A Guide to Paddle Boarding at Night

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Sometimes it’s not enough to just hit the open water during the day. You want to take it just that little bit further. Paddle board during sunset and into the early hours of nightfall, or just take your board and paddle board at night in general. Getting on your SUP at night can be a lot of fun, but it does require you to go about it the right way. I’m going to break down some of the things you need to be aware of when it comes to paddle boarding at night. Let’s dive in!

Where To Paddle Board at Night

You don’t want to paddle board at night in a body of water that’s in no way suitable for the event. You need something calm, steady, like a bay or lake. It’s also important to consider what restrictions certain areas have on paddle boarding at night. Some lakes and bays actually have hourly restrictions as a means of safety. So be sure to check out local restrictions or if there are additional fees required to SUP at night in your area.

Plan Your SUP Night Excursion

A good idea is to plan your route and share that information with someone so that in the event of something terrible happening, at least they have an idea of where to look. This might seem like an extreme thing to do. Still, it’s important to be able to effectively communicate what you’re up to if it could potentially turn dangerous.


There are two layers to this point. Firstly, in most places, a SUP is considered a vessel and therefore is required by law to have a light. Secondly, it’s common sense. You’re paddle boarding at night, and having a light can be extremely beneficial.

This can be a flashlight, or a lantern, anything that produces white light. The light shouldn’t be continuously displayed but instead used in certain situations. The situations can include things like incoming vessels, aquatic life to see ahead for any obstructions, and other things of a similar nature.

What to Bring With On Your Night SUP Adventure

What to Bring With On Your Night SUP Adventure

There are a few things you’re going to need for your nighttime excursion out on the water. Here’s a list of the most important items needed for nighttime paddle boarding;

  • Water bottle
  • PFD
  • Whistle
  • Headlight/light

Here are some optional items;

It’s important to remember that laws still apply when the sun goes down. So don’t forget your PFD and headlight/light as you could find yourself in trouble if discovered without them.


You’d be surprised how many night SUP tours exist! It’s great to go in a group because it can be far safer than going alone. Obviously, this depends on what you’re comfortable with, so don’t feel pressured. If you’re more of a ‘go at it alone’ kind of person, then don’t be afraid to do just that! Just ensure you’re taking the necessary precautions before heading out.

Tours include trained professionals who know what they’re doing and how to do it properly. They also have certified equipment, so you’re just required to show up.

Go in Groups

You never really know what could possibly happen when you decide to paddle board at night. You don’t want something bad to happen and end up being all alone in desperate need of help. Going in a group can not only be safer, but in some cases, it can be a bit more enjoyable. So consider going with some friends of yours or on a tour like previously mentioned.

Alternatively, at least have some friends around the area to help if needed. They don’t have to be on the water with you, they can sit on the sidelines, or your friends can chill out together while you hit the water.

In Conclusion

Need more convincing? Check out this article by SurferToday that details some of the numerous benefits of nighttime paddle boarding!

Maybe nighttime paddling won’t be for you. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try! It can be a ton of fun to go out onto the water as the sun sets and the lights of the urban landscape behind you begin lighting up. You’ll find a sense of peace and serenity out and away from the madness of the city. So don’t sit on the sidelines. Go and give nighttime paddle boarding a go!


Paddleboarding has been one of the few activities that's allowed me to take a mental break from life and just be in the moment. Whether you're looking for an outlet, a method for physical fitness, or even just a way to meet new people, paddle boarding can put you on a path to achieving all these goals. Every article I post on this site is made with the intention to spread sup love and get more people to stand up and paddle!

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