It’s an enduring memory of my childhood, and one of the few true social levellers in life – summer days at the beach or the pool, stumbling around with flippers on, trying to look casual and totally in control and failing miserably. The truth is that nobody moves well in flippers – nobody! So much physical and mental effort had to go into every step just to ensure sure you didn’t eat dirt/sand/grass in front of all your friends and the general public.
Now a clever Canadian father is hoping to put an end to the summertime flipper battles with what he calls TailFins – his revamp of this iconic aquatic aid. Say goodbye to looking like a dork as you trip over the long fins out in front of you, and hello to a much safer design where you can actually walk, run and climb with ease.
Lee Price invented the TailFins when his 10-year-old daughter was having trouble learning to swim but found traditional flippers clumsy and awkward. He began a lengthy process where he 3D-printed his design before testing them and making adjustments. Now he’s ready to bring them to market.
The basic premise of TailFins is that the long front flippers on the older style fins have been replaced with ‘Hydro Wings’ which are placed on the sides and raised up off the ground, giving the wearer the ability to move far more simply and with confidence. They also have a wide toe space so rocks, sand and pebbles can fall out instead of getting trapped. Genius!
Being a much smaller fin also has the added bonus of requiring less effort from the wearer – TailFins flex and bend to give greater power and propulsion in the water. They’ll be produced in a bright orange colour for high visibility, and will be available in three sizes which range from Euro size 25 through to Euro 37.5, meaning they’ll not only fit children but even some adults too!
Lee is currently conducting a Kickstarter campaign to fund the expensive tooling costs necessary to make the molds for the TailFins. If you’d like to see them on your kids’ feet and save them from flipper-induced dexterity issues, you can support the campaign