As someone who thoroughly enjoys diving I tend to recommend to friends on the daily that they should try it. On a rare, yet lately not so rare, occasion I get the responses “I’m scared” or “I’m a little claustrophobic.”
I can’t really understand the first response usually because I’m so passionate about diving but for those who don’t understand how safe it can actually be, it makes sense. Of course, with all the gear that comes with SCUBA diving I understand why some people could be claustrophobic. Until you get in the water, SCUBA is a pain in the neck. You’re carrying at least ten percent of your body weight plus about seven pounds more if you’re doing a salt water dive.
So I had an epiphany: If you’re wary about diving because of safety concerns or the gear, why not try SNUBA?
The basic concept is that instead of a Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) you are hooked up to a Surface Nexus Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SNUBA). This lets you go diving without all the gear, certification and danger, because you are only going about 20 feet at the deepest and you are in a controlled environment. (The true dangers of diving come with a depth of over 20 feet and your ability to navigate back to your starting point.)
I have never tried SNUBA personally but I know a few people who have and they say it is wonderful. I would love to try it at a shallow reef, diving without gear has to be very freeing and relaxing. However, I would not let it replace diving altogether. I thoroughly recommend it if you are wary about diving; if you’re one of those people who thinks they would love diving but may be too scared to get certified, try SNUBA first and see how you like it. If you don’t like it, diving probably isn’t for you. If you do happen to like it, however, I highly recommend it as a stepping stone between snorkeling and your open water certification.