MOSES LAKE, Wash. — There’s just something about mermaids — little girls love them, like they love princesses.

Playing mermaid can get so realistic that girls can buy a tail. But — water being unforgiving — kids (and adults, there are adult-size tails) have to know what they’re doing once they get in the water while wearing a tail. The Surf ‘n Slide Water Park has that covered with Mermaid School.

Mermaid School teaches kids how to maneuver while in the water wearing a mermaid tail, but kids need to have some knowledge of swimming before they qualify for school, Lauren Ausere said. Lauren is a Surf ‘n Slide assistant manager and a Mermaid School instructor.

The tail is a monofin, shaped like a fish fin, with an attached covering for the legs. The leg covering is made of the same material as modern swimsuits.

Lauren has gone swimming with a mermaid’s tail. “I like it a lot. It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “It’s pretty cool.”

Enrolling in Mermaid School requires successful completion of Level 3 swimming lessons. (Kids in Level 3 have learned “front and back crawl,” according to the water park’s swim lesson schedule.)

That equates to knowing how to swim and tread water, along with being comfortable going underwater, Lauren said. The mermaids don’t stay in the shallow end – last Thursday’s class was in the deep water by the diving boards, as well as practicing in the Lazy River. “They should be comfortable when they can’t touch,” Lauren said.

Just like competition swimmers, mermaids use the “dolphin kick.” That’s defined as a swim kick where the legs move up and down together, knees bent on the upswing. Which makes it really useful for burgeoning mermaids.


Information from: Columbia Basin Herald, http://www.columbiabasinherald.com