Having tried out the Mahina Merfin in the UK during our pool based Mermaid courses with great success, we decided to take them along on our annual training trip to Gozo, Malta for use as part of our Mermaid course out there and really put them through their paces.
Being made of rubber they are perfect for travelling with as you don’t need to worry about damage on planes, for the same reason they are also great for getting in and out of rocky shore lines (of which Gozo has many!), jumping off the side of boats and even diving into the water!
The sizing feels a bit small and they are very difficult to put on dry if you are at the top end of the sizing bracket but I did find that the sizing was correct when in the water. I would recommend using lubricant to stop any rubbing of your feet – on separate occasions I used conditioner and Vaseline, both worked fine. One of our students ended up with quite bad cuts from the rubbing, which she thought was because she was at the smaller end of the size bracket so there was more movement but she was fine when she wore socks so if you can fit the fin with wetsuit socks this is probably a good idea!
Most of our students have loved the MerFin, and some have even gone on to buy one for themselves, however some did find they got cramp when using it for long periods of time (although that can happen with proper monofins as well) and one of our instructors found it too soft for her as she prefers a firmer monofin but that is a preference thing.
I tried it out in the sea and found it performed a lot better than most the fins supplied with Mermaid tails which don’t handle well in the sea at all! It is still not quite as good a proper monofin which is to be expected. I really enjoyed using it, I wasn’t having to compensate too much or sacrifice performance which we have had to do with the other mermaid fins so my monofin technique was good and I found surface swimming in the MerFin is much easier than in the alternatives. We had students getting down to 15 meters using the MerFin so it is actually possible to use it for depth work which is a bonus.
One slight issue with this fin is that currently they do not come with a tail skin, you can get leggings for the child sizes but if you are looking for the full mermaid tail then this is probably not for you. Having said that I made a tail skin for my own one and the fin looks great with it so if you are okay at sewing (or know someone who is) then it is a pretty simple thing to make yourself and you end up with a great custom tail that actually works well in the sea!
The MerFin is a great tool for practicing your mermaid technique without putting on a full tail, it is easy to transport around and very durable so will take any knocks and bumps that might occur while practicing your posing. As mentioned you can always pimp it up by making your own tail skin and then you have a versatile piece of kit suitable for training and photos.
In my opinion the MerFin offers a great balance of style and performance, making it a good option for any Mermaid in training!
Mahina MerFins can be purchased direct from the UK distributer on their website or can be found on Amazon.
Dive safe, Mermaid Em. X