How many calories do you burn in an hour of paddle boarding?

The Christmas holidays are gone, the carnival drink fiestas also, even that sneaky chocolate filled Valentine’s day. If you, like me (or to be honest like everyone else), want to lose some of those extra holiday pounds look no further. The solution is Stand Up Paddle boarding. It’s a fun, exciting, full body exercise that’s also gentle to your joints.

Now your next question will probably be “but how many calories can I burn in an hour of stand up paddle boarding?”. There is a short answer and a bit longer one and it depends on the kind of exercise you want to engage in. The short answer is about 300 calories. Read further to find out the long answer.

My estimations about calories burned was based on this calculator and it takes into account:

  • Your age
  • Your weight
  • Your heart rate
  • The duration of the activity
recreational paddle boarding

Gentle recreational paddle boarding

If you are just starting with paddle boarding or you are just looking for a low impact exercise you are still going to burn calories. Leisurely paddle around, enjoying your connection to nature, and you will still burn somewhere close to 300 calories.

Also keep in mind that this is an excellent way to train not only your arms and legs but also strengthen your core body and shoulder muscles. Try doing extra long and deep paddle strokes and you might even burn up to 500 calories.

TIP : If you would like to burn a bit extra try walking to the beach instead of driving there. Check here to see why a carrier might be ideal for you.

How many calories do you burn in an hour of paddle boarding? 1

The long answer I promised you

Stand up paddling is not only for calm smooth rides. In the past years paddle boards have been used for:

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Cross training
  • Racing
  • Surfing
  • Fishing

All of these fun activities help you burn major calories. Below I’ll explain the ones with the utmost results.


Strike that Warrior Pose while balancing on water!

Doing Yoga on a paddle board is becoming extremely popular. The connection to the water not only helps you with meditation but also all that extra effort you need to apply to balance on the board amplifies the calories burned.

Balancing on one of these boards will guarantee you the best Yoga SUP experience and help you get rid of around 400-500 calories.

TIP: Gaze at the horizon. It’s easier to lose your balance while shifting your gaze too quickly. Make sure to stare at a specific point for added stability.

How many calories do you burn in an hour of paddle boarding? 2
Photo from EuroTour 2015 by Ernstfried Prade

Race against your friends or the clock

Gather your friends or participate in a local race and be sure that you will burn anywhere from 700 to 900 or if you are particularly dedicated up to 1100 calories in an hour. This is ideal if you are a competitive, energetic individual who likes to run like the wind.

Even if you are not that competitive (like me, I am missing this gene it seems) you can just race against the clock using your mobile stopwatch and challenge yourself to beat the timer.

TIP: Make sure your phone is safe and sound while out in the water by using a protective case. I am already 2 phones minus so I wouldn’t want to take any chances again.

How many calories do you burn in an hour of paddle boarding? 3

Challenge the waves with paddle board surfing

A great exercise for people that are not yet into surfing or for surfers that want a more relaxed experience on days that the waves are small. It’s an ideal cross training way to help you improve your surfing while burning around 500-700 calories per hour.

TIP: Keep in mind that the bigger and stronger the waves the more your muscles will have to work and the more calories you will burn. Say safe and do not try this if you are still a newbie!

How many calories do you burn in an hour of paddle boarding? 4
Picture by

To sum it up

Stand up paddling workout is up there in terms of muscle building and calories burned with more traditional workouts. Cycling can help you lose around 500 calories per hour, where running is helping you burn 600 calories. Swimming for an hour will burn 800-900 calories which compares with racing paddle boarding.

Paddle boarding is the perfect way to workout by doing a low impact exercise while enjoying your connection to nature and the great outdoors. Where paddle boarding outshines many sports is in the use the of four main elements for a full body workout:

• Core
• Strength
• Balance
• Endurance

I hope I managed to persuade you to give a try to all the alternative ways of using a paddle board. You don’t have to wait for summer to start working on that beach body.

Grab your board, head for the closest body of water (on foot or with your trusted bike! Yep, burn those extra calories while protecting the environment, that’s a win win in my book!) and start now.

What is your favorite way to burn calories? Would you like to share a video, ask a question or propose an idea? Then leave a comment below!

You are more than welcome to do the same on my Facebook and Instagram pages and join my community. Lots of tips, tricks and ideas are waiting for you there! Till then happy paddle boarding!

I might earn a small commission when you make a purchase through my link, so that I can keep my site running and pay the hosting bill. Read my affiliate policy to learn more.
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Review written by: Tom

Hi! My name is Tom. During the year I try to be on a paddle board as much as possible. By reading this blog you'll stay updated on everything I test on the water :)