How Many Calories Do You Burn with Stand Up Paddle Boarding?

How Many Calories Do You Burn with Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Did you know that stand-up paddleboarding is more than just gliding on top of the water and appreciating the view? If you haven’t noticed it yet, SUP can really push your body to move. And while you keep moving, you’re burning calories. 

Fitness Benefits of Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Fitness Benefits of Stand Up Paddle Boarding

There are many benefits to stand-up paddleboarding. Yes, it’s not just a sport that you do because it’s fun. While it’s also an exciting water activity, there are a lot of health benefits that this activity can give to your body. 

Intense core workout

First and foremost, SUP is a core workout. Standing on top of a paddleboard is no joke. It looks easy but when you’re out there on the water, it becomes harder. 

You have to really work on your balance here. This means that you have to constantly engage your core so that you gain control of your lower body. In fact, your core will do more than your arms will. If you do SUP more often, you’ll notice that your core will become stronger and leaner. 

Practice for both strength and endurance

SUP is also a workout to test your strength and endurance. Paddleboards are not light. Some of them are but they’re hardly the paddleboards everyone is using. Carrying your paddleboard to and from the beach is already challenging but the real test here is when you push yourself forward with the paddle. 

As for endurance, you will most likely get tested when you spend more than a few minutes paddleboarding. When you keep on paddling, you’ll push for a longer endurance doing what you’re doing on the water. 

Serves as a full-body workout

Don’t forget that SUP is still a full-body workout. It’s not like other sports that isolate some parts of your body and those parts are the only ones getting muscles. 

For SUP, your whole body is activated – your arms, core, legs, and every muscle there is. Besides, you have no choice. When you’re already out there, you’re going to keep moving whether you’re just doing a simple cruise on the water. 

Excellent cardio

Even if you’re only into casually paddling on the waters, SUP acts as a great cardio routine. Going up and down your paddleboard, continuously moving your arms, and engaging your core can all speed up your heart rate. It won’t take long before you notice that your heart rate is going faster. 

Keep in mind, though, that SUP can only be considered cardio if you keep moving. If you’re just going to stand on top of a paddleboard barely paddling, you won’t get your heat rate up that quickly. 

What do you see that’s common in these health benefits? They all burn calories! So if you’re looking for a reason to get fit while having fun, then paddleboarding could just be your thing.

How Many Calories Burned When Paddleboarding?

How Many Calories Burned When Paddleboarding

How many calories you burn depends on the kind of paddleboarding you do. Here are the different SUP styles and the approximate number of calories you will burn. For uniformity, you have to do these activities for an hour to get the right number of calories. 

SUP Casual

SUP casual is probably the most common style in paddleboarding mainly because it’s the simplest. Casual SUP entails that you just go on top of your board and go around the beach. You can alternate from standing up to kneeling down. To add to that, a casual SUP is when you’re on calm waters and you only go for a moderate paddling pace. 

If you keep doing this for an hour, the average calories that you will burn ranges from 305-430 calories. To give you a comparison, this is as many calories you would burn when you go surfing for an hour. However, these calories are less than compared to when you run for an hour. 

Not to worry. If you only intend to cruise with your paddleboard, these calories are not bad to lose. It’s as if you’ve burned a full meal!

SUP Yoga

Another paddleboarding style is SUP yoga. SUP yoga is exactly what the name suggests – you do yoga right on your paddleboard, on the water. Wait, isn’t that hard? Yes, it is. Standing on top of a paddleboard is already hard as it is, what more with doing some yoga poses that sometimes have all your weight on your hands? 

That’s why SUP yoga burns a lot more calories than casual paddleboarding. Yoga stretches and strengthens your muscles because of the weight you put on them doing some poses. While yoga is often seen as a relaxing activity, there is nothing relaxing about balancing on a paddleboard. 

So how many calories does an hour of SUP yoga burn? In general, you can burn about 416 to 540 calories. The harder your yoga poses are, the more calories you burn. For comparison, this is as many calories as you will burn if you were to bike for a full hour. 

This proves that even if yoga is meant to be a relaxing activity, it’s still considered an intense workout. So if you were planning to brush it off as simple, then think again. SUP yoga can definitely challenge your muscles and get your heart rate up. 

SUP Touring

What’s the difference between SUP casual and SUP touring? Aren’t they the same? A lot of people use these terms interchangeably because ‘touring’ gives you an impression that you’re just casually paddling. However, in stand-up paddleboarding, they are very different. 

SUP casual is done when you just cruise on calm waters at a moderate pace. SUP touring is when you maintain the same moderate pace but you go for longer distances without stopping every few minutes. The latter burns more calories because there are no breaks. It’s like paddling continuously for a full hour. 

On average, SUP touring burns around 615 to 708 calories. This is almost the same as running for a full hour. However, for you to achieve this many calories burned, you have to make sure to not stop. Breaks can reduce the calories your burn because you stay stationary for a few minutes. 

SUP Surfing

One of the more popular SUP styles is surfing. SUP surfing is a cross between real surfing and stand-up paddleboarding. A lot of surfers alternate with SUP surfing so that they can improve on their surfing. SUP surfing is considered the perfect cross-training for surfing. Hence, some alternate with this activity just to get some variety. 

Which one is harder? That depends on your preference and the size of the waves you plan to surf on. Some people find SUP surfing easier because they have a paddle to help them. 

SUP surfing burns more calories than the other SUP styles mentioned above. Needless to say, this style is faster and more challenging. In turn, a lot of your muscles will always be moving up and down. Your core muscles will also be constantly engaged. 

If you do SUP surfing for a full hour, expect to burn 623 to 735 calories. That is almost two meals! What’s great about this is that you won’t notice that you’ve been surfing for an hour because you’re constantly on the go. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to forget that they need to burn a lot of calories. 

SUP Racing

The final SUP style is racing. SUP racing is an intense workout especially since you are constantly paddling at a relatively fast rate. Think about going for a full length of five miles in less than an hour. Even if you don’t go for a full hour, the number of calories you burn just finishing the 5 miles is more than any SUP style. 

On average, you’re most likely to burn from 713-1,125 calories. Yes, you can actually burn more than a thousand calories when you go SUP racing. This assumes that you’re taking a 5-mile race. 

What makes SUP racing the ideal intense workout is that it doesn’t feel like an hour. Because you’re so intent on winning the race, you might finish the whole length in less than 50 minutes. But that still means that you burn at least a thousand calories. 

Of all the SUP styles, SUP racing is considered to have the most cardio. Not only does your heart rate go up, but all of your muscles are hyped to keep moving for a full hour without any rest or pause. 



So does stand-up paddleboarding burn a lot of calories? Yes, it does. Apart from being a full-body workout, it’s a fun activity that won’t make you feel that you have to spend so much time outside. If anything, you’ll feel that time has flown by as you enjoy doing your favorite SUP style.

The calories you burn will depend on the style and the pace you take. The strength of the waves is also a big factor. Regardless, you can expect to burn at least 305 calories and as many as 1,125 calories. 

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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