What is CSGO surfing? How this glitch turned into a mini-game

Reading time: 2 min

Surfing is a unique feature of the Source engine that lets players quickly gain speed when hugging steep angles. What started as a glitch has become the most popular custom game modes in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and other Source titles. Surfing has become an iconic CSGO custom game for its difficult, yet strangely calming challenge.

Surfing has its roots in the original Half-Life’s Goldsource engine. Since Half-Life served as the base game for the original Counter-Strike 1.6, surfing carried over to the multiplayer shooter.

After the glitch’s discovery around 2008, players began making custom surf maps in the Source map editor. Surf servers are still a common sight today in the CSGO lobby browser. There are currently over 1,900 surf maps available on the Steam workshop, though their quality ranges from throwaway test maps to fully-fledged gauntlets that stump even the most experienced CSGO surfers.

There are only a handful of spots in the CSGO active duty map pool suitable for surfing. The most famous example is on Overpass near monster, where CTs can briefly surf and gain speed for a peek. Clever players like Team Vitality’s Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut have taken advantage of the wall’s coincidentally surfable angle.

How to surf in CSGO

Before you cah on. If the wall is to your left, hold the A key into it. On the right, hold D. Many surf maps are symmetrical in nature, but you’ll needn air strafe and sequence like a pro, you first need to learn how to stick to the wall. After gaining some momentum, simply hug the wall and you should latc to be competent on both sides of the wall.

Control your vertical positioning by angling your mouse up and down. To build speed, start at the top of a surfable wall and slowly angle yourself downwards. At the end of walls, quickly ramp your character upwards to get some lift. Air-strafing is also a very important part of surfing in CSGO. To monitor your in-game velocity, type cl_showpos 1 in the console.

Hopping into a public surf server is intimidating, but you can practice surfing in a private lobby by downloading the maps yourself from the Steam workshop. CSGO surf maps for beginners include surf_colours and surf_classics. Once you’re a bit more comfortable, try out the gold standard of CSGO surf maps surf_utopia_v3.