Merman Tiun club
TIUN was created by Merman Tiun. Initially starting out ‘mermaning’ (that can be a verb, right?) as a fun pastime with friends, Merman Tiun saw a wonderful opportunity to spread the joy of being a merman with others. He started to design and create merman tails for himself, before expanding the business into selling the merman tails and products worldwide. He even supports the Merman Tiun club by using small local businesses to manufacture his products.
Why be a Merman?
Mermaning has become a massive thing recently, with many more people dreaming of ‘under the sea’. Merman schools are beginning to pop up all over the world and you can even order your own merman tails and accessories online. On the back of this worldwide interest, TIUN was created to offer half-day tours where people can venture out into the lovely shores of Bali and Gili Trawangan and swim like a merman! You will be picked up from your hotel in Bali and, with Merman Tiun’s inside knowledge of all of the best spots, get taken on a boat ride to amazing ‘Instaworthy‘ locations. He even offers photo shoot packages, including styling and a professional photographer.
Becoming a merman
Despite how beautiful and glamorous some merman photos can be, there is nothing glamorous or graceful about the process of becoming a merman. First of all, you need to put the tail on around your feet and slowly wriggle and squeeze your legs, hips and bum into the tail. It was at this point I really regretted eating all of the yummy mi goreng and gelato on the trip so far! Thankfully, the tails are made out of super stretchy material and are forgiving. Once the tail is on, Merman Tiun helps you secure your feet into the monofin, before stretching the bottom of the tail over it. Then, voilà, I was a merman!
Merman Tiun provides expert instruction on heaps of cool underwater tricks like twirls, flips and gliding underwater, mostly utilising your core. Merman Tiun demonstrates how to swim, dive and do the tricks underwater while you watch (snorkel masks were provided to see better) and then dutifully watches my own attempts. Depending on your confidence and ability, Merman Tiun offers varied guidance and assistance until you feel like you are free to swim on your own. In my case, not too much was needed, so we had more time to swim and take underwater footage.
Being a merman
So what was it like being a merman? Well, for me it was quite easy. I mean, I had been preparing for this moment my whole life, so I took to it like a fish to water (pun intended). Merman Tiun was quite surprised, even exclaiming after my first attempt, “wow, you are a natural”. I think it helped that I’m all about that bass and had plenty to work with. If I was to pick any song that could be the perfect analogy of swimming like a merman, it’s the chorus from Ice Cube’s “You Can Do It”. Legit. I have to admit, at first it was a bit odd not being able to kick your legs individually, but for me it was easy to get used to. Despite making you feel slightly heavier, wearing the monofin really helped with swimming, and it was surprising how much more speed and strength is gained from wearing one. The only trouble I had was holding my breath long enough to do all the tricks and swim the distances I would have liked in one breath. Something to work on for next time!
After a good deal of swimming, we headed over to the shore to take some photos. Merman Tiun loves merman styling and was eager to help set up poses and suggest spots. Again, this was a fun experience and way to finish up my day of being a merman. Merman Tiun brings a range of his handmade tails for you to pick from. My favourite had to be the one I wore on land. If you love them as much as I do, you can also purchase tails and accessories from his store (something I’m still convincing Guy I need to do!).
Swimming like a merman is a lot of fun but hard work! If there were a gym class for this, I would hand over all my money. I absolutely had a ball and felt muscles working out that I never knew I had! Sadly, the water clarity wasn’t the best on the day we did it, but it didn’t stop me from having a ball. I would definitely love to do it again at Gili Trawangan, as Merman Tiun said the water clarity and beaches are far better there. If you are headed to Bali and want to live your dream of becoming a merman, head to TIUN to get in touch with Merman Tiun and get prices on the different packages. The packages include transport, use of the various merman tails and half a day of being a merman. The other thing I loved about this day is that each booking is private; you are not placed in a group with strangers (although, I’m sure that could be arranged), and we could do whatever we liked during the day. That being said, it’s best to book in advance so you don’t miss out. If you aren’t so keen on swimming, but want to look the part, you can do the photo shoot package or purchase her tails online. I must warn you though, mermaning is addictive!