How Many Calories Does Surfing Burn

How Many Calories Does Surfing Burn


Surfing is an excellent way to stay fit and active, as it boosts cardiovascular fitness, improve muscle strength and coordination, and can contribute to weight loss. In addition to the physical benefits, surfing also allows you to fully immerse yourself in beautiful surroundings and enjoy some quality “me time” in nature.

But just how many calories does surfing burn? The answer depends on a few factors, including the intensity of your session, how long you go for and which type of board you’re using. Read on to find out more about the calorie-burning power of surfing.

Benefits of Surfing

Surfing offers numerous health benefits both mentally and physically. It is a great form of exercise that works multiple muscle groups and burns a surprising amount of calories. In one hour, you can expect to burn approximately 500 to 800 calories, depending on your body weight and the intensity with which you surf. Not only will this physical activity keep you fit, but it will also help reduce stress and provide mindfulness practice with sea or ocean views that can contribute to mental well-being.

Surfing works your chest, arms, shoulders and back as well as your core muscles. This full-body workout helps promote strength, fitness and balance. Riding the waves also improves cardiovascular endurance while strengthening leg muscles as they are used to maintain balance while holding an upright position on the board.

It is a smart exercise choice for those who might be prone to injury because there is no heavy impact like jogging puts on the joints – rather than pounding on land with every stride as when jogging or running, surfing requires:

  • Continual motion in saltwater that absorbs much of the shock we usually feel when exercising on land.
  • The resistance provided by water increases muscle strength while developing flexibility by consistently engaging multiple muscle groups at once throughout each wave ride.
  • Swimmers an avenue for conditioning that reaps all of the normal benefits found in any cardiovascular exercise while enjoying fun stimulation in the ocean’s natural element.

Calories Burned While Surfing

Surfing is an exhilarating sport that can not only be a great way to have fun, but also to stay active and lose weight. It’s no surprise that there are many people interested in knowing exactly how many calories surfing burns. Fortunately, there have been many studies that have looked into this and give us a better idea of what to expect when we hit the waves.

Let’s take a look at the calories burned while surfing:

Calories Burned Per Hour

Surfing is a full-body workout that can help you burn a lot of calories. Depending on your size and the intensity of your surfing session, you could easily burn between 250 and 600 calories in an hour.

To burn the most calories, focus on higher-intensity workouts with quick speeds over longer distances and intervals of sprints when riding for a prolonged period or performing tricks. Paddling uses smaller muscles than carving or performing tricks and will therefore not expend as many calories as faster speeds. Interval workouts, such as paddling all out for two minutes followed by two to four minutes of resting, will help you lose weight more rapidly than simply riding in one speed for an extended period.

The added benefit of surfing is that it’s great for your mental and emotional well being, providing an escape from daily stressors and calming the mind with the sound of the surf. With consistency in regular practice, surfing can improve your physical fitness while helping maintain a healthy lifestyle overall.

Factors That Affect Calorie Burn

The number of calories burned while surfing can greatly depend on the duration and intensity of the activity as well as the individual characteristics of the surfer. While different estimates put this number at anywhere from 160-400 calories per hour theoretically, there are several elements that contribute to an individual’s specific calorie burn when surfing.

Surfers will be able to take note of their own calorie burn by monitoring their heart rate during and after activities. Additionally, the amount of time spent paddling or surfing waves will also affect how many calories are burned overall.

Bodyweight will also contribute to how much energy is expended while doing any activity—meaning a heavier person may require more energy expenditure to complete a certain task than someone lighter in weight would. Therefore, it’s important to factor in body weight when estimating calorie burn.

Finally, surfers should take into account things like resistance from waves or wind, strength and agility needed to paddle out and mount a board, as well as any other non-movement related factors (like holding their breath) that might require a burst of energy from the body.

Tips to Maximize Calorie Burn

Surfing is an excellent way to get in a workout and burn calories. The amount of calories you burn depends on how long you surf for, how intense the session is, and your body weight. However, there are several tips you can use to maximize the amount of calories you burn while surfing.

In this article, we’ll look at some strategies to maximize calorie burn while you surf:

Increase Intensity

Increasing the intensity of your surfing session is an effective way to marginally increase your calorie burn. Incorporate more sharp turns and dynamic movements while attempting maneuvers to ramp up the energy you’re expending. Enable yourself to capitalize on small swell conditions by fine-tuning your pop ups or low arches that help you moderate your core in order to propel yourself across the ocean’s surface.

To further maximize calorie uptake, carry out some beach runs during your downtime in between sets and stretch before and after each surf sesh. Additionally, paddling with swift intent can have its own large-scale calculus when it comes to burning more calories over time – not only are you incorporating bigger surf strokes but also enabling yourself to accomplish more waves in less time too!

Use Proper Technique

Using proper technique while surfing can help you maximize the number of calories burned and maximize your exercise time on the waves. By having correct posture you will increase your ability to remain balanced on your board and reduce muscle fatigue throughout your session.

Start by standing with feet shoulder width apart, engaging your core and keeping your back erect. Bend at the knees slightly and maintain that posture as you move around on the board. This will ensure that you are using all muscle groups efficiently, including important stabilizers typically ignored in other activities.

Having a surf-specific workout in between sessions can also help you improve technique, build strength and endurance in the muscles used for paddling, turning, popping up and maintaining balance. Maintaining strength across all movements has been found to significantly enhance efficiency in water which helps maintain technique for longer periods of time during surfing sessions– thereby increasing caloric expenditure per unit time.

Finally, varying movements throughout a session can burn more calories than staying in one spot or repeating certain tricks over and over again. Consider switching up moves frequently or trying different maneuvers such as bottom turns or cutbacks to switch things up – this will not only prevent boredom but it could result in increased calorie burn due to changing energy demands placed on different muscle groups across various parts of your body.

Increase Time Spent Surfing

Increasing the amount of time spent surfing is a great way to maximize calorie burn. When you spend a long session in the water, your body begins to use up much of your stored energy and forces your metabolism to start working harder in order to break down carbohydrates and fats for burning off during exercise. Surfing also develops physical strength and endurance, which further increase calorie expenditure.

Additionally, when you surf regularly, you build muscle, training the body to break down calories more efficiently. This can lead to long-term weight loss as muscles require more energy than fat tissue to maintain.

A well-rounded workout program should include:

  • Aerobic exercise (like surfing) and strength training exercises that target all of your major muscle groups at least two days per week.
  • Regular rest days should be incorporated into the plan as well in order for muscles to have time to recover and benefit from any activities performed.


In conclusion, surfing is an excellent cardiovascular exercise. Depending on the intensity level, surfing can burn up to 400 calories per hour. Since surfers need to paddle their boards, use balance and core strength, and lastly propel themselves forward on the wave which all require significant amounts of energy – the calorie count is surprisingly high for this sport. For beginner surfers, even paddling out to the waves can burn about 150-200 extra calories per hour.

If you are looking for a new way to stay active and boost your calorie burn rate – try giving surfing a shot!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How many calories does surfing burn?

A1: Surfing can burn up to 400 calories per hour depending on the intensity level.

Q2: Is surfing a good form of exercise?

A2: Yes, surfing is a great form of exercise as it is a full-body workout that uses core strength, balance and coordination.

Q3: What muscles do you use when surfing?

A3: Surfing uses a variety of muscles, including your core, legs, arms, shoulders and back.

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