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TF2 Surf Guide

TF2 Surfing Guide


1. What Is Surfing?

2. How Does It Work?

2.1 Control
2.2 Technique
2.3 Examples

3. Useful Links

1. What Is Surfing?


Surfing is a sort of minigame in TF2. You can only surf on special surf servers, that run surf maps. You can't just download a surf map, start your own server and play. See how a surf server is set up in  chapter 3. Surfing is about gliding on sloping surfaces and reaching a goal this way. The maps vary a lot and the goal is not always obvious. Sometimes there's only an arena, where you're free to do anything. A lot of of the maps are Counter Strike ports. Some maps teleport you to a "jail", when you fall off a wall. An overwhelmingly beatiful goal room is not always included, sometimes there's just a boring teleporters to the enemy spawn area or to position, where the players in jail don't have a fair crack of the whip to kill you.

The surfer's intentions are different. Some surf to reach positions where they can just frag a lot of other players. Others just boycott the whole minigame by doing spawn killing. Real surfers, that have a heart,
enjoy the flow and surf to relax and take a break from everyday point-capping and cart-pushing.

2. How Does It Work?

2. 1 Control

Surfing is done with two buttons:

  • "Run Left" (Standard: "A" or "Left Arrow")

  • "Run Right" (Standard: "D" or "Right Arrow") 

    Do not use "Run Forward"/"Run Backwards". You maybe can to the latter when landing. Also, jumping and ducking is totally unneccassary.

Steering is done by moving the mouse.

To slide on a wall, always walk sideward to the wall. That means that the Scout in the picture walks right (from his point of view). When turning your view towards the wall, you will slide up the wall (green line in the picture). When looking away from the wall, you will slide down the wall (blue line in the picture).
Scout Surfs by Using the Mouse

If you are not touching a wall and you're just flying through the air, you will also exclusively steer using your mouse and sideward buttons. If you want to fly a left turn, do the same as in normal TF2:
Press "A" or "Left Arrow" and move your mouse left, too.

If you're tired of always being teleported to the jails and you don't like people that camp the jails either, make a kill-bind. To do that, enter the following into the console:

bind "k" "kill"

All you'll have to do when falling off a wall now: Press the "K" button, and you'll die. Afterwards you'll be in your respawn area.

2.2 Technique

Rule#1: When losing height, speed is gained
 Coyote's falling

That applies to the free fall where you do not touch a wall and in situations where you do touch a wall. Easy surf maps are built with many slopes, so it's not a problem if you're a bad surfer; You can always get more speed and stay in the flow.

Rule#2: Start at the top, then go down, and afterwards fly out high again
Surfing in TF2 — Racing Line

When surfing uphill, you lose speed. This being so, you should step on the top of the sloping wall elements and then continue surfing near the lower edge. When you do this, you'll gain speed. If the next slope is higher, you must jump/fly there by sliding up the wall you are currently on. Of course this will drain speed.
That means: If you make too many mistakes before you fly, so that you lose a lot of speed, you probably won't fly far enough to make it to the next slope. You could also just be stuck. Don't lose too much speed sliding up the slope either!

Rule#3: Surf on the outside of curves; Try to skip them where you can
Outer surface is good, inner surface is bad

It's easy to surf on the outside of curves. You just use your usual movements to pass them: Press the walk key that "attaches" you to the wall and use your mouse to steer. Surfing on the inner surface of a curve is harder. If you're very fast: Walk left in a left turn and right in a right turn. If you're slow, walk towards the wall element: Walk right in a left turn and left in a right turn. You'll often get to a point where neither of the 2 techniques is possible, because you lost too much speed. As a result, you will not be able to continue your surfing.
If the inner surface is the only place to surf, you should try to skip the curve or parts of it by flying over it. And if even that is not possible, react according to your speed and try to balance it using to the techniques explained earlier (bold print).

Rule#4: Stay cool!
A Cup of Tea

Surfing can be hard. In case you're raging once again, for you always fail at surfing, we recommend going to the kitchen. Go there to brew a yummy tea. Take a break, wait until the tea has the right temperature to drink it, think about your life and then go back to surfing.


2.3 Examples

A Typical Surf Arena (surf_the_flow)
Difficulty: Easy

What's significant:
There are multiple ways to continue surfing after a passed wall element. The elements are big and easy to hit. You will not be punished if you fail, you're just teleported back to the start.
I added arrows to show you where I walk to make it easier for you.

A Typical Surf Parcours Map (surf_legendary_lite)
Difficulty: Normal

What's significant:
There is a start area and a goal area (Note: This map even has multiple goals). To make it easier, the map author has built many downhill-elements. Many elements can be skipped and some are just there for you to save yourself. This map has big elements, which are easy to hit, too.
Again, I added arrows to show you where I walk.

A Typical Surf Skill Map
Difficulty: Hard (For people that can surf, it's still rather easy)

What's significant:
There is a start and goal area again. However, there are no wall elements, that can be skipped by you. Furthermore, some viewers may be thinking: "WTF, how am i supposed to know where to go?" Finding it out is tedious and takes a lot of patience. It even becomes more difficult for there are holes, that you must fly through. The wall elements are small and more difficult to hit.
Arrows are included again.

3. Useful Links

How To Set Up a Surf Server

A TF2 Surfing Group ih the Steam Community (they have surf server IPs.)

Eine Source Surfing Gruppe in der Steam Community (they have IPs, too.)

TF2 Surfmap Downloads

Thank you for reading - [NSA]Manji
Translation by Senkus

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