Snuba® is a combination of snorkeling and scuba diving that involves air tanks placed on the surface of the water, providing a direct connection to the surface for beginners. It also makes it easier to get in and out of the water and limits the depth of the dive. Snuba® is not a replacement for scuba diving and does not require complex training or certification.
Snuba® is a term that comes from the combination of snorkel and scuba and refers to a particular approach to underwater swimming. Just as with many forms of scuba diving, Snuba® diving involves the use of a diving mask, fins and the use of air tanks. However, the art of Snuba® is slightly different from both snorkelling and underwater techniques.
One of the defining characteristics of Snuba® is the placement of the air tanks during underwater swimming. With scuba diving, the diver wears the air cylinders on his back. With Snuba®, the air tanks stay on the surface of the water. The cylinders are placed in pontoon rafts, with a secure air hose running from the cylinders to the respirator worn by the Snuba® diver. Since the cylinders can move freely on the water, the diver is not burdened by having cylinders on the back and has a great freedom of movement underwater. For new divers, the Snuba® method can also bring a certain degree of safety. Because the tube provides a direct connection to the surface, a beginner is more likely to feel grounded and connected as they get used to looking around underwater. At the same time, the Snuba® enthusiast will also need to be careful not to snag the air hose or hose in any obstructions.
Snuba® diving also makes it much easier to get in and out of the water. While air tanks aren’t a big weight issue in the water, heavy tanks can be difficult to handle when preparing to dive and when getting back into the boat after the dive. Since the diver does not have to deal with excess weight, people who can carry less muscle mass can enjoy Snuba® diving.
Another advantage of Snuba® diving is the fact that the depth of the dive is limited by the length of the air hose. Generally, this means that there is much less chance of a beginner dealing with any type of decompression sickness, popularly known as the bends. However, Snuba® carries the same level of risk as scuba diving, when it comes to the potential for air embolism. In either case, a gradual climb when venting the expanding gas volume is essential to avoid the problem.
Snuba® is not intended to replace scuba diving. Still, the approach is a great way for people to get used to the idea of using a snorkel while looking around below the surface of the water. Snuba® does not require a complex training program or certification, so learning the basics and committing to the business can be accomplished in a very short period of time.