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Mermaid Tail Safety Tips

Updated: Feb 22

Mermaid tails have become a popular accessory for those seeking a touch of magic in their swimming adventures. Whether you're a professional mermaid performer or simply enjoy the whimsy of these fantastical tails, it's crucial to prioritize safety to ensure a splashing good time. 

While mermaiding may seem fun and easy, it actually requires some training. You must be a good swimmer to swim with a mermaid tail. Mermaiding can be quite dangerous to children who may not be the strongest swimmers. 

Mermaiding is a fun activity, but remember to put safety first!

Here's a quick guide to mermaid tail safety:

1. Choose the Right Tail: Select a mermaid tail that is appropriate for your skill level and age. Tails come in various designs, materials, and sizes, so make sure it's a snug, not too tight or too big. A tail that is too big on you will produce more drag and slow you down. Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines and recommendations.

Know your limits. If you’re new to mermaiding, it may not be a good idea to swim in a silicone mermaid tail. They are heavy and difficult to remove, so in an emergency situation you will likely have trouble getting out of the tail quickly.

It is important to note that children should not use silicone mermaid tails either. You also want to make sure that kids are wearing safe mermaid tails. There must be a monofin, and the tail should be easy to kick off. I recommend a Funfun mermaid tail.

2. Swim in Designated Areas: Mermaid tails are best suited for calm, controlled environments like pools. Using them in open water, rivers, or the ocean where strong currents, tides, or marine life dwell could pose risks. It' best to stick to designated mermaid-friendly swimming spaces. 

Swimming in the ocean can definitely be unsafe, even for experienced swimmers. The tides can easily make you drift farther from the beach, and you could get exhausted from the swim back, with waves working against you. If you're gonna swim in the ocean, do it when the waters aren't too rough.

Be careful about swimming with wildlife. Know what you may be dealing with. Some bodies of water are home to snakes and snapping turtles. There can also be sharks, jellyfish, stingrays and more. 

Another thing to be aware of, is if you are swimming somewhere that has sharp rocks, such as a creek. You can injure yourself on them.

Check out this video for tips about swimming in the ocean.

3. Buddy System: Never swim alone while wearing a mermaid tail. Always have a swimming buddy or lifeguard present who is aware of your activity. This ensures that someone can assist you if needed and adds an extra layer of safety.

When using the buddy system, it is definitely important that you both know how to swim. You never know when you may need someone to swim to your rescue. 

4. Practice Mermaiding Skills: Before diving into deep waters, practice basic mermaiding skills in a controlled environment. Get comfortable with swimming, floating, and maneuvering in your tail. Familiarity with your tail's movement is essential for both safety and performance. Practice floating, doing the dolphin kick, side swimming, and back swimming.

You use a lot of muscles while swimming in a mermaid tail. It is helpful to frequently work out so you can be an even stronger swimmer. Practicing your breathhold out of the water is also a good idea.

5. Be Mindful of Depth: Avoid swimming in water that is too deep, and always have access to a shallow area for ease of movement and safety.

Be careful when diving down in the deep end of a pool. Make sure to take a deep breath first.

You need to be careful in the shallow end, as well. If you dive down you may hit your head on the pool floor, which can cause a concussion, or knock you out.

6. Monitor Your Breath: Pay attention to your breath, and never push yourself to the point of exhaustion. Practice controlled breathing and surface regularly to avoid overexertion. 

If you’re planning on free diving, it is essential that you do a breath-up before taking the plunge. You can work on your breath hold in or out of the water. For maximum safety, have someone with you while you train. Holding your breath too long can result in passing out.

7. Use a Monofin: Mermaid tails should be used with a monofin—a single, flipper-like fin that provides propulsion. Ensure that the monofin is securely attached to your feet and that you're comfortable using it. Practice swimming with the monofin before attempting any elaborate underwater performances.

Monofins are a MUST when it comes to swimming in mermaid tails. You can’t really swim without one since your legs are bound together. A monofin is the only way to propel yourself through the water.

Avoid cheap monofins, like the ones that come with knock off tails from Wish, Alibaba, Amazon, Shein, and Temu. Those monofins are not high quality and can easily break or come apart.

8. Stay Visible: If swimming in open water, you can wear brightly colored or reflective accessories to enhance visibility. This is especially important if there are other watercraft or swimmers in the vicinity. It is possible to be hit by a speedboat.

Never swim too far out in a natural body of water. If you’re in the ocean and you go too far out, someone may not see you if you begin to struggle or have an emergency, such as being attacked by wildlife or becoming too exhausted.

9. Emergency Plan: Have an emergency plan in place. Know how to quickly and safely remove the mermaid tail if needed. Practice swimming to the surface and releasing the tail in case of an emergency.

Communicate with your buddy, and come up with a signal to use if you need help.

10. Respect Local Rules: Always adhere to the rules and regulations of the swimming facility or area. Some places may have specific guidelines regarding the use of mermaid tails to ensure the safety of all swimmers.

11. Use floaties: If you’re not the strongest swimmer, it's not a bad idea to have some pool floaties nearby. There’s no shame in needing to use a pool noodle under your arms. Mermaiding is about having fun, not about being impressive.

Pool floaties are also great for taking mermaid photos on top of, especially if you have something mermaidy like a clam shell.

12. Avoid knockoff tails

You may want to save money on a mermaid tail, but swimming in knock off mermaid tails, such as the ones you find on Wish and Shein, can have serious consequences.

Not only do those tails often use stolen designs, but they also come with unsafe monofins. A monofin is the most important part of a mermaid tail, and swimming with a bad one is dangerous!

You'll want a good monofin, such as:

  • Finfun Mermaid

  • Mertailor

  • Mermaid Linden

  • Mahina Mermaid

  • Finis monofins

  • Mermaid Kat Tail

13. Avoid swimming in cold water: It may seem fun and exciting to take a polar plunge, but the shock from the cold can inhibit your ability to swim. Cold water can also result in hypothermia, which can be deadly.

If you are swimming in cold water, make sure to have towels and a change of clothes ready.

Mermaiding can be a delightful and enchanting experience when approached with safety in mind. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the magic of your mermaid tail while prioritizing your well-being in and around the water.

Happy swimming!

About the author

Shello! My name is Mermaid Liv, a professional mermaid and content creator. I share my love of mermaiding through this blog, along with my Youtube channel.

If you've never heard of it before, mermaiding is a hobby, profession, and sport that involves wearing mermaid tails made for swimming.

I began making tails in 2013 and have continued my mermaid journey, starting my Youtube channel, working at a mermaid festival, performing at gigs, and being featured in the Netflix Docu Series MerPeople.

Follow me on Instagram for mermaid photos and videos: @the_real_mermaid_liv and be *shore* to check out my Youtube channel.

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