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What is SNUBA?

Maui Snuba DivingSNUBA, which stands for Surface Nexus Underwater Breathing Apparatus, is a hybrid of snorkeling and scuba diving. Participants of SNUBA breathe through a regulator and have the ability to swim up to 20 feet below the ocean’s surface without the use of an individual tank attached to their back, which remains in an inflatable pontoon raft on the ocean’s surface throughout the dive.

Requiring no certification or previous experience, SNUBA is a great way for people of all ages and skill levels to experience the beauty of Maui’s underwater ecosystems.

SNUBA Equipment

As a participant of SNUBA, you will need the following equipment, all of which will be provided and explained prior to each and every tour:

  • Fins – Used to control direction and movement underwater
  • Mask – Used to see underwater
  • Weight Belt – Used to achieve neutral buoyancy underwater
  • Harness – Used to attach guests to surface pontoon raft
  • Regulator – Used to regulate breathing underwater

 

In contrast to SCUBA Diving, where the diver carries an air tank on their back, SNUBA allows divers to leave the tank behind. SNUBA rafts hold divers’ air tanks at the surface so divers can move freely without too much heavy equipment. 20 foot long air lines connect divers to the raft at the surface.

The standard SNUBA raft holds 1 air cylinder in a recessed compartment, good for 2 guests. The SNUBA quad raft, alternately, holds 2 air cylinders and is good for 4 guests. The raft always uses a diver flag to alert people and other vessels in the area that divers are present.

snubamaui's visual guide to snuba equipment
Best SNUBA Areas on Maui
Molokini Crater

Molokini Crater

A volcanic atoll located off the southern coastline, Molokini Crater is the most popular snorkeling destination in Maui. Excellent visibility, which can exceed 180 feet on good days, in addition to calm water and a wide variety of unique marine life make this a can’t-miss SNUBA destination on your next trip to the Valley Isle.

Turtle Town

Turtle Town

Just as the name suggests, Turtle Town, located in South Maui, is the place to go if you’re interested in swimming with Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. While it’s illegal to touch, chase, feed or harass the turtles in any way, the relaxed nature of SNUBA allows guests an even closer look into the life of these graceful animals, which have been swimming in our oceans for over 150 million years.

Coral Gardens

Coral Gardens

Located within a protected bay in West Maui, Coral Gardens offers stunning views of underwater coral reef systems as well as several species of marine life, including Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles, Octopus, Crabs, Eels, and many kinds of tropical fish, some of which can only be found in Hawaii.

Maui’s unique conditions make it one of the most incredible spots in the world for underwater activities. Plenty of sun, clean water, and wind protection make for great visibility, and when you combine that visibility with the many rare species of marine life that call Maui home, you get one of a kind opportunities to witness the beauty of the ocean from up close.

best snuba spots on maui

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Benefits of SNUBA
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While snorkeling and scuba diving are both popular choices, SNUBA allows guests the underwater benefits of scuba diving with the ease of snorkeling.

SNUBA requires no previous experience or certification, and is available for guests over the age of 8 with average health and no certain pre-existing respiratory or heart conditions, including dizziness, fainting, high blood pressure, recent surgery, blood disorder, seizures, and lung, chest or heart problems.

SNUBA allows for lightweight equipment, none of which you have to purchase or supply yourself. Whether you want to swim 2 feet, 10 feet or 20 feet below the surface, it’s up to you!

This is the perfect activity for couples, friends, family members, children and seniors, and is one of the easiest underwater activities available today.

History of SNUBA

history of snuba

In 1987, Californian diver and ski-shop owner Michael Stafford, along with his brother and a family friend, devised a unique system of snorkeling and scuba diving, now known as SNUBA. Together, the three entrepreneurs cofounded SNUBA International, Inc., where Michael served as CEO until 1994.

Since 1990, more than 5 million people have experienced SNUBA, which remains especially popular in places like Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean and Thailand.

Pride of Maui

Pride of Maui introduces more guests to SNUBA than any other vessel in the country! Each guests’ safety, well-being and fun is our top priority, and years of experience have made us true SNUBA pros!

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Marine Life

maui snuba marine life green sea turtle and diver

While it’s difficult to guarantee anything when it comes to the ocean, some marine life you’re likely to encounter during your Maui SNUBA adventure includes…

…and many more!