Is Surfing Good for Weight Loss?

One of the most effective ways to lose weight naturally
Cesar Alvarez
Cesar Alvarez


Surf nomad

Roaming the globe with a surfboard and a laptop, crafting digital stories that ride the wave of surfing culture.

In a journal article about obesity, it was revealed that the leading motivation for people looking to lose weight is to repair health issues, as well as the desire to feel more comfortable with their body. Given these reasons, more than half of the world’s adults claim that they are usually trying to lose weight. While there are many ways to address a person’s weight, most turn to exercise.

That said, while not top-of-mind for many people, surfing is one such form of exercise that a number of people turn to for fitness. But, while surfing undoubtedly does challenge the body, the question remains whether it is actually effective for weight loss.

How surfing influences weight loss

First of all, since surfing is also a lifestyle rather than just a fitness pursuit, surfers are more likely to be out and about. This is hugely beneficial for a person's health as consistent movement is one of the most effective ways to lose weight naturally. Studies show that those who moved more lost up to 20% more weight than those who just made dietary changes. Additionally, surfing also provides mental stimulation that can promote the release of endorphins. This helps manage stress, which, if left to fester, can lead to an increased risk of weight gain.

In terms of how it affects the body, surfing provides a unique full-body workout. To be able to surf properly requires balance, strength, and endurance—all of which are types of training that help with losing weight. The resistance against the water also increases calorie burn, which helps the body shed fat. Surfing also improves heart health by keeping the heart rate up and forcing the delivery of oxygen into the body. With all of these factors combined, studies have shown that surfing can burn up to 400 calories per hour. In addition, it greatly helps with building muscle strength, which can increase metabolism and help continue burning calories even after the activity.

Ways to enhance surfing’s weight loss effects

Mind your diet

Most sports have their own diet recommendations, which are important for optimal performance and to stay in shape. For surfers, following the right dietary guidelines is crucial due to their high levels of energy expenditure. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for surfers, which is why many eat a carb-heavy meal at least two hours before training. Additionally, surfers also require a good amount of protein and healthy fats for muscle repair and sustained energy. These are typically enjoyed in the form of lean fish or nuts. Following these guidelines will ensure that surfers have the right fuel to keep them training safely.

Surf with friends

Surfing is a great way to meet and build connections with others, especially those who share the same passion for the sport. This allows surfers to build a community that allows them to receive close encouragement and support from people performing the same activity. In terms of surfing for fitness and weight loss, having a like-minded support group can be a huge source of motivation. This can help you train harder and more regularly, which can lead to better results. Planning surf trips, attending surf events and competitions, and staying connected will also add to the enjoyment and feeling of fulfillment in both surfing and weight loss.


Surfing can be challenging, especially for amateurs and beginners. It is extremely important for surfers to be patient with themselves, to be persistent in improving, and to celebrate even the smallest victories. This can lead to a sense of accomplishment and increased motivation to continue surfing. One way to do this is by setting realistic goals for oneself by defining smaller objectives. This can include goals like learning a new technique or strengthening mental capacity. Having more attainable goals helps prevent burnout or frustration, which can stem from not easily hitting the main weight loss or surfing goal.