How Many Calories Does Paddle Boarding Actually Burn?

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While most people admittedly don’t go into stand up paddle boarding purely to burn calories and lose weight, it’s hard to deny that you can do just that. Imagine a type of exercise that’s actually, and I mean genuinely, fun!

But the real question is, ‘how many calories does paddle boarding actually burn?’ This isn’t a straightforward answer. You’ve got to consider variables. What type of paddle boarding are you doing? What are the conditions like? I’m going to take you on a journey to explain some of the basics that answer these burning questions. Let’s dive in!

Is SUP Even Considered a Good Workout?

There are so many reasons why paddle boarding is considered a great workout. For starters, it has the potential to burn an insane amount of calories. But more importantly, it’s just so much more fun than other workout measures.

As a sport, it isn’t difficult to learn, and the more you give to the sport, the more you reap the rewards. You’ll shed some of that excess weight you’ve been dying to get rid of while finding inner peace and zen in the process.

Calories Burned By SUP Type

Not every type of paddle boarding is going to give you the same results. Some types of stand up paddle boarding naturally require more of you physically. These are more beneficial in terms of burning calories.


430 – 305 calories burned per hour

You don’t have to be a racer, or surfer, to burn some calories on a paddle board. Casual boarding comes with its own relatively high potential of burning calories, and it’s so much more fun than walking around your neighborhood. I mean, look at this guy..

Considering you’re out in the sun, with salt air and calm waters, you’re getting so much out of it beyond the physical benefits. Mentally, you’ll be more at peace, and if you’re adequately protected, you’re also getting some much-needed vitamin d.


1125 – 713 calories burned per hour

If you’re a SUP racer, then the chances are you’re already in some great shape. But even if you’re gearing up to be a racer, or you simply race for fun, then you can burn the most calories through this form of SUP. Not only is it an adrenaline rush, but it’s also an exceptional workout that is quick and intensive. If you want to know more about racing boards and stuff like that, then you can read my sup racing recommendations.


735 – 623 calories burned per hour

Surfing can be an intense physical activity, so it shouldn’t be surprising that it’s got a really high burn rate. Of course, with more intense waves comes high amounts of calories burnt, but don’t go out there chasing dangerous waves just so you can feel the burn!


708 – 615 calories burned per hour

Similar to casual paddle boarding, touring is almost like casual SUP plus. It’s slightly faster-paced and means you’ll burn more calories as a result. What I think makes touring an excellent calorie burner is that you’re not going into it with any intentions of burning calories. Touring is all about exploring stunning locations, so when you’re burning calories at the same time, it’s one of those benefits that add to a gift that keeps on giving.


540 – 416 calories burned per hour

Yoga is a calorie burner, whether on land or on the water, so it shouldn’t be a surprise how many calories you stand to burn while performing this SUP activity. With a heavy focus on your core, you’ll be burning calories like it’s nobody’s business, all while improving your flexibility, balance, and cognitive capabilities. The benefits are clear, and it’s because yoga can be such a well-rounded exercise to embark on both physically and mentally.


430 – 135 calories burned per hour

There are two aspects of SUP fishing that burn calories. First, getting to the spot where you plan to fish and getting back is almost like casual SUP. Then there’s the time spent fishing. Sure, for the most part, you’re essentially stationary on your board. Still, some movement throughout can contribute to burning calories.

SUP fishing does have some incredible emotional benefits to it. You are at peace on the water, with friends, and just having a great time relaxing. That’s just as important as burning calories. I suggest upgrading your board to something a little more “fishy” if you want to get out their and kill it!

What Influences The Amount of Calories Burnt By Paddle Boarding?

A few aspects of your personal skill, physiology, and mindset will determine how effective SUP-related activities will affect the number of calories you burn due to paddle boarding.

Some of these influences include;

1. Skill

How skilled are you as a sup rider? Are you a beginner? A pro? This will play a role in how effective time on a SUP will be for you and your calorie-burning desires.

2. Technique

Having a refined technique means you know how to work with your board and, therefore, can maximize the potential for calorie burning. This is something you learn with time, so if you’re a beginner, don’t stress yourself out too much.

3. Intensity

How you conduct yourself while out on the water will matter. If you push yourself, the reward will be greater than if you just go out for an hour or less. So consider how long you’ll be on the water and what you plan to do while there.

4. Your Weight and Body Fat

When you’ve got excess weight and body fat, burning calories can be slightly more manageable. But as you lose weight and decrease your overall body weight, it does become more complex. Finally, you’ll get to a stage where you’ve got less to lose and more to define.

5. Age

As you get older, losing weight becomes harder. Your body is no longer as fast as it was in your younger years, and this just means that while you can lose weight, it will take longer than someone in their 20s.

Compared to Other Sports

Compared to other sports, paddle boarding is either on par or superior to other forms of exercise. However, it’s important to remember that certain types of SUP yield different results.

  • Walking your dog burns 205 calories per hour.
  • Running burns 670 calories per hour.
  • Skateboarding burns 372 calories per hour.
  • Biking burns 485 calories per hour.
  • Zumba burns 600 calories per hour.
  • Spin class burns 741 calories per hour
  • Swimming burns 820 calories per hour.
  • Surfing burns 430 calories per hour.

There’s no reason to stop doing other activities like the ones mentioned above. You can enjoy all kinds of fitness-related activities and still be an active part of the paddle boarding community. It’s just nice to know that if you were to avoid all of these other various activities, you’re still doing something on par with them and gaining the benefits of the physical aspects of paddle boarding.

Calculating Calories Burned

Calculating Calories Burned

You can either use a simple equation to work out how many calories you burn, or you can use an online tool that can do it for you. But for my math paddlers, the formula looks like this;

(MET 6.0 x body weight in kg x 3.5) / 200

MET = Metabolic Equivalent of a Task (for Paddle Boarding, the MET value is 6.0)

For example;

You weigh 120 lbs and spend 60 minutes on a board. Therefore you are going to do the following;

Step 1: 120 lbs = 55.5 kgs

Step 2: (6.0 x 55.5 x 3.5) / 200 = 5.82 calories burned per minute

Step 3: 5.82 x 60 (Time spent on board) = 349.2

If I’m making your head hurt, don’t forget you can always use the online tool I mentioned above to explore how many calories you’ll burn while paddle boarding. It can be a whole lot easier than doing equations, that’s for sure.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re getting into paddle boarding for the physical benefits or just because you love the sport, you’re welcome regardless. There are so many benefits to this sport/recreational activity that make it one that everyone should be trying to enjoy.

You’ll notice with each passing trip to the water that you’re getting fitter, leaner, all while improving your agility, balance, and even mental health. You don’t need to know the calorie-burning breakdown to know this activity is worth your time and energy! So stop wasting time and get out on the water.


Paddleboarding has been one of the few activities that's allowed me to take a mental break from life and just be in the moment. Whether you're looking for an outlet, a method for physical fitness, or even just a way to meet new people, paddle boarding can put you on a path to achieving all these goals. Every article I post on this site is made with the intention to spread sup love and get more people to stand up and paddle!

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