Have you ever dreamed of having a mermaid tail and skimming through the water with the fish? Of looking and feeling like a real mermaid, your hair flowing behind you as you swirl and twirl underwater?
Well, it is possible today to be a mermaid-though I’m afraid I can’t promise you’ll be able to breathe under water!
No, I’m talking about a new pastime which is growing around the globe, and it’s called mermaiding. Not just girls and women are doing it, but so are boys and men.
Many of us were inspired by the famous international model, Hannah Fraser, also known as Hannah Mermaid. She dreamed of being a mermaid since she was nine years old. As she got older, she started modeling. Eventually she started crafting her own complete mermaid costumes and doing underwater photo and video shoots. She now has three gorgeous, one-of-a-kind tails and lots of amazing footage you can view on her website by googling “Hannah Mermaid.” She has mermaided with sea turtles, dolphins, fish and whales!!! She has trained herself to withstand ocean pressure down to almost 40 feet, and she can gold her breath for 2 minutes.
You can also do a search on YouTube for “mermaid” and you’ll find lots of people who are making and swimming in their own mermaid tails.
So now you know about mermaiding, and you can’t wait to get started. If you know how to sew and have the time, you can make your own simple tail. Sasha Mermaid has a wonderful YouTube video tutorial on “How to Make A Mermaid Tail.”
If you want a tail but don’t want to sew one, you can find a company which makes mermaid tails, tops and accessories. There are several out there, including a couple of eBay sellers. Prices range from a hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars.
Now that you have your tail, a matching top and perhaps a seashell necklace or two, you are ready to mermaid.
The tails use a monofin, which is a single flipper which both your feet fit into. It takes a little getting used to, swimming with your legs attached together in your tail. If you already know the dolphin swim, this is a great stroke to do with the tail on. But you don’t need to know any special swim strokes-the tail with the monofin itself will cause you to swim mermaid-fashion. It looks very beautiful in the water, is fast and fun to do.
Now, to enhance your mermaiding, there are several skills to master. First, you need to swim, dive and do twirls in the water without ever holding your nose. If you are used to holding your nose, your first step is to learn to blow out a little when you first go under and learn to not hold your nose anymore. If you practice this a lot, but find that there are times you can’t get by without holding your nose or too much water comes in, I suggest you get a clear noseplug specifically for swimming. You can slip it onto the top of your nose and it will keep the water out, no matter what you do in the water. Since it is clear, it won’t draw attention to itself.
Secondly, you need to practice holding your breath for longer periods of time under water. Use common sense and caution-don’t let yourself get into danger or pass out. But from my research I’ve found that learning to hold your breath for long periods of time simply comes with practice and learning to relax in the water. The mermaid performers in Weeki Wachee, Florida, swim and practice every day. Some of them have learned to hold their breath up to six minutes long! Another mermaid model, Mermaid Linden, hires herself out for mermaid performances and she has trained herself to hold her breath for four and a half minutes!
Now, practice doing swirly movements in the water, creating a kind of water ballet. The more of these you do, the more beautiful a mermaid you’ll be!