Surfing with Water Pokemon in FireRed

Surf is one of the most useful HMs in Pokemon FireRed, allowing traversal of water routes and access to new areas. This guide covers how to obtain and utilize Surf both in and out of battle.

Learning Surf

Surf is learned from the HM stationed on Cinnabar Island. Teach it to a water Pokemon like Goldeen or Tentacool found nearby to use it outside of combat.

Where to Use Surf

Surf opens water passages like Route 19 and the Sevir Islands. It’s required to reach Seafoam Islands and advance many key points of the story.

Surfing in Battle

As a damage-dealing water move, Surf is handy coverage for grass and fire foes. Its accuracy decreases significantly indoors however.

Downsides to Surf

A mid-accuracy move and 10% chance to confuse the user annually, but packs a punch for a level 40-ish water type.

Good Pokémon Candidates

Fully evolved forms like Golduck, Ninetales and Starmie make the most of Surf’s power. Gyarados handles the high TM requirements well.

Alternate Surf Breeders

Less evolved forms like Paras, Poliwhirl and Tentacool allow earlier adoption before final evolutions.

Coverage Combinations

Surf synergizes backup grass weaknesses with electric, flying or ice type moves against common foes like Exeggutor, Pidgeotto and Dewgong.

Stats to Consider

Aim for high Special Attack and Speed stats best suited for a powerful, moderately accurate H2O attack.

TMs and HMs to Budget

Water types have limited move slots, so prioritize Surf and save TMs for coverage rather than redundant water attacks.

Making Room for Surf

Consider forgetting less useful HMs your surfer Pokemon may have learned like Cut or Strength to upgrade to Surf.

Post-Game Surfing Possibilities

Surf remains viable on crown teams through the Elite Four and against Legendary Birds/Mewtwo for super effective damage.

Contests & Blue Rival Battles

Fast charging water moves also gel with appeals rounds and tougher post-E4 scripted matches.

Sample Competitive Surf Teams

Golduck50Surf, Ice Beam, Psychic, Hidden Power
Poliwrath50Surf, Ice Punch, Submission, BubbleBeam
Starmie50Surf, Thunderbolt, Psychic, Thunder Wave


What Pokemon is best for Surfing?

Fully evolved water types like Golduck, Poliwrath and Starmie make the most of its base power.

Can I unlearn HM moves?

No, but you can forget them to replace later. Just can’t delete permanently in Generation 3 games.

Are there any non-water types that learn Surf?

Nope, Surf is water-type exclusive in FireRed like all HMs to encourage specific Pokémon teams.


Surf offers strong coverage and mobility throughout FireRed. Teaching it to a hardy water-type opens shortcuts while providing a reliable damage-dealer against multiple opponents. With strategic use, Surf remains a go-to move from mid-game through post-Elite Four battles.

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