Link shield surfing in three locations.

How to Shield Surf in the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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Saving Hyrule isn’t always Link’s top priority, and that’s okay! It’s important to let loose and have fun every once and a while. That’s why in The Legend of Zelda: BotW, players can Shield Surf.

Table Of Contents

    What is Shield Surfing?

    It’s exactly what it sounds like it is. Shield Surfing happens when players hop onto their shield like it’s a snowboard. The cool part is that Link doesn’t have to be on snow for this to work. Any declines or slopes allow for shield surfs.

    It’s not just for fun, either. Players can use this technique to reach goals. It makes for faster travel when horses aren’t around. It’s also possible to win money in Shield Surfing challenges, thanks to Selmie’s Shield Surfing minigame.

    Link shield surfing down a mountain.

    However, while it’s fun, keep in mind that skateboarding shield-style can also be dangerous. Keep a watch on shield health. It can break from overuse, damaging Link’s health. Furthermore, follow the imaginary speed limit. Wipe-outs are definitely possible.

    How to Shield Surf

    When it’s time to start surfing, first make sure to equip a shield. It’s best to pick a durable shield to avoid the whole injury thing. Find a downward slope and start running for extra momentum.

    Then, get defensive by pressing “ZL,” hit the jump button (which is “X” for Nintendo Switch players), and quickly trigger the shield (via “A”) to flip forward.

    Link shield surfing.

    After this, Link will hop onto the shield and begin to surf! The steeper the hill and the faster the run is, the more momentum players will have.

    Shield surfing in action.

    Keep in mind that this isn’t like Yeti Boarding in Twilight Princess. While players can use swords and engage in battle while surfing, it doesn’t last forever. This actually slows momentum and can even end the trip early.

    The Best Shields for Shield Surfing

    The best shield options for this trick aren’t only the “strongest” ones. It’s also important to consider shields for speed as well. Check out these shields when it’s time to hit the dust:

    • Hylian Shield (best shield for durability)
    • Radiant Shield (best shield for speed)
    • Ancient Shield (best shield for both speed and durability)
    The best shields for shield surfing.

    These are known as the top three best Shield Surfing options. However, common shields are also usable. The catch is that speed isn’t so great when using a common shield. But it’s still possible!

    These are the best common shield options:

    • The Knight’s Shield
    • The Steel Lizal Shield

    Those who are more concerned with saving shields than maintaining speed can use slower common shields. These include Wooden Shields and even Pot Lids. This is a great way to save important shields. Just don’t expect to get as far.

    A few additional tips to take on the journey include:

    • The softer the surface, the longer the shield lasts.
    • Sand, snow, and grass are the best terrains for surfing.
    • Stay off the rocks!

    Keep these in mind to help save Link’s health and prevent unnecessary shield damage.

    How to Do Shield Surfing Tricks

    Is this Link, or Tony Hawk? Yes, it is possible to do tricks while Shield Surfing. The most common way is to press “Y” while surfing. This causes Link to perform a 1080 circle. In short, this means that he makes three in-air spins before hitting the ground again.

    It’s also possible to hit the jump button (X), then use the left and right triggers to perform different moves.

    Link drifting while shield surfing.

    Not to get all Need for Speed or anything, but drifting is also possible! Simply press and hold “R” while at high momentum to drift through curves like a pro. Follow these tips and tricks and you’ll be surfing sands in no time!