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How Many Calories Are Burned Paddle Boarding? | Maddle

Paddle boarding is a full-body workout that uses almost every major muscle group in your body. But exactly how many calories are burned during a paddle session? And how can you burn more than the average paddler?

If you don’t know the answers, don’t sweat it. We cover everything you need to know about calorie burn and paddle boarding below.

Is stand up paddle boarding a good workout?

Yes, of its many benefits, stand up paddle boarding is a good workout. It engages several muscle groups including your arms, back, core, and legs, and challenges your balance, strength, and muscular endurance while you’re on the water. It also doubles as a low-impact cardio workout.

Man standing on a stand-up paddle board

The intensity of the workout varies depending on the speed and distance of your paddle, the style of paddling you’re doing (e.g. recreational paddle boarding vs. SUP racing), as well as the weather conditions (including waves and wind).

Is paddle boarding good for weight loss?

You can lose weight paddle boarding if the intensity of your paddle is high enough and/or the duration of your paddle is long enough. For example, if you’re paddling for a total of 30 to 60 minutes at moderate to high intensity, this could contribute to weight loss as part of your fitness journey. But if you’re just out for a quick, low-intensity lake paddle on a day with zero wind or waves, it won’t make that big of an impact on your weight loss goals.

Does paddle boarding burn belly fat?

As with any strength and cardio workout, fat can be burned through this type of exercise pairing. Paddling is a form of resistance training that builds muscle which increases your metabolic rate and burns fat at rest. The cardiovascular portion of paddling burns calories for energy during the activity. Both of these can burn fat throughout the body—including the belly. It’s important to note though, that fat burn can’t be targeted through specific exercise since your body’s genetic makeup determines where energy (fat) is recruited from as energy for your workout. So while you can lose belly fat paddle boarding, it would be a byproduct of losing fat on your body overall.

How many calories are burned paddle boarding?

The average person will burn about 400 calories during 60 minutes of paddle boarding. (That works out to about 6 calories per minute.) This estimate is based on a person’s weight of 150 pounds at a moderate pace.

Calculating the exact number of calories burned while paddle boarding depends on several factors, including:

  • Duration: The time spent paddle boarding plays a big role in the number of calories burned. Someone who’s paddling for 90 minutes will burn more calories than someone paddling for 10 minutes.

  • Intensity: The intensity of your paddle also plays a large role in the number of calories burned while on the water. Paddling recreationally or doing SUP yoga will burn fewer calories than if you were to SUP surf or SUP race. Intensity is also impacted by water and wind conditions. Choppy water with waves requires more energy (calories to be burned) than paddling on a glassy lake with no wind.

  • Your weight: Your weight can impact the number of calories burned during your paddle. Generally speaking, the more you weigh, the more calories you burn during exercise.

Programs like MyFitnessPal can help you calculate a general estimate of the calories burned during paddle boarding based on your weight and the time you spend on the water. But what they don’t measure is the intensity—for that, you’ll need a heart rate monitor to get an accurate view of how many calories you’re actually burning while paddling.

How many calories are burned SUP surfing?

The average person burns about 200 calories during an hour of SUP surfing. This number varies based on how intense the waves are, how many rides you get in, and how hard you’re paddling. But at a moderate pace of SUP surf, you’ll burn about 200 calories. (This number can reach up to 500 calories for competitive SUP surfing.)

How many calories are burned doing SUP yoga?

The average person burns about 170 calories during an hour of SUP yoga. This number can be higher depending on the amount of paddling done before or after the SUP yoga session.

SUP yoga is a low-intensity activity and while it burns some calories, it has more benefits when it comes to balance, stability, and flexibility. If you’re looking to burn lots of calories while SUPing, but you still want to do some yoga, consider doing more paddling before or after your SUP yoga session to increase the total amount of calories burned.

How many calories are burned SUP racing?

Out of all forms of stand up paddle boarding, SUP racing is where you’ll burn the most calories—anywhere between 700 to 1100 calories per hour to be exact. SUP racing is a high-intensity form of paddling so your heart rate will be extremely elevated and it’ll require a high volume of energy to execute. 

If you’re looking to burn a lot of calories while on your board, consider getting into paddle board racing.

How many calories burned 3 hours paddle boarding?

The average person will burn about 1200 calories during 3 hours of paddle boarding. This is based on a person weighing 150 pounds and paddling at a moderate pace. Calories burned during a 3-hour paddle board session will vary based on the total intensity of your paddle and your specific weight, but the sheer duration of this lengthy paddle board outing will be in your favour if a high number of calories burned is your goal.

girl doing the splits on a paddle board

How to burn more calories while paddle boarding

If you want to burn more calories during your paddle board outing, follow these tips:

  • Increase your need for speed: If you want to burn more calories paddling, simply paddle faster! Increasing your speed will require more energy to go fast, thus, burning more calories. Challenge a friend to a race for fun…just don’t forget to watch where you’re going.

  • Up the resistance: You can up the resistance and increase the drag by towing a friend, another paddle board, or your cooler in a floaty. 

  • Paddle against the wind: Paddling against the wind can actually assist with calorie burn as you have to work much harder to get to where you’re going.

  • Try interval training: Alternate between periods of high-intensity paddling and periods of rest to increase your heart rate and burn more calories.

  • Paddle with proper technique: If you want to get the most out of your workout and burn as many calories as possible, it’s important to paddle with proper form (see below to learn how).

What is the correct paddling technique?

To get the most from your time on the water and burn the most calories possible during your adventure, learn how to SUP with proper form and technique. 

Here are some of the most important SUP technique tips to follow:

  1. Stand in the middle of the paddle board with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart (toes pointing forward).

  2. Bend your knees slightly and keep your core engaged to help with balance and stability.

  3. Hold the paddle with both hands, placing your dominant hands on the T-grip and your non-dominant hand in the middle of the paddle shaft.

  4. Lean forward slightly (maintaining a straight back and shoulders relaxed) as you extend the paddle into the water.

  5. As you paddle, engage your core and rotate your torso to generate power, maintain balance, and burn more calories.

  6. Use your arms, shoulders, and back muscles to pull the paddle back through the water, keeping your elbows close to your body.

  7. Alternate paddling on both sides of the board to maintain muscular balance and prevent fatigue on one side of your body.

  8. In choppy conditions, try to stay loose and allow your body to move with the motion of the waves.

Burn calories with a Maddle paddle board 

Maddle boards are up for the challenge of burning some calories! From recreational paddling to SUP yoga and more, these boards are ready to be your workout buddy and help you work up a sweat.

Check out our beautiful collection of paddle boards for your next calorie-burn session. We’d love to be part of it.

Camille Brodeur

Driven by the intersection of lifestyle and fitness, Camille's mission is to inspire others to integrate elements of beauty and aesthetic into their outdoor activities. Her depth of experience in the paddle boarding world allows her to inform and motivate others to get out on the water in the safest and most fun ways possible. Whether it be through her work at Maddle or elsewhere, Camille continuously strives to expand the public consciousness surrounding SUPs.


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