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Lava Surfing

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Don't wipe out.

This trope is when characters ride on lava.

They usually surf on a floating rock that happens to be nearby, or something flat they happen to have with them, unless they're so cool they don't need any of those things. If the heroes are in the Lethal Lava Land or stuck near Chekhov's Volcano, you can bet this is how they will escape. (Magma Men tend to do this a lot.) Sometimes, the object being used to surf will start to burn up or melt, making the surfer find another board.

See also Implausible Boarding Skills. Often takes place in front of a Climactic Volcano Backdrop. Subtrope of Convection Schmonvection and Lava is Boiling Kool-Aid. Sister trope to Ride the Lightning.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Pokémon Adventures has the finale of the Yellow Arc, where Yellow lava surfs during the final battle and creates a massive whirlpool of lava that engulfs Lance.
  • In Ranma ½, during the midair battle of the Grand Finale, Ranma knocks the Phoenix King Saffron out of the sky and towards the ground. But Saffron's Battle Aura causes the solid rock to gush upwards in a a huge gout of magma; Ranma only survives because the hyper-frozen boulder he had been riding conveniently takes the brunt of the lava, but even it has completely disintegrated by the next panel.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • In Look to Windward, lava rafting is an extreme sport that citizens of the Culture participate in on unfinished habitats.
  • This occurs in the How to Train Your Dragon novel How to Twist a Dragon's Tale when Hiccup is escaping from Big Bad Alvin the Treacherous by riding the lava of a volcano away from him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Eleventh Doctor, in the short video "Pond Life", manages to escape from a couple of squads of Sontarans this way.

    Tabletop Games 
  • It's small, and in the background, enough to be considered an Easter Egg, but the card art for the Magic: The Gathering card Flame Wave has a man surfing the lava while others are being engulfed by it.

  • Several characters in BIONICLE participate in the sport of lava surfing with no adverse effects. Handwaved in that they're cyborgs, most of whom have some form of heat resistance.
    • Only Matoran of fire, who have a greater heat resistance (as per Required Secondary Powers), do it for sport. Other characters surf on lava only if needed to escape. It was also mentioned that Toa of fire could survive a few seconds in lava. No one thinks that it is stupid to surf for sport on a liquid that will kill you if you fall.

    Video Games 
  • Bayonetta surfs to escape lava in one cutscene, using a mook as a surfboard.
  • In Super Mario 64, you can use a Koopa shell to lava surf.
  • The course 'Hot Top Volcano' from Diddy Kong Racing can be raced on using either a plane or a hovercraft. If the player chooses to use the hovercraft, they will be required to ride over pools of lava. However, only a plane can be used for the track during story mode.
  • In Conker's Bad Fur Day, during the Ugga stage, Conker is knocked out and mugged by a group of cavemen thugs. When he wakes up, he has to chase them through a prehistoric world by surfing over lava on a hoverboard, and then knock them all into the lava with his frying pan to get his money back. Yeah, it's that kind of game.
  • In The Lion King, Simba surfs down a river of lava on a stalactite.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Link can lava surf on sinking rock platforms, and even create platforms by dropping water into the lava.
  • The A-Grav Zoomer segments in Fire Canyon and Lava from Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy has the zoomer come with a heat shield to prevent the duo from being cooked alive. Otherwise, they're essentially using this trope.
  • The Lava Lair and Adder's Lair tracks in Sonic & SEGA All Stars Racing allows the characters to drive or boat over streams of lava. Poked fun at in this Sonic Short, where Sonic has this to say:
    "Whose idea was it to boat race in hot lava!?"
  • In Epic Battle Fantasy 5, one of the bonus dungeons has an NPC that, after talking to, attempts to do this off screen. All that's left afterwards is his skull and surfboard.

    Western Animation 


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