Mastering the Art of Shield Surfing in The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda series is renowned for its innovative gameplay mechanics, and shield surfing is no exception. Introduced in Breath of the Wild and making a triumphant return in Tears of the Kingdom, shield surfing injects a thrilling dose of speed and style into your Hyrulean adventures.

This comprehensive guide equips you with all the knowledge you need to become a shield surfing champion. From understanding the basics to conquering advanced techniques, you’ll be carving up mountains and gliding across plains like a pro in no time.

The Essentials: Gear Up and Get Ready to Ride

Before hitting the slopes, let’s ensure you have the right gear:

Shield: This is your trusty steed! Any shield will work, although bulkier shields tend to offer better durability during long rides. However, lighter shields might grant slightly more maneuverability. Experiment and find what suits your playstyle.

Slopes: Shield surfing requires an incline. Look for hills, mountainsides, or even strategically placed ramps to get the momentum going.

Catching Your Wave: Initiating the Shield Surf

Once you’ve got your shield and a decent slope, here’s how to initiate the epic ride:

Equip Your Shield: Press the designated button (ZL on most controllers) to pull out your shield.

Gaining Momentum: Start by running down the slope to build up some speed. The faster you go, the farther and faster you’ll shield surf.

The Jump and Flip: Just before reaching the bottom of the slope (or when you feel you have enough speed), press the jump button (X on most controllers). Link will automatically perform a backflip while transitioning into a shield surfing position.

Ride the Wave: As you land on your shield, you’ll be propelled forward in a stylish surf. Use the control stick to steer your direction.

Important Note:  While shield surfing is exhilarating, it can also be dangerous. Be mindful of cliffs, obstacles, and enemies that could abruptly end your ride (and potentially damage Link).

Mastering the Ride: Advanced Techniques for Legendary Surfers

Now that you’ve grasped the basics, let’s explore some advanced techniques to elevate your shield surfing skills:

Sharp Turns: Tilting the control stick sharply will initiate a turn in that direction. Be careful with this at high speeds, as you might lose control and crash.

Braking: Press the B button to slow down or come to a complete stop.

Shield Surfing on Sand and Snow: Shield surfing on sand or snow offers a unique advantage – it doesn’t degrade your shield’s durability! Take advantage of these terrains for extended, carefree rides.

Shield Jumping: While shield surfing, press the jump button (X) again to perform a small hop. This can be helpful for navigating uneven terrain or dodging obstacles.

Shield Surfing on Rails: In The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Link can now utilize his newfound abilities to grind on minecart rails using his shield! Approach the rail while shield surfing and Link will automatically latch on, allowing for a thrilling and potentially high-speed ride.

Beyond the Basics: Utilizing Shield Surfing for Exploration and Combat

Shield surfing isn’t just about looking cool (although it definitely achieves that!). Here are some additional benefits:

Exploration: Shield surfing is a fantastic way to traverse vast landscapes quickly and efficiently.

Combat: A skilled shield surfer can use the momentum to their advantage in combat. Plowing through enemies while shield surfing can deal damage and knock them back. In The 

Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, you can even use your bow and arrow while shield surfing, taking down foes from a distance.

Puzzles and Challenges: Some puzzles and challenges in the game might require the use of shield surfing to reach specific areas or activate mechanisms.

Safety First: Shield Maintenance and Avoiding Wipeouts

Shield surfing takes its toll on your shield. Here’s how to maintain your gear and avoid a nasty wipeout:

Durability: Keep an eye on your shield’s durability gauge. Frequent shield surfing, especially on rough terrain, will deplete its durability. If your shield breaks while shield surfing, Link will take damage from the fall.

Shielding Techniques: While shield surfing, you can still utilize your shield to deflect enemy attacks or projectiles. However, this can further reduce your shield’s durability.

Choosing the Right Terrain: Avoid shield surfing on excessively rocky or uneven terrain, as this will wear down your shield quickly. Opt for smoother slopes whenever possible.


Shield Surfing may look cool, but it’s also a great way to get around quickly in the Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.  Here’s how to master this awesome technique:

Gear Up for the Slide:

Shield: You’ll obviously need a shield equipped. Durability is a factor, so avoid using your favorite Hylian Shield for constant surfing – practice with a weaker one.

Catching Some Air (or a Slope):

The Terrain: Shield Surfing works best on downward slopes, but you can also grind on minecart rails!

Running Start: Gain some momentum by running before you initiate the surfing.

Let’s Get Surfing!

Hold Your Shield: Press and hold the ZL button to bring up your trusty shield.

Take a Leap: Jump with the X button.

Surf’s Up!: While mid-air, quickly press the A button to perform a flip and transition into surfing.

Maneuvering Like a Pro:

Steering: Use the left control stick to steer your shield while surfing.

Slowing Down: Pull back on the left stick to slow down or even hop off your shield if the slope allows.

Stopping: Press the B button to come to a complete halt.

Tips and Tricks for Epic Rides:

Snow and Sand: Surfing on snow or sand won’t damage your shield, so shred those slopes without worry!

Tricks and Spins: Press the Y button while surfing to perform a spin attack, adding a touch of flair to your ride.

Sharpshooting: At high speeds, you can even draw your bow and launch arrows while surfing, making you a mobile monster.

Mastering the Art:

Practice Makes Perfect: Find a safe slope and experiment with initiating the surfing move.

YouTube Tutorials: Search for “Shield Surfing Tears of the Kingdom Tutorial” for visual demonstrations.

Remember: Shield Surfing is a fun and efficient way to explore, but  be mindful of your shield’s durability and potential dangers at the bottom of the hill! Happy shredding!

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