how many calories does surfing burn

How Many Calories Does Surfing Burn? – An Expert Analysis

Are you interested in knowing how many calories does surfing burn? The short answer is that it depends. It varies according to the kind of session that you have, along with several other factors such as your weight. Still, it is possible to achieve a close estimation of the number of calories that you can burn while surfing. 

Surfing in a Relaxed Day

Imagine a normal day, with inconsistent and small waves. You see yourself just sitting on your surfboard. You enjoy burst paddling now and then, and a fast ride while moderately paddling out. This interval routine is somewhat similar to lifting weights, burning between 250 and 300 calories per hour. This is the estimate for a person with a weight of 180 pounds. 

Most of the time, you have the option to spike up the number. Rather, you can stay inside, trying to catch waves, while broadening attempts to executing late drops. You may want to avoid trying to be too specific about wave choices. If you opt to surf like this, there is a possibility of increasing the number up to 350 or 450 calories. 

Surfing in Smaller Waves

If you are into paddling while standing up, you can further increase the number of calories burned by about 50 – 150. Note that this may vary depending on some factors, including the location. Depending on the location, you may encounter long paddle-outs. In this setting, a boarder can easily burn more while paddling out than having the entire energy spent while standing up while paddling around. 

The number of calories burned in this condition also varies depending on the wind conditions at that time. For example, when surfing in Hawaii, expect trades going up 15 to 20 knots, making the experience more intense. It also depends on the number of clean-up routines. A rider who catches a bunch of burns can burn more calories being caught inside. 

Surfing in Amazing Waves

The calories that you burn while surfing in amazing waves may vary based on certain factors and scenarios. 

For example, you can gain up to 300 calories per hour when doing sets with lulls. There is no drift, it is crowded, which means that you cannot catch many waves, though you still enjoy your time. 

Expect to get between 400 to 500 calories per hour when dealing with several sets, a good amount of drift, and light crowds. You can even expect extra if you are surfing on an exciting beach break. 

You can also burn up to 600 to 800 calories per hour when going to brutal spots for some good sessions. A good day at the North Shore or the Laniakea is a good example. Epic beach breaks can also give you this same number of calories burned. 

Using Surfing Calculators

If you have no idea how many calories does surfing burn, you can take advantage of available surfing calorie calculators online. They are very easy to use. All you need to do is to enter your weight, the number of minutes that you have spent while surfing, and you have an estimate. 

Again, you can only get an estimate because there are still other factors that need to be taken into consideration, including the ones that are mentioned above. These calculators come in forms, allowing you to enter the amount easily. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, surfing for a full hour, you can burn about 497 kilocalories. 

How Calculations are Achieved

For most online surfing calorie calculators, the MET value is used. The MET, or Metabolic Equivalent of Task value of surfing, is 5.8. The met value is then multiplied by a person’s weight in kilogram. This is then multiplied by 0.0175, along with the duration in minutes. 

As such, this is what happens. 

Weight of a person: 180 pounds

MET Value (Surfing): 5.8 (standard value for surfing)

Duration of surfing: 30 minutes

Calculation: (180/2.20462) x 5.8 x 0.0175 x 30 minutes = 249

Total: 249 kilocalories for 30 minutes

Note that the MET values do not provide an estimate of the energy cost done on any physical activity among individuals in ways accounting for the variety in body mass, age, adiposity, sex, movement efficiency, environmental and geographic conditions in which activities such as wakeboarding is performed. As such, the individual differences in energy spent for the very same activity can be huge enough, while the real energy cost for a person may also not be as close to the mean MET level. 


So, is surfing a worthwhile activity? Now that you know how many calories does surfing burn, you are now in a better position to make the most out of it. If you think that this article has helped you, feel free to share this with your friends. You may also leave your comments in the comments section below.

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