5 reasons you need to try nighttime SUP

Surfing
SUP: have you ever ridden a stand-up paddleboard during nighttime hours? | Photo: Shutterstock

If you haven't already tried stand-up paddling, you've got to put it on your list of things to do.

If you've already had a chance to participate in this ever-growing activity, you already know how fun and exciting it can be. You can enhance your experience that much more by taking your board out after the sun goes down.

Nighttime stand-up paddling is becoming increasingly popular because it offers boarders an entirely new experience.

Here are just five of the reasons why you've got to consider nighttime paddling:

Free Yourself from the Crowds

It goes without saying that, if the weather's nice, the beaches will be full. Stand-up paddling is almost always done during the day, so traffic on the water is going to be high.

Add in the swimmers and boaters crowding up the water, and you'll be so busy avoiding the traffic that you may be missing out on the full experience out there on the water.

It's all about the experience when it comes to paddle boarding, and what better way to experience it than in total solitude or with just a few friends, under the glow of the moon.

Quiet, calm waters provide paddleboarders with the chance to see, hear and take in the entire experience happening around them.

Nighttime: there's nothing like riding a SUP under the moonlight | Photo: Shutterstock

Beacon of Light

Technically, a paddleboard is seen as a vessel by the Coast Guard. As such, they need to follow the same safety regulations as boats.

This means they'll need to have a white light lighting their way as they travel at night. When other vessels are approaching, they'll need to be able to see that you're there, and vice versa.

There are a number of companies who have created lights specifically designed for paddleboards.

And, not only are lights available to light your way on the water, but there are also lights made to be strapped to the underside of the board to illuminate the water beneath you.

There is so much activity happening right beneath your board as you glide past above.

Adding a light underneath your board means you won't miss potentially the most exciting parts of your experience, viewing the nighttime underwater activity.

Nighttime Creatures

A lot of action is happening beneath the surface of the water, despite its calm, peaceful exterior.

All sorts of creatures come out to play at night and, just like moths to a flame, many underwater creatures will be drawn towards the light of your paddleboard.

It generally acts like a chain reaction where plankton are the first ones to be lured in, hovering directly within the illuminated area around your board.

You're not going to be able to see these plankton, but you'll know they're there as soon as small bait fish start to come around to feed on them. And, as the food chain goes, larger fish will then be drawn in to feed on the bait fish.

You may also even have the chance to catch a glimpse of nocturnal creatures like eels, catfish and even sharks.

Stand-up paddleboarding: Manca Notar rides Slovenia's Lake Bled at night | Photo: Vidic/Red Bull

Smooth as Glass

Stand-up paddling during the daytime can sometimes result in a battle against the wind to keep moving in the right direction.

Of course, nighttime wind can happen, but for the most part, winds are calmer at night, providing you with a calm, glassy surface to paddle over.

A smooth surface makes paddling much easier, but also makes it easier to view what's happening underwater.

Don't Let Daylight Limit You

Sometimes, it can be hard to find the time during the day to do any paddling.

If you're at work all day long, getting kids to and from school, running errands and more, you might find that there aren't enough hours of daylight to get out on the water.

But, just because it's not daylight doesn't mean you can't enjoy a paddle.

Don't limit your enjoyment of stand-up paddling to just the hours when the sun is out, otherwise you'll be missing out on an entirely amazing experience.

No matter when you're out on your stand-up paddleboard, it's important to keep safety at the top of your priorities.

This is even more essential at night. Wear a leash and PFD, paddle with a friend, carry a light with you and follow any rules set out by the Coast Guard.


Words by Chloe Bennet | Content proofreader at Nursing Assignment Help academic service. She writes about education and college life.

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