What is a Hookah Diving System?

By Will Charpentier

A hookah dive system resembles a water pipe with multiple stems. Each diver receives air from the surface through an umbilical linked to a specialized mask or diving helmet. Although you should have an extra breathing source available for emergencies, such systems allow to you to spend time underwater at shallow depths without worries about returning to the surface to change scuba tanks.

From One Air Source, Many

Like a group of long, hose-like snorkels, a hookah diving system uses multiple umbilicals to connect a diver to the air on the surface through a specialized mask. Although the hookah system supplies sufficient air while the umbilical is intact, divers should have an emergency air source, such as a breakout bottle of compressed air. Unlike commercial systems that provide provide exotic gas mixtures for divers working at 1,000 feet or more, recreational hookah systems provide breathing air only and limits a recreational hookah diver to depths above which gas mixtures, such as helium-oxygen or oxygen, helium and nitrogen, are needed.


About the Author

Will Charpentier is a writer who specializes in boating and maritime subjects. A retired ship captain, Charpentier holds a doctorate in applied ocean science and engineering. He is also a certified marine technician and the author of a popular text on writing local history.

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