Monday January 27 2020
August 6, 2014

Hookah Diving: A Fun Way Of Diving

You know we use air compressors to fill our dive tanks.

Compressor fills the tanks, we carry them on our backs and go for diving.

Air (or whatever gas mixture is used) is compressed.

In other words, we squeeze the air and put it in our dive tanks.

This is the air logic behind the scuba.

Now I want you to imagine with me.

Find a buoy large enough to put a dive compressor on it in your mind.

This buoy you imagine should be round and flat.

Now put the compressor you see in your dive center.

Remove your regulator second stage. Find a long hose and attach one side to your second stage and one side to the compressor on the buoy. Find a couple of second stage regulator and hose for your friends.

Don’t forget the diver below flag.

Finally, throw this buoy with a compressor and regulator second stages with loooong hoses on to the water. 10 meters of depth below is enough.

There you go! Here is your hookah dive system.

Enjoy the beauty of the underwater world with your friends without carrying a dive tank on your back!

Hookah Diving System

What Is Hookah Diving System

Hookah diving uses a compressor above the water for the divers.

Instead of a compressed air tank, diver below breaths from the regulator attached to the compressor on the surface.

Hookah diving system is generally used by commercial divers (it is easier to move underwater, because there are no tanks carried) and divers who likes to have fun without carrying a dive tank in limited areas and depths.

Imagine yourself only wearing limited equipment like a free-diver. You are not carrying a scuba but still breathing comfortably underwater. What a freedom of movement, huh?

Function of Hookah Diving System

A hookah dive system consists of a compressor and a motor.

These two supply air to the diver(s) below by the help of a long hose.

The difference in scuba diving and hookah diving is that scuba diving uses compressed air, but hookah diving doesn’t. 

Some of the hookah diving systems are powered by fuel and some or with electric units.

The air filter (not available in every model) filters the particles in the air.

Hookah DivingCertification for Hookah Diving System

There is no certification needed to use this system.

However, a scuba diving certification is suggested for safe diving practices (see “Risks of Hookah Diving System“).

Some basic skills like regulator second stage and mask clearing is still valid. Be sure to know about these skills and master them.

Pre-Caution About Hookah Diving 

It is a lot of fun to dive with a hookah diving system.

But this man-made system is located above the water and it is almost impossible to realize an upcoming malfunction. 

One watch-man should be on the surface, checking the hookah system for possible problems and be ready to alert the divers below to start to ascend.

Last but not least, never forget to use a diver down flag. Some of the hookah diving system models already have a diver down flag on them.

Risks of Hookah Diving System

It seems to be relaxing and fun.

Diving without carrying a scuba sounds cool.

But there are some risks of hookah diving system as well. 

First, theoretically, a hookah dive system can supply unlimited air. This may let the divers to exceed recreational dive limits and may result in decompression sickness.

That’s why hookah divers should learn about the basics and become a certified scuba diver for this. Having a dive computer (and knowing how to use it for sure) would definitely reduce the risks.

There is a chance that the hookah diving system may malfunction and stop to supply enough air.

The diver might need a safety stop, for example, but risks skipping it because of running out-of-air.

So the divers should also carry a spy air, or at least have a scuba tank and a regulator hooked in 5 meters for safety stop.

If I sum up, hookah diving system gives us the opportunity to dive with freedom of movement and with less weight (no scuba tank is carried). But it still has some risks and we should be trained and be conscious about diving.

Has any one tried hookah diving? Tell us your hookah story in the comments.

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About Seaman


Hi, my name is Murat Demirağ. I have been diving since 1996 and teaching scuba since 2005. I wanted to share my knowledge through

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  • Travis
    2015-12-29 06:35

    What your explaining is bacicly what commercial Divers like myself have been doing for years with surface supplied air through an umbilical…I don’t think I’d trust putting a compressor on a buoy that would be to unpredictable a wave could splash on it then boom your left gasping for air

    • Seaman
      2015-12-29 11:53

      Hello there Travis,
      Thank you for you valuable comment.
      Dive safe.

  • james Brown
    2018-06-27 18:52

    Personally I don’t dive, but want to learn, I do however gold prospect, I have seen hundreds of folks using a hooka in streams and creeks while in conjunction with a dredge for gold prospecting. Always have a wing man on the surface just in case.

    • Seaman
      2018-06-27 23:26

      Hi James,

      Wow, I didn’t think about gold prospecting, you gave me a great way of thinking, interesting..

      Thank you for your comment.

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