Jet Skiing Burns a Lot of Calories & Can Be a Great Workout!

does jet skiing burn calories

Last summer my wife and I went on holiday to the Greek island of Crete and decided to hire out some jet skis. As a fanatical calorie counter, I was intrigued to figure out how many calories you can burn by jet skiing, and indeed, whether you burn any at all. To find out I strapped my Garmin sports watch to my wrist and did a few tests.

How many calories do you burn jet skiing? An average sized man is able to burn up to 245 calories in half an hour of jet skiing. During my test I was sitting, standing, twisting, and turning and my GPS sports watch recorded this average calorie number over 3 days of 30-minute jet ski sessions. 

So, there you have it. Jet skiing does burn calories and it compares very closely to what you might expect if you were riding a bike for 30 minutes. I can say that having compared my Garmin calories data on biking versus jet skiing.

Despite the fact that for a lot of the time you’re just sitting down, there’s a lot of cardio work going on. Jet skiing is a good workout and a great way to exercise. Surprisingly, you burn a lot of calories while jet skiing… far more than I thought it would be.

And I really felt it the next day. Jet skiing is a different type of work out to what your body is used to. When I woke up the morning after my first ride, I felt destroyed!

It felt as if I had a heavy workout. My arms, chest, and legs were really stiff. If you enjoy fitness and want a new challenge, I would recommend it as jet skiing does significant calories and works you hard.

how many calories do you burn jet skiing
Does jet skiing burn calories? Yes it does, and I tracked how many calories when I had an extensive workout whilst on a vacation.

Is jet skiing a good workout and exercise?

When we got back from our trip to Crete I thought a little more bit about the implications for calorie burning and how jet skiing had made me feel. It seems like it could be a great way to keep fit, if you have the money for the right gear and access to water.

Handy Hint: Here’s a list of all the gear you need to jet ski in terms of protective clothing and accessories.

The bottom line is; jet skiing burns calories and is a great way to stay in shape as a regular workout. If you live close to a body of water and own a jet ski, you could add this to your usual exercise routine.

It’s a fun way to burn calories and beats going to the gym any day, especially if you love being outdoors in the sun.

Why is jet skiing great exercise?

As I mentioned before, you might not think that jet skiing actually burns calories before you read this post. And I get that, because it seems that you are just sitting. But it actually works a lot of muscle groups and is a great way to get into shape.

If you had to jet ski for just 30 minutes every day, you will improve your cardiovascular system. If you keep doing cardio, this will, in turn, help you to exercise for longer and improve your overall fitness.

Whether you are exercising or just going for a jog, jet-skiing will help with your endurance.

Jet skiing also works your arms and your legs. While you try to keep your balance, your arms and legs work hard to keep the vessel stable. You use your arms to steer the jet ski and this is a big workout for your arms, considering that you are steering through the water.

This is why you feel that burn the next day after an afternoon out jet skiing.

So, imagine if you had to just do a few minutes of jet skiing a day, you will definitely gain muscle strength.

Jet skiing also helps improve your balance. Some waves are calm, and others are harder to ride. While you combat each challenging wave, your body improves its balance. Your core muscles engage to keep you afloat as you maneuver the jet ski through the waters.

Another way to burn more calories during a jet skiing session is to do more moves and turns on the water. The more turns that you do, the more your muscles will work and the more calories you will burn jet skiing.

Therefore, when it comes to getting an awesome work out, jet skiing is really a fantastic watersport to enjoy that will make you burn calories fast.

Make your jet ski workout even better with dietary choices

If you would like to lose some weight while you exercise, it is always important to make a healthy diet part of your routine.

Cut out junk food, sugary drinks, and sweets. Eat a lot of organic vegetables and fruit, as well as lean meat.

Make sure that you also eat the right amounts of food and don’t overindulge on a regular basis.

Drinking the right amount of water for your body weight is also really important if you want to lose weight and get rid of toxins. If you have a great healthy maintainable diet, along with good exercise, then you will shed the weight with ease, as well as work out your muscles.

How does jet skiing calorie burn compare?

If you are like me and enjoy being outdoors, there are many outdoor activities that will help you burn calories.

Here’s how some other popular sports and activities compare to how many calories you can burn when jet skiing.

  • Swimming (900 calories an hour): Swimming is at the top of the list of outdoor activities that burn calories. Within an hour you can burn up to 900 calories. Swimming is also a great activity if you struggle with joint pain. The gentle resistance of the water makes sure that your joints are well protected.
  • Gold (400 calories an hour): Golf is another fun outdoor activity that can burn up to 400 calories an hour. Not only will you be walking (if you ditch the golf cart) and enjoying the beautiful scenery, you will also be giving your arms and back a workout, with your swing.
  • Canoeing (850 calories an hour): Canoeing is a really peaceful outdoor activity that could make you burn about 850 calories an hour if you pick up the pace. Canoeing is an excellent work out as you give your arms, core, and shoulders a good go.
  • Rock climbing (750 calories an hour): For the more adventurous, rock climbing is also a favorite outdoor sport. With rock climbing, you can easily burn 750 calories an hour. Rock climbing is a total body workout. There are many gyms around that offer indoor rock climbing, but you could also just find a great rock face in nature and scale it.
  • Football / soccer (700 calories an hour): For those who enjoy football, you will be happy to know that playing soccer can burn up to 700 calories in an hour. Not only will you be burning calories, but you will be getting a great cardio workout in. You will also be working out your core and legs.
  • Paddle boarding (500 calories an hour): Paddle boarding is another great way to burn calories. You can burn up to 500 calories an hour. Invented in Hawaii, surfers use paddleboards to get further out at sea, to catch bigger waves. Paddle boarding may look calm, but all your muscles engage and work together to help you keep your balance. It’s also interesting to see that paddle boarding has gained a great new following. Many people are now trying out this fun new way of exercise.
  • Horse riding (560 calories an hour): If you love horses, you will be happy to know that horse riding burns a ton of calories. Just walking around in an arena can burn up to 236 calories and jumping can burn up to 140 calories in just 15 minutes. How’s that for an insane workout? Not only will all your muscles be working hard to keep you steady on your faithful steed, but your cardiovascular system will be getting a great workout as well.

As you can see, jet-skiing does burn calories and is a great all over body work out. If you are not keen on jet skiing, there are so many other adventurous and fun outdoor sports that you can enjoy staying fit and keep healthy.


Jet skis can travel very fast (here are the top speeds) and it requires a lot of strength if you really want to push yourself. It’s no wonder why jet skiing can be such a good workout and exercise routine, and it’s certainly something I would love to do more regularly.

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