Nighttime paddling is starting to become very popular. A lot of shops are now offering night tours using special boards with LEDs installed in them.
Why Paddle At Night
Getting out there after dark you see things that you just don’t see during the day. You have the chance of seeing nocturnal animals that only awake after dark. Some of them are even attracted to the lights on the board. Other animals that are out during the day will sometimes come in closer, since there’s less boat traffic at night.
Paddling at night also makes things feel new again. Everything looks different in the dark, with just a small, focused area of light. Similar to night diving, even when you paddle a location that you’ve done hundreds of times before, when you do it at night, it’s like paddling a new spot where you’ve never been before.
What Do You Need For Night SUP
In order to paddleboard at night you need lights on your board. Well, technically they’re not required, but you’re going to need them if you want to see anything.
There are companies out there that will install LED lights in the rails of your board. Some use adhesive light strips, and others will actually cut a groove and embed them inside the rails. Besides the potential cost, I’m not a fan of permanently modifying my board. Here are a few better options.
Northern Lights SUP & Kayak LED Light System
The Northern Lights system includes two multi color LED lights, with 13 colors to choose from, as well as a third waterproof safety LED, for increased topside visibility. They attach to the bottom of your board using industrial strength velcro, and run on 6 AAA batteries (not included).
In addition to the lights, the kit comes with a remote control, two foam LED Lifejackets, so the lights will float, and silicone grease
SurfStow Supglo Underwater Light
The Supglo system includes 2 USCG approved underwater lights, that attach to your board using a high strength suction cup. For boards with textured surfaces, they include (2) 3M adhesive pads.
The lights are submersible to 20 meters, and they also float. A tether system is included for extra security. The suction cup mounts can also be used with a GoPro and other accessories.
Nocqua Spectrum Light System
The Spectrum features 2 waterproof LED bars that mount on your board using adjustable straps. There are 7 different colors and 3 different modes that can be changed with the press of a button.
If you’re looking for the maximum amount of light you can get, this is the system you want. Unlike the others, the Nocqua runs off of 2 included rechargeable batteries. The battery charger and a travel case are included. They also make a smaller compact system that uses shorter light bars.
Torch SUP LED Paddle
If you want even more light, you can get a paddle from Torch SUP. The blade on this paddle has 3 rows of LED lights, powered by 3 AAA batteries (not included). Torch Paddles are waterproof and weigh about 2 lbs. They’re available in 72″ for paddlers 5’6″ and shorter, and 78″ for paddlers 5’7″ and taller.