In this tutorial, I will learn you everything about skill surfing and surfing in general and give you some advanced tips.
==== Why you should start surfing. ===
First of all, and most importantly, it's fun! No matter how good you are, you'll always find a way to have fun. If you're new, it's a completely different game, something you have never seen before. If you've played before and already know the very basics, there are still a lot of new things to learn and you'll see yourself improving fast. If you're decent, you begin to communicate with the community, find new friend and look up to very good surfers. You will notice that you get more and more competitive as well. If you're above decent, there are still many maps to discover and there are maps coming out weekly, you also begin to gain respect. If you're very good you begin to focus on getting world records, which will feel very rewarding when you get theme. And the very good surfers you once looked up to, are now more like normal friends or opponents.
It will also help you with your overall skills:
- it will improve your reaction time
- you will begin using your lower sensitivity in other games and with that improve your accuracy
- many really good surfers are also really good at other games when they take a break in surfing (Troflecopter was in a pro team in csgo / Chipzy is in a pro h1z1 team right now/Remkoe is in a pro team of Rocket League...)
- Some advanced moves used in surf are also used in matchmaking, such as airstrafing, bhopping (see Surf terms) and getting hard shortcut jumps.
=== Where to surf? ===
There are 2 "places" where you can surf:
- on big servers that are made for surfing (done by most people)
- on a private game you make yourself
To surf on a big server you just need to go to the server browser of your source engine game and search for a server with the current map beginning with: surf_
To surf on a private game you first have to have a surf map, you do that by subscribing to one via the workshop or by downloading one from the internet (on websites like http://gamebanana.com
) and putting them in your "maps" folder or when you have already played a surf map on a big server it has been downloaded automatically. Then you open your console and type: "map surf_(the name of the map)". When the map has been loaded you have to open your console once more and type:
- mp_roundtime 999 / mp_ignore_round_win_conditions 1 (will extend the round so you don't have to restart every 5 minutes)
- svcheats 1 (makes it possible to use sv commands)
- endround (restarts the round so the first command will activate)
- bot_kick (kicks annoying bots)
- sv_airaccelerate 150 (makes it possible to surf)
- god (will make sure you don't get killed after falling of a ramp or when hitting the middle of a ramp)
- (for combat and trick surf (will be explained later)) ent_remove_all logic_timer (will disable the jail)
For copy and paste: mp_roundtime 999; sv_cheats 1; endround and after that mp_ignore_round_win_conditions 1; bot_kick; sv_airaccelerate 150; god; ent_remove_all logic_timer
The best servers to surf on when you are already decent at it (the primary servers of each game) are:
Cs:s is in every way the best game for surf because it is lightweight for computers, highly modable, the smoothest and most accurate because of the mechanics and has the best surftimer as well as the most pro surfers.
There is also a game made by the community for offline surfing called Momentum Mod. It uses the source engine, just like all other valve games on which you can surf. It has a build in timer, starts with the right settings and has an autobhop function. It also gets rid of some issues the other games have, for example rampglitches/rampbugs (see Surf terms)
=== The surf controls. ===
When you're on the left side of a ramp, press "d". When you're on the right side of a ramp, press "a". This is easy to remember by thinking that you want to press yourself against the ramp to not fall of and by this: d/\a
When you have to take an inward curve, if you have enough speed, press the opposite key, so: a/\d
You go down on a ramp by looking the opposite side of the ramp (for example: when you're on the left side of a ramp, look left) and up if you look the other way. Looking up or down is only for your own clarity and doesn't affect anything.
In the air, press "a" and slowly look to the left to make a curve like motion to the left. The same goes for pressing "d" and looking to the right (this is called strafing).
Never press "w" on a ramp because that will decrease your speed and grip immensely, pressing "s" makes you stop immediately (in the air as well) so you can use it to land somewhere.
Pressing "shift" won't affect you while surfing, "control" on the other hand can be handy if you are a little too high or too low to go through something because it will shorten your hitbox, it will also ruin your speed when strafing left or right so only use it when it's necessary.
While surfing in a different angle (advanced showoff stuff that beginners shouldn't worry about and doesn't help you with better runs) you use different controls:
- for backwards surfing, "a" and "d" are switched, so are "w" and "s"
- for half sideways surfing, you use "a" and "w" or "d" and "w" on the ramp and strafe with "w" and "s"
- for sideways surfing "a" - "w" and "s" - "d" are switched
Sometimes you will have to bhop (jump at the same time you hit the ground to keep your speed) by pressing space or (handy tip) by scrolling when you've typed this in the console:
bind mwheelup "+jump"
bind mwheeldown "+jump"
Some big servers have a plugin that will spam it for you (or at least at the necessary places) so you only have to hold "space" while flying towards the ground you want to bhop on.
=== The surf mechanics. ===
You gain speed by going from a high point to a low point on a ramp. You lose the least speed while going from one ramp to another when you go with the ramp and not bump into it, it's sort of like landing a plane, you want to slowly make contact with the ground and be on the same angle as the direction of the ground (ramp). While going onto a ramp from a high angle you should move downwards to reduce the loss of speed (landing smoothly), this is covered in detail at 1:17 in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYc52kwTNb8
Servers have something called tick rate, the higher the tick rate, the easiefaster surf gets. The default tick rates for each game are:
cs:s = 66
cs:go = 64
cs 1.6 = Is based on client-side fps rather than tick rate.
tf2 = 64
gmod = 66
momentum = 66
But some servers use a custom 100 tick for people that want surfing to be easy.
=== The surf terms. ===
There are 3 types of surfing:
- skill surf (surfing from beginning to end where the objective is to do it in the least time possible (most common surf))
- combat surf (surfing in a surf arena while fighting others)
- trick surf (doing tricks in a surf arena)
- ramp-strafing: going away from and coming back to the ramp your on to avoid holes and rough bends on a ramp (see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhWI3RQrFxY )
- strafing: see the tips
- pre-strafing: see the tips
- ramp: the triangle like shapes you surf on (in any form and length)
- spin: a hole with obstacles you need to go trough
- boost: a place where you gain free speed
- angle surfing: bw, hsw and sw surfing
- bw: backwards (surfing while facing the other way)
- hsw: half sideways (surfing while halfly facing away from or looking at the ramp)
- sw: sideways (surfing while facing away from or looking at the ramp)
- prehopping: bhopping before beginning a map to gain extra speed at your start (not allowed in some servers)
- double boosting / crouch boosting: using a single boost twice at the same time to gain even more speed by crouching repeatedly very fast (not allowed in some servers)
- rampglitch/rampbug: instantly losing all your speed for no reason while being on a ramp (happens every now and then, on some maps its more common than on others though)
- units: the kind of distance in the games (similar to inches and meters) (used to measure your speed)
- velocity: the rate of change of the position of an object (with other words speed)
- maxvelocity: the maximal amount of velocity reachable (changeable with the command: "sv_maxvelocity "the amount"" but is in most maps 3500)
- sync: the synchronization between pressing a or d and moving your mouse/the synchronization between your right and left hand
In skill surf only:
- there are 2 types of maps, Linear maps (beginning > end) and staged maps (beginning > co-beginnings and ends > end)
- the difficulty is divided in 6 "Tiers":
Tier 1: very easy
Tier 2: easy (for the biggest part of the surfing community normal)
Tier 3: normal
Tier 4: hard
Tier 5: very hard
Tier 6: insane
Maps can get harder by: making you have to surf better (both in smoothness and the route on the ramp you take), making it longer, making it more fast-paced and by adding parts where you need to use advanced movements (for example ramp-strafing)
- cp: checkpoint
- wr: world record (on the biggest/most official surfers)
- sr: server record
- pr: player record
=== Tips ===
- DECREASE YOUR SENSITIVITY, this is probably the most important tip anyone can give you. Why? because it will make you more precise and your movements slower (smoother) which is an important thing in surf! If your mouse can't handle it, buy a better mouse, if you slip of your mousepad, buy a bigger mousepad (for example this one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/r0s/TeckNet-Gaming-Mouse-Mat-320x250x2mm-Dimension-Special-Textured/B00YKGJG64?th=1), You can slowly work your way up to a low sensitivity if you find it hard to get used to it. I, for example, jumped from a normal sensitivity to 800 dpi and 0.9 in-game because I saw that a pro player used it, it was very hard to get used to, but after that I never changed it. The right sensitivity is different for everyone though.
- if you type in the chat: !r (it respawns you to the beginning of the map), !back or !teleport (it respawns you to the beginning of the stage or on a linear map does the same as !r) and !spec (it brings you to spectating mode where you can spectate other players and the wr or sr bot)
- watch good surfers surf (for example on videos of world records on this YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/useksfrecords , spectating the wr bot, spectating good surfers or watching streams of good surfers).
- Increasing the amount of sv_airaccelerate makes surfing easier, so you can turn it up if you can't make a jump after a few tries, but after getting the feeling of surf I would recommend keeping it on 150 so you don't learn surfing wrong.
- in the console you can bind the "!" commands to a key by changing! to sm_ (for example: bind e "sm_back") you can check commands for each server trough a command, for example: !info on ksf.
- you can also bind a key to +left or +right to make the game automatically turn the character that direction for the time you press that key (for example: bind mouse5 "+left". and: bind mouse4 "+right") (used on spins and parts where you don't have enough mouse room). You can change the speed your turning by using the command: "cl_yawspeed "the amount"" (the default amount is 210). The higher the yaw speed, the slower you turn.
- when you go left and right after each other repeatedly in the air, you gain speed and with that also reach further away, don't do it to fast after each other though, otherwise you will lose speed instead.
- to begin with some more speed before even hitting the first ramp you can do a special set of moves (it's called pre-strafing and can make your normal 260 walking speed (units xy) go up to 350 (units xy)) explained in this video (This only works for cs:s, gmod and momentum): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0Q704wWdUA .
- A 144hz+ monitor is also a big improvement because it will make screen tearing way less and above all makes it visually way clearer while moving. Make sure you have a fps higher than 145 though, otherwise it won't work.
- I would highly recommend watching these 2 awesome surfing tutorial videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYc52kwTNb8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3tys016mwg .
- On some servers, it is possible to save your location, speed and direction with the command sm_saveloc (It's best to bind it to a key) and load it with sm_back or sm_teleport.
- Never use v-sync, bloom or motion blur because it will reduce your fps (with v-sync extremely) and only makes everything looks less clear. The source games have a maximal fps of 300 and with most everyday gaming computers, this limit is easily achievable. So, if you have a fps rate that sometimes goes under 250, I would recommend decreasing things like the player model and texture quality but keeping the anti-alliance and rendering settings high.
most pro players use this command to do parts of a map over and over to train for a good time.
=== Warning ===
Surfing is easy to learn but hard and time consuming to master. But There's always someone who will be glad to help you out, try to find a balance between competitiveness and having fun. Have Fun!
=== Other ===
- A big shout out to Arisha, rippe, lelouch and rool for helped me with ideals and my bad spelling and to Streebree, SurfKultur, KSFrecords and beetle179 for making awesome and helpful YouTube videos
- I highly recommend listening to music and/or talking/chatting with friends while surfing because the game sounds don't really matter in surf
- If you want to record your gameplay, the best option is using SDR. (a program made by a pro surfer named Crash Fort).
It doesn't work on cs:go though. Here is a link with the download and a tutorial: https://github.com/crashfort/SourceDemoRender
- Fixed some spelling mistakes
- Added a lot more topics, such as: bhopping, tick rate, a more detailed instruction of angle surfing etc.
- Made it look a little clearer
- I let a few other good surfers (including a very high ranked and fairly popular surfer (rool)) check my text and fixed with that another few mistakes
- Added the topic "Why you should start surfing." by the suggestion of donz0r
- Added information about saveloc
- Added === Other ===
- Added a better explanation about the tick rates per game
- Added more shout outs because they deserve it
- Found out what surfer is in the rocket league pro team (remkoe)