How To Shield Surf in Tears of the Kingdom


Randrew Mendrico

Writer and Storywriter

Drew is one of the game guide writers in PlayerAssist. He mixed his communications degree with his love for video games to help other gamers with different video game situations. Drew loves action-adventure, story or character driven role-playing games.


Learn how to shield surf in Tears of the Kingdom!

How To Shield Surf in Tears of the Kingdom

Among the numerous techniques to master in this game, Shield Surfing stands out as a skill that can become a game-changer. This cool-looking ability is back in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom! As the valiant hero navigates the vast landscapes of Hyrule, the player will soon discover that the power of the trusty shield goes beyond mere defense.

This exhilarating maneuver allows Players to traverse different terrains quickly and gain a tactical advantage over adversaries. This guide will uncover the steps to Shield Surf in Tears of the Kingdom. So, prepare to embark on an unforgettable journey of unraveling its secrets and discovering the boundless possibilities this technique holds in the beautiful kingdom of Hyrule.

Shield Surfing

In The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Shield Surfing is an exhilarating gameplay mechanic. Link rides his shield like a makeshift surfboard down slopes and inclines. By initiating this action, Link gains momentum and glides effortlessly, speeding down the terrain. Mastering this skill requires precise timing and skillful control. So, this adds an extra layer of challenge and satisfaction to the player’s adventures within the kingdom of Hyrule.

Aside from traversing lands, this traversing technique allows Link to deal damage. Link can deal a little damage by performing tricks or shooting arrows while surfing.


To Shield Surf effectively, the player must keep in mind the surface’s slope in Mindy, and forward motion will cause Link to accelerate downhill, flat surfaces will cause Link to decelerate, and steep slopes will cause Link to stop. 

Low-friction terrains allow Link to accelerate more quickly, whereas high-friction terrains lead Link to stutter or halt entirely. The lower the friction, the faster Link can surf on it. Because of that, the different terrains all over Hyrule can be classified into three categories:

  • High frictionrocky and metal terrain
  • Medium frictiondirt/soil and grass terrain
  • Low friction – sand and snow terrain

Aside from that, rain considerably reduces friction on the Shield.

Also, aside from the terrain, the type of Shield that Link will use to Shield Surf affects the friction when performing this technique. Shields have different levels of friction.


With the abovementioned terrain, using a Shield to surf on higher terrain, such as rocky paths, may quickly deplete the Shield’s Durability. This will cause the Shield to break if overused. Surfing on medium friction terrains, like dirt roads or grass, on the other hand, does not damage the Shield nearly as much.

It does not damage the Shield when performing this technique on sand and snow. Shield Surfing in the Rain decreases damage to the Shield even more and enhances speed. Additionally, using Shields while Sand Seal Surfing does not decrease the durability of the Shield.

Read: How To Make Money in Tears of the Kingdom

Aside from the terrain, Shield damage can also come from the impact the Shield receives when surfing. Link’s Shield takes damage when starting the surf when jumping while Shield Surfing, or when the terrain causes Link to catch air and land. These generally give 1 point of damage for each jump. Small jumps and hits do not cause shield damage. Furthermore, the damage to the shield remains constant regardless of height.

The actual surfing time also decreases the durability of a Shield. This is different from the friction of the terrain. Most shields in the game receive 0.25 damage per second while surfing.

If the durability of the Shield runs out while surfing, Link will trip and fall if that happens while on a steep slope, Link will continue to slide down the slope and take damage.

How to Shield Surf in Tears of the Kingdom

Link shield surfing in Tears of the Kingdom

To Shield Surf, these are what Link must do:

  1. First, equip the Shield you want to use. To quickly do that, hold the left directional button and use the right stick to select a Shield. After choosing, let go of the left directional button to equip it. Alternatively, press the + button to open the materials menu and the L/R button to navigate the Shields. Select the Shield you want to use and “Equip” on the prompt.
  2. Next, hold the ZL button to raise the selected Shield.
  3. Then, press the X button to jump with the Shield raised. While in mid-air, quickly press the A button to flip and start Shield Surfing!

While doing this, press the Y or X buttons to spin and move the left stick to perform tricks.

If Link gets air time while surfing, the player can press the X button to use the Paraglider. During this, Link will still be on top of the Shield. Then, upon landing, Link will continue surfing.

New in Tears of the Kingdom

Tears of the Kingdom introduced a lot of new mechanics in the game. Some of these new mechanics also affect Shield Surfing. The following are examples of that:

Fused Shields

Link can now fuse different items to Link’s Shields, Swords, and even Arrows using the Fuse ability. Link must enter the In-isa Shrine on the Great Sky Island to get this ability. Fusing objects to Link’s Shields will add to the durability of the Shield. Because of this, Link cannot surf using the Shields fused with bulky items. If the object does not make the Shield flat when surfing, Link cannot use that to Shield Surf. 

On the other hand, a few objects fuse to Shields help when performing this traversal technique. Among these are Mine Carts, Zonai Carts, and Zonai Sleds. Shields fused with Zonai Carts and Mine Carts function like skateboards when Shield Surfing.

A Shield fused with a Zonai Sled works best on snow or sand terrains. Icy Meat is another great but weird item to fuse to Shields for surfing. Because of the slipperiness of the Icy Meat, it makes it easier to Shield Surf on any terrain. Also, the ice does not melt, making it work the same until it runs out of durability.

One item has a different effect when fused with a Shield, and Link attempts to Shield Surf. This item is the Zonai Spring. When Link tries to Shield Surf using a Shield fused with a Zonai Spring, Link will be catapulted high up in the air. The player can get the same effect by fusing an explosive item on a Shield and trying to use Shield Surf.

Rail Grinding

Link will find a few railings connecting different areas around the kingdom of Hyrule, especially up in the Sky Islands. To traverse using these railings, there are usually materials around it that Link can use to make contraptions for the railings.

Alternatively, Link can get on top of the railing and Shield Surf on the railing. Doing so will result in Link grinding on top of the railing. Link will automatically ride and grind on top of the rail. During this, Link will be able to perform a few tricks.

Gloom Terrain

Around Hyrule, especially in the Depths, Link will find a lot of spots filled with red and black goo called Gloom. If Link gets in contact with Gloom for a certain amount of time, Link will take damage and lose hearts. If the player wants to cross these Gloom-filled areas, Link can Shield Surf on top of the Gloom. Doing so will result in Link crossing the Gloom-filled area without taking damage.


This traversal technique adds a thrilling depth to the already exciting gameplay in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Mastering this cool-looking technique gives players a new sense of freedom and speed as Link glides down slopes and overcomes difficult terrain. Shield Surfing shows to be a versatile and invaluable talent for Link, whether traveling the gorgeous landscapes of Hyrule or engaging in daring battle strategies.

Players can unlock the full potential of Shield Surfing by using perfect timing and skillful control, uncovering hidden mysteries, visiting remote locales, and adding an exciting layer of excitement to their epic adventure.

So take your shield, enjoy the adventure, and immerse yourself in Tears of the Kingdom’s heart-pounding world. Shield Surfing awaits as proof of the almost limitless possibilities that this fantastic game has to offer.

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