Friday, December 18, 2009

It's not Snorkeling, or Scuba... it's Snuba

Aquaviews posted an article earlier this week about the underwater breathing system known as Snuba.

Snorkeling is a great way of seeing the underwater world, but has it’s limitations. While snorkeling allows your to view things from the surface without having to wear bulky gear and equipment, you can’t get up close and personal or see marine life at depths deeper than a couple of feet. Ofcourse you can duck dive to get a closer look at something but only for a few seconds by holding your breath. Scuba diving on the other hand, is the best way for that first hand experience of life in the deep blue. However, as exciting as it is to Scuba dive and be able to breathe underwater using Scuba gear and equipment, it requires hardcore training and certification to become a diver. This can be an expensive process for someone just wanting a one time experience of a trip underwater. Enter... “Snuba” a hybrid version of the two popular water sports- Snorkeling and Scuba.

Not to be disagreeable, but come on. Obtaining a basic level, open-water SCUBA certification doesn't require "hardcore training". Most of us acquired our first cert in just a few days. That's not too much to ask.

Any way...

Devised and developed in 1989, by California diver Michael Stafford, the underwater breathing system they called Snuba was introduced as a form of introduction to Diving, requiring only a half-hour lesson and no Scuba certification. In Snuba the swimmer uses fins, a diving mask, weight belts and a diving regulator just as in scuba diving. The main difference is that instead of an air supply carried by a diver in a tank strapped to his/her back in Scuba diving, Snuba uses a 20-foot air hoses attached to tanks on a raft above at the surface which follows you as you move. This unique underwater breathing system allows swimmers the freedom of movement without wearing heavy scuba gear which can weigh in excess of 27 kilograms (60 lb). Unlike snorkelers that are restricted to swimming at the surface, Snuba allows one to go to depth of 20 feet and swim near the bottom, at mid-water or closer to the surface depending on their comfort levels.

Continue reading...

What do you think? Clever step between snorkeling and scuba, or lazy man's scuba?

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