The Next Chapter.
Dear Kickstarter Community,
Despite not making our goal, the global exposure that Kickstarter provided, combined with the wonderful support of our backers, has opened a lot of doors that may not have been opened otherwise - and we are encouraged and excited to see what the future holds as these opportunities unfold.
Please follow us on Facebook @officialtailfins for the latest news and updates as we move TailFins into it's next chapter.
What Are TailFins?
NO MORE TRIPPING, FLIPPING OR FLOPPING! TailFins are swim fins (flippers) that children can swim, walk and climb with. They allow your children to safely get in and out of the water without the tripping hazard of the long, front fins found on older style flippers.
How are TailFins different?
AN INNOVATIVE REDESIGN! We removed the long, front fins that kept tripping up children and added our patent-pending “Hydro-Wings”. These specially designed fins are placed on both sides of the foot and are raised up and away from the ground, making it a lot easier to walk, run and climb.
How do TailFins compare to traditional flippers?
MORE RESPONSIVE WITH LESS EFFORT! Because our Hydro-Wings are fixed to the side of the foot, they provide an immediate response as soon as the foot begins to move. There is no delay - compared to older style flippers where the foot moves first and then the fin follows afterward. And Because TailFins are smaller than most flippers they require a lot less effort than the older flippers and still provide your children with the thrust and stability you’d expect.
The Problem with Flippers!
Flippers work great when your children are in the water. However, it’s when they are trying to get into and out of the water that flippers can cause problems.
If your child tries walk into the water with flippers, the long forward fins are clumsy and difficult to swing under their shorter legs and can pose a tripping hazard for them. Unfortunately swim ladders are not an option either. Your child would only be risking injury because neither the swim ladder nor the flipper were designed for each other.
Flippers have been around for generations and they have all shared the same basic design with the same basic problems. Anyone who has worn flippers will tell you: They work great once you’re in the water but getting into and out of the water is another story. That changes now.
TailFins is an innovation that has taken the traditional flipper back to the drawing board. We have taken into account the complete user experience of a child - TailFins not only provides power and propulsion in the water, but getting into and out the water has never been easier.
We removed the long, front fins that caused the walking and tripping hazards and we replaced them with our patent-pending “Hydro-Wing” fins. The design and placement of these Hydro-Wings make it easier for your child to walk and climb whether at the pool, the boat or on the beach.
TailFins were created out of necessity. My ten-year-old daughter had struggled with swimming for years and after her last attempt at swimming lessons she was left feeling defeated and upset and like any good father, I wanted to help.
There were parts of her swimming lessons where the children would wear flippers and in these moments my daughter was able to keep up with the others and she would smile ear to ear. However flippers weren't a suitable solution for the long-term.
When she's at the pool, like most other children, she is constantly in and out of the water playing with her friends and that means using the swim ladders and walking - two things that flippers weren't designed to do. So flippers were not an option and at tens years of age, my daughter was not going to wear water wings or a life jacket with her friends at the pool.
With no other options, I made the decision to come up with one on my own. I had my early designs 3D printed and with a small trusted group, We would test them at local pools, make the necessary improvements and then 3D print them again. This process repeated several times.
I began to receive encouraging comments and people started to pay attention to what I was doing. I soon realized that I was creating something that no one had seen before and it solved a common problem in the market. This was when I decided to pursue this as a possible consumer product.
I eventually reached a point where I could not take this any further on my own. I needed to bring in outside expertise. So I began working with engineers who experience in product development, ergonomic design and who had developed sports equipment for professional athletes. I collaborated with other engineers in the areas of advance design and manufacturing to ensure what I was creating could in fact be built.
The end result is TailFins - a complete redesign of the flipper. It’s patent-pending design makes it easier for children to walk and climb up and down swim ladders.
Getting in and out of the water has never been easier.
Risks and challenges
A common sense product like TailFins solves a widely recognized problem in the market, the ability to safely get into and out of the water. A solution this important needs to be properly managed so others may have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of TailFins.
Manufacturing: Having the left and right TailFin molds made in three sizes is a significant and expensive tooling exercise. The lead-time to create these molds is about 45 days so it’s vital we get it right the first time. To manage the risk, the team of engineers I worked with in developing TailFins will continue to assist in seeing our project through this stage. They have extensive experience in advanced design and manufacturing techniques and it’ll be those skills that ensure we stay on track with our mold maker and manufacturer.
Fulfillment: As much as we can plan for success, events can happen outside our control. These unforeseen events can add delays that could contribute to missed deadlines. To mitigate these types of events from happening, we are working with suppliers that have track records that span decades of mold making and large-scale manufacturing. We have spoken with their management and their current customers and are confident we are working with the best possible team.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)