SNUBA– Hawaiian Activities
If you are going to Hawaii and have always wondered what scuba-diving is like, but have not had the proper training necessary to do so, you may want to consider the SNUBA experience. A cross between scuba and snorkeling, Snuba is a shallow-water diving system that was developed for those who would like to safely experience breathing and exploring underwater without having to devote the sacred vacation time necessary to become certified in scuba-diving.
Unlike scuba, where the divers wear the tanks on their backs, snuba divers wear only a lightweight harness that is attached to a raft overhead. The raft carries the tanks and other equipment (or sometimes, the tanks remain on the boat). The divers breathe through a regulator that is attached to the tanks via a 20- to 30-foot hose, thus allowing the divers to freely move about in the water below to a depth of up to 30 feet (or as long as the hose will allow).
While the thought of breathing underwater through a regulator may be a little frightening to some, it is actually much easier than you would think. All companies that offer snuba adventures have certified instructors that are required to provide divers with a short, roughly 15-minute training session. For some people, it can take a few tries to get the hang of breathing through a regulator, but many agree that it is much easier than you would think. In fact, it is in some ways very similar to breathing through a snorkel, yet with a regulator, it is actually more difficult to get saltwater in your mouth.
The snuba instructor, who also accompanies each diver underwater, will also fit each diver with fins and a mask and will teach the divers a few simple hand gestures that they may use underwater in order to convey any problems, etc. A good instructor understands that snuba-diving is encouraged only at your own comfort level. Whether you are only comfortable at the surface holding on to the raft or diving down to the full 20-30 feet, you should never be asked to do anything you do not want to do.
There are many different companies that offer snuba tours in Hawaii. We strongly suggest doing a little research to find a company that offers the tour in a place that known to be rich with ocean life. Often, the experience is provided through companies that also offer whale-watching and snorkeling adventures. These tours involve a short boat ride out to a reef that is not far from shore. While prices can vary per company, the Snuba experience is generally around $50 per diver for roughly 30 minutes of water time. The minimum age for a Snuba participant is 8 years old. Most companies also provide underwater cameras at an additional cost.
If you are planning a trip to Hawaii, we strongly suggest including the Snuba adventure as part of your vacation plans, as there is simply no easier way to explore the islands’ exotic marine life while also experiencing the phenomenon of underwater breathing. We guarantee it will be one of the most amazing adventures you could ever experience while in Hawaii!