It’s nothing new to kayak in the dark, especially with a full moon or with lots of city lights to show us our way. But with new technology, glow-in-the-dark paddling opportunities are emerging.
Paddlers on a glow-in-the-dark kayak tour with Florida-based Glow Paddle (photo courtesy of Glow Paddle)
We want to let you in on some different ways to light your own kayaks for nighttime paddling (with or without a full moon) as well as highlight some companies that feature lighted kayak tours.
You can light up your own kayak for some fun after-dark paddling with a couple different types of lighting technology:
Waterproof String of LED Lights
LED light strings are hugely popular these days and available in many places. Light strings for your kayak need to be: a) waterproof, b) battery-powered and c) not too long.
Much of what we found with a quick online search for “waterproof LED lights” are coils of LEDs 50 feet or longer. Here’s an option, though, that would work pretty well. These Copper Wire Fairy Lights are just 6.5 feet long with 20 individual lights per string, sold in a set of two. One or two sets would set you up.
Fairy lights can be a great option for some nighttime kayaking
They’re designed for both indoor and outdoor use, so are waterproof, and they’re good for 8-12 hours. Their power supply is included with the lights, which isn’t always the case with other light strings.
SUBMRG Aurora Lighting
Based in Toronto, Ontario, SUBMRG developed the Aurora Lighting underwater lighting system for use with kayaks and paddle boards.
These wireless and, of course, waterproof lights are placed on the hull of your boat. Up to 1,000 lumens is diffused in the water beneath you as you paddle away into the darkness. A smartphone app controls the color, brightness and mode—static, pulsing…even music activated. Or you can control the lighting on the unit itself.
SUPs with Aurora Lights (photo courtesy of Submrg)
Aurora Lights are available in a 1 or 2-pack and can be placed either above or beneath the water’s surface on your kayak or SUP. A full charge lasts 4-6 hours depending on your settings.
Outfitters and Rental Companies that Offer Glow-in-the Dark Tours
If you don’t have your own kayak yet, or just want a taste of glow-in-the-dark paddling with a kayak or SUP, here are a handful of options:
Glow Paddle (Pensacola Beach, Florida)
Glow Paddle offers lighted nighttime kayak and SUP guided tours in three Florida locations. Their company uses LED-lighted clear kayaks and paddle boards for their tours.
Here’s what a couple of their happy participants had to say:
“An experience of a lifetime! Not only did we see a beautiful sunset over the ocean, we saw manta rays, fish and maybe a star fish THROUGH the bottom of the kayak. The lights were customizable so you could pick what color you wanted them to be in the dark.” ~ Mae V., via Google Reviews
“I had never kayaked before and the staff made it a great experience! Everyone was very friendly and easy going. They glow paint was a fun experience to add on with my fiance! We had a blast! Next time we are in Pensacola, we will be back!” ~ Dana M, via Google Reviews
The Glow Paddle team getting ready for another night of tours (photo courtesy of Glow Paddle)
Toronto Adventures (Toronto, Ontario)
Toronto Adventures offers glow-in-the-dark kayak and SUP guided tours on Toronto’s Humber River. They use the Submrg Aurora Lights we talked about above. They also offer a nighttime Full Moon tour once a month during the paddle season.
Single or tandem kayaks, canoe and paddle boards are all options. Their tours are fun for all skill levels, from beginner and up.
We couldn’t find any reviews specifically about Toronto Adventures’ glow-in-the-dark tours, but their overall Google Reviews rating is 4.6 stars as a company. Check them out!
(photo courtesy of Toronto Adventures)
SUP Kentucky (Red River Gorge, Kentucky)
SUP Kentucky's Glow Tour takes guests through Red River Gorge’s abandoned limestone mine with LED lights and headlamps. This is their most popular tour—an hour of underground paddling that includes an underground waterfall. Guests can choose between a paddle board or Crystal Clear Bottom Kayak.
A couple of their 1,000+ 5-star reviews:
“This tour was awesome. Our guides were knowledgeable about the mine and gave us some history. The experience of kayaking in the LED light crystal kayaks was one I will never forget. 100% doing it again in the future. Highly recommend.” ~ Tina B, via Google Reviews
“My husband and I did the crystal kayak tour and it was an amazing experience! We loved it! Our tour guides (Heather and Preston W) were very friendly and knowledgeable and had a great sense of humor! The crystal kayaks were so colorful and it was amazing watching the fish swim beneath you and looking below as you glide over crystal clear waters! I would definitely recommend this trip if you are in the area! Well worth the money for the crystal kayaks!” ~ Carrie H, via Google Reviews
Does glow-in-the-dark kayaking sound like a fun adventure to you? You can either gear yourself out with these options, or give it a try in one of these locations. Let us know what you think!
Do you have paddle questions our friendly Customer Service Team can help you with today? Contact them: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]
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