Paddle boarding at night is becoming increasingly popular in the SUP community for many different reasons. Not only does paddling at night provide you with extra hours and opportunities to take out your paddle board, but it also gives you a different perspective of the surrounding nature and marine life.
Many people enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of paddling on the water, in the dark, completely alone, and if you fancy giving a nighttime SUP adventure a go, you’re going to require some sort of LED light.
We’ve broken down 7 of the best LED lights for paddle boarding so you can comply with the law and experience everything a nighttime SUP has to offer.
Not only is it a U.S. Coast Guard Law to have an electric torch or white lighted lantern exhibited on your SUP at all times, but an LED light system also helps with your sight while out on the water.
The law requires all vessels (yes, this includes SUPs!) to have a white light visible to prevent collisions from other vessels. If you’re paddling in the pitch black, it would be fairly easy for a large boat to hit into or drive straight over you, and unfortunately, the odds of a SUP vs. a large boat won’t be in your favor.
Along with safety, the light will allow you to see your paddle path, the animals and plant life surrounding you, and your friends or family who have tagged along for the ride.
Now that we’ve covered the need for an LED light let’s get into the difference between underwater and above water lights.
Both lights will prevent collision with other vessels, and the choice of which light you have attached to your SUP will come down to personal preference.
Underwater lights mount to the hull of your board and will light up the water underneath you. Not only does this create a cool-looking white or colored rim around your board, but it also helps you see fish and other animals swimming past your SUP the water.
Above water lights can be anything from a lantern perched at the board’s nose to a headlight that casts light in the direction of your eyes. Although these don’t look as cool as the underwater LED lights, they do allow you to precisely aim the light at a certain object or direction.
You can even have the best of both worlds with an underwater LED light system and an additional above water light system. It really comes down to you and what you find works best on your SUP.
So, now that we’ve covered the basics, here are the 7 best LED lights that’ll upgrade your SUP into a well-lit, law-abiding vessel.
PoHo Northern Lights SUP and Kayak light system comes with two SUP lights that are battery powered, multicolor, and submersible.
The submersible fully waterproof lamps attach to the underside of your SUP with industrial strength Velcro, stuck on with adhesive. To remove the lights, you can simply unstick them from the velcro and store them until your next night paddle.
To easily switch the lights on or off or change their color, you can use the included remote control and light up the water beneath you.
Also included with the lights are two foam LED life jackets, a safety LED, industrial strength velcro, and adhesive. You will, however, need to purchase an additional six AAA batteries before using the lighting system.
Although the Kayalu kayak LED light system is one of the priciest lights on our list, it is also very unique. The design of the light allows it to sit 18” tall at the front or rear of your SUP, lighting up your path and letting everyone else see your position and presence.
The lens of the Kayalu light is bright white 2-LED titanium-infused and provides 100 hours of light on just 3 x AA batteries.
Its steel clip and nylon-coated bungee cable will attach to an eyelet, pad eye, or leash plug on your SUP, keeping it upright and preventing it from snapping.
If you did happen to drop it in the water, the light is buoyant, deep water submersible, and waterproof up to 1000 feet.
When creating the light, Kayalu wanted to make it virtually indestructible with high-strength ABS plastic, Lexan polycarbonate sheeting, and marine-grade stainless steel fittings, so it is capable of being hit with a paddle, caught on a branch, or rolled on if you fall off your SUP and into another object.
One of the great things about using a light such as the Suptig underwater light is that when you aren’t paddle boarding, you can detach it from your board and attach it to your GoPro or camera.
The underwater light had 5 illuminating colors so you can adapt it to your specific needs and you also have the option to brighten or dim them.
As the light is designed with stainless steel and durable PC material suitable for scuba diving, it can be submerged in waters up to 147ft deep, so you’ll have no worries about getting it wet.
Similar to the larger version, the smaller LED light is submersible up to 147ft and has a rechargeable battery that is compatible with a GoPro Hero 4.
Unlike the larger version, the small light has three light modes all in white, giving you the option of normal, power saving, and flashing.
As the light is detachable, when you’re done paddling for the day, you can remove the light and use it elsewhere, whether that be for filming videos in the dark or scubadiving.
The Vont LED headlamp is a versatile SUP light system and can be used for other activities that don’t involve water, like hiking, camping, or running.
The lightweight and compact design of the headlamp fits into a pocket and can easily be stored in your SUP bag with your other paddle board accessories.
Vont made the lamp from waterproof military-grade materials that can withstand a beating, survive a drop from 10 feet, and be submerged in water.
While the bright LED light is switched on, you can adjust it to a selection of brightness settings, and you can tilt the body of the light and change the light path’s direction.
Vont also created the light to be able to focus on an object 1000 feet away, and you can even switch it to a red or strobe light.
The Vitchelo Black Headlamp is another headlamp on the slightly more affordable end of the price scale and has buttons to switch between its standard white light and its red safety light, both of which can reach up to 360 feet.
To fit snugly on your head, the Vitchelo headlamp has an elastic strap that is fully adjustable and comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The body of the light can be titled and aimed in your desired direction and lasts for 120 hours on low light settings.
3 x AAA batteries are included, and the V800 headlamp can withstand all outdoor weather conditions. Although the headlamp is waterproof, Vitchelo recommends you don’t submerge it in water which could be an issue if you’re a beginner paddler that is likely to fall in.
Botepon Kayak Navigation Lights come in a pack of 4 with 1 x red light, 1 x green light, and 2 x white lights to keep you legal and visible out on the water.
Their easy-to-install design means they can attach and detach in seconds by clipping the double hook onto the lights silicone body. This easy installation makes them perfect paddle board lights as you can strap them around your paddle boards’ front and back bungees to give yourself 0.6 miles of visibility.
Each light comes included with 2 x CR2032 batteries that last for 35 hours on the lights brightest mode.
When out on the water, a paddle board is considered a vessel, and under the U.S. Coast Guard law, it is a requirement that a light is present and visible on the SUP at nighttime.
Lights come in red, green, and white, but the law only states that a white light needs to be visible on your board. The additional red and green lights are to help with navigation.
Paddle boarding at night is fairly similar to paddling in the day, except you need to take a few extra safety precautions and carry additional lights or submersible lamps.
Here are the safety precautions you should take before spending the night paddle boarding:
The conditions that you consider best are entirely up to your personal preference and skill level. For example, an experienced paddler who enjoys a challenge will prefer white waters or choppy conditions.
Beginner paddlers, however, will find it a lot easier to paddle on flat waters where the weather is still so they can easily focus on their balance.
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