To most people's knowledge, paddle boarding is usually done in the daytime. In actuality, there are people who go paddle boarding at night. It's a whole new experience than daytime paddle boarding since the lighting condition is completely different. So it requires more preparation than normal paddle boarding. Or else you could put yourself in a dangerous situation. Here are 7 useful tips for you if you plan on going paddle boarding at night.
Since it's in the night, the poor lighting condition would make paddle boarding much harder. So you need to make sure there's enough lighting for you to see through the dark environment around you. A flashlight or a lantern will do just fine, but the light should be used mainly when vessels are approaching and not all the time. You should also have another lighting under your SUP board. This is generally a good way to navigate through underwater obstacles and also attract a few marine species, which could be fun to watch.
As a rule of thumb, avoid very bright lights as they may get in the way of other vessels and obscure the vision. Also, be wary of the colors you choose for lighting as some colors may send unintended messages to coast guards. It’s also important to have PFD (flotation device) as a means of abiding by the U.S coast safety regulations.
Plan Your Trip
When going on a night paddle boarding session, planning in advance is more important than you'd think. The first thing to do is plan your routes and a rough estimate of how long to go and when to return or else you will very easily lose track of time. Look for places where you can easily park your vehicle or a place near a bus station. Since you’ll be paddling at night, consider the wind direction and paddle with the wind to avoid paddling against the wind on your return. The best way to do this is by using islands- they’ll easily protect you against strong winds.
Choose Your Location Wisely
In order to have an enjoyable night paddleboarding session, it is important to choose a location with safety in mind. A calm bay or lake is always a great option. Some areas have hourly restrictions, so you’ll have to check if your location is accessible at night or if you’ll have to pay extra entry charges.
Pack Only the Necessary Stuff
When going paddle boarding it's normal to bring along necessary supplies. Night paddle boarding is no different. But there's no need to bring all the stuff you take to daytime paddle boarding when you are doing it at night. The rule is to pack the necessary things and drop whatever can be dropped. Useful items include a real-life vest, torch, insect repellent, and other crucial medication that you might need. Don’t forget a watch with a readable time at low light. You don’t want to have too much fun and lose track of time.
Paddle with Company
If you don't know how to paddle board properly at night or have never tried it, it’s for the best to bring a friend to tag along. It adds the fun to it while at the same time acts as a backup in times of emergency. Also, who wants to paddle alone in the dark?
Look For Tours
If you’re new to SUP, especially at night, you can find evening tours that are available in merchandise spots, hotels, and resorts. These tours are great since they’ll provide you with all the proper equipment along with skilled tour guides. It’s a great way to get started since most of these tours have certified equipment.
Get Yourself A Proper Paddle
Other than having a suitable stand up paddle board, it’s also important to get the right paddle. The type of paddle you’ll choose for your evening expedition can make a big difference. Most rentals will have Alloy paddle, which is heavy and lacks flexibility. Carbon fiber paddles, on the other hand, are much lighter and gives you more flex.
Also, if you are a beginner of paddle boarding, choose your first board wisely. An all-around board would serve well for all SUP activities including night paddle boarding. An inflatable SUP Board from brands like Goosehill SUP, redpaddle would be enough for any tasks you can throw at it.