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Surfing is a popular modification/mini-game that originated on Counter-Strike but has since jumped to Team Fortress 2, and is also the term used for gliding into slanted walls or surfing ramps. Many maps have been made for the sole purpose of utilising this and they are often very diverse. Sometimes there are maps designed for combat and include surfing ramps to create a unique battle scenario, but most of the time the objective of these servers will be to reach the "end" of a lengthy course of surfing ramps. The servers that host surf maps often alter the physics as doing so can make surfing easier.
A basic walkthrough to surfing can be found here.
Surf ramps are slanted walls which a player must strafe against using theor keys. This is also how a player must get to the end of a map. Surf ramps can loop, curve or slant in almost any direction. Usually, the key is never used, because upon its trigger, it causes the player to instantly lose traction with the surf ramp, and thus slide downwards.
A very notable part of any surf map is the Jail. Whenever a player must stray away from the surf ramps or fall onto the map floor, a player must are then most likely to end up in jail. Jails can usually be operated in different spots, but most often situated where the opposing team may be able to kill victims or an arena like area, often in a remote place. Commonly, there is a kill button (that kills everyone instantly or over time) and a free button that opens an exit, allowing players to continue surfing on the regular map.
BLU and RED Spawns may be as close or as far away from each other as possible. Forgiving maps may respawn a player here if they fall off too early.
The Top is a peak of a map. It may be near the spawns.
Whenever a player reaches the specified End to the map, a player can usually be teleported to a multitude of places. These places could be the top of jail, where one may be able to score frags, unique locations that contain specific reward triggers, or a variable of other places.
Regular Surf maps can have a variety of objectives such as:
- capturing the Intelligence from the opposite team.
- capturing a control point.
- making it to the end of the level.
These maps generally contain a jail and a top.
Arena Surf maps are designed for deathmatch. Surfing is meager, with little or no clear goals, and is mainly for faster travel around the map. Falling off will teleport the player into the center of the map, usually where other players are. Akin to Arena mode, players will not respawn after death. These maps generally do not contain a jail, top, or end.
Skill Surf maps are purely surfing, and as such have little or no fighting. Maps greatly range in difficulty and rarely contain a jail or central region. Many of these maps will have multiple routes, and weapons are occasionally disabled on more challenging surf servers to promote surfing over miscellaneous combat and to avoid people using certain weapons and items to help them get across (like the Rocket Jumper, the Force-A-Nature and the Atomizer). These maps rarely contain a jail, top, or end.
- Play as the Soldier, equip either the Rocket Jumper or the Gunboats and keep rocket-jumping whilst on the ramps. However, this would only work on a server that allows for infinite clips, as the time penalty for reloading will likely cause you to fall.
- Alternatively, play as the Scout (equipping the Atomizer can also help, but isn't necessary) and carefully walk on the narrow top of the ramps. If you accidentally fall, you should be able to jump back up if you're fast enough. This may take quite a while though, as many surfing maps like to include long, expansive ramps.
- Most maps are usually unique in nature. Experienced surfers can get used to them quicker whilst new players will probably struggle.