How to Paddleboard at Night and Enjoy It!

There are many reasons why someone might want to go paddleboarding at night. Whether it’s due to the fact that there’s limited daylight during the fall or you just want to enjoy a nighttime adventure, paddleboarding can easily be done during the night hours; just make sure you’re doing it the safest way possible to avoid potential complications.

How to paddleboard at night and enjoy it:

  • Pick the right location: Lakes, harbours, and bays are ideal
  • Plan and prepare: Check the weather, wear the right clothing and bring bug spray
  • Lights are extremely important: Headlamps and underwater lights
  • Take your friends with you
  • Consider taking a tour

Knowing how to safely paddleboard at night is the key to a successful nighttime romp in the waters. We’re going to break down all of the must-know facts as well as tips and tricks to make your night one to remember.

Pick the Right Location

You have heard it before, and you will hear it again: location, location, location! The right location is necessary for a great night out on the water. So what area is best?

  • You might want to avoid the ocean. The ocean is a dark, mysterious place where almost anything can happen. A sudden gust of wind could leave you with unpredictable waves and weather, while sea life can be stirred up, leaving you in possible danger.

While it may sound exciting to hit the open waters of the sea, it’s best to avoid going out onto the ocean during the night. There are some serious threats out there and dealing with limited visibility could lead to a very disastrous night.

  • Choose a calmer water source. There are several other calmer areas that are available to the nightlife paddleboarder. The three top choices include a nice calm bay, your favourite lake, or even a delightful, beautiful harbour. These locations are ideal evening rides because they are calm and don’t have the same dangers that the seas present.
  • Always check the hours and regulations of the area you’re visiting. This is very important as you don’t want to break the law. Simply check with the location to ensure that there are no restrictions against paddleboarding after hours, as well as other rules and regulations that may go hand-in-hand with a nighttime romp.

It’s all about safety when it comes to your evening and nighttime paddleboarding. Remember that the uncertainty of the ocean can put you in pretty severe danger, so choosing a calmer water source is a far better option. Lakes and harbours offer beautiful nighttime sights you won’t want to miss, and there’s no cause for concern while you travel.

Plan and Prepare

You shouldn’t up and decide to head out for an evening paddleboard session on the water. Without proper planning, you can run into potential downfalls and peril. Here are some things to consider before going out for your paddleboarding adventure:

  • Always make sure you check the weather conditions of where you will be paddleboarding. You don’t want to head off onto the harbour only to find yourself in the middle of a storm. Always check the forecast to ensure that there won’t be any harsh or annoying weather conditions.
  • You might want to consider bringing along some bug spray. You know your area best-if you’re in a location where bugs and mosquitos are especially brutal during the night hours, then you want to make sure you bring bug spray. You should spray yourself before and throughout the trip to ensure you do not end up with any pesky bug bites.
  • Your clothing is important and will be different from what you might wear during the daytime. Think about it: with bugs in mass amounts and temperatures dipping. You don’t want to trek out in a bathing suit.
  • You are going to need a life jacket while you are out on the water. It is actually required by law to wear one (although you’re allowed to take it off and have it ‘nearby’ if you are 13 and older). Whether it is required by law or not, it’s always good to increase your safety while paddleboarding and wear a life jacket.
  • In some areas, you will also need to have a sound-producing device connected to your paddleboard. It is important to check with local laws in regard to whether or not you need one.
  • Wearing a leash is another great idea to enhance your overall safety while paddling through the night waters.

While you might be able to begin your evening adventure in your favourite swimwear, you want to bring along some lightweight gym clothes in case you run into low temperatures and an excessive number of bugs.

You may end up taking overnight trips

Proper Lighting is Extremely Important

There are two different options when it comes to paddleboard lights: a headlamp and underwater lights. Both are important for safety and visibility while you are travelling through the darker hours.

Head Lamp

Bringing along a headlamp is always an excellent idea. The key to properly using a headlamp is to know when to use it. You should never use your headlight while you’re actually paddling. It may not be as well known, but artificial light sources can actually hinder your overall ability to see in the dark.

While a headlamp will come in handy quite often, it shouldn’t be your sole source of lighting. In most cases, you should always rely on moonlight to guide you through the dark while paddling. When you have stopped paddling, say to take a break and enjoy the views, that is when you should turn on your headlamp.

Product to Consider

Worried that you won’t be able to afford a durable, reliable headlamp? Think again! The VONT LED Headlamp is surprisingly only around $10 and is trusted by professionals around the world, from polemen to military personnel and security agencies. Here’s a good one on Amazon

But don’t let the low price fool you. The Vont LED Headlamp provides the user with ultra-bright light that can light up an entire room with ease, being 10 times brighter than other headlamps available on the market. Only needing 3 AAA batteries, it offers a very long battery life that will last for several days. Use the strobe mode or red light for more viewing options.

Something the paddleboarder will enjoy is that the Vont LED Headlamp is completely waterproof, which means you don’t have to worry about any accidents while on the water. It can take on water and rough handling with ease, making it a great choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

Last but not least, this headlamp offers supreme comfort thanks to a cozy strap that can be worn around the head without discomfort. Being compact and lightweight, it can be carried around as well as worn with ease.

Underwater Lights

Another must-have light source for nighttime paddleboarders is underwater lights. There are actually multiple reasons why you might want to add some underwater lights to your board:

  • First and foremost, underwater lights illuminate your board. This means that you will be able to see more surface area for where you are travelling to and will also allow others to see you more easily as well.
  • With an illuminated board, you become more visible to others and make your ride more successful. But did you also know that these underwater lights will brighten the water below the board? This means that fish attracted to light will come close, giving you an up-close and personal view of some amazing sea creatures at night.

There are also two different types of underwater lights available on the market. The two options available include the following:

  • Underwater LED tube lights. This type of underwater light will run directly down the center of your board. It only takes a matter of seconds to install, making it an ideal choice for consumers of all skill levels. Most of the time, underwater lights will simply have suction pads that can mount onto and be removed from your boat in no time.
  • High-intensity marine lights. This cost-effective choice is designed to mount onto a boat, but you can rig these to a paddleboard with some clever working. A lot of people find that they can zip-tie high-intensity marine lights to the bottom of the board, leaving them with a beautiful floodlight all around.

Products to Consider:

LOFTEK 13 LED Submersible Lights Remote Control with Suction Cups 

This suction cup mounted system is the #1 rated newcomer on Amazon in the underwater lighting category. This likely is due in great part to its 16 colors and remote control capabilities. Sold in 4-packs, it’s a great bargain for mixing and matching several colors around your paddle board, kayak or other vessel.

HUSUKU SOOP3 Pair 42LED 1500LM Super Bright IP68

This system is new to Amazon but looks promising. There are 6 colors to choose from, and the stainless steel construction will give you a great product use lifespan. This underwater lighting system is easy to install in any location, and the bright LED lighting should really pop. Each light is sold in a pair, giving you 2 bright lights to mount.

Keep in mind this system is held in place with 2 screws, so you will need to attach it to your paddle board trim or create a mounting bracket for the board. As it is powered by a battery, you will also need to supply the 36V required for operation.

SurfStow SupGlo 60 Underwater LED Light Tube

Interested in just a basic model? The SurfStow SupGlo 60 Underwater LED Light Tube has you covered. This LED light tube is a simple model that will get the job done, offering you with mass amounts of light underneath your board so you can see it all.

With suctions attached to the LED light tube, it’s never been easier to set your special paddleboard up for a night of fun. Suction cup to the bottom of your board for easy mounting, and simply take them off when you don’t need them. It’s a cinch!

VOFONO Waterproof Ip68 Led Drain Plug Light

You might have to get a little more creative with this particular model as there are no handy suction cups, but with the right rigging, you can easily get this light up and working for your paddleboard. But why should you consider this specific light system?

The VOFONO Waterproof Ip68 Led Drain Plug Light is a great choice because it’s completely waterproof and offers some of the highest intensity in lighting, boasting views that are much greater than what you might find with other lighting models. It’s also durable to use and has an extra-long life with low power consumption, so you won’t have to switch out too often.

The unique floodlight effect of this light system allows you to have some incredible views while paddling, which not only gives you extra safety but attracts more fish to see during your travel. You will also love that this specific LED light doesn’t cause high heat levels like other models might do, making this a reliable, durable, and resistant light system ideal for paddlers.

Take Your Friends with You

Doing anything in the wilderness all by yourself is a recipe for disaster and danger. So how can you make sure that you’re taking proper safety precautions when travelling along the water?

Whether you are opting for the lovely beach harbour or taking a nice evening trek across a glamorous lake, you should always bring a friend with you. It’s no secret that having two sets of eyes is better than one, especially if something were to happen while you’re journeying across the waters.

Having a buddy is imperative for your safety. In case danger does arise, you won’t have to worry about being stuck all alone with no help nearby. But don’t think that you have to settle for just one friend; the more, the merrier.

In fact, groups of at least three or more people are bound to be more successful nighttime trekking, and it can add a whole lot more fun and laughter to the trip.

No matter how many friends you are taking with you, it’s also a good idea to tell someone exactly where you are going and how long you plan to be there. Letting someone know about your plans is ideal, in case anything bad should happen. Keep friends and family members updated before and after your trip, and during the trip as well- if possible.

Consider Taking a Tour

If you are feeling a little bit anxious over trekking into the water alone (or with a friend), don’t worry; there are other options, and you’re certainly not alone. After all, the thought of going out into dark water can be a terrifying one, especially if you are not that experienced or have never done it before.

So, what is the best option for someone who doesn’t want to go alone on their first nighttime paddleboarding extravaganza? Consider taking a tour. Viator offers sunset and night time glow tours around the world. Click that link to see options and book a tour.

There is a multitude of tours across the country that offer night time paddleboarding tours, sometimes called ‘glo tours,’ where you can sign up and enjoy a group of people. The group will take a journey through the water- whether it’s a lake, harbour, bay, etc.- so you can feel safe and secure.

Benefits of Taking a Tour

There are certainly a lot of benefits that go with taking a tour.

  • First and foremost, it’s a cost-effective option, especially if you do not have a paddleboat. Most of these tours will allow you to rent boards specifically for your trip, so you can do something ‘new’ and exciting without having to go out and buy your own board ahead of time.
  • Another thing is that it’s safer than going alone. While an experienced paddleboarder may have an easy time going out in the evening or night for paddleboarding, a less experienced person might not want to travel alone just yet.
  • Travelling with a large tour group means nobody gets left behind. You also won’t have to worry about getting lost or not knowing where to go next. The entire trip is entirely planned out for you, so you can sit back (well, stand up) and relax on your exciting, fun-filled tour.
  • Tours make nighttime paddleboarding easy. Most importantly, you can round up all your friends and schedule a tour, which makes it a great choice for big events like an anniversary or birthday party.


The best thing to do is call the local lakers, harbours, and other water sources in your area to see if they offer nighttime paddleboarding tours. Ask specifics, like what days and times are available, what you need to take along for the trip, and if they offer rentals.

Here’s a fun little video by Psyched Paddle Boarding

Why You Should Consider Paddleboarding at Night

So, with all that being said, the final question that comes to mind is: why? If you could simply paddleboard during the day (including travelling through the sea), then why would anyone ever consider going out in the evening or night time?

Well, there are actually six specific reasons why someone might want to consider paddleboarding at night.

1. It is not as crowded.

If you have ever tried paddleboarding during the day when the weather is nice, you are likely going to run into some pretty massive crowds. Aside from all of the people who are enjoying the water with swimming and boating, you will also have a multitude of people trying to paddleboard right next to you.

When it comes to nighttime paddleboarding, you don’t have to worry as much about traffic in the water. This also means that you don’t have to worry about ‘missing out’ on certain sights and activities that too many people can take away from.

Nighttime paddleboarding ensures wide open water areas where there is peace and quiet. With this stillness you get to experience the water unlike ever before, with more chances to see, hear, and simply take in the beauty of what is around you.

2. You get to experience what is happening underneath the water, too.

Nighttime paddleboarding means you get to see the beauty around you in a way you would not be able to experience it during the daytime.

With the peace and quiet, you can look at the trees, plants, and open sky filled with stars, which is simply something magnificent and a sight that one should see at least once in their lifetime.

However, that’s not the only beauty that will catch your eye during nighttime boarding. We discussed earlier how important lights are- not only because they offer you some much-needed safety, but because it’s also the law.


You see, when you are out on the ocean, you need to follow the same safety regulations that are placed for boats. Other boats need to be able to see that you are there to avoid potential risks and harm, and you need to make sure you can see the other boats and people as well.

But what this extra light also does is allow you to see underneath the water as well. This is especially true if you’re using a light with ‘floodlight’ capabilities, and one that can attach directly underneath your paddleboard.

A lot of fish and aquatic life will be attracted to the light. And with clear visibility of what is happening underneath, you get a hands-on view of these delightful and beautiful creatures coming to say hello. These are fish and other species that you simply will not get to see during the daytime, making this an even more wonderful adventure.

3. Less Wind

During the daytime, you are likely going to have to battle against winds in order to stay moving in the proper direction. This can not only be annoying to the paddleboarder, but downright difficult as well!

One major benefit to stand-up paddleboarding is you don’t have to worry about the wind (for the most part). That’s not to say that there won’t be any wind; it’s still possible. However, winds are almost always going to be far calmer during the night hours, which leaves you with a calm surface to paddle across.

The benefit of less wind is somewhat obvious, but there are actually two different reasons: first and foremost you don’t have to worry about being pushed off track during your trek, and you will also have an easier time viewing what is going on around you and underneath the water. Together, this makes for an incredible experience, unlike anything you would find during the day.

3. It Won’t Interfere with Your Daily Life

Unfortunately, a lot of people find themselves unable to take a trip to the water to go paddleboarding. Things like work, school, and other imperative activities stand in the way of amazing adventures.

The great thing about nighttime paddleboarding is that it won’t interfere with your crucial activities. So, what if you work a 9 to 5 job? You can get out onto your paddleboard in the evening before or after a good dinner and experience one of the most exciting adventures of your life.

Being able to enjoy this activity no matter what time of day makes it a go-to for many individuals. With the new way safely enjoying nighttime paddleboarding, now everyone has the ability to experience the fun no matter how busy their day to day life may be.

4. The Weather Maybe Better

If you live in an area where the days are hot and humid, you are likely trying to find activities that will keep you out of the sun. Well, that’s another big benefit to nighttime paddleboarding- you are out of the sun and get to enjoy much cooler temperatures.

Always make sure that you check the weather before deciding to go paddleboarding at night. Sometimes you may find that the area is still beyond hot at 8 o’clock at night and should be rescheduled, why other times an unforeseen rainstorm or thunderstorm is going to hit and should be avoided for your safety.

5. It’s Fun and Adventurous

All in all, nighttime paddleboarding is fun; especially if you get a whole big group of friends and family members together. You will get to experience some sights that you never see before while having the enjoyment of stand-up paddleboarding.

Get a group of friends together to go out paddleboarding at night. If it’s an area you’re familiar with, make a whole night out of it and go camping, have a bonfire, etc. If you’re not familiar and want to try something new, rally up your friends for an exciting new adventure with a tour group.

Conclusion

Paddleboarding at night can be a safe and fun adventure, as long as all the proper precautions are in place. Always make sure you have a life jacket, lights, and have everything planned out before you go. If you’re brand new to the activity, the best option is to consider taking a tour group.

Whether you’re paddleboarding at day time or night, stay safe and have fun.


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Carlo Raffa

Carlo Raffa is a blogger, stand-up paddleboard enthusiast, water lover and local to Brighton city in the South of England. Paddle boarding is my escape and this is only the starting point. Being a larger guy at 260lbs I am finding it very good exercise as well, especially for building core muscles. This is something that believe it or not cycling 16 miles a day at 6 miles per hour doesn't seem to be doing. Paddle Boarding allows me to just grab my board and walk right through the busy bar filled beachfront between the two piers in Brighton and head straight out of shore. It's not long before the shouting and cheering of our buzzing beach fade into just the lapping waves and the people to just small dots of the Brighton shoreline.

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