you check it in like luggage, and the folks who handle the luggage are not careful with the stuff they're handling. It's possible your fin will be damaged.

    If they DO allow you to carry it on and put it in the overhead storage, being such an awkward shape as a monofin it could be damaged anyway. Or take up space that others could be using and earn you dirty looks or unkind words. Airplane people are the worst kind of people sometimes.

    All that being said, I think that a suitcase will be your best bet. If your boyfriend's isn't big enough, then purchase a larger one for yourself and pack your clothes all around your fin for cushioning, and check your bag. That is most likely your safest bet.

    I also have a few Pod members who have mailed their whole tail to the location they are vacationing, but I don't know if you still have time for that, and it is expensive.

    Anyway sorry for writing you an entire essay, hope it was helpful! Good luck!
    Hi Pixie, that makes perfect sense! In that case, I'll err on the side of caution. Come to think of it, Ryanair doesn't seem to be a very tolerant airline either... I guess part of me was a little too optimistic

    Unfortunately I won't have the budget to mail my fin to Portugal, so I'll be pinning my hopes on the suitcase! Fingers crossed it will fit!

    Oh, please don't be sorry! Thank you very much for taking the time to reply and for the suggestions – it means a lot


    Always in need of Vitamin Sea!


  5. #5
    Member Euro Pod Sherl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Echidna View Post
    你好,欢迎于 mernetwork

    you can try putting the fin in a padded suitcase and take it into the cabin, but I'd recommend not bringing it and to just use normal bifins instead.
    You can swim dolphinkick in any kind of flippers, and many of those are cheap, sturdy, made from rubber etc, far easier to stow in a suitcase, you can even buy some in Portugal proper.
    Unless you plan to use a tail with the fin, you will almost guaranteed also be faster and more manouverable using bifins with dolphinkick.

    Have fun in Portugal! It's a great country to swim.
    谢谢你, Echidna

    Wow, that's great to hear about the bi-fins! I wish I had previously known about this (I'm not very familiar with scuba gear) as bi-fins are so much cheaper than a monofin. I might consider getting bi-fins now. I don't think I can return the monofin though, which is a bit of a shame, but I bought it on a whim anyway despite knowing that not many UK pools are monofin-friendly. I was too excited at the prospect of getting to swim like a mermaid

    Regardless, thank you very much for your advice! Do you have any favourite spots in Portugal to swim? I will be travelling to ArmaÁ„o de PÍra and Porto!
    Always in need of Vitamin Sea!


  6. #6
    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    ye, bifins are surprisingly good (and cheap!).
    I did a timed test over 50m of quite a few good monofins vs run of the mill bifins, and they pulled out top!
    Was very surprising. Just make sure to get a pair that isn't overly long.

    Don't regret having that monofin.
    From what I hear, it's a quite nice one and it could help getting your form better unless you're already a pro at dolphin.
    Also, a monofin is better if you want to add a tailskin eventually.
    But you don't need one to look and swim like a mermaid

    ps. it's been decades since I was in Portugal, Spain and Italy. It probably changed a lot, so no idea how it is now, but I heard it's still very nice in most places!

  7. #7
    Member Euro Pod Sherl's Avatar
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    Fintastic! In your opinion, what counts as overly long for bi-fins? If you could recommend some decent ones, I would be very grateful

    I'm definitely nowhere near a pro at the dolphin kick It's a little sad that the Body Glove monofin won't get much use here in the UK, but at least I've actually got it now. It would've been an absolute pain to have it shipped to Singapore.

    Thank you for your kind words, these same sentiments have kept my mermaid dream alive over the years. I'm hoping that the next year or so will take the dream to the next level!

    I'll take your word for it! Whereabouts in Europe you are based?
    Always in need of Vitamin Sea!


  8. #8
    Senior Member MeliPixie's Avatar
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    A quick side-note about bi-fins, don't try to use them in a tail, it's not safe. Hang on to your monofin for mermaiding, and just get some bi-fins for your vacation, if you decide to go the bi-fin route.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Currently deciding on a color/design and saving up for my first tail!

  9. #9
    Member Euro Pod Sherl's Avatar
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    Thanks for clarifying, Pixie! I am still a long way from getting a tailskin, but I will definitely keep your advice in mind when the time comes
    Always in need of Vitamin Sea!


  10. #10
    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherl View Post
    In your opinion, what counts as overly long for bi-fins? If you could recommend some decent ones, I would be very grateful
    "overly long" like most extra long freediving bifins those are designed for scissorkick, not dolphin.
    Pretty much any normal bifin will do nicely though. I found shorties, zoomers etc are the fastest, but it does depend on your swimming style!

    I'm currently based between Poland, Germany and Czechia. I still haven't found the place where I want to build my dream pool though^^


    Quote Originally Posted by MeliPixie View Post
    A quick side-note about bi-fins, don't try to use them in a tail, it's not safe.
    if you know what you're doing, it's perfectly safe and doable.
    Not really any difference to most monofins either, you might get a bit less propulsion than with a strong monofin, depends on the tail type though.

  11. #11
    Member Euro Pod Sherl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Echidna View Post
    "overly long" like most extra long freediving bifins those are designed for scissorkick, not dolphin.
    Ah, so to clarify – these ones would be "overly long"...

    Name:  Screenshot 2019-07-13 at 10.59.13 PM.png
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    ... and these would be the shorties/zoomers, yes?

    Name:  Screenshot 2019-07-13 at 10.56.10 PM.png
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    Are these too short, or still zoomers?

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    (Goodness, I hadn't realised how large these images would be!)
    I'll probably go for the middle ones as they look like the most typical bi-fins.

    It's so lovely that you've got so many places to swim. I hope you'll find it someday, a dream pool sounds absolutely amazing
    Last edited by Sherl; 07-13-2019 at 07:44 PM.
    Always in need of Vitamin Sea!


  12. #12
    Senior Member MeliPixie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Echidna View Post
    if you know what you're doing, it's perfectly safe and doable.
    Not really any difference to most monofins either, you might get a bit less propulsion than with a strong monofin, depends on the tail type though.
    OP has stated they're fairly new to mermaiding, so I must reiterate that bi-fins would not be safe for them in a tail. Since they're not using a tail, bi-fins should not be a problem, they'll be free to use whatever kick or style they are comfortable with But once a tailskin is added, for a less experienced mermaid, a monofin would certainly be safer. That's all I'm saying

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Currently deciding on a color/design and saving up for my first tail!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    to the pics; yes, exactly!
    the ones in the middle are normal sized and the third pic is a short zoomer.
    Both are very viable for dolphin. It will depend on the amplitude of your kick and your kicking speed which pair is faster.

    Just as a sidenote, I guess raw speed won't be your first concern.
    Swimming leisurely, like when snorkeling, is more fun anyway when you're in a nice environment.

  14. #14
    Member Euro Pod Sherl's Avatar
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    @Pixie, I'll be taking things really slowly at the moment, but I know that water safety will always be of the utmost importance The thought of using bi-fins in a tailskin has never crossed my mind either – I've never seen anyone do it, tbh (maybe it's just me).

    @Echidna, that's fab! Yes, speed is the last thing on my mind; I'd just like to be able to propel myself well enough through the water.

    I forgot all about the second, much larger suitcase underneath my bed until today! Its measurements are slightly larger than my boyfriend's suitcase, so I've tried to stick the monofin inside it. Technically speaking, the suitcase can indeed zip up with the monofin like this, but one side of the fin will basically be bent a little throughout the 2-hour flight...

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    Half of me is like: "Sooo close! And it zips up! I'm sure I can cushion it with lots of clothes and it'll be fine! No need to get bi-fins wheeeee"

    The other half: "Noooooo that fin will snap if the suitcase is thrown around! GET THE BI-FINS"

    Decisions, decisions
    Always in need of Vitamin Sea!


  15. #15
    Senior Member Euro Pod MermanOliver's Avatar
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    That fin is kind of a thermoplastic, right? Not glass or carbon fiber? In that case it will probably bend, but not snap, I guess, especially as it is not bent that much, if I am not mistaken. Thermoplastic usually can take more stress than one would expect. But on the other hand it depends how stiff the material really is.

    Sent from my H3311 using MerNetwork mobile app

  16. #16
    Member Euro Pod Sherl's Avatar
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    Hi Merman Oliver! Yes, the yellow part is made out of hard plastic and the dark green bit is rubber. No glass or carbon fibre at all.

    That's good to hear, although I suppose it will also depend on how well-cushioned the fin is on both sides. The fin isn't crazy stiff, which potentially allows for even more bend than what the zipped up suitcase puts it through.
    Always in need of Vitamin Sea!


  17. #17
    Not much help from the monofin point, but youíve had plenty of excellent advice there already that I couldnít add to... what I CAN say is I spent summers as a kid in Portugal, about 45 minutes west from ArmaÁ„o de PÍra. If you have a car rented drive down past Lagos to some of the beaches down there, if not, get a bus to Lagos and explore that town. Itís a GORGEOUS former fishing town thatís a little more built up than the more westerly places but still not super anglicized. More than happy to give you recommendations if you want! Praia dona Ana would be a beautiful place to flex your fins!


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