Friday, August 24, 2012

Anatomy of a Mermaid Tail

http://www.facebook.com/mizukomermaid
Dont let the title fool you, this is not a post about biology! ;D
Today I thought I would do a quick run-down on the basic anatomy of a swimmable mermaid tail!

Mermaid tails come in all shapes, sizes and colours- just like the merfolk who wear them! Often the tail is what defines the mer as 'themselves', just like your favourite outfit may express who you are! This doesn't mean mermaids have to stick to one colour or one style of tail, though ;D

Tails can be made from a variety of materials:
Spandex- Photo from The Mertailor
starting at the cheepest is spandex or other 'swim wear' materials. These are great for the casual mer, or for mers just 'testing the waters', and also great for training! They do not last very long- the materials have a habit of stretching too much and wearing thin, but at a price range of $50-$200 they are affordable!
Neoprene- Photo from Hannah Mermaid
Then we move onto neoprene- which is a rubber material used to make wetsuits. This will probably set you back around $200-$600 on average. Stronger and durable, these tails can last you a few years if taken care of properly (rinsed after use in salt/chlorinated water and dried thoroughly) and are great for a mer who wants a serious tail without breaking the bank. The only issue with neoprene is it buoyant, which makes diving difficult without a weight belt.
Neoprene/latex- Photo from Fish Butts
Next is a mixture between neoprene and latex. These tails use neoprene as a lining against the skin, with a realistic latex scale-pattern on top! Price is really different depending on the quality, however you can get a neoprene/latex tail from anywhere between $200 to $1000! More realistic than the first options, but with similar buoyancy to normal neoprene, these tails are beautiful and can last years. The only issue is that latex can get damaged over time- especially in areas like ankles and knees where it can bunch- but on the plus side it can also be repaired easily too!
Neoprene/silicone- Photo from Merbellas
Now we have the mixture of neoprene and silicone. Silicone is weightless in the water, much harder to paint (paint must be pigmented into the silicone during the curing process) and also rather expensive, so the price of neoprene/silicone tails varies between $1000 to $3000. The bonus is, however, you are left with a very realistic, light-on-land, swimmable mermaid tail that is extremely durable (granted you follow the care procedures). There is a slight buoyancy due to the neoprene, but I have heard the silicone balances this out somewhat.
Silicone- Photo from Merbellas
Finally, the highest of the market: pure silicone. Boasting all the benefits of above, but completely weightless in water. Perfect for professional mermaids who need all their strength to preform rather than forcing themselves to stay under the surface! Pure silicone tails range between $3000 up to $10,000- and are molded to fit you perfectly (normally full-body casting is needed). The only issue I've heard from these is that they are rather hot- the silicone suctions to your skin- and that on land they are HEAVY; but to a professional mermaid these are just plankton in comparison to the benefits they get when performing in them.

And these are the basic materials used in mermaid tails! ^_^
Monofin
I have forgotten one very important thing, however. Monofin!
Monofins are essentially 'one fin', it is the propulsion behind the mermaid tail! Often built into the fluke of the tail, or for spandex and neoprene tails, just sewn in! Without the monofin the mermaid tail would not be as effective. Common users of monofins are free divers and professional swimmers, they are great for strengthening the core muscles and getting propulsion without using ALL your strength. Monofins range from $70-$200 in price depending on the size and professionalism of its design- however many mers have made their own to suit their own needs! Materials for monofins are harder to source than mermaid tails, as often a mix between resin/plastic is needed so the fin wont get pressure points and break during use. To get the fluke shape, often purchased monofins are cut to the right shape.

I hope this has been insightful to you all! :D
*************************************
 In other news, I did the interview with the TV program yesterday- its being aired tonight! Its only local tv, but its certainly more coverage than I've ever had in my life! I hope it looks ok! They filmed A LOT of underwater footage, so that was pretty cool!

And also, I paid for my professional mermaid tail yesterday too!! XD See the beautiful creations by Merbella Studios above? Well, I am getting one made by them! How exciting! Check out more of their STUNNING tails and accessories here: http://www.facebook.com/MerBellaStudios

Happy Swimming! <3

8 comments:

  1. Hi,

    I've seen a video where mermaids were swimming around in their tails then after nad no tails but just the monofin on, how can a monofin be taken out of the fluke but without the fluke being filled up with air/water when swimming since its not glued to the fin?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi!
      It really depends on what the tails were made out of- if they were fabric or neoprene then it is certainly possible to take the monofin out of the tail and use it separately. If their tails were latex/silicone then chances are they had separate monofins to the ones inside their tails :)
      Some people put zippers in their flukes to remove the monofins easily for drying, but its not really possible with latex or silicone because it means the fluke may balloon with air if not sealed in. And if you're paying for a latex or silicone tail you dont want it to be ballooning! haha! :D
      I hope this has helped! <3

      Delete
    2. Yes that does help a lot. Where do you get your monofins from? If I may ask.

      Thank you ^_^

      Delete
    3. You can purchase monofins from Amazon or at a local dive store :) I get mine from Amazon as their shipping is pretty fast!

      Delete
  2. Hi,

    Do you know where I can buy a cheap neoprene tail like the one you have pictured here from Hannah Mermaid?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i found this place online this is about as cheap as ive been able to find it https://www.fashionfabricsclub.com/p92892_32096-aqua-bluenavy-blue-neoprene

      Delete
  3. Hello! Could you give me the website where I could get a neoprene or a neoprene/latex tail for $200 please? As I start to do performances now, I would like something realistic (but my mermaid-work-piggy bank is not as full as $1.000) :)

    ReplyDelete