How Long Can You SNUBA? Essential Tips and FAQs for a Safe Dive

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  25.01.2023
I love creating free content full of tips for my readers, you. I don't accept paid sponsorships, my opinion is my own, but if you find my recommendations helpful and you end up buying something you like through one of my links, I could earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more

Snuba’s AWESOME if you don’t know how to scuba dive. But how long does it last? Will I be able to see enough?

You can usually dive for a maximum of 25 minutes on a snuba tour. Enough time to see everything that part of the sea has to offer. With a 15-minute safety instruction and the debriefing, snuba will take about an hour once at the diving spot.

I’ll walk you through the exact length of how long you CAN snuba, and what timeframe you can expect on the typical tour.

How long can you snuba

Ready to Take the Plunge?

What is SNUBA?

SNUBA is an underwater breathing apparatus (here we even review these system that you can buy yourself)  that combines the best of snorkeling and scuba diving. It’s a great way to explore the underwater world without having to lug around a heavy tank.

That means you can’t swim that far from the raft and you can only do it as part of the tour. The tour usually takes you for a 20 to 25 minute dive.

How Long Does a SNUBA Dive Last?

SNUBA dives usually last around 20-25 minutes, but it depends on how relaxed you are and how quickly you breathe. The more relaxed you are, the longer your dive will last.

Can I Go to the Surface?

Yes, you can go to the surface if you need to. Just make sure you don’t hold your breath and ascend no faster than your own bubbles. It’s also a good idea to hold on to the side of the raft so you don’t have to tread water with a weight belt on.

Can I Come to the Surface During snuba?

The Pros and Cons

Surfacing during a dive can be a tricky decision. On one hand, you might want to take a break or grab a second camera, but on the other hand, you don’t want to miss out on the best dive experience. So what’s a diver to do?

The Pros

  • If you need to clear your mask of water, grab a second camera, or take a short rest, you can come to the surface safely and easily.
  • You can hold on to the side of the raft so you don’t have to tread water with a weight belt on.

The Cons

  • You might miss out on the best dive experience if you come to the surface.
  • You have to be careful not to hold your breath and ascend no faster than your own bubbles.

SNUBA vs. Snorkeling

SNUBA and snorkeling are two different experiences. SNUBA allows you to explore the depths of the ocean without having to worry about getting too deep. You can stay underwater for longer periods of time, and you can see much more than you would on a typical snorkeling tour.

With snorkeling, you can go wherever you want as for as long as you want, but you can’t go that deep (usually around 6 feet) and you can’t stay underwater for very long because you can’t breath underwater.

Read all about snuba vs snorkeling vs scuba diving here

Know Before You Go

Before you go SNUBA diving, it’s important to make sure you know what you’re getting into. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you’re comfortable with the idea of being underwater. You can only stay underwater for as long as your comfortable with of course.
  • Make sure you’re physically fit and healthy.
  • Make sure you have the right equipment.
  • Make sure you know the safety protocols.
  • Make sure you know the local regulations.

How long will sunba diving take in total?

Practice Makes Perfect

Before you take the plunge, you’ll get to practice your breathing techniques by holding onto the raft, which is basically like a pool surface while you’re in the water (10 mins).

Safety First

Your safety briefing will usually happen at the dive site (15-30 mins). Then you’ll get fitted with all your gear on the beach or boat (5-10 minutes). You’ll get a SNUBA harness, air hose, regulator, weight belt, mask, and fins.

Explore the Ocean

You’ll explore the ocean with your tour group (25-30 minutes). Then you’ll have a debriefing session once your SNUBA tour is over, where you can share and listen to feedback from other participants (5 mins).

Getting to the Dive Site

Sometimes you’ll take a boat out to the dive site, or you can start straight from the beach. If you’re on a boat, just climb down the ladder, get into the water, and grab onto the SNUBA raft. If you’re on the beach, your tour instructors may have you take a kayak out to the raft.


If you’re looking for a unique and safe way to explore the underwater world, SNUBA’s the perfect choice.

You’re always safe because you’re with the tour, but you can’t wander off by yourself like with scuba. This means you’re stuck with the 25 minute diving window the tour provides.

But, that’s often plenty of time to see everything around you at that spot. Just remember to KEEP CALM and SNUBA ON!

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Kauai Surf Report is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new sports with everything surfing at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2019 to help loyal readers with surfing and water sporting tips.