Choosing a Swimmable Mermaid Tail – Neoprene Tails
In my first article of this series I wrote about nylon-spandex (swimsuit fabric) mermaid tails. In this article we will look at buying and owning a neoprene tail – made from wetsuit material. This is a different kind of mermaid tail for swimming.
First of all, neoprene is very different from swimsuit fabrics meerjungfrau kleidung. Made for wetsuit and scuba diving, it is made from foam of varying thicknesses, some with rubber on the outside. It is designed to float and to keep a person warm in cold water.
It is also thick fabric. Even the thinnest neoprene is thicker by far than swimsuit fabrics. So the first thing to know is that this fabric will last much longer than spandex tails, and will be much less likely to wear a hole through it. Neoprene fabric is also much more expensive than spandex swimsuit fabric, so you’ll be paying quite a bit more for a neoprene tail, and getting a much better, longer-lasting tail.
Because it floats, you can throw this tail into the water and it will simply float along on the top of the water, which looks rather funny. This buoyancy will aid you in floating, but if you’re mermaiding in salt water you will probably have to use a weight belt, like free divers and scuba divers use, in order to dive down. (Salt water pushes you up, it is so buoyant.)
Neoprene fabric stretches like spandex fabric
Neoprene fabric stretches like spandex fabric, but not as much. Some thicker or rubber neoprene tails, which don’t stretch as easily, should include a waterproof zipper, or it will be very hard to get in and out of it, and even harder to dry out the foam on the inside of it.
Just like spandex mermaid tails, there will be some rubbing and friction going on at the fluke, whenever the swimmer stands up in the water in their tail, or pushes against the concrete pool in swimming. Neoprene won’t tear easily, but you might notice some wear at these friction points.
Note: Never, ever stand up or hop in your tail on dry ground. This is very dangerous and will certainly wear holes in your tail very quickly, no matter what it is made of.
The downside of neoprene is that it is limited when it comes to colors and prints. There is a rubber neoprene with a mermaid-scale-like texture to it, but it comes only in black. Most rubber neoprene comes only in black. The neoprene foam fabrics have some colors and prints, but they are very limited. And a plain solid foam color doesn’t look much like mermaid skin. Painting black rubber neoprene looks good enough for pictures, but the paint too easily rubs, bends or flakes off. Research is being done on other possibilities for monoflossen adding shimmery colors to rubber neoprene tails.
Caring for neoprene is similar to spandex tails. Like the other, the neoprene tail needs to be rinsed out well after each swim session, to get the chlorine or salt water out of it. Since neoprene is thick foam, it needs to be unzipped and opened up, so that it can dry completely inside and out. Remove the monofin each time; with a zipper this is a cinch. You don’t want the foam inside to get moldy from not drying completely after each use. You’ll find that neoprene dries very quickly. A neoprene tail can be hand-washed in the bathtub whenever you feel it needs it.
In a subsequent article I will discuss owning a silicone-rubber mermaid tail, the most realistic-looking one available.