Snuba is a unique activity that blends snorkeling and scuba diving. In fact, the word ‘snuba’ is a mishmash of the two— but technically, it stands for ‘Surface Nexus Underwater Breathing Apparatus.’ Snuba allows visitors to experience Maui’s underwater world in a way that is more immersive than snorkeling— literally— but not as intense as scuba diving. See some Maui snuba tours.
WHAT IS SNUBA?
Snuba is like scuba diving, but instead of the tank being strapped to your back, it rests on a raft floating above the surface. Divers breathe through an easy-to-use regulator connected to the air supply on the raft. This allows divers to stay underwater much longer than if they were snorkeling.
During a snuba dive, a lightweight harness will connect you to the raft and air supply, which follows you as you swim. In addition to the harness and regulator, divers are outfitted with a mask, fins, and a weight belt. The weight belt helps you stay underwater, but it’s not heavy enough to keep you from swimming to the surface.
SNUBA SAFETY INFO
The maximum depth for snuba diving is only 20 feet, which eliminates the risk of decompression sickness. Snuba divers can come to the surface as they please without worrying about DCS. However, out of an abundance of caution, it’s recommended that you wait 4 hours before going in a helicopter, boarding a plane, or driving to Haleakala.
The medical requirements are not as strict for snuba as they are for scuba diving. However, there are still a handful of requirements that divers must meet. For example, snuba can be harmful to pregnant women or people with asthma or epilepsy. The minimum age requirement for snuba is eight years old, making it a great activity for families.
Snuba is recommended for people who have snorkeled in the past. The activity might be uncomfortable for first-time snorkelers because it requires breathing through your mouth into the regulator.
WHERE CAN I SNUBA?
Many Maui snorkel boats offer snuba as an upgrade on tours. But it’s hard to beat the experience aboard Trilogy, one of Maui’s top-rated snorkel charters. Trilogy provides a fantastic snuba experience aboard several tours, including Discover Molokini, Discover Kaanapali, and Discover Lanai. Trilogy’s staff are expert snuba guides and adept at directing first-timers through the process. Snuba space is limited on Trilogy tours, so be sure to contact Trilogy’s reservation agent via email for availability.