Common questions we Dive Shops & Instructors here on Maui get asked often

What is snuba diving?

Here are the nitty-gritty details about scuba diving versus Scuba Diving Maui. More GRITTY than you would think!!!!


Scuba Diving has been a recreational sport for many years now. It started off when former NAVY Divers started training scuba divers on the side, as a way to earn some extra money. The downside was they were getting trained the NAVY way. This was not at all a “bad” way.

But… Recreational divers did not need to learn the “combat” style of scuba diving. As the years went by, more and more divers were getting certified through these fledgling organizations.

As a result, Scuba Diving became more and more popular. Organizations that were involved in the training process, such as NAUI, SSI, SDI, TDI, YMCA (just to name a small few) joined the RSTC (Recreational Scuba Diving Council).

This is a self governing organization that sets the standards for Safe Diving Practices. All of the training and safety guidelines set by the RSTC MUST be followed in order for the Dive Organizations to participate.

This has turned scuba diving in to a much more safe and fun sport, designed for anyone that wanted to participate. Now the training is designed as a “FUN” way, not a “Combat” way to dive.

Scuba Diving Instructors must go through a long training process academically and physically.

A Scuba Instructor has the following certification levels as a prerequisite before starting the Instructor Development Course.

1. Open Water Diver

2. Advanced Open Water Diver

3. Rescue Diver

4. Divemaster

5. Assistant Instructor

6. Emergency First Responder Instructor

7. Then Open Water Scuba Instructor

Snuba Diving started in 1990

Scuba “Guides” are just that. They are “Guides”… Not Instructors!!! They have completed the rescue diver course but have not gone through all the dive theory and knowledge development that even a dive master has gone through.

Scuba divers; typically 4 divers per raft are secured by a 20 foot  hose to a raft at the surface, that they share with other participants. The divers below have to pull the raft along as they swim.

This is fine as long as ALL other participants are pulling in the same direction (not always the case). Along with the wind ant the surface and other divers pulling the raft where they want to go this can be an arduous task. Not to mention the entanglement of hoses with other divers that we see underwater quite often.

From Wikipedia.

“Unfortunately for Scuba divers, in case of emergency, the Scuba diver is not provided with any emergency buoyancy system unlike a Scuba diver who has a buoyancy compensatory, meaning that the Scuba diver must swim to the surface or tread water until help arrives, which could prove fatal.”

It is sad but we have been witness to some absolutely reckless scuba guides here.  There is a company that works out of most of the hotels here in Maui offering scuba. A former scuba guide of theirs told me.

Their guides (including him) are certified by an instructor that was just doing give me some money now you are  rescue diver certified without properly training  them, so they could have guides quickly due to the very fast turnover rate of guides.

Participants must answer NO to ALL questions on a medical questionnaire prior to diving. Otherwise a doctor needs to get involved.  We have witnessed these scuba guides telling their divers to cross out the YES they put down and put a NO there.

Here is a couple examples. At the Sheraton Maui  a diver said “I had a heart attack a couple years ago. The scuba guide said believe it or not, but this is the honest truth. “Just go slow and take it easy.” At the Marriott Kaanapali another diver said “I have asthma” scuba guide said. “Well we won’t be going fast you will be ok just stay close.”

Are you kidding me? This is people’s lives they are playing with. Having an asthmatic Member of my family. When an asthma attack is happen the last place they should’ve is offshore under water.

If their doctor gives the ok as only a doctor can. NOT a scuba guide. Then by all means go out and have fun.

The GRITTY on this is simple. They are paid a commission per diver.  So if they do what is right and tell them they can’t go until a doctor clears them. Then the scuba guide loses money. Sad but true.

Article in progress please check back.