Full Moon SUP

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Moonlit SUP

There’s definitely a different energy at night, especially during a full moon, like tonight!

 That’s what makes paddling at night so fun – the darkness adds excitement and danger to an already exhilarating sport. Plus, who can resist that view of a full moon from the water? I can’t!

 But while moonlit paddles are fun, we want to make sure you stay safe, so here are some tips for your nighttime adventure:


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1.     Dress Appropriately – My first rule of SUP in any weather at any time is to assume you’re going to fall off and you’re going to get wet. If you’re going in the summer, maybe a bathing suit is warm enough, however, if you’re venturing out before the water heats up, or after it’s already cooled down, you’re going to want to keep warm, and that does NOT mean wear a parka! You’ll want a wetsuit. Not all wetsuits are created equally – get a wetsuit that’s thick enough to keep you warm in your water’s temperature.  As a general rule, the thicker the material of the wetsuit, the warmer it will be. Find out more about wetsuits here.

2.     Be Seen – I know you want to see the stars and the moon, but if there are other (larger and motorized) vessels on the water, they need to know you’re there! So you need a light. This doesn’t have to interfere with your stargazing, it just has to be bright enough for others to know you’re there. This could be as simple as a headlamp or as “high-tech” as lights for the bottom of your board. These are underwater, LED lights that suction to the bottom of any paddleboard. They can be purchased for under $150 from places like  Store Your Board and Amazon.

The Helena Regulating Reservoir is calm and away from city lights!

The Helena Regulating Reservoir is calm and away from city lights!

3.     Choose Calm Water – Plan your location and route ahead of time. Everything is more dangerous at night because of visibility and dropping temperatures. So make this outing an easy paddle, and of course, let a friend know where you’re going and what time you expect to be back.

4.     Bring a Friend – Everything is more fun with a friend, anyway! And now, if there’s an emergency, you have someone there to help.

5.     Bring a Good Night Camera – Let’s face it, Picture or it didn’t happen, right? While Creative Line has a whole post about the best cameras to bring for nighttime photos, if you’re like me and are just planning on bringing your cell phone, try an app! Search for a manual camera app for your phone. The exact app will depend on they type of phone you use, but this will allow you to control the exposure, ISO, shutter speed and more of your phone. Try it out before your SUP adventure so you know exactly what you’re doing when the perfect shot of the full moon happens! And don’t forget to protect your phone with a waterproof case! Remember: You Will Get Wet!

6. Wear a life vest! ALWAYS!

7.     Try a Tour – Nervous about going on the water at night? See if there’s a night tour or group paddle near you. This way you’re on the water with more people and a trained guide.

Are you interested in a night paddle tour in Helena?
Chelsea Coli