What does a practice in CS:GO mean to you? Learning the default grenades and working on your aim on DM servers? Any veteran player would tell you - that’s not enough. Eye-hand coordination and working on both left and right hands are the key to victory in every match. And, of course, don’t forget about the mind.
Training the right hand is obvious. Just shoot at the bots on practice servers or shoot other players on DM or matchmaking. But how often do you train your left hand? Have you noticed how smoothly the pro players move around the map? Famous Edward’s bunnyhop under the train cars on Train back in CS 1.6, moving backwards with no mistakes, quick and efficient jump on boxes or around the corner. You can easily find moments in Counter-Strike history when movement was a key factor in gaining victory. Today we’ll talk about surfing in CS:GO.
What is "surf" or "surfing" in CS:GO?
You’ve probably already seen players bunnyhops in other games like Half-Life 2 or Garry’s Mod. That’s all thanks to the game’s Source engine, which is common for all these games, along with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. It has one peculiar property that can be exploited. If a map has a slope with a particular angle and length, instead of sliding on it like we would in real life, we can instead ride it with extreme acceleration.
Why do you need surfing in CS:GO?
First of all, it is the best way to train your left hand coordination in Counter-Strike. You’ll feel every part of the map, moving around will become much more comfortable. You’ll stop being distracted by little bumps, slopes and boxes, you’ll stop missing your keyboard buttons. You’ll learn how to properly use Shift, when to release W and how to instantly get behind any corner you want.
The secon point is that surfing allows you to cross over certain parts of a map much quicker than by simply walking. You’ll become harder to hit and you’ll be able to get any position much earlier than your opponents would expect. The easiest example for this is a position under heaven on Overpass.
How can surfing be useful here? By jumping on the left side of this surface you can get to the right side incredibly quickly. Your opponent definitely won’t be able to hit you. Another advantage of surfing is that it’s completely silent, allowing you to move without giving up any information about yourself to an enemy.
Obviously, you shouldn’t use this trick during every round, don’t turn the map into a circus if you’re not completely sure of your surfing skills. Your opponents probably won’t be fooled by this more than a couple of times, but you can be absolutely sure that it could save you on more than one occasion.
Another example is surprising the attacking team by jumping from Short.
In order to do that you have to jump right on this surface from Short and slide up to the pipe. Examples like these aren’t that frequent, Overpass is the only map on current competitive map pool, which has a lot of surfaces like these. Still, Valve may yet release more maps with similar structure.
Third, surfing allows you to reach places otherwise inaccessible without a boost. You’ll learn how to do that as your surfing skill grows.
And as a bonus, surfing also trains your right hand, making movements more smooth and confident and turning around in the exact direction you want becomes much easier.
How to surf in CS:GO? Surf control
Finally, it’s time to look at more practical stuff. Surfing in CS:GO is quite easy, the only hard thing is to forget about the W button. That’s right, the concept of moving forward without actually holding the forward button can seem weird at first. The same idea lies behind other movement tricks like bunnyhop. Under certain conditions, strafing by using the A and D buttons can move you forward much quicker than W would.
To begin surfing just jump on a slope in front of you (you should try doing that on special CS:GO surf maps). As soon as you land on a slope you have to release W and press either A or D instead. It depends on the direction of a slope. If the slope goes from right to left, you press D, from left to right - A. After that try to look straight ahead. To slide smoothly you need to move your mouse just as smoothly. Turning the mouse in the slope’s top direction will slow you down a bit, turning in the bottom's direction will accelerate you instead, but it will increase your chances of falling.
You’ll get the basics of CS:GO surfing after ten minutes of trying. It’s best to start practicing on easier maps without long jumps that also require strafing in the air to get enough speed.
The sooner you get used to releasing W, the easier learning process will be for you. Pressing W during surfing stops you from accelerating and just makes you fall from a slope
It all may sound complicated as you read it, so you should definitely watch some tutorial videos about CS:GO surf. Here’s one by Kong Zombies. Not only does he explain the basics, he also has the keyboard overlay showing the buttons he presses during the surf.
Another technique you’ll need to learn to successfully surf is smoothly turning in the air. It allows you to fly around the corners and float from one surface to another. Notice how the player is turning in the direction he needs. With practice you can do even 360° turns this way. It may be necessary if you’re falling along the thin pipe and you mustn’t hit the walls.
You’ll be using strafes to turn (A and D button again). To make a left turn press A and begin to smoothly turn your mouse to the left. As you can guess, you’ll be pressing the D button to turn right. And you should always remember to never press W, even if you really want to. Also you should never flick the mouse - turning too quickly will make you lose speed. Both of your hands have to move in unison. This technique is called Strafe Jump.
Turns like this will be useful not only on surf maps, but also in real competitive matches. Knowing how to accelerate in the air and not to slow down will allow you to neatly avoid your opponents back to safety for a quick reload. All you need is to get some speed by hopping and away to cover you go. That’s even quicker than running with a knife.
Surfing in CS:GO isn’t mandatory, but even professional players don’t shy away from practicing it. Here’s a good example of it:
How to find surf servers in CS:GO
So, you’ve watched surf tutorials and read some guild and you’re ready to practice. What would be the perfect place to do that? Definitely not maps from Active Duty, even Overpass won’t do. The best place to practice surfing is a special surf map. Browsing Steam Workshop for surf maps might be a solid idea, but it has its flaws. Map isn’t the only thing you need to comfortably surf, a special set of console commands is also important. You won’t be able to surf and fly around the map without it, where’s the fun in that?
Still, the game devs manage to insert the required settings right into the Workshop maps. You can find dedicated surf maps by simply typing “surf” in the search bar. Look for positions with a rating of 4 stars and higher and positive user reviews.
Anyway, we’ll be covering how to set up your own surf server in a separate guide, meanwhile it would be easier to use an existing solution.
You won’t have any trouble finding a CS:GO surfing server. You won’t even need to use Google for that. You can easily find it on the in-game server browser.
- Press the Play button in the main menu.
- Select “Community servers” from the dropdown menu.
- Type “surf” in filters. The search engine will immediately find you hundreds of different servers, choose the one that looks at you and get to training! You can add the servers you like to your favorites by pressing the corresponding button.
Good luck on the servers!