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Hookah Diving or Snuba is a form of introductory diving that allows people with no training to experience what it is like to breathe underwater like a scuba diver. SNUBA [1] is a patented and licenced technique both a portmanteau of the words 'snorkel' and 'scuba', sometimes, but incorrectly, used as a generic term for recreational hookah diving.


Hookah diving or Snuba combines what is easy about snorkeling with the experience of breathing underwater, and does so in a controlled, relatively safe manner.

Snuba uses a floating raft, which acts as a platform (almost like the side of a pool) that users can hold onto to practice breathing with their heads underwater and also practice some of the safety measures that the guide will demonstrate. The raft is designed to be highly visible to boat traffic to reduce the chance of being struck by a boat while on the surface.

The hoses used to limit the depth of the activity to a maximum depth of 7 meters. The hoses also act as a personal descent line to allow users to safely and easily control their descents and remain at exact depths to equalize their ears. To return to the surface the user simply walks hand over hand to the surface, which brings them back to the raft. The hose may be used as a 'safety blanket' if users prefer to hold on at any depth they feel most comfortable. It is not possible for you to get lost.

Lightweight harnesses allows more people to experience breathing underwater. The harness eliminates the need to wear, and learn how to use, a BCD (Bouyancy Compensation Device)and Air Cylinder, which combined together are extremely heavy out of the water. This opens this activity up to persons who have weak knees, bad backs, are overweight, older, younger, and even those with disabilities.

Soft weightbelts are used to make participants neutrally bouyant in the water. Soft weights are used to avoid injuries to feet on the surface if dropped, as well as underwater soft weights are less likely to damage the reef.

The use of a regulator eliminates the entry of water if used as instructed. Compared to snorkeling where many participants get a few tastes of the ocean they are swimming in or have difficulty clearing the snorkel.

SNUBA is the registered trade name of a particular patented method of hookah diving, that licences their technology.


Tropical islands and beaches are one of the most popular travel destinations.


  • Phuket in Southern Thailand — The islands surrounding Phuket have great coral reefs that are in the perfect depth range for SNUBA diving. The best reefs for SNUBA are found on Racha Yai (Raya Island) 34km South of Phuket. Other SNUBA locations around Phuket include Phi Phi, Coral Island and Koh Poo off of Kata Beach. ALOHA SNUBA Thailand [2]
  • Phi Phi also in Southern Thailand has several sites that are great SNUBA diving locations. Hin Klang, Bida Islands, and Maya Bay.
  • Okinawa in Japan offers SNUBA on some of Japan's most beautiful reefs.


  • The Big Island ofers SNUBA diving on boat trips from Honokohau Harbor and beach dives Kamakahonu near King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel.
  • Oahu has SNUBA from the beach and also at a beautiful state park Hanauma Bay on the South East side of the island. Hanauma Bay is volcanic crater that has a reef that has attracted thousands of visitors. Due to the number of visitors that have stood all over the coral, much of the inner reef is in poor condition. However, the outer reef is still alive and home to many large fish and turtles. The depths are perfect for SNUBA. In addition, recently there has been a big push to help educate the public about reef conservation and numbers are being limited to help the reef.
  • Maui is home to one of the highest concentrations of SNUBA operators in the world. No visit to Muai is complete without a trip to Molokini Crater and Turtle Town. The waters at the crater are crystal clear and home to large fish and the occasional small black tip shark. Turtle Town is often the second stop for boat tours and home to many green sea turtles. Other SNUBA locations are off the beaches on some of Maui's fringing reefs.
  • Kauai has one SNUBA operator that provides underwater tours from several beach locations.

Mainland USA


  • Honduras Gumbalimba Park has reefs with both hard and soft corals. There are also jungle hikes for time out of the water.
  • Puerto Rico San Juan's Aqua Adventure's does boat SNUBA dives.

U.S. Virgin Islands


  • Spain The Canary Islands

South Pacific

Red Sea / Middle East


Cruise Lines

There are so many activities available aboard today's cruise ships it is sometimes hard to choose. The following is a list of cruise lines that offer SNUBA Underwater Tours at some of their destinations. Inquire about SNUBA aboard your cruise.

  • Carnival Cruises
  • Holland America Lines
  • Norwegian Cruise Lines
  • Royal Caribbean International
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Costa Cruises

Get in

There are two main choices when considering a SNUBA dive while on holiday - Beach or Boat.


A Snuba dive from the beach is a very good way for people who are not very confident to get used to being in the water at extremely shallow depths. Snuba tours from beaches generally visit reefs that are just offshore of some of the worlds major tourist destinations. Beach dives are often much cheaper as they do not include transportaion and boat costs. A beach dive is good if the guest does not have a whole or a half day to commit to a boat tour. A Snuba dive from the beach will usually take approximately 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours including the safety briefing, gear preparation, Snuba underwater tour, and debriefing.


Usually presented as full or half day tours, Snuba boat dives are able to visit islands and reefs that are further afield. Getting further away from the beaches often presents clearer water and less crowds. Many Snuba boat dives are offered as an add-on to snorkeling tours for those that want to get closer to the marine life. Boat dives can be done from speedboats, which get guests to the reefs quickly and also have shallow drafts allowing the boats to drop guests on deserted beaches and do more exploring. Large boats and catamarans, which offer more room to spread out and relax. Lunch is usually served on board large boats and the main purpose is to spend the whole day on the water with no land stops.


All SNUBA Guides are experienced licensed diving professionals. Before training to become a SNUBA Guide experience and training to top levels of a recognized diving organization (PADI, Naui, SSI, etc.) is required. Snuba guides are chosen based on their diving experience, safety, and professionalism. Each Snuba guide has recieved and additional level of training on the use, safety, and guidance of Snuba underwater tours. All Snuba guides are licensed and insured members of SNUBA International, Inc.

Stay safe

SNUBA is NOT dive training. Before attempting to scuba dive on ones own, proper training is required.

Pay close attention to your Snuba guide's safety briefing. Never let anyone (husband, family member, friends, etc.) force or pressure you into doing something you are not comfortable with. Discuss any concerns with your Snuba guide before going on a Snuba dive. Snuba guides are trained to inspect all equipment and evaluate all participants prior to every Snuba dive.

After your Snuba dive if you are interested in going to the next step and trying scuba diving, your Snuba guide can assisst you in locating a reputable dive training center / organization.


All Snuba Recreational Centers are members of the Reef Alliance. Coral reefs are fragile living organisms and with a little understanding, they can be preserved for hundreds of years to come. All forms of diving help to make people more aware of our coral reefs, what they are, and how to protect them. However, all forms of diving also have the abilty to expose coral reefs to damage.

Please following these guidelines while Snuba diving, scuba diving, or snorkeling:

  • Do NOT touch anything.
  • Never take anything - shells, sand, coral, etc. Although very beautiful, empty shells become new homes for other marine animals.
  • While Snuba diving be aware of where you are in the water to avoid bumping into corals. If you are unable to control your depth by just swimming while neautrally bouyant, hold onto the Snuba air line as that will keep you at one depth and give you more control.
  • Fins are not foot protection! Never use you fins to push off of coral or the bottom.
  • Don't feed the marine life. Bread, frozen peas, etc. are not part of the natural food chain for fish.
  • Wear environmentally friendly biodegradable sunscreen - yes, regular sunscreen is bad for corals.

After your Snuba dive ask questions about what you saw and tell others about what they can do to help preserve our tropical reefs.

Stay healthy

Snuba's safety record among introductory diving is quite impressive. Over 4 million dives and not one insurance claim for injury. The Snuba system is designed with every aspect of safety in mind and Snuba guides are trained to ensure your dive is a safe and fun one. However, diving does carry with it risks that one should be aware of.

If you have any preexisting conditions (especially respiratory or cardiovascular conditions) consult your physician before Snuba diving.

Your Snuba guide will thouroughly cover the prevention of pressure related illnesses before your Snuba dive. Pay close attention and follow each rule.

Be aware that flying after diving carries certain guidelines depending on the number of dives and time before flying. Consult your Snuba guide for more details before diving.

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