Don’t be surprised to see mermaids swimming in the local community pool this summer. Mermaids and mermen – the mythical sea creatures of literature and animated fame – are swimming their way into mainstream culture, in everything from swimmable mermaid tails, mermaid themed t-shirts, and mermaid parties – Kim Kardashian even threw one for her daughter North – to mermaid toast and frappuccinos. Now, mermaid swim classes are gaining in popularity as a fantasy-filled new way to have summer fun. From summer camps to public pools to hotels and resorts, these creative aquatic classes show kids and grownups the right way to swim like a mermaid while providing entertainment.
“Wearing a mermaid tail is a deeply engaging and formative childhood experience that kids will always remember,” says Eric Browning, CEO of Fin Fun, the leading maker of swimmable mermaid tails and other mermaid lifestyle products. “The opportunity to wear a mermaid tail motivates kids to get outside, away from electronics, and learn how to swim or improve their swimming skills,” he adds. Browning notes that swimming in a mermaid tail makes a great core body workout for adults, as well.
Fin Fun identifies six essential skills that any swimmer needs to master before swimming in a mermaid tail. These are the kind of skills that a Mermaid School will teach mermaids/mermen-to-be and confirm that they have mastered in order to be “Mermaid Tail Ready:”
- Back Float- Float on back with face out of water
- Stomach Float – Float on stomach while relaxed
- Roll from Front Float to Back Float
- Tread water for at least 1 minute
- Swim 25 yards/meters unassisted without holding on to side of pool or a parent
- Master the Dolphin Kick, the main body movement used when wearing a mermaid tail, achieved by rolling or undulating the body from fingertips to toes, without separating legs or kicking
Once children (or adults) have mastered these skills, they are ready to swim wearing the mermaid tail with a monofin insert – which gives the fluke a mermaid tail shape – and makes swimming action even easier. The monofin propels mermaids through the water with fast, smooth motion, allowing users to swim up to twice as fast with little to no extra effort.
General Water Safety Tips:
- For kids, always use mermaid tail under 100% adult supervision
- Do not put the monofin on until sitting at the water’s edge. Do not try to run in the tail, or attempt to hop across the ground or up/down stairs while wearing the monofin
- Look ahead, stay focused and never swim alone
- Only swim as a mermaid in places where you would safely swim as a human
- Practice removing the mermaid tail and monofin in shallow water before swimming in it for the first time