Snorkeling vs Scuba Diving vs Snuba: Differences with Pros & Cons

By Kevin Arnold | Water Sports

Jan 26
Snorkeling vs Scuba Diving vs Snuba

What do you prefer to do, snorkeling, scuba diving or snuba?? Let us, water sports experts, find the answer to that question! Watersports are quite different than other sports such as tennis or football.

Human beings are not able to breathe underwater without the help of modern technology. Consequently, people developed some ways to do it and added a new dimension to watersports!

Snorkeling vs Scuba Diving vs Snuba:  There are many different ways to discover the unknown underwater world and these activities are the best way to do it. You should know that they have some similarities. The main goal is to explore the underwater world.

First of all, there aren’t any winners or losers. Watersport enthusiasts just enjoy having some fun on the water, and the point is to relieve stress and meet new people. But what’s the difference between snorkeling, scuba diving, and snuba?

Let’s find out!


Ambergris Caye

Have you ever felt like you’re flying on the water? If you like this feeling and want to observe the water bottom and beautiful creatures and coral reefs, you should try snorkeling! The only thing you need is a snorkeling mask and a “J” shaped snorkel.

It goes without saying that you do not need extra training as snorkelers usually observe shallow reefs. Snorkeling is floating face-down on the water like you did when you were a kid!

The most difficult thing here is to select the right snorkeling gear and specifically the snorkel mask! It must be a proper fit as there are many masks on the market which are made of low quality rubber.

To be honest, snorkeling has both advantages and disadvantages which we are going to analyze below one-by-one. While it is one of the fascinating water activities, there are some things you should consider. Let’s have a look!


  • Stress Management and Better Breathing: Undoubtedly, snorkeling is a good aerobic activity which improves breathing because you have to breath through a snorkeling tube. After a few times of snorkeling, you will see that you will have better control of in and out breaths. Moreover, it is scientifically proven that this activity relieves stress.
  • Cheap Hobby: Honestly, it is the cheapest water sports activity as it does not require special snorkeling lessons or expensive gear. A simple diving mask and fins are perfect!
  • Kid-Friendly Activity: Want to have some fun on the water with your family? This activity is considered to be safe even for children.
  • Prevents rheumatic disease and it is good for your heart: You should know that it is good fitness for your body and it eases many symptoms of rheumatic disease. Additionally, many doctors recommend snorkeling to strengthen the heart muscle.


  • Water in The Snorkel: All we watersport lovers know that it is the most unpleasant feeling! However, you can just get a dry snorkel to solve this problem. It has a special valve which stops water from coming in if you want to dive deeper.
  • Risk of losing your mask: If the snorkel gets snag on something there is a high risk that you'll lose your mask especially if you are snorkeling in rocky bottoms.
  • You cannot explore deep coral reefs: Unfortunately, there are many deep waters with extraordinary coral reefs and unique fish which you can only observe from a distance.

Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving

Getting close to the beautiful underwater world, observing underwater formations and fish and get a taste of the water richness! What is not to love? Scuba diving is the activity that can make these dreams come true!

The biggest and most obvious difference between other watersport activities is the equipment. Scuba divers need pressurized gas tanks, a special swimming suit, scuba diving mask and fins. Before you start scuba diving you will need special preparation (training).

Breathing through a tank is not the easiest thing in the world! You will need to learn this too. The second clear difference between scuba diving and snorkeling is that you can swim deeper than snorkelers!


  • Cardiovascular and Breathing Benefits: Believe it or not, it is the best aerobic activity which will help you to breath properly. When you dive, you will have to breath slowly and after years of exercise you will stabilize your breathing. Many people who have asthma will find this exercise extremely helpful and beneficial.
  • Exploring the Beautiful Marine Life: Lots of fish, corals, reefs and underwater caves are waiting to be explored!
  • New Opportunities and Adventures: Scuba diving is a really good chance to meet new people and discover another perspective of nature. Sharing these special moments with other people could be a lifetime experience that you will never forget. Scuba diving may give you the opportunity to travel to warm climates.
  • Anti-Stress Activity and Water Healing benefits: Scuba diving looks similar to meditation! Calm breathing reduces stress and brings you mental balance in your life.


  • Expensive: It can cost 600-1500$ to get trained and the scuba diving equipment is also quite expensive. However, you can rent your scuba diving gear, but it will cost almost 100$ per trip.
  • Danger, Danger: Believe it or not, oxygen can be toxic! Imagine that only 21% of the air we breath contains oxygen. Oxygen toxicity can result in death, so you must be careful.


Snuba Diving

The word snuba derives from the words “snorkel” and “scuba.” If you are new to diving, you probably don’t know the term. Well, since you are reading this article, you will learn about the great “snuba” diving!

Snuba is like scuba diving, but the tank remains on a raft on the water surface, and you are breathing through a long hose. It is an excellent solution for those who want to dive deeper than snorkelers without the air tank attached to the back!

Snuba developed 20 years ago, and it became really popular the last ten years. Breathing underwater is not easy. If you want to try scuba diving, we recommend starting from snuba diving! It’s a great way to get a taste of underwater breathing without any training.


  • Feeling Secure: Many people feel claustrophobic when scuba diving due to the heavy equipment. During snuba diving, you do not need heavy gear, and maybe some people feel better underwater. Knowing that the air tank is on the raft, provides you with a feeling of safety.
  • Cheap Hobby: Keep in mind that you will not need special training or gear. You can just rent your snuba equipment with your friends and dive into the water!
  • Fun for all the family: Turquoise waters and corals are waiting for you. Sharing the wonder of marine life while snorkeling is safe both for children and adults.


  • Not suitable for depths over 20 feet: Snuba diving in shallow waters is perfect, but you should not try to dive deeper. Since you are breathing compressed air, the pressure differences could cause barotrauma.
  • Not suitable for harsh windy weather conditions: It would be better to avoid snuba when it is windy.

Final Thoughts-Which One is For You?

As always, it depends on you! These activities have their ups and downs. If you are on vacation and just want to get a taste of the underwater world, you can try snorkeling.

Scuba diving is better for marine life lovers! If you love the ocean and want to explore it, scuba diving is the best way to do it!

Also, if you want to introduce yourself to scuba diving and generally speaking watersports, snuba diving is a really good start!

Finally, all watersport activities are beneficial, and the choice is up to you. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to drop the comment in the comment box below.