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This question and its counterpart is long overdue; I should have posted it immediately after (Why would merpeople let people ride them?)

So; we have merpeople, both willing and able to carry people. What's The Best (most efficient in terms of energy expenditure) Way To Ride Them?

My Thoughts:

  1. Saddle Plausibility-I doubt riding on someone's back will be comfortable for more than a few minutes for both involved unless you have a strategically made (and padded) saddle that will make things more comfortable for both involved. Plus, saddles make it less likely you'll fall off, or be pushed or pulled off by a current. (Mother Ocean wants to claim you for her own, finless one....)
  2. Riding Style Pros and Cons-Riding on the lower back, close to the center of gravity, seems the best position, but I could be wrong. Riding a mermaid like a horse will add a lot of drag and put a large amount of weight on a relatively small area. Riding a mermaid like a sled will reduce drag, distribute weight, and be really, really awkward. Riding a mermaid on the surface of the water will put much less drag on the rider but is likely rather demanding for the mermaid, as they will have to hold their rider above water. Riding underwater is better for the merson energy-wise, but will put a lot of additional drag on the rider and will entail surfacing.
  3. Design Considerations-Johnny suggested large frontal horns on the saddle to split waves so you get hit by less water and the mermaid gets more resistance. This would be great for surface riding, but maybe not so much for sled-style riding. Also, keep in mind we are talking mermaids here; they won't wear an ugly saddle, and if it's not sparkly, glittery, or in some way shiny, that might not end well.....
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The main things you need to contend with are Drag from the water, humans needing air, and hindering of the Mermaids mobility. If we use the human comparison that was brought up in the previous post, the Rickshaw, then I would imagine something almost like a kite, or some sort of raft being towed by the Mermaid. Rickshaw riders don't give piggybacks because that really affects mobility, instead they pull a cart. I think it would be the same for mermaids.

It's alot less personal, and doesnt really entail that whole "riding" idea, but its practical because 1: Free mobility for mermaid with some sort of way to pull 2: Human has air and 3: A streamline surface raft can have very little drag

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  • $\begingroup$ Great answer-well reasoned, clear, accounts for the OP (original poster, refers to my question). At the same time, it needs a little polishing as far as grammar goes. Word to the wise: your answers and questions represent you, you want them to look good! $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Jan 20 at 2:31
  • $\begingroup$ I must add that its arms won't be the only things that you can hold on to if you ride it in missionary position. I think that is a huge plus that must be mentioned. $\endgroup$ – KhanElmork Jan 20 at 6:18
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Missionary position.

dolphin ride

source

Benefits

1: I can breathe.

2: She swims just as well upside-down

3: She does not need her arms to swim.

4: Less drag from me because I am in the air.

5: View is better, in a couple of respects.

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  • $\begingroup$ While I appreciate this answer, this positions seems unbelievably awkward and I have got to say 'no' to Point 5. Cringes $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Jan 20 at 2:46
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Towing is the most comfortable way for both parties but lacks the simplicity of the missionary pose, nothing else needed just to lose your shyness... Any way.. the most efficient way is to surf on a mermaid.

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  • $\begingroup$ This seems like a great answer, but I need more detail. Why do you think surfing on a mermaid is the best option? $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Jan 20 at 13:37

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