Water Torture (also known as Shoulder the Load) is a recurring endurance challenge that originated in Survivor: The Australian Outback and was modified and reused in later seasons.
When originally used in The Australian Outback, 1 man from each tribe was chosen to be the designated water bearer who would hold weight in water from the other tribe until the weight became too much to bear.
Starting in Pearl Islands and since, three members from each tribe will have a pole across their shoulders. Each round, weight (20 lbs.) will be added to that pole. The decision about which tribe member gets the weight will be made by the other tribe. When the weight becomes too much to bear, the tribe member will drop the pole and be out of the challenge. Last person left standing wins reward or immunity for their tribe.
In its debut during Survivor: The Australian Outback, Michael and Colby were the two designated water bearers. After time elapsed they were both carrying approximately 400 lbs. of water, where soon Michael's pole snapped in half. The two went into a tiebreaker in which Colby won for his tribe, Ogakor.
|Total weight when dropped||Who held this weight||Total weight when dropped||Who held this weight|
|240 lbs.||220 lbs.|
|180 lbs.||160 lbs.|
|140 lbs.||100 lbs.|
| The Australian Outback|
"Trust No One"
| Pearl Islands|
"Me and My Snake"
"The Strongest Man Alive"
| South Pacific|
- Rupert Boneham held the original record weight of 220 lbs. J.T. Thomas and Brendan Synnott matched this weight in Tocantins.
- Christa Hastie holds the record for highest weight for women, 160 lbs.
- Coach Wade has played this challenge twice, each time determining which member of the opposing tribe received extra weight. His tribe lost the challenge both times.
- Dawn Meehan is the oldest woman to win this challenge. Andrew Savage is the oldest man to win this challenge.
- Debbie Beebe and Taj Johnson-George dropped out at the smallest amount of weight. Both dropped out at 100 lbs.
- However, Taj had already won the challenge when she dropped while Debbie dropped when the challenge was still on.