mermaid certification, Mermaid Certification with SSI: Unleash Your Inner Child’s Bucket List

Mermaid Certification with SSI: Unleash Your Inner Child’s Bucket List

Before I get started, I have to say a MASSIVE disclaimer. I am not an instructor, nor do I work for SSI. This blog’s purpose is to give you an idea of what mermaid certification is, what my experience was, and give you an idea of if you want it added to your bucket list!

It is your responsibility to find an approved program through SSI to fulfill your mermaid dreams!

When you are a mermaid or when you are doing apneic breath work, always train with a professional or qualified buddy!

Mermaiding is very fun but can be dangerous if you are by yourself or don’t know what you are doing. 

That is why you need a mermaid certification! I promise that it is such a rewarding experience for anybody who is interested and I can’t wait to start you on your mermaid bucket list journey!

Also, when I say “mermaid” throughout this article, please know that it applies to everybody! All mermen and merpeople are welcome here

mermaid certification, Mermaid Certification with SSI: Unleash Your Inner Child’s Bucket List
Chilling in my tail before getting mermaid certified.

Bucket List Review of Doing a Mermaid Certification

My Overall Rating10/10 if you want to be a
swimming mermaid
Who Needs to Add This to Their Bucket List?Mermaids of all ages!
Best Time to GoAnytime, unless your program has
an outdoor pool
Traveling DifficultyEasy
Physical DifficultyModerate/Difficult
Popularity Rating2/10
Group/Tour RequiredYes – you need an instructor
and program
Wheelchair AccessibleNo

If you need more information about the categories of this table, please check out the Bucket List Reviews guide.

Becoming a Mermaid

If you are new here, I am The Bucket List Mermaid. To put it simply, I help you check everything off of your travel bucket list…as a mermaid! 

Although I am a mermaid at heart, I do breath oxygen and walk on two legs most of the time. Therefore, I needed to embrace my true self and learn how to mermaid properly! 

This was such an exciting experience for me and I hope to inspire all of you who are interested to do the same and cross it off your bucket list to “become a mermaid”!

mermaid certification, Mermaid Certification with SSI: Unleash Your Inner Child’s Bucket List
Mermaid fun at The Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

What is a Mermaid Certification and How Can it Help You to Fulfill Your Childhood Dreams of Becoming a Mermaid Safely

Do you remember dreaming of becoming a mermaid when you were a child? If so, now is the time to make your dreams come true with an SSI Mermaid Certification

And if you think this is outrageous to do because you are an adult, then think again! The mermaid industry is now worth millions! Whether you want to swim for fun or professionally, mermaiding is an amazing way to connect with the water and have fun!

With this certification, you can learn proper breathing techniques, learn about mermaid equipment, and perform graceful movements like a real mermaid while still staying safe and having fun.

Read on to find out more about what this unique certification entails and why it should be added to your bucket list!

A Note on Children Doing the Mermaid Certification Program

As you might have guessed, this certification can be for children too! However, I noticed some things for parents to be aware of before sending their children into their mermaid fantasy. 

This course does have an online training program that can be a little overwhelming for younger mermaids. I’m not saying that they can’t do it, but some may need you to talk them through some more complex concepts depending on their age.

I certainly wouldn’t have understood Boyles Law and the relationships between pressure and volume at different bar/atm when I was 10!

Also, keep in mind that while mermaiding looks easy, it can be quite claustrophobic to have your legs bound while in deep water.

While I’m sure that they will adjust, there is a risk that they may panic at first. Of course, they will have a professional there to guide them through it, but it might be something to prepare them beforehand.

I think as long as your child is comfortable in the water, they should be just fine and will adapt quickly!

Keep in mind that this claustrophobic feeling can cause anxiety in mermaids of all ages and it is something to know before you dive in!

If your little one wants some practice or to try it out beforehand, I have noticed that a lot of mermaid dive shops offer a “Try Mermaiding” course before that (most of the time) gets credited to the full certification if they wish to proceed.

mermaid certification, Mermaid Certification with SSI: Unleash Your Inner Child’s Bucket List
Taking a bath with my tail.

The Benefits of Doing the SSI Mermaid Certification Program

The SSI Mermaid Certification program is a great way to turn your childhood dreams of being a mermaid into reality, all while staying safe and having fun. 

The program will help you learn the skills and techniques needed to swim like a real mermaid, as well as teach you how to interact with underwater creatures responsibly.

You Will Dip Your Toe into The Amazing World of Freediving

First, Mermaid Certification is a great way to see if you enjoy the more expansive freediving sport.

This includes developing your stamina, optimizing your technique for speed and efficiency, and learning how to maneuver in the water while maintaining proper form.

I am a die-hard scuba diver and had no interest in freediving. Ironically, it was mermaiding that made me realize that I actually love freediving! 

You Will Learn Underwater Stunts

Once you’ve perfected basic freestyle swimming, you can move on to the more exciting aspects of becoming a mermaid – underwater stunts

With the SSI Mermaid Certification program, you can learn flips, dives, spin techniques, and more. You’ll be able to show off your newfound skills to friends or family who come down to the beach or pool with you.

Getting More Involved in Ocean Conservation

Lastly, one of the biggest benefits of the SSI Mermaid Certification program is that it encourages conservation-minded behavior toward ocean life. 

As part of the certification process, students are taught how to safely interact with aquatic organisms such as fish by following guidelines set by ocean experts. 

This helps ensure that our oceans remain healthy for generations to come so that everyone can have a chance at fulfilling their childhood dreams of becoming a mermaid.

Overall, completing an SSI Mermaid Certification program is an excellent way to gain essential safety skills while having fun!

With comprehensive instruction on everything from swimming technique and underwater stunts to ocean conservation, this certification is sure to make any aspiring mermaid’s bucket list!

What Will You Learn in a Mermaid Certification Program with SSI?

***This is not the exact/full curriculum of the mermaid certification! These are simply the highlights that stood out to me so that you can get an idea of what you will be doing in mermaid class! For more information on the exact syllabus, check out SSI or your local dive shop that offers a mermaid class. 

The classroom portion of the Mermaid Certification took me a few hours to go through. It wasn’t rocket science but provided a well-rounded set of information to help you succeed as a mermaid. There was a lot of useful information, but here is what stood out to me:

  • A brief history of mermaids.
  • Basic explanations of pressure and volume in the water and how it affects your body (especially your ears, sinuses, and lungs). 
  • Explanation of different mermaid equipment and how to care for it. 
  • How to do a buddy rescue and deal with issues such as cramps in a mermaid tail. 
  • Basic principles of buoyancy and ocean currents. 
  • A start to freediving, breath holding, recovery breaths, and the Mammalian Dive Reflex with some human anatomy. 
  • The importance of proper breathwork and signs of hyperventilation, as well as the risks of freediving. 
  • Importance of conserving underwater environments and respecting wildlife while mermaiding.
mermaid certification, Mermaid Certification with SSI: Unleash Your Inner Child’s Bucket List
Traveling in hotel rooms with my tail and my cat Moshie.

After completing the classroom portion, you will be required to go into an SSI-certified diving center for the water training portion. Although the classroom is necessary and important, I found the water portion of the program to be the most magical! As I said before, there was a lot of training that I did in the water, but these are the highlights! 

  • Backstroke to relax
  • Putting on different mermaid gear 
  • How to enter the pool/deep water exit
  • How to descend (back entry or duck dive)
  • Recovery breath
  • Different methods of sinus equalization
  • How to do the dolphin kick
  • Various underwater mermaid tricks
  • Buddy practices
  • Towing a buddy in a mermaid tail

What is Required to Be Mermaid Certified?

There are different requirements depending on the program that you decide to go with. In general, the basic requirements are: 

  • Be over 10-12 years of age (company dependent). 
  • Be able to swim 160ft/50m without any aids.
  • Be able to float comfortably for 5 minutes.
  • Be in good physical health.
mermaid certification, Mermaid Certification with SSI: Unleash Your Inner Child’s Bucket List
My very first mermaid photoshoot in London, England.

Why Become a Certified Mermaid? 

Having a mermaid certification can open up numerous opportunities to pursue your dreams of being a mermaid, both professionally and recreationally. 

Whether you want to become an underwater performer or simply swim for fun, the SSI Mermaid Certification is a perfect introduction to diving with a monofin and tail skin. 

With this certification, you will be able to show off your newfound skills in the water with confidence while also staying safe.

Here are some ideas of what to do with your new mermaid certification: 

Just Go Have Some Fun

Who says that you have to do anything productive with your certification? Much like a scuba diving certification, it is fun just to go have fun

Take it to the beach, swim with your children, do an underwater photoshoot, or simply play in a pool! The possibilities for mermaid fun are endless. And once you have the certification, you can have some peace of mind and confidence that you are doing so safely! 

mermaid certification, Mermaid Certification with SSI: Unleash Your Inner Child’s Bucket List
Getting cold in the snow with my tail.

Spice Up Your Workouts

It might not have crossed your mind, but mermaiding is a demanding physical activity! You work all muscles in your legs, your core is constantly engaged, and even your arms can help you swim. To sweeten the pot, it is also a tremendous workout for your lungs themselves since you are training in apneic environments. 

Translation: mermaiding is a killer workout. Running bored on a treadmill vs swimming around in a mermaid tail? I don’t know about you, but I know which one I would choose! 

Quick note: by simply asking around my area, I found establishments willing to let me swim in just a monofin or my full tail. Unless I’m in my full silicone tail, no one really cares or notices. If you are in a full tail, just expect some excited children (or even adults) to ask for pictures! 

Become a Professional Mermaid

If you have decided that the mermaid life is for you, then you might want to consider doing it professionally. There is underwater performance (such as an aquarium or hotel), children’s birthday parties, private companies, mermaid instructor, modeling, brand ambassadors, and more! 

Just know that for some of these additional certifications (such as scuba or freediving) may be required

Be a Voice for Ocean Conservation

As you may be aware, current climate conditions and pollution situations are not great. By becoming a mermaid, you put yourself in a position to enact change and speak up about ocean conservation

Whether this is professionally or just for fun, there is always room for volunteer work and to address the importance of protecting our beautiful oceans and all of its incredible creatures! 

mermaid certification, Mermaid Certification with SSI: Unleash Your Inner Child’s Bucket List
Getting ‘chill’ with my tail. I can’t wait to get into the water after my mermaid certification.

Discovering the Different Types of Mermaid Tails and How to Choose the Best One for You

If you are getting a mermaid certification, odds are you will want your own equipment eventually so that you can practice your mermaid skills! This will be talked about in the course, but I will touch on your options now in case you want to bring your own gear to the classes (which I would recommend). 

If you have already gone down the massive rabbit hole that is mermaid tails, you know that it is very overwhelming. In fact, I could write an entire blog post just about all of the incredible companies that make art-worthy mermaid tails! Let me know if you would benefit from this! 

For now, here are your simple options for purchasing your own mermaid gear! 

Note that you do not need your own tail to complete the certification and one will be provided for you. However, I trained in my own tail which was very beneficial (just imagine my giant, vibrant silicone tail in a scuba pool…classic). 


The simplest gear that you need is a nice and sturdy monofin! I would wear this is gym swimming pools with a buddy all the time to practice. 

Plus, if you plan to get more gear later, it is a nice introduction into mermaiding so that putting on a full tail isn’t so daunting! 

When looking for a monofin, there are several on the market. I bought a cheap Fin Fun monofin a few years ago. And while it does the trick, I would not use it for professional use. 

To elaborate, I used this and then bought a full silicone tail. It feels NOTHING like a full tail. I would instead recommend investing a wee bit into a stiffer and bigger fin to help prepare you. 

In fact, when I bought a fabric tail, they mentioned it was dangerous to use a flimsy monofin because it would not support the fluke (the fin part of the tail). 

My favorite is the Adult Mermaid Linden Monofin by Body Glove. I was actually surprised how much this felt similar to a full silicone tail.

mermaid certification, Mermaid Certification with SSI: Unleash Your Inner Child’s Bucket List
Wearing a tail skin at Hanging Lake in Colorado.

Monofin and Fabric Skin

Another option is to take that monofin and add a tail skin

These range in prices depending on what they are made with and the quality. For example, I bought a cheap one off of amazon made out of swimsuit material.

Or, you can get a high quality neoprene tail skin that is more expensive but makes you look more realistic (and is probably safer). 

As I mentioned before, most of the time the monofin that you insert is not included and it needs to be a certain standard to be safe! If you are having difficulties, I would ask the tail maker. 

Hybrid Tails

I’m gonna be honest, I haven’t seen a lot of these tails on the market. However, there are tails that have a silicone fluke with a neoprene body. These are most likely going to be custom made and run more expensive. 

I can see the appeal of these because they would be lighter than the full silicone tails, but still have the realism of the silicone fluke. 

Full Silicone Tails

The baddest queens of the sea: the silicone tails. Custom made exactly for you! These babies make you look like you are an actual fish! They are the crowning jewel of mermaid tails. 

The catch? They are EXPENSIVE! And they are HEAVY! If you have a look at my magnificent beast of a tail (her name is Tigress), she is a full silicone tail. There is no other tail like it in the world and she is unique to The Bucket List Mermaid

She also cost me about two years worth of paychecks and is around 27lbs–which is very light for silicone tail standards! I sometimes feel as if I do not wear Tigress–she wears me. She feels like an entity of her own! 

When on land, the term “beached whale” doesn’t quite cover it. She is hard to move and I am very immobile. However, the pictures of her are absolutely UNREAL! 

mermaid certification, Mermaid Certification with SSI: Unleash Your Inner Child’s Bucket List
The front of my silicone tail.

Swimming in Silicone Tails

Being honest, Tigress (my tail) is heavy in the water, but it wasn’t to a point where I struggled or noticed it too much. In fact, she has a lot of power that helped me to swim! 

As this entire article has mentioned numerous times, with proper training and instruction, anyone can be a mermaid and you too can swim in a full silicone tail with ease! However, don’t make sketchy decisions like me

I would at least train your way up to a silicone. I just jumped in and hoped for the best. Did it work out? Yes. Was it graceful? Absolutely not. 

If you are training in your own silicone tail for the mermaid certification, I would contact the dive shop and make sure that the instructor is comfortable. These tails are harder to get off and heavier to swim in, and therefore are a greater safety risk. 

But OMG are they beautiful and you truly feel like a mermaid when wearing one! 

mermaid certification, Mermaid Certification with SSI: Unleash Your Inner Child’s Bucket List
The back side of my full silicone tail and all of her glory.

Discover New Depths: Making the Leap to Freediving or Ocean Water Mermaid

You may be thinking, “What’s next for my mermaid dream?”. You have options! 

First is to go for the full freediving certification. I am going to be brutally honest: a more logical path would be to do freediving first and then mermaid if you can. 

This is because when you are a mermaid, you do not have a mask.

If I were to do this all over again, I would become a proficient freediver and then go into blind freediving as you do with mermaiding.

I did the SSI Try Freediving course before I started, but I did wish that I had more knowledge of freediving before being thrown into it with a mermaid tail…just for safety purposes. It is on my bucket list to get my full Freediving Certification so stay tuned! 

Another option is to become an SSI Ocean Mermaid. With a basic Mermaid Certification you and your tail are confined to a pool. With the Ocean Mermaid, you will be trained for open bodies of water as you learn how to handle waves and other obstacles. 

If you are only into mermaid modeling, SSI offers a Model Mermaid course as well so that you can strike the perfect pose for your underwater photoshoot

As with most scuba and dive courses, there is always the opportunity to advance to a point where you are a Mermaid Instructor or a Mermaid Instructor Trainer

mermaid certification, Mermaid Certification with SSI: Unleash Your Inner Child’s Bucket List
Enjoying the view while swimming in my tail.

Get Ready to Fulfill Your Childhood Dreams!

Overall, getting your mermaid certification with SSI is an excellent way to have fun while also learning the skills needed to stay safe in the water.

You’ll learn how to swim like a real mermaid and perform stunts underwater, as well as how to interact responsibly with aquatic creatures and environments.

With this certification, you can fulfill your childhood dreams of becoming a mermaid and open up numerous opportunities both professionally and recreationally. So don’t wait any longer – check off “become a mermaid” off of your bucket list and start swimming! 

mermaid certification, Mermaid Certification with SSI: Unleash Your Inner Child’s Bucket List
Enjoying two waterfalls in Colorado in a fabric mermaid tail.

Know anyone interested in becoming a certified mermaid? Don’t forget to share the mermaid love below!

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