What is Tankless Diving Equipment? 2024 Beginner’s Guide


With tankless diving systems or surface air systems, inexperienced divers and recreational vacationers can explore more of the underwater world without elaborate training, certification or major equipment investments.

Tankless diving is a great compromise when you want to go beyond snorkeling but feel overwhelmed by scuba diving. Tankless diving has some limitations, but it's an easier pastime to try casually.

So what exactly is tankless diving equipment? How does it work? Next we’ll cover all the basics, considerations, and gear requirements you need to get started.



What is tankless diving (aka hookah diving)?

Tankless diving systems, often referred to as hookah diving, have a motor/compressor on the surface that pulls in fresh air through an air inlet and delivers it to a common hose that branches into separate hoses that are connected onto each diver's weight belt and on to the hookah diving system. Low voltage second stage regulator. Note that the individual hoses branch out in a Y-shape to give each diver some room to explore.

With gas-operated, battery-operated and shore-powered hookah dive systems designed for one to multiple divers, there is almost certainly one to suit your needs. Easily customize and extend to easily create the setup you need for almost any given situation.


What are the benefits of tankless diving?

In this table are the basic advantages of tankless diving equipment.

Advantages of Tankless Diving Equipment Explanation
1. Portability Tankless diving equipment is generally more compact and lightweight, offering greater portability for divers.
2. Ease of Travel Traveling with tankless systems is easier as they eliminate the need for large and heavy scuba tanks, making it convenient for dive trips and air travel.
3. Unlimited Air Supply Tankless systems provide a continuous air supply, allowing divers to stay submerged for longer periods without the constraints of tank limitations.
4. Reduced Gear Load Divers experience less bulk and reduced gear load as there is no need for a traditional scuba tank, resulting in enhanced freedom of movement underwater.
5. Quick Setup Tankless diving equipment often involves quicker setup and teardown processes compared to traditional scuba gear, making it suitable for spontaneous dives.
6. Less Maintenance With fewer components and no need for tank refills or inspections, tankless systems generally require less maintenance, reducing overall costs and downtime.
7. Environmental Impact Tankless diving can be more environmentally friendly as it eliminates the need for manufacturing, transporting, and disposing of traditional scuba tanks.
8. Lower Operational Costs Tankless systems can lead to lower operational costs over time, as divers do not need to regularly refill tanks and undergo tank inspections.
9. Adjustable Buoyancy Some tankless diving systems allow for adjustable buoyancy, providing divers with greater control and adaptability underwater.
10. Integrated Technology Tankless systems often integrate advanced technology, such as rebreather systems, enhancing safety features and allowing for extended dives.


Is tankless diving safe?

Tankless diving is just as safe as any other form of diving. If you're nervous about diving with a pneumatic tankless diving system, check out a battery-powered system, or, if your diving conditions permit, a shore-power-powered system can give you extra peace of mind. Note that gas and battery powered units are most popular among recreational divers since you will typically be exploring locations far from shore power.

Gas and battery powered units offer roughly the same experience in terms of run time and expected dive time. Both have their pros and cons, just choose the setting that best suits your needs. You must reserve a certain supply of gas for this person; however, you must ensure that the other battery is charged.


How is tankless diving done?

Once you turn the unit on, it will start moving air through the intake, along the common hose, then into the individual hoses, and finally to the low pressure regulator. Since your regulator is on demand (delivering air as you breathe), the air is ready and waiting in your hose for your next breath.

When there are 2-3 divers on a system it fills the hose because wherever air is consumed, it is consumed. The system works so well that you don't even know if your dive partner is breathing more or less air than you. Since it draws air from the surface...your air supply is only limited by how much gas or battery power your device has.


How deep can you dive with a tankless diving system?

This depends on your system, setup, and the number of divers using the same system. Typically, the maximum depth for a tankless diving system is 65 feet, with the sweet spot being around 30-45 feet. When planning a dive, consider the number of divers, the hookah diving system you are using, and the breathing rates of all divers.

Do I have to be a certified open water scuba diver to use a tankless diving system?

Yes. Even if you are using a tankless diving system, all of the safety considerations associated with scuba diving still apply to your hookah system.


Traditional scuba diving vs. tankless diving

In traditional scuba diving, you wear a scuba tank supply on your back and breathe air using a regulator. In tankless diving, your air supply is delivered through a hose via a pump on the surface, so you don't have to carry a tank or worry about running out of air.

In most cases, preparing for a traditional scuba diving trip requires extensive training and a significant investment in scuba diving gear. Even if you go scuba diving with an outfitter, it's still smart to purchase your own mask and regulator to ensure a proper, comfortable fit.


Scuba diving vs. tankless diving: differences in diving equipment

What are the main differences between traditional scuba diving equipment and tankless diving equipment? This form can give you clear answers to your questions.

Feature Scuba Diving Equipment Tankless Diving Equipment
Gas Source Relies on compressed air stored in scuba tanks. Rebreather or ground air supply system
Portable A scuba tank is required to store air, adding bulk and weight. Eliminates the need for a traditional scuba diver, allowing for a more streamlined and lightweight setup.
Portability Water tanks add weight and limit portability, especially when traveling. Due to the reduced size and weight, they eliminate the need for traditional scuba tanks and are generally more portable and better suited for travel.
Buoyancy Control Use a buoyancy control device (BCD) and weights to manage buoyancy. Some tankless systems allow buoyancy to be adjusted, providing additional control options.
Set Time Setting up scuba gear involves assembling tanks, regulators, and other components. Tankless systems may involve faster installation and removal processes.
Air Consumption Air consumption is limited and the diver needs to monitor remaining air. Provides a continuous air supply, potentially allowing for longer dive times.
Maintain The water tank needs to be checked, filled and maintained regularly. Typically requires less maintenance because there is no water tank that needs to be replenished or inspected regularly.
Dive Time Limited by scuba tank capacity. Dive times can be extended depending on the airless tank system used.


Who is tankless diving suitable for?

Tankless diving is a great option for those who want to explore coral reefs, lakes, and oceans. Men, women and children of all ages can quickly and safely start tankless diving. There is no need to carry a lot of heavy equipment, no mathematical calculations to perform, and no need to emphasize too many safety considerations.


How does a tankless diving system work?

Tankless diving systems use an air compressor that floats on the surface to provide breathing air to divers underwater through air tubes. Air compressors are available in pneumatic, battery or electric types. This allows you to choose the type of air compressor that best suits your location and needs.

An air compressor draws air from above the surface and delivers fresh air through pipes to the diver below. Divers use regulators to breathe air. As long as you stay within the confines of the air tube, you can spend any amount of time underwater without worrying about health issues.


When does it not make sense to use a tankless diving system?

Tankless diving systems are designed for your shallower dives on coral reefs, typically to depths of up to 65 feet. When you go technical diving, wreck diving, cave diving, or deep diving, you need to bring your scuba gear (BC, regulator unit, tanks, etc.) and leave your tankless system at home.

Another situation is when you are flying to your dive destination, a tankless diving system doesn’t make sense. This would be a good time to get out your travel dive gear and take it with you.


Do I still need a dive computer with a tankless diving system?

Whenever you dive below the surface, it is highly recommended that you use a dive computer. The basis is to ensure your safety since, after all, you are breathing compressed air underwater. Most wrist dive computers not only record your time underwater but also provide you with depth and time underwater. Some monitor your ascent and descent speed, as well as safety stop alarms and timers. Some also come with a compass to facilitate underwater navigation.


Tankless diving training and safety precautions

Even with proper training, scuba diving can be a dangerous sport. Whether you prefer shallow water diving, deep diving, open water or altitude conditions, you will need specific training for each environment and contingency.

Tankless diving is much easier without the need for formal training. After a quick orientation session with your dive outfitter, you can start exploring below the surface in minutes. Since you're breathing through a hose, tankless divers can't dive into deeper water, so the most dangerous scuba issues like gas balance and ascent velocity are no longer an issue.



If you need diving equipment, you can contact us at Maisi. We are a technology-based enterprise specializing in the research, development, manufacturing and sales of tankless diving compressors and accessories. Constantly updating and improving products, the products are sold abroad and win a good reputation from customers.

With the demand and development of the market, Maisi company has independent patents and has passed ISO9001:2008 quality system certification, certification and RoHS certification, which provides a strong guarantee for product quality; in strict accordance with the requirements of the international quality system, it produces high-quality, efficient, Energy-saving and environmentally friendly products are recognized and trusted by customers.

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