HM03 Surf will be given to you by Wally’s father after you beat Gym Leader Norman in Petalburg City. Since Norman is the fifth Gym Leader in Hoenn, you’ll need the first 4 Gym badges before you’re able to challenge him.
Surf is arguably the most useful HM in the game, as it allows you to travel across any body of water.
HM03 Surf Location
After earning the fourth Gym Badge, you’ll be able to challenge the fifth Gym back at Petalburg City immediately. You’ll be able to use HM03 Surf when you defeat Gym Leader Norman, who happens to be your father.
Petalburg City’s gym is hard to miss as it’s just north of their Pokémon Center.
Norman will walk you out of the gym after you win the battle.
You’ll get to meet Wally and his father, who will reward you with HM03 Surf for helping out Wally earlier in the game.
Using HM03 Surf Outside of Combat
Once you have the HM, teach a Pokémon Surf – because you’ll need it to progress through the game.
Surf is also a solid water-type move in battle. It boasts a power of 90 and hits all Pokémon in Double Battles.
Your next destination after getting Surf is Route 118, located east of Mauville City. You can now cross the sea to reach Fortree City, home of the sixth Gym Leader.
You can also use Surf to explore extra places that require it; here are some optional locations you can go to:
Exploring Route 105-109
You can now explore these five water routes near Dewford Town, thanks to HM03 Surf.
You can gain a lot of experience from trainers and obtain various items while exploring here.
Exploring Route 115
The northern side of Route 115 is home to a couple of strong trainers and wild Pokémon, but you need to surf north across the sea to reach it.
Jigglypuff is an exclusive Pokémon only found in this route; other Pokémon you may come across are as follows: