11 Calorie-Burning Water Sports for the Perfect Beach Body

Physical activity in the water burns tons of calories in very little time. Whilst performing exercises in a swimming pool can become dull quite fast, there’s a far better option out there – water sports.

Shredding calories is almost effortless when surfing, swimming, kayaking, or stand-up paddling. Of course, this does not mean that your muscles are not working hard while at it, but these activities are so darn fun and adrenaline-packed that you’ll completely forget that you are also exercising.

Have you ever wondered just how much you have to surf, paddle or swim to burn off those margaritas? We have the answers!

Note: The number of calories you burn during one hour of physical activity depends on your weight. Below, we will give you the average numbers for both a 130-lbs (59 kg) and a 175-lbs (80 kg) person. If you weigh more, you will burn more calories. If you weigh less, you will burn fewer calories.

1. Surfing – up to 250 calories per hour

As demanding as it may look, wave surfing does not burn as many calories as one would expect. However, a wave riding session will give you a full-body workout and work wonders on your physique.

Paddling to catch a wave engages your shoulders and back muscles. Popping up on the surfboard and the actual riding will hit your core and leg muscles (hamstrings, quads, glutes).

  • A 130-lbs person will burn 180 calories surfing for one hour. A 175-lbs person will burn 240 calories per hour.
  • More experienced surfers burn a whole lot more while performing their neat tricks and when charging big waves.

Find out what are the best surfing destinations for beginners.

2. Kitesurfing – up to 1,000 calories per hour

Depending on the wind and water conditions, kitesurfing can be a very intense workout. It tones the upper body, working the arms, core muscles, and lower back. It also strengthens the leg muscles (quads, hamstrings, and calves).

  • In wind speeds of 12-15 knots, a 130-lbs person will burn around 600 calories in one hour of kitesurfing. A 175-lbs person can burn around 1,000 calories per hour. Women will burn slightly more calories kitesurfing.
  • The stronger the wind and the choppier the water, the more calories you will burn.

Find out what are the best kitesurfing destinations for beginners.

3. Windsurfing – up to 1,000 calories per hour

Windsurfing engages the muscles of the upper legs and hips (gluteals, hamstrings, quadriceps), as well as the muscles of the lower leg (gastrocnemius, soleus, anterior tibialis). Keeping your balance on the board means you are engaging your core (rectus abdominus, obliques, spinae erector), particularly your deep postural muscles which give you waist definition for a perfect beach body.

” Join a windsurfing camp.

If you are a novice windsurfer, don’t worry. Even falling off the board burns enough calories – the effort you put into getting out of the water and back on the board engages enough muscles to keep shredding calories.

  • A 130-lbs person will burn 177 calories in one hour of windsurfing. A 175-lbs person can burn 300 calories per hour. Stronger winds and currents mean more effort and, therefore, more calories burned.
  • Expert windsurfers can burn up to 1,000 calories per hour!

Not sure where to go? Find out what are the best windsurfing destinations in the world.

4. Stand-up paddleboarding – up to 1,125 calories per hour

At first glance, stand-up paddleboarding appears to be an upper-body workout. In addition to your arms, it targets the muscles of the back (erector spinae), the abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis) and legs (you are standing up, right?).

  • A 130-lbs person will burn 374 calories per hour of stand-up paddling at a leisurely pace. A 175-lbs person will burn 500 calories per hour.
  • At an intensive pace, the average-weight paddler can expect to burn up to 735 calories per hour.
  • SUP racing can burn up to 1,125 calories per hour.
  • SUP yoga burns anywhere between 233 and 540 calories per hour (depending on the intensity).

Novice paddlers tend to burn fewer calories than more experienced ones, who move more vigorously.

5. Waterskiing/wakeboarding – up to 500 calories per hour

Waterskiing and wakeboarding target your back, core, abdominal and leg muscles. The effort you will put into pulling with your upper body and pushing with your lower body makes for a whole-body workout. Your legs and core will be engaged throughout the ride.

  • A 130-lbs person will burn 324 calories in an hour or waterskiing or wakeboarding. A 175-lbs person will burn up to 500 calories per hour.

6. Sailing – up to 315 calories per hour

Sailing isn’t all about relaxing in a bikini, getting a cool tan and chilling on the deck with a nice glass of wine. If you are the one controlling the boat, then you will torch calories and strengthen your muscles too!

Sailing works your shoulders (rhomboids, trapezius, rotator cuff) and back muscles, arm muscles (deltoids, biceps, triceps), your chest (pectoralis) and core, as well as your legs (after all, you are walking around the deck).

  • A 130-lbs person can burn 236 calories in an hour of competitive sailing. A 175-lbs person will burn 315 calories per hour.

7. White water rafting – up to 400 calories per hour

White water rafting is a heart-pumping activity that engages your entire upper body. Paddling vigorously down the rapids strengthens your arm, shoulder and back muscles, as well as your core. Add the adrenaline rush to the whole excitement and you’ll hardly notice you’re exercising.

  • A 130-lbs person burns 270 calories per hour while white water rafting. A 175-lbs person burns 402 calories per hour.

8. Snorkeling – up to 420 calories per hour

As far as watersports are concerned, snorkeling seems to be on the low-intensity side. But when you are flutter kicking in the water, you’ll be giving your glutes a nice workout. Being the largest muscles in the body, this means you’ll be burning calories. Plenty of them!

In addition to your glutes, your hamstrings and quads will be engaged too. Plus, the longer the distance you dive the more you will use your arms to propel yourself. This translates into an extra burn.

  • A 130-lbs person will burn 312 calories in one hour of snorkeling. A 175-lbs person will burn 420 calories in one hour.

9. Kayaking – up to 500 calories per hour

Paddling down a river or around a lake is a great upper-body workout that works your shoulders (deltoids), the muscles of your back (trapezius, rhomboids, dorsi) and core (rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, obliques). It helps build muscle and lose fat quite fast:

  • A 130-lbs person will burn as many as 300 calories during a one-hour leisurely kayak ride. A 175-lbs person will burn up to 400 calories per hour.
  • The number of calories burned during kayaking depends on the weather conditions, speed, and currents. Sea and ocean kayaking involve resistance against the water, and an intensive session can burn up to 500 calories per hour.

10. Swimming – up to 800 calories per hour

Swimming is one of the best full-body workouts out there – it helps build muscle-mass, optimizes cholesterol levels and burns fat. It engages your shoulders (deltoids), the muscles of your back (rhomboids, trapezius, latissimus dorsi), your core (rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, obliques), glutes, and chest. Furthermore, it has a low impact on the joints.

  • A 130-lbs person can burn 360 calories in one hour of moderate-intensity swimming. A 175-lbs person can burn 483 calories per hour.
  • A 130-lbs person will burn 577 calories in one hour of vigorous swimming, such as backstroke, breaststroke (when done correctly), freestyle or butterfly. A 175-lbs person will burn 777 calories per hour.
  • Swimming leisurely in a lake or ocean burns around 340 calories per hour.

11. Canoeing – up to 900 calories per hour

Kayaking isn’t the only paddling sport. In fact, canoeing burns calories even faster. The difference between kayaking and canoeing lies in the position of the paddler. In a kayak, the paddler sits on a low seat with their legs extended in front. In a canoe, the paddler either kneels on the bottom of the boat or sits on a raised seat.

  • A 130-lbs person will burn over 250 calories in one hour of canoeing at a relaxed pace – maximum speed of 2 mph (3.2 km/h). A 175-lbs person will burn 357 calories per hour.
  • A 130-lbs person will burn over 540 calories per hour rowing with a moderate effort at an average speed of 4-6 mph (6.5-9.5 km/h). A 175-lbs person will burn around 735 calories per hour.
  • A 130-lbs person will burn over 800 calories per hour canoeing with a vigorous effort at a speed that exceeds 6 mph (9.5 km/h). A 175-lbs person can burn up to 900 calories per hour.

Now that you know just how many calories you’re shredding while enjoying your favorite water sport, join a beginner surf camp and discover a new passion!

Working out in the water is one of the best ways to get your heart rate pumping, tax your muscles from new angles, and burn fat even faster than you would on land.

Some of the most fun water activities can actually be amazing workouts too—as long as you actually know how to keep your head above water. (Plus, no one will notice how much of a sweaty beast you become when you’re getting your heart rate up.)

Here are five activities that you should add to your routine to help burn calories—plus our expert’s advice on why they’re great for you. Note: Calorie counts for each activity are estimated based on a 180-pound man doing the activity for 30 minutes.

8 Fat-Burning Water Sports That Will Torch Calories >>>


Whether it’s freestyle or butterfly, swimming is one of the best ways to build and preserve muscle mass, optimize cholesterol levels, and lose fat. “Swimming is, hands down, the best water workout for you,” raves Gunnar Peterson, C.S.C.S., a personal trainer based in Beverly Hills. “It has low impact on your joints, works muscles on your lower and upper extremities and, depending on how long you’re swimming, can definitely improve your cardiovascular ability.”

But you can’t just bob around in the water and call it swimming—you’ll actually have to work at it. And if the prospect of swimming laps bores you to death, try turning your swim into sets. First, take 10 strokes with your arms. Then 10 strokes with just your legs. Then 10 with your legs and arms. Take a breather and repeat.

Calories burned: Up to 450

Plunge into Cardio: How to Swim Off the Calories >>>


“Kayaking gives you that upper-body component that you don’t get in more traditional cardiovascular workouts,” Peterson points out. Paddling works your biceps, triceps, shoulders, and upper back. (Try going backwards to mix it up and keep your muscles loose.) It also hammers your core, which is responsible for transferring the force you generate from the paddle to the hull of the kayak. And even though your legs aren’t necessarily moving, they’re used in turning and balancing the kayak. When the muscles in your legs tighten, you get an isometric exercise, which is good for increasing strength over time.

Calories burned: About 205, depending on conditions

How to Make Resistance Training More Effective: Just Add Water >>>

Stand-up Paddleboarding

This sport—SUP, as it’s affectionately known—is just as good as kayaking, and arguably more demanding because it taxes your lower body as well. “You have to balance yourself, so your quads, hams and glutes are engaged the entire time,” says Peterson. (Trust us, you’ll feel the burn in arms, legs and core the next day.) Even the muscles in your feet work hard, since you’ll find yourself needing to grip the surface of the board as you stand on it. SUP builds endurance and balance, giving your entire body a complete cardio workout—in fact, some experts say that 30 minutes of SUP is equivalent to running six miles. Don’t underestimate the power of the wind, either—paddling into even a strong breeze can dramatically increase the difficulty of a trip.

Calories burned: At least 123 (the rougher the wind and waves, the harder you work.)

Six Exercises To Prep You For the Paddleboard >>>


Getting out into the surf is as physically demanding, if not more, as the ride back into the sand. “Just paddling out gives you a huge upper back and shoulder workout,” Peterson says. Then, once you’re riding a wave, your lower body, core and shoulders take a beating: A wave hits the board with tons of force and your muscles instinctively contract. Factor in the instability of the water and your core muscles are getting a major workout.

Calories burned: At least 125 (again, the rougher the waves, the harder you work).

The Surfer’s Performance Workout Routine >>>

Waterskiing / Wakeboarding

“If you’re new to the sport, your heart rate is going to be elevated from the sheer fear of it all,” Peterson says. If you’re more accomplished (meaning, you can actually get up and going), it’s a great lower- and upper-body workout that also involves your core. It takes a good degree of arm and shoulder strength just to pull your body out and onto the water. From there, your legs and core are constantly engaged throughout the entire ride. A successful water-ski run is basically a prolonged wall sit—but without the wall’s support, and with the resistance of the water.

Calories burned: About 245

The 13 Best Sports and Fitness Activities to Do Outside >>>

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6 Extreme Summer Sports for Weight Loss Success

Sick and tired of spending your summer cooped up in a stuffy gym trying to get in shape? Summer is a time for adventure and thrills, so it’s time for you to get out and try something new! Extreme sports will not only give you an amazing rush, but can burn a ton of calories.
1. Surfing
Hitting the beach for a much-deserved vacation? Why not take up the awesome sport of surfing? Not only can you ride the waves and feel like the King of the Ocean, but you can burn between 200 and 250 calories per hour. Your arms and legs will get a great workout as you paddle out to catch those swells, and your core muscles are hit every time you do the “pop up” to stand up on your board.
2. Boarding
Snowboarding is the most popular form of “boarding,” but it’s not the only one out there. Hop on a boat and try wakeboarding (or water skiing) to burn between 400 and 500 calories per hour. Or, find your nearest volcano (obviously, this can be a tough challenge for most people) for some volcano boarding. Nicaragua is a popular volcano boarding destination, where you can burn between 300 and 400 calories per hour going down the hill. Plus you’ll burn a ton walking back up.
3. Cliff Diving
The idea of throwing yourself from a cliff into a pool of water or an ocean below may appeal to your daredevil personality, and the climb you have to make to get up to the cliff will be your exercise for the day. You can burn a whopping 600 to 900 calories per hour of climbing, so imagine how fit you’ll be after scaling that cliff for your fourth or fifth jump for the day! With destinations like Lana’i in Hawaii or Acapulco in Mexico, you may just be able to experience this thrill for yourself!
4. Underwater Hockey
Hockey may be the Canadian national sport, but they’ve got nothing on underwater hockey. Gear up in your snorkeling equipment, and get ready for some intense underwater sport. Regular snorkeling alone burns between 300 to 400 calories per hour, so imagine how much more you’ll burn playing hockey under the water. For water sports lovers, this is where it’s at!
5. Zorbing
New Zealand is home to some pretty crazy stuff, including bungee jumping, the Flight of the Conchords, and Zorbing. Imagine rolling around in a giant plastic ball, and that’s zorbing. The ball gets rolled down the hill, and you get tossed around inside the protective bubble in the center of the ball. There’s no calculation of just how many calories you can burn with this activity, but trying to keep your balance will give you a great core workout.
6. Rafting
Living close to the Grand Canyon is a plus, but it’s not the only place where you can experience the sheer thrill of whitewater rafting. With just you, your friends, and a boat against the power of nature, you’ll get a rush of adrenaline that will make you thirst for more adventure. You’ll also burn a solid 400 to 500 calories per hour, and your upper body and core are going to get an amazing workout as you push yourself through to the other side of the rapids.


Andy Peloquin had battled with weight loss issues his whole life. To overcome this, he began studying fitness and is now in the process of becoming a certified professional fitness trainer. He exercise seven days a week and is excited to share his down-to-earth knowledge of exercise and fitness.

Why surfing will help you lose weight fast

Forget complex weight loss programs, personal trainers, and magical pills. Surfing is the best and most efficient weapon against obesity.

Surfing helps you stay fit. Not only because it burns fat, but also because it naturally induces a lifestyle based on a rich and tasteful diet that increases water drinking and proteins, and reduces fats, carbs, and sugar.

Soda drinks and fast food, for example, are some of your worst enemies, even when sold as zero calories products.

Interestingly, surfing is well known for increasing the appetite of those who spent time in the ocean riding waves. The good news is that doesn’t necessarily translate into weight gain.

The sport of surfing will provide you with both aerobic and anaerobic benefits, and that’s the formula that will have a positive impact on your metabolism.

Surfers may spend a lot of time waiting for the waves, but their time in the water is actually more active than it might appear. In fact, multiple gym workouts are similar to the ones you see in surfing.

Paddling is a powerful, and constant exercise. Surfers are constantly paddling to get out-the-back, where the waves are breaking, paddling into waves, and paddling to correct their positioning in the line-up.

Then, taking off on waves requires prompt and efficient push-ups, otherwise, they miss the wave or go over the falls.

Finding and correcting the balance is a constant variable throughout each ride, and it demands an highly-timed articulation between legs, torso, and arms.

The first thing beginner surfers notice in their first ocean experiences is the quick loss of energy and shortness of breath. So, yes, surfing can be highly demanding from a physical perspective.

With its explosive movements and continuous reactions to the behavior of each wave, surfers build a strong and lean body, in a way similar to that of swimmers.

Surfing works out nearly every region of the human body, including the neck and the feet. And if you’re catching waves in cold water regions, you may burn 500 calories in 60 minutes.

Weight loss is a natural result of this active interaction of muscle groups. Although you’ll gain muscle mass, you’ll definitely burn calories like you never thought it would be possible.

And if you combine your regular surf sessions with a biweekly 30-minute run, your body will respond immediately, and you will start losing weight fast.

The more you surf, the faster you’ll lose weight. And if you maintain regular surfing activity, your body will stay regulated and fit for long periods of time.

In conclusion, surfing is a fun and efficient way of burning unhealthy fat and getting rid of unwanted extra calories. It has been prescribed by doctors and confirmed by hundreds of thousands of surfers.

Is Paddle Boarding a good workout?

Standup paddle boarding can offer a fun and relaxing activity that mostly anyone can do, it is also one of the best workouts out there. People with all body shapes, sizes and ages are engaging in standup paddle boarding as a fun fitness activity. As many people have heard, standup paddle boarding is the best workout for a complete body workout. SUPing is a low impact exercise that is a combination of balance, strength, and endurance which are exercised whether you are paddling or just balancing on your board. It’s not only an excellent core workout but also the toes, legs, back, shoulders, arms and neck which all work together.

“Balance, strength, and endurance are exercised whether you are paddling or just balancing on your board.”

Is paddle boarding a good workout? Short answer: YES!

Calories Burned Calculator:

There are many ways to measure the amount of calories burned but the formula we used was based off the subjects weight, age, heart rate and amount of time participating in the specific activity. Of course the measure of calories a person will burn depend on how aggressive you are in the exercise, plus, men typically burn more calories than women. Below are the most common categories and the respective Calorie Burn Estimates.

*Estimates are based on an average of three people of different sizes (165-200lbs) & 1 hour of paddling

There are many different ways to measure amount of calories burned while stand up paddling.

Calories Burned SUP Surfing:

One category of paddle boarding is paddle board surfing. Surfers call it some of the best cross training you can do to improve your surfing. Of course the bigger and rougher the waves, the harder you work which translates to more calories burned. For our study we surfed the Coronado Shores on a typical chest to head high day with light winds. After an hour of Paddle Surfing at an intensive pace catching waves every couple of minutes we gathered the data and discovered that you can burn 623-735 Calories paddle surfing in an hour.

“Paddle boarding is the best crossing training you can do to improve your surfing.”

SUP surfing is an awesome way to burn those calories!

Calories Burned SUP Racing:

Racing might be the highest intensity category of paddle boarding where there is no slowing down and your heart rate and cardiovascular are at full throttle. Your calorie burn can vary greatly depending on stroke intensity, stroke form, wind speed, and water conditions.

For our particular experiment we raced the Dana Ocean Challenge which was a 5 mile sup race and found that you can burn on average 713-1,125 calories in just under an hour of high intensity racing. To put in perspective, the top finisher in our 12’6 class did the 5 miles in around 48 minutes and we finished up at around 55 minutes. Needless to say he was at the highest intensity the entire race and his calorie burn was more significant.

Being an open ocean race with side breeze and cross swell you get an added workout just trying to stabilize the board than you would find on a calm flat water course in a bay or lake clearly adding to the calorie burn.

“When Paddle Board Racing at a high intensity your heart rate and cardiovascular are at full throttle.”

Paddle board racing is where you can burn the most calories since it involves the highest intensity paddling.

Calories Burned SUP Touring:

SUP Touring entails paddling for a long distance at a moderate pace without stopping in-between. We did an hour of touring in Glorietta Bay with an average speed of 3 mph and burned an average 615-708 calories.

SUP Touring entails paddling for a long distance at a moderate pace without stopping in-between.

Calories Burned SUP Yoga:

Standup paddle boarding can be calming and meditative but also exhilarating and an intense workout for the mind, body and spirit. Our friend Helen at San Diego Paddle Yoga practiced a vinyasa power SUP Yoga sequence which lasted about an hour. With an energetic yoga flow you can burn anywhere between 416-540 calories in an hour.

“SUP Yoga offers an intense workout for the mind, body and spirit with an increased intensity which outperforms land yoga”\

With an energetic yoga flow you can burn anywhere between 416-540 calories in an hour.

Calories Burned Recreational Paddling:

The most common type of standup paddle boarding is recreational use which is an easy paddle with calm water, light winds at a slow walking type pace. At a typical casual pace, you’ll burn about twice the calories you’d burn on a moderate paced walk (2.5 mph). There are a ton of spots in San Diego to leisurely paddle but we went to Glorietta Bay for a nice sweep. You can burn 305-430 calories leisurely paddling in an hour.

“At a typical casual pace, you’ll burn about twice the calories you’d burn on a moderate paced walk.”

You can burn 305-430 calories leisurely paddling in an hour.

*Now use these numbers as a base rule of thumb and throw in some variables like choppy water, paddling into a headwind and riding waves on your paddle board and you could add 100’s more Calories burned per hour to the above estimates.

Paddle Boarding Compared To Other Sports:

Surfing: 412 calories per hour
Biking: 483 calories per hour
Running: 650 calories per hour
Swimming: 840 calories per hour

Standup Paddle Board Calorie Burn Infographic:

As you’ve seen SUPing can burn a lot of calories compared to other sports and will also build good muscle. The main muscle groups that are being activated during a paddle are your mid back muscles (latissimus Dorsi), Shoulders (deltoids), Arms (triceps & biceps) and abs.

Paddle Boarding is an all-body workout which has more than just the physical rewards, it can also restore your balance and calms your spirit. At the end of the day getting out on the paddle board can be a walk in the park or a high intensity full body workout. Either way a day on the water paddle boarding beats the gym anytime, so what are you waiting for – Shop our selection of Paddle Boards and start dropping those calories!

See more from Isle Surf and SUP here.

Benefits of Stand Up Paddleboarding

With Stand Up Paddleboarding being one of the fastest growing sports in the world and with so many people using it everywhere regardless of the weather condition as their workout choice, you find many users wondering if this fun activity is a good workout as well. The answer is YES!

Stand Up Paddleboarding is a fun/relaxing activity that mostly anyone can do. It’s an amazing workout for people of all shapes, sizes and ages! We consider SUPing one of the best and complete workouts out there. It’s a low impact exercise that creates a fantastic balance between strength, endurance and resistance.

Many Different Ways to Exercise

Calories burned Calculation: Since there are many different ways to measure the amount of calories we burned, we created a formula based off the subject weight, age and heart rate of three individuals of different sizes (between 160-200 lbs.) during 1 hour of stand up paddleboarding. Please consider that men typically burn more calories than women and that the measure of calories will directly depend on the effort & aggressiveness used during the workout

Paddle Board Surfing: Surfers say this is the best cross training you can do to improve your surfing skills. The rougher the waves, the harder a Paddle Surfer will work and the more calories will burn. On a typical normal surfing day, after an hour of Paddle Surfing at an intensive pace, catching waves every couple of minutes; we found out that you can burn between 623-735 calories.

SUP Racing: Racing SUP is a high intensity Paddleboarding experience. There’s no time to catch your breath or slow down…so your heart rate is at full capacity. Depending on stroke intensity, form, wind speed and water conditions your calorie burning will vary. Our subjects raced a 5 miles circuit and burned between 713-1,125 calories.

SUP Touring: Touring means to go for a long distance at a moderate pace without stopping on your Stand Up Paddleboard. After an hour of touring, our subjects at an average speed of 3 mph burned an average of 615-708 calories.

Yoga SUP: If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a chance. SUP Yoga offers an intense workout for the mind, body and spirit. It requires an increased intensity that is far more challenging than land yoga. You can burn between 416-540 calories in an hour.

Recreational Paddling: The most popular type of Stand Up Paddle Boarding is recreational use. Normally performed as an easy paddle with calm water, light winds at a slow type pace. Even at a slow pace, you can burn between 305-430 calories in an hour of leisure on your NIXY board!

Comparing Stand Up Paddleboarding to other sports:

  • Surfing: 412 Calories per hour.
  • Biking: 483 calories per hour.
  • Running: 650 calories per hour.
  • Swimming: 840 calories per hour.

Stand up Paddleboarding is a full-body workout that offers so much more than just the physical rewards. You will feel your spirit calm and your perspective in life balanced after each workout, no matter how short it is. Remember that at the end of the day, getting out on your Paddle Board can be compared as a walk in the park or if you push it harder, compared to a intense workout at the gym.

At NIXY inflatable Stand Up Paddle boards, we believe that a day on the water SUPing beats the gym anytime!

The best part of our inflatable SUPs is that you can take your workout anywhere… without hassles and with the convenient of being so portable. What are you waiting for? Life is an adventure…Find your balance!

Shop our selection of Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboards and start getting in shape and burning those calories away! Have questions or want more info? Email us at [email protected]

Paddleboarding is one of the fastest-growing summer activities. This goes hand in hand with paddleboard fitness. Paddling across the lake or along the shore or the ocean may seem effortless but it turns out to be a great form of exercise.

What makes this sport so amazing is that nearly everyone can do it. Unlike running and hiking, paddleboarding doesn’t involve any impact to your knees or joints. At the same time, paddling activates nearly every muscle in your body from your core to your legs to even your arms. It also increases your balance and range of motion.

How to Calculate the Calories Burned

Many factors can affect how many calories you burn while paddleboarding. This can include your age, weight, time on the water, heart rate, and even weather conditions. After all, someone who is just casually paddles boarding on a Sunday morning will burn fewer calories than someone pushing their body and heart rate.

Pro Tip: You can enter all of your information into a calorie calculator to get an accurate estimate of the calories you burned during the day.

Stand Up Paddle Board Surfing

Within the category of paddleboarding SUP surfing. If you are looking for the best workout with a paddleboard this may be what you’re searching for. Some waves are needed for this sport so it can be limited to certain parts of the world but will give you one of the highest burned calorie totals you can get.

Of course, your totals will vary depending on your skill level and how large the waves are. For example, if you are in 4-8 foot water and catch waves say every 5 minutes you can burn up to 650 calories in an hour.

Another popular way to burn calories with your paddleboard is by racing. You don’t have to be in a competition or even have another person that you’re racing. All this means is that you go full out for an extended period. The longer you paddle at your maximum the more calories you will burn while increasing your heart rate and strengthening your body. You can also race by yourself. If you have a destination that you can paddle to you can time yourself and try to beat it every time you’re on the water.

You can even try high-intensity interval training this way. For example, if you can only paddle your maximum for a minute, that is completely fine. Take a few minutes break and do it again. If you continue this way you will find that your body will become stronger and you can paddle for a longer period.

If you are paddling like this with short breaks you can burn upwards of 700-1100 calories in an hour. This makes SUP racing one of the best ways you can exercise. Not only are you burning a high amount of calories, but you are also doing it in nature with the sun on your face

If you are more of a chill paddler you may enjoy touring on your stand up paddleboard. This is more of a long-distance paddle rather than a sprint (like racing). Touring is perfect for an afternoon after a day’s work. It will loosen you up and get your heart rate up without sitting in a dark gym. If you can maintain a 3 miles per hour pace you can burn around 600-700 per hour.

Do you love yoga? Well, this can be the next step in your practice. When you add balancing on your board while doing your regular poses you will notice that different muscles are activated. But the bonus that nobody talks about is the change in the environment. Paddleboarding allows you to find a complete center in your little world. You can paddle out into the middle of a lake and be completely alone while you go through your favorite routine.

You can expect to use up to 400-600 calories an hour depending on the type of yoga you’re performing. Just keep in mind that this doesn’t include paddling out to your spot. When you combine this with your positions you can expect to have a well-rounded workout.

For the days where you need a break from your workout tries recreational paddling. You may want to bring a friend on the water and have a nice conversation while you paddle. Even though this may not seem like a workout you will still be burning calories. A slow paddle could burn more than double that of walking. Depending on your pace you can use around 300-400 calories an hour. If you are looking for a challenge, try paddling on a windy day. Even a slow paddle can burn even more calories as you’ll be working harder to stabilize your board through the choppy wake.

Globo Surf Overview

If you are looking for a new way of exercising stand up paddle boarding may be an excellent option for you. It not only gets you outside and in nature but is also an activity that doesn’t put a strain on your body. Paddleboarding is also a social sport where you can bring your friends out on the water.

The best part about incorporating a paddleboard into your workout regimen is that it doesn’t feel like a workout. You will notice that you’ll start to crave and look forward to your time on the water. There are so many ways you can use your board that you’ll find yourself spending hours on the water without even realizing it. The best part is that inflatable stead up paddle boards are so portable you can bring it anywhere you travel. Simply toss it in the trunk of your car or wear it in a backpack and you are all set for your next workout adventure.

More Paddle Reviews:

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Why Paddle Boarding Exercises are a Fantastic Workout


People of all shapes, sizes and ages have begun to engage in paddle boarding as a fun, full-body workout. If you’re tired of your typical total-body workout routines at your crowded gym, stand up paddle boarding (SUP) could be your new life-changing fitness escape. Imagine exercising on the ocean (or lake or river!) while breathing in the fresh salty air, soaking up the warm sun and enjoying the 360-degree panoramic views of mother nature. Now that sounds like a paddle board workout routine we could get used to!

Below you’ll find the four most common types of paddle board exercises, plus the respective calorie burn estimates for one hour of paddling.

The Different Paddle Board Workouts

With so many different types of paddle board workouts – from surfing and racing to touring, yoga and recreational paddling – we wanted to show you how many calories are burned during each type of SUP exercise. After reading this, you might decide it’s time to cancel your expensive gym membership and hop on a SUP.

Recreational paddling

“At a typical casual paddling pace, you’ll burn about twice the calories you’d burn on a moderate paced walk.”

The most common type of standup paddle boarding is recreational use, which is an easy paddle with calm water, light winds at a slow walking type pace. At a typical casual pace, you’ll burn about twice the calories you’d burn on a moderate paced walk (2.5 mph). You can burn 305 to 430 calories leisurely paddling in an hour. Sounds way more fun than an hour of monotonously swooping around on an elliptical machine.

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One type of paddle boarding exercise is SUP surfing. Surfers call it some of the best cross training you can do to improve your surfing. We measured the average number of calories burned during a surf session at Coronado Shores on a typical chest to head high day with light winds.

  • On average, you can burn 623 to 735 calories in an active one hour surf session
  • Perfect alternative exercise and a good workout for surfers when the waves are small
  • The bigger and rougher the waves, the harder you work your body and muscles, (more calories burned and increased muscle growth) making for a full-body workout

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Racing might be the highest intensity exercise of standup paddle boarding. There is no slowing down and your heart rate and cardiovascular are at full throttle. To measure the average number of calories burned, we raced the Dana Ocean Challenge – a popular five-mile SUP race in Dana Point, CA.

  • On average, you can burn 713 to 1,125 calories in an hour of high intensity racing
  • Perfect paddle board exercise for those who are competitive and like to go fast (vroom!)
  • The number of calories you burn can vary greatly depending on stroke intensity, stroke form, wind speed and water conditions

SUP Touring entails paddling for long distances at a moderate pace without stopping in between. To measure the average number of calories burned, we did one hour of touring in Glorietta Bay with an average speed of 3 mph.

  • On average, you can burn 615 to 708 calories in an hour
  • Perfect paddle exercise for adventure seekers
  • Very relaxing to get out on the water with friends and cruise the flat water after a long day at the office and burn some calories along the way

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SUP yoga

SUP Yoga can be calming and meditative, but also exhilarating and an intense workout for the mind, body and spirit. Our friend Helen at San Diego Paddle Yoga practiced a vinyasa power SUP Yoga exercise sequence which lasted about an hour.

  • With an energetic yoga flow, you can burn anywhere between 416 to 540 calories in an hour
  • The wind and constant motion of the water will add intensity to your practice
  • A great workout alternative to practicing yoga in a studio

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Paddle Board Exercises & Calories Burned

The number of calories you burn from stand up paddle boarding all depends on how hard you want to push yourself. Take a mellow, low impact session some days, and other days, put your game face on and go for that high impact beast sesh. No matter what intensity level you decide to go, SUPing will help improve your balance, upper body strength, core and endurance. Trust us – you will be looking mighty fine in no time (and super bronzed up!).

Stand up paddle board calorie burn infographic

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You may envision yourself spending hours at the gym every day if your goal is to get fit. But you don’t always have to be locked inside a gym to make fitness progress. You can get into shape and burn calories by trying new outdoor activities, like kayaking, paddle-boarding or swimming.


Kayaking may look fun from afar, but it can also be an intense upper-body workout. You may burn up to 150-300 or more calories per hour while kayaking depending on your weight. And you can really work your arms, shoulders, back and abdomen by switching up your speed and tempo.

Calculate Your Weight

Whenever you want to calculate how many calories you’ll burn while doing an activity, you first need to know your weight. The less you weigh, the fewer calories you’ll burn. A 125-pound person cycling on a stationary bike, for example, would burn about 400 calories per hour — while a 185-pound person would burn up to 600 calories in that same time, according to Harvard Health.

The calories burned while kayaking, meanwhile, would be a bit less than what you’d burn doing more intense full-body aerobic exercises like swimming or running. A 125-pound person would burn about 300 calories per hour kayaking, while someone who weighed more would burn over 400 calories per hour.

Read more: How to Build Muscle in a Matter of Weeks

Work Your Heart And Muscles

Kayaking may not be the first workout routine that comes to mind when you’re planning on becoming aerobically fit or building up muscle, but it can actually be an excellent way to do both. First, kayaking can be an intense aerobic exercise, working both your heart and your lungs.

While kayaking mostly targets your upper body, it can also really work your back muscles, as well as your chest and core. You’ll primarily be using your back muscles, including your upper trapezius, rhomboids and lower trapezius — as well as your shoulder muscles, like posterior deltoids.

Be prepared to give your biceps and triceps a workout, as well as your forearms and hands as you hold the paddle. Even your legs will do some work to stabilize you in the kayak as you paddle.

And kayaking doesn’t have to just be for fitness gurus or elite athletes. It can possibly be beneficial to older adults or people who can’t run or do other high-impact exercises. A June 2018 study published in Medical Science Monitor found that ground kayaking improved posture, muscle performance and even cognitive function in a group of older adults.

Increase The Intensity

The calories burned while kayaking also depend partially on how intensely you’re paddling or the kind of water you’re in. There are various types of kayaking you can tackle, including lengthy touring, which often happens on a larger body of water like a big lake and could be a good aerobic exercise.

Sea kayaking, meanwhile, will get you working to paddle amongst the waves, which can get choppy. And whitewater kayaking may be reserved for more serious and trained kayakers, as the rushing water and rocks along the route can become unpredictable and require quick motions and maneuvering. Finally, there’s also surf kayaking, or essentially surfing but in a kayak.

There are also different types of kayaking strokes, like the forward stroke, the back stroke and the draw stroke, which moves the kayak sideways. Increase your intensity and calories burned while kayaking by switching up the strokes to work different muscle groups, and increase your tempo over a longer period of time to get the cardiovascular benefits.

Read more: 21 Top Destinations For Active and Adventurous Vacations

Get Out In Nature

One of the key parts of kayaking is getting outside and out into a body of water to paddle. Whether you’re paddling in gently lapping ocean waves or you’re tumbling along a whitewater rafting route, kayaking can be your vessel to adventures in the outdoors.

Not only can kayaking be fun and provide you with new scenery to check out, but it also immerses you in nature, which has its own health benefits. Being out in nature or forests can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and boost your mood and ability to focus, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

It goes without saying that getting your exercise outdoors can add a plethora of extra benefits to your fitness routine — including simply making you feel happier.

An August 2016 study published in Frontiers in Psychology found that positive emotions towards the activity you’re doing help you maintain an exercise routine. In other words, if you’re enjoying your workout, you’ll be more likely to adhere to it on a consistent basis, which is just one more reason to give kayaking a try.

Calories Burned Kayaking Vs Paddleboarding

Is kayaking good exercise? There is some debate over whether kayaking or paddleboarding will burn the most calories, but there is no debate when it comes to the simple fact that both are healthy activities. Here are just a few reasons you should consider using one of these options as your preferred calorie burning activity and the truth behind exactly how many calories can be burned kayaking vs paddleboarding.

How Many Calories Burned Kayaking?

If you choose a kayaking workout, you can spend as little as one hour enjoying the water and burn quite a few calories. For a person who weighs 150 pounds, you can burn up to 340 calories and someone who weighs 175 pounds can burn nearly 400 calories in the same amount of time. This proves that the calories burned kayaking is higher than the amount burned cycling and it is often more enjoyable for people than cycling.

How to Gain Stamina for Kayaking?

Kayaking is a lower impact sport which is ideal for many people. However, if you are interested in burning kayaking calories, it wouldn’t hurt you to strengthen some areas of your body to gain more stamina. Kayaking requires balance, so you should focus on exercises that encourage core strength. From there, you should also do exercises that will help you with torso rotations, because it is imperative that you be able to do this effortlessly while paddling. One great way to do this is by using resistance bands. There are a variety of exercises that can be done using it, even simple exercises can help.

Is One Type of Kayak Better for Weight Loss?

When deciding is kayaking a good workout or not, you must also consider the type of kayak you are going to use. A river kayak is designed to be used on rivers, they may require less paddling and, therefore, may burn fewer calories, whereas a touring kayak is designed to be used on lakes and other areas where there may not be a moving water source. This means you will have to paddle more. There are also times when you can use a kayak in the ocean, which means you need to stay more balanced and work hard to keep moving forward. For this reason, many people choose the inflatable kayaks because they are more versatile. You can use them in a variety of situations and ensure that your workout is going to burn as many calories as you want for it to.

Will You Burn More Calories Paddleboarding?

If you are curious about the calories burned paddleboarding, you should know there is some benefit to doing it. You can perhaps lose more calories by paddleboarding because it is a full, total body workout, but it depends on the type of paddleboarding you plan to enjoy. If you are just wanting to go at it casually, you can burn 305-430 calories per hour. This makes it just slightly more effective than a casual walk through the park unless you choose to do more with your paddleboard.

Sea kayaking calories burned

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