a man about to throw his paddle board on the water

How Many Calories Does Paddle Boarding Burn?

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Part of maintaining a healthy regime for your body includes gaining and burning calories. Calories provide energy and allow our body to work properly but too much can result in a build-up of fat so we have to burn them off too through exercise.

A question I often get is, how many calories does paddle boarding burn? And it’s an interesting one. For the health conscious, I take a look at this subject below and see if you would get more benefit from a stroll in the park, or if paddle boarding can compete with other intense sports.

Experience Affects Calories Burned

Let’s get the annoying bit out of the way - you won’t burn as many calories if you are a beginner compared to an experienced paddle boarder who has perfected their technique.

At the start, you will just be getting used to the unique paddle boards, gaining your balance, and improving your paddle strokes. This means less distance covered, less paddling, and less physical exertion which ultimately means fewer calories burned.

As you develop your confidence and skill, you will be able to paddle harder and further and get a more comprehensive and strenuous workout.

It all Depends on the Type of Paddle Boarding

While the calories burned paddle boarding increase as your experience grows, it also varies hugely depending on the type of activity.

This is because there are more strenuous activities like SUP racing and leisurely activities like paddle board fishing. Either way, compared to things like walking your dog, cycling, or even surfing, paddle boarding easily competes in terms of calories burned per hour.

Recreational Paddle Boarding

This is the type of paddle boarding most people will engage in. It’s a great combo of leisure and exercise and usually involves calm waters and moving at roughly a walking pace.

You aren’t going all out and trying to paddle along an entire coastline, but there is still plenty of effort involved. Typically, you can burn between 300-450 calories per hour for this activity which is more than a lunchtime walk!

SUP Surfing

SUP surfing is more extreme and is essentially surfing but with a paddle board! You are swimming out on your board to the waves and then jumping on and riding that beauty all the way back to the shore (or until you fall off!).

As you would expect, this type of paddle boarding is more intense and gives you a tougher workout because you are swimming and fighting against the waves. The calorie burning does vary depending on the sea conditions and wave strength, but typically, you can expect to burn up to 745 calories per hour.

Paddle Board Touring

Paddle board touring is for the adventurous and those who want to explore rivers and coastlines and see where the water takes them. These are typically longer expeditions where you travel much further distances and at a faster pace.

Due to the more intense nature of the paddling (because you want to explore a wider area!), you can burn as many calories as you would SUP surfing - anywhere between 600-700 per hour.

Paddle Board Racing

If you want a little competition and are serious about paddle boarding then SUP racing is where the action’s at! This sport is all about speed, control, and power and you obviously burn a heap of calories compared to recreational paddle boarding.

Depending on the type of race, the length, and the conditions, you can burn as many as 1100 calories per hour through paddle board racing!

Paddle Board Fishing

Lastly, when looking at how many calories does paddle boarding burn, we also have epic paddle board fishing.

The premise is simple - you take your fishing tackle on your board, find a nice spot, hunker down and start casting! This is the least strenuous paddle board activity but it does depend on how far you paddle to find a fishing spot! Usually, you can burn anywhere between 120-400 calories per hour.

It’s Not Just About the Calories

As you can see, paddle boarding is a decent calorie burner but I want to let you in on a little secret too. Paddle boarding also gives you a full-body workout and bashes the following muscle groups:

  • Core
  • Legs
  • Back
  • Feet
  • Arms
  • Shoulders

You will be hard-pressed to find other casual sporting activities that offer such a comprehensive workout so combine this with the calorie burning and you have a great addition to any exercise regime for those wanting to stay in shape and get ripped.

SUP As Part of a Healthy Lifestyle is the Perfect Calorie Burner

So, how many calories does paddle boarding burn? A lot, depending on the type of SUP session and your experience. Indeed, if you want to lose weight then paddle boarding can help but the main point is that it is only PART of the program. You still need a healthy diet and life choices too!