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Does Stand Up Paddle Boarding Burn Calories?


Your body is always burning calories, and the more you make it do in terms of physical activity, the more it will burn.  Even in your sleep, depending on your weight, you are burning by some estimates between 40 and 100 calories an hour.   But just how many calories does SUP burn?


What type of Paddle Boarding Are you Doing?

The conditions you are paddling in really impact the number of calories being burned while stand up paddle boarding.   Other things like temperature, weather (are you paddling into the wind or with the wind)  personal metabolism, level of exertion will cause some variations so these numbers are just estimates.  However,  they will give you some idea just how many calories you are burning during your SUP session

A Male  Stand UP Paddle Boarder


Recreational Paddle Boarding in Calm Waters

You are cruising around a lake, river, or calm ocean.   The weather is nice, not much wind, and you are having a pretty relaxed conversation with the person you are paddling with. Maybe you stop a couple of times to take a selfie, or a swim.  Enjoying a nice time like this on the water is going to see you burn anywhere from 300-500 calories per hour.

Pro Tip - This will depend on how hard you are exerting yourself. Can you easily talk in full sentences without taking a breath?  If so, you are on the lower end of the calorie burning scale.  Up the intensity a little so your breathing is heavier and you are only saying a few words at a time, and you are at the higher end of the calories burned scale.

Recreational Stand Up Paddle Boarders



For the most part when you are touring you are looking to cover a good amount of distance, in a relatively short time frame. As a result, you are paddling more, maybe paddling harder, as well as stopping less if at all.  Tour on your stand up paddle board for an hour, and you will burn in the 500-700 calories.

Touring Stand Up Paddle Boarders



Racing in any sport is intense, and likely you are exerting yourself to near maximum for the entire time.  Depending on your position in the field (are you drafting or off the front?) and how hard you are pushing, you could be in the 800-1200 calorie per hour range.

Pro Tip - Don't forget you have to replace the calories you burn, especially in longer races other wise you will run out of gas!

Racing Stand Up Paddle Boarders



There is some variation in calories burned with paddle surfing as well. If you are like me, you catch a wave, paddle right back out and get in the line up to get the next wave ASAP. However, some stand up paddle surfers will hang around inside the break, then slowly head back out and chit chat in the line up before taking their next wave. Wave size, tide, as well as wind play a big role in calories burned, but expect somewhere between 600-900 calories per hour.

Pro Tip - Remember your etiquette in the line up. Dropping in on another persons wave because you want to burn more calories won't win you any friends!

Surfing Stand Up Paddle Boarders


SUP Yoga

Depending on the style Yoga you are doing, the water conditions, your comfort level, and a few other factors like age, weight, you could be burning 400-500 calories per hour.  Burning calories and increasing your strength and flexibility?  Yes please!

SUP Yoga


Why Does Stand Up Paddle Boarding Burn So Many Calories?

Muscles burn calories, and when you SUP, you are using nearly all big muscles, and these burn calories like crazy.  As SUP is very low impact, you can do it for longer per time than other high impact exercises resulting in a higher overall calorie burn.

Next time you are having a great surf session on your stand up paddle board, don't forget you are getting a workout as well!


About the Author

Glenn Morton stand up paddle boarding on a Cruiser SUP paddle board Glenn Morton is Customer Experience Manager at Cruiser SUP, as well as chief content creator.  Glenn has been stand up paddle boarding and windsurfing over 20 years, and has been with Cruiser SUP  for over 15 years.  When not on the water, Glenn can be found on his road bike, a ski hill, or raising his 12 year old daughter Nora.  Glenn is an expert in all things paddle boarding including paddle board technique, SUP safety, and all paddle board products.  Customers rely on Glenn's expertise to help guide them in their purchase of the best stand up paddle boards for their needs.  Glenn helps equip thousands of paddle boarders each year, and is ready and waiting to help you.


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