Night Paddling Tips

Paddling at night can give you an experience on the water like you have never had before. Many people never experience night paddling because of the fear of the unknown however you can have a fun and rewarding time if you plan carefully.

Below are a few tips that may assist you with your current night paddles or maybe even inspire, educate, and comfort you to get out there and give it a go!


  • Never paddle alone.
  • When paddling in a group, stay close together so that you can be seen better and can verbally communicate with each other.
  • Know your personal and craft abilities.
  • Keep eyes and ears out for other water users.
  • Determine an action plan in case of separation or capsize.
  • Do not push your limits.
  • Consider a numbering system of participants, as you can’t count in the dark, but can always number off.


  • Always wear a lifejacket.
  • Make sure your lights meet local regulations.
  • Consider putting reflective tape on your craft and paddle to help others see you.
  • Use a paddle leash in case you drop your paddle.
  • Carry a bright waterproof head torch that you can use if required.
  • Carry appropriate communication for your location.


  • Plan your trip, making sure to consider the influence of tides and wind.
  • Learn how to identify navigational aids by lights displayed.
  • Learn how to identify other craft by lights displayed.
  • In urban areas, be aware that it can be difficult to determine the difference between craft and navigational lights to house and city lights.

If you have any other tips that you would like to see or share with the paddling community, please email

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