How Many Calories Does Surfing Burn 2024? Surprising Facts

Catching waves isn’t just an adrenaline rush; it’s also a fantastic way to burn calories. “How Many Calories Does Surfing Burn? Surprising Facts” paddles out to catch the wave of metabolic burn from this thrilling water sport.

How Many Calories Does Surfing Burn?

Your body burns calories, which are units of energy, during physical activities like surfing. The number of calories you burn while surfing can vary widely based on your weight and the intensity of the activity. You might burn between 200 to 500 calories per hour when hitting the waves.

Influence of Surf Conditions

The conditions of the waves play a significant role in your energy expenditure.

Surfing medium waves with onshore winds demands greater energy due to increased paddling and duck diving, thus burning more calories. The calorie burn escalates as the waves become larger and more challenging.

The Role of MET in Surfing

MET, or Metabolic Equivalent Task, is a measurement that represents the energy cost of a physical activity.

Surfing’s MET value typically ranges from 3.0 to 6.0, indicating that it can be considered a moderate to vigorous activity. A higher MET means more calories burned, making surfing an efficient and fun workout.

Calculating Calories Burned While Surfing

A surfer rides a wave, paddling vigorously and balancing on the board. The sun shines overhead as the waves crash around them

Factors Affecting Caloric Burn

  • Weight: Your body weight is a primary factor in calculating the calories you burn. The heavier you are, the more energy your body expends.
  • Time: The duration of your surfing session directly impacts your caloric expenditure. The longer you ride the waves, the more calories you burn.
  • Intensity: Casual surfing has a metabolic equivalent (MET) value different from competitive surfing. High-intensity surfing burns more calories.

Surf Conditions and Temperature also affect the number of calories you burn. Rough seas may require more energy, increasing caloric burn, while temperature can influence how your body regulates heat and energy use.

Use of a Calorie Calculator for Surfing

To estimate calories burned while surfing, a calculator tailored for surfing can be handy. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Input your body weight.
  2. Enter the time you spent surfing.
  3. If the calculator allows for this fine-tuning, adjust for the intensity of the session (“casual” vs. “competitive”).

Such calculators often use MET values to estimate energy expenditure, which represent the intensity of various activities. For surfing, MET values typically range from 3 to 6, reflecting moderate to vigorous activity.

Remember, these calculators provide estimates, and calories burned can vary based on individual metabolism and precise conditions during your surf session.

Health Benefits and Surfing Workout Intensity

A surfer riding a wave, muscles engaged, heart pumping, and calories burning

Cardiovascular and Muscle Conditioning in Surfing

Surfing is an exhilarating sport that demands endurance and cardiovascular strength. Each time you paddle out or navigate the waves, your heart rate increases, contributing to the overall health of your heart and lungs.

Paddling explicitly targets your upper body, involving your shoulders, arms, and chest while simultaneously engaging your core muscles, which are crucial for balance and stability. Moreover, the dynamic movements necessary to maneuver on the board provide a comprehensive lower-body workout, enhancing the strength and flexibility of your legs.

From Novice to Competitive Surfing

As a novice, the initial focus is mastering the basic skills, which burns between 215 and 290 calories per hour. Progressing to a competitive level means intensifying your workout regimen.

Competitive surfing can lead to an increased calorie burn, ranging from 350 to 500 calories per hour, as the demand for advanced technical performance and explosive power rises. The complexity and pace of competitive surfing drive your physical fitness to new heights, optimizing your overall athletic ability.

Surfing for Different Fitness Levels

Whether you’re just starting out or ramping up your game, surfing caters to various fitness levels and provides a scalable full-body workout. For beginners, it builds foundational strength, flexibility, and balance, which are essential for every surfer.

Those with a higher fitness level will find surfing a challenging exercise that continues to develop core muscles and improve physical fitness. Regular surfing sessions can improve endurance and performance, making surfing a versatile and enjoyable physical activity.


How many calories does 30 minutes of surfing burn?

In 30 minutes of surfing, you can burn approximately 100-250 calories, but this varies with wave conditions and effort.

Does surfing help you lose weight?

Surfing can help you lose weight by burning calories and building muscle through the physical activity it requires.

Does surfing in cold water burn more calories?

Surfing in cold water can burn more calories as your body works harder to maintain its core temperature.

How many calories do you burn surfing vs running

Surfing generally burns fewer calories than running; while surfing can burn around 200-500 calories per hour, running can burn approximately 600-800 calories per hour, depending on pace and intensity.

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