Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a competitive first-person shooter, where teams of terrorists and counter-terrorists fight each other for dominance.

However, players sometimes come up with new game modes that allow everyone to enjoy the game in a completely different way. One such mode is surfing.

Today we’ll see what’s surfing in CS: GO and how to surf like a pro.

Introduction

Counter-Strike is known best for its classic mode where players join one of the two teams and their objective is, depending on the team, to either plant and detonate the bomb in a specified area or to secure said area and prevent the other team from causing the explosion. Eliminating all enemies is also a valid way of winning the game.

However, there are other game modes made by the community, allowing players to try completely new things. Jailbreak, zombies, prophunt, deathrun – there are tons of different fan-made modes to check out. Today, however, we’ll focus entirely on surfing – a mode that revolves around sliding on the edges of steep ramps.

Surfing is not something new or exclusive to CS: GO – players were already surfing back when CS 1.6 was the thing. However, due to how fun and unique surfing was, it’s only natural that it made its way to CS: GO as well.

If you want to learn the basics of surfing in CS: GO, we’ve got you covered.

Understanding the Basics of CS: GO Surfing

Surfing in CS: GO simply means sliding along inclined ramps. The ramps are usually set up in such a way that create a challenging obstacle course where your objective is to get to the destination before anyone else. Surfing requires fast reflex and precise movement – it will be the ultimate test for your movement control skills, but once you learn the basic principles of surfing, you’ll see how relaxing and mesmerizing it can actually be. There is that cool sense of freedom when you gain momentum, launch yourself into the air, fly between ramps, and land perfectly on the next one without losing speed. Mastering surfing can also be beneficial in classic gameplay, as it will teach you to move with greater precision, which can be crucial in traditional CS: GO matches.

The main idea of surfing is to jump down right onto the inclined surface and slide along. Once on the surface, if you don’t press any key, under normal circumstances you’ll just begin to slide down and eventually fall off of the ramp – you don’t want that. As counter-intuitive as it may sound, in order to stick to the ramp, you’ll have to press and hold either A or D, depending on which side you’re surfing. If the ramp is on your left, you’ll want to hold A; if it’s on the right, you’ll use D instead. Doing so will prevent fall – instead of being dragged down by gravity, your character will start moving forward, along the ramp, in a curve-shaped trajectory. The ramp can’t be too steep, though, or you’ll keep falling off nevertheless – but you don’t have to worry about it too much unless you plan to create your own surf maps.

Getting Started: Setting Up for Surfing

To begin surfing you’ll have to find a proper surfing map. There are tons of open surf servers you can instantly join and start practicing your surfing skills right away. This is the easiest way to start, but it can also be stressful if you have no experience whatsoever. Before going to public servers, you may want to practice for a while on your own private server – this requires more preparation, but you’ll have full control over the server and its rules. Making your own server will also allow you to surf on any map you want with no lags and no queues.

Setting up your own server is actually pretty easy. First, you have to enable the console, if it’s not enabled yet – you will use the console to execute various commands. To enable the console, just go to the CS: GO game settings and toggle the “enable developer console” option.

To create a new server, choose “offline with bots” from the “play” tab. Choose “no bots” and click “go”. Once the server’s up, you can use the “~” key to open the console. From there you can use various commands to customize your surf server. Here are some of the useful surf commands you should know:

  • changelevel xyz – changes the map to xyz; only maps you’ve played on before will appear on the list; to add more, you’ll have to join servers that use the map you’re looking for, or add them manually through the Steam workshop; surf map names usually start with surf_, such as surf_mesa
  • mp_restartgame 1 – restarts the game; useful if you happen to glitch yourself or fall out the map boundaries
  • sv_cheats 1 – enables cheat commands; this one is essential for the proper surfing experience;
  • sv_airaccelerate x – changes acceleration speed to x; recommended value: 400; lower values make surfing harder
  • sv_maxspeed x – changes max movement speed to x; recommended value: 3500
  • mp_roundtime x – changes round time to x minutes per round; recommended value: 60; 60 is the maximum value and it will give you up to 60 minutes of undisturbed surfing
  • god – enables the so-called god mode, reducing fall damage to 0
  • sv_staminalandcost x – changes the cost of stamina drained after landing to x; recommended value: 0
  • sv_staminajumpcost x – changes the cost of stamina needed for jumping to x; recommended value: 0

With these settings you’re ready to practice surfing at your own pace on your very own private CS: GO surf server.

 

Now that you know how to play surf, there’s one thing left to do: you should adjust your mouse sensitivity, as surfing with default settings may prove to be difficult. You’re not meant to score no-scope 360 headshots with a quick wrist slide here; precise movement is the key, so go ahead and reduce your mouse sensitivity. It can take some time to get used to it, as now you’ll have to move your mouse further to perform the same actions as before, but it’s well worth it in surfing.

Learning the Techniques: How to Surf Effectively

To start surfing, jump down on the ramp and start holding A or D once on the ramp – if the ramp is on your left, use A, and if it’s on your right, use D. This way, you’ll stick to the ramp. When boarding the ramp, try to land at its peak and slide down from there. Don’t slide straight down, though – you need to go forward, too, or you’ll fall off of the ramp.

Ideally, you should slide all the way to the lower part of the ramp and then start pulling up after crossing the middle of the ramp. Basically, your path on the ramp should look like a long curve. Use the mouse to adjust the path you follow – aim lower to slide down to the lower part of the ramp; aim higher to pull up. You’ll have to find yourself what works best for you and when is the best moment to start pulling up – practice is essential. If you master this, you’ll be able to accelerate faster and launch yourself further.

There’s one particular beginner mistake you’ll want to avoid – holding W or S. While surfing, you should go against your instincts. Basically, you should forget about the existence of the W and S keys – don’t use them while surfing; they’ll make surfing impossible.

More difficult surf maps will require extra skills to complete. For example, ramps don’t have to be always straight; they can lean left and right, which means you’ll have to learn how to turn smoothly without losing speed – precise mouse control is the key here.

Practicing and Improving Your Surfing Skills

Surfing requires some practice and it may be quite difficult at first to get it right, but once you’ll get the hang of it, it will become like a second nature. It’s quite difficult to explain surfing with words alone, so don’t expect our guide to turn you into a surfing master right away. A trial-and-error approach is necessary, so it’s best to just jump right into the game and put our tips to use to the best of your abilities.

 

When you’re starting out, it’s strongly recommended to find beginner-friendly maps, where you could practice sticking to the ramp and gaining momentum. No need to overcomplicate things – start slow and develop your skill and confidence before getting to more challenging maps.

If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to ask the community – there are tons of surfers out there who’ll gladly share their knowledge with you, or maybe even show you how it’s done in the game.

Conclusion

Surfing in Counter-Strike is a surprisingly satisfying way of spending free time and a nice change when compared to the traditional CS experience. Instead of a tactical first-person shooter, you get something akin to a fast-paced parkour run simulator, where a different set of skills is required to achieve success. With that being said, mastering surfing can give you an advantage in classic game modes – precise movement is a transferable skill that will be of use regardless of the chosen mode and may even extend to different shooter games.