How Many Calories Does Surfing Burn?- An Expert Analysis

Surfing is a very popular & trendy sport nowadays. People take surfing as their passion for mostly three reasons. First, they love the sport, second, they want to develop their lifestyle and last, they want a healthy & fit body.

Surfers spend hours and hours on the water catching the waves. Do you know How Many Calories Surfing burns? That’s the agenda of our article today!

An average surfer burns almost 500 to 600 calories per hour. Surfers have toned muscles, built bodies, and a healthy lifestyle just for the benefit of burning huge calories with fun.

However, burning calories varies on age, weight, wave quality, etc. Today, we’re gonna learn the estimated range of calories burned, how you can be energetic and many more relatable queries in this article. So, let’s dive in! 

What Are Calories?

To put it in simple words, a calorie is a unit to measure the amount of energy we have consumed from food or drinks.

Now, if we want a proper definition, that’ll be all living beings get energy by ingesting food or drinks. Our body uses that energy to keep us living and breathing.

To count the energy we consume or the energy we lose by any physical exercise, we use calories as the standard unit.

Now you see, if you continue ingesting more calories than necessary, your body stores it up and it becomes the so-called fat. It weighs you up.

That’s why it’s very important to burn the extra calories we don’t need by performing regular body activities. 

The amount of calories depends on age, height, weight, and physical activities. For example- if you work out regularly, you’ll need more energy (calories) than a person who doesn’t work out.

A thorough guideline for these calories is, for a male healthy body 2,500 kcal is enough and for a female around 2,000 kcal. 

How to Burn Calories? 

How to Burn Calories

Now if we talk about shredding calories, it also depends on the physical exercise, age, weight, and height of the person.

Most importantly, the main factor is the level of intensity of physical activities the person performs. The more rigorous the activities, the more calories will burn. Simple calculation!

Therefore, burning calories isn’t an easy task. You’ve to be careful about your diet and physical activities. That’s when surfing comes into the limelight because it’s a full-body workout.

Surfers have to continuously move their hands, legs, core, upper back, and lower back. So, compared to other sports, surfing is both fun and efficient. 

How Many Calories Does Surfing Burn? 

Did you know that surfing burns more calories than normal walking or running session? If you’re a surfer you already know that surfing needs lots of energy to catch and ride a wave.

As mentioned before, surfers can burn 500 or 600 calories on average which is similar to a small pizza or one cream cheese pasta! 

Now, if we dig into details we can see the 3 factors that determine the calorie-burning question. Those are- 

  • Your weight 
  • The time you spend in the water 
  • Intensity or level of surfing session 

It’s a simple calculation which is if you catch many waves or paddle much, you’ll burn much more calories. And if you don’t have many waves, you’ll lose fewer calories.

For example- if a person of 50kg burns 170 calories after a one-hour surf session, then a person of 80kg can burn 240 calories after the same session. 

Surfers have to lift their body and use it with the flow which means more muscles are used. More muscles used means more calories are burnt.

So, you see the higher the intensity of surfing sessions, the more calories will burn. To understand the “intensity/level” of the surfing session here are some extra scenarios you can consider-

1. Mellow Conditions (200-500 calories)

Mellow Conditions

We can divide mellow conditions into two forms- small offshore clean waves and small onshore messy waves. Both of these sessions are fun, leisurely, and with no potential hurdles.

As it needs less energy to catch the waves or pull the paddle, so there’ll be less burn of calories. 

Surfing in relaxed or small waves that’s why will burn 250 calories on average per hour. But, it can be increased to 500 calories if you increase the paddling. 

2. Medium Waves (300-600 calories)

Medium  Waves

By medium waves, we meant good waves. When the waves get larger and deeper, you need to paddle and move your body more intensely.

The increase in waves means that you’ll have to catch more waves and burn more calories than the smaller waves.

If the waves are in your favor, then you may get a little easier. But, if it’s onshore, you’ll be exhausted. Means more calories burned! 

3. Tough & Epic Waves Surfing Condition (400-700 calories) 

Tough & Epic Waves

When it’s large and tough waves, the hurdle becomes tougher. In tough waves, you won’t have one single minute to stay still, just paddle, catch waves and continue!

So, you see, comparing the above two you’ll catch more waves, and paddle harder so eventually you’ll lose more calories. 

Your turns, dives, and tricks will be more tough, intense, and extraordinary in those big waves. In addition, you’ll be attacked by tons of water, so it’ll be a cardio challenge for you too.

If you just leave the paddle for a second, you may be dragged away 10 meters of water. So, surfing in these tough conditions can burn 700 calories per hour. According to skill level, it may vary. 

How to Get More Energy While Surfing? 

If you want to be energetic while surfing or continue surfing for a while more, then these tips may be helpful for you-

  1. Drink a lot of water or juice. It keeps your muscles active.
  2. Eat lots of carbohydrate foods as they help to gain energy faster. Eat protein before going surfing as protein keeps you energetic for a long time. But, don’t stuff your full stomach with the food! 
  3. While taking a break from surfing, don’t laze around. Play fun stuff with your family or friends. Don’t let your energy level drop and eat healthy snacks at break time. 
  4. Avoid alcohol and caffeine. It reduces the focus and ability to concentrate on the surfing session.
  5. Use a leash that can attach you to your board. Then, you won’t have to worry additionally about losing grip. Plus, use lots of sunscreen on the exposed skin. 

Other Watersports That Can Burn Calories

As we’re here burning our calories with watersports, let’s see some other watersports that can be helpful-

1. Swimming 


Swimming is the simplest and most effective workout you can perform regularly in any water. In swimming, your core, shoulders, chest, back, legs and glutes work the most.

It improves muscle build-up, enhances stamina, and strengthens your joints and ligaments. With swimming per hour, you can lose calories approximately 300-600.

If the swimming is vigorous, you can shred 600-800 calories per hour. Plus, if the waves are intense, you’ll have to burn more calories. 

However, whether you swim or surf don’t forget to wear a swimsuit or surfing suit.

2. Stand-Up Paddling (SUP)

Stand-Up Paddling

With stand-up paddling, you may burn 350-500 calories. SUP actually targets your upper body, back, leg, and abdominal muscles.

You’ll indeed need more energy to paddle through the waves. It depends on the air because if it’s windy you’ll have to use more energy and more calories burned! 

3. Windsurfing 


Windsurfing is thrilling. It can burn 350 calories per hour. Windsurfing and kitesurfing are quite similar.

The calories burned to depend on the intensity of waves and winds. Anyways, expert surfers burn more calories when it comes to windsurfing. 


Why are surfboards so expensive?

Most surfboards cost so much because of the materials used, the labor cost, and also the shipping cost.

The surfboards made by the top brands are more expensive because of their combination material used with some outstanding features.

But, you’ll find some outstanding quality surfboards at an inexpensive price. Such as-

  1. WAVESTORM 8′ Surfboard 
  2. South Bay Board Co. – 7′ Ruccus Premium Foam Surfboards

How long does it take to learn how to surf?

With proper practice for one month, regular two-three hours can help a newbie to improve their skills. If you aren’t improving even after 2-3 months, then try to change your learning pattern. 

To get more ideas about this topic follow the content below – How long is it take to learn to surf?

Does surfing make you skinny?

Well, yeah it does. Surfing makes you skinny, lean, toned up, and strengthens the muscles. The entire body works while surfing, so naturally, for burning huge calories, you’ll be skinnier eventually. 

Final Verdict 

Surfing is fun and thrilling. It’s more exciting if it tones your body and makes your lifestyle healthier. Do we hope you’ve got all the answers to your queries about How Many Calories Surfing burns? 

Always remember that the calorie burn also depends on the types of waves, your weight, and the time you’re surfing. You can burn 800 calories in good waves which is a lot!

Surfing can keep you healthy and make you look fabulous. So, why not make yourself cooler? Best of luck!

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