Link surfing down a slope on his shield in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

How to Shield Surf in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Undeniably the coolest way to get downhill quickly.

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Reyadh is a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction who loves to play video games full of monsters and magic. When he's not scribing unique and unrelenting speculative fiction or slaying demons in virtual worlds, he is writing strategy guides to help others reach their gaming goals.

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Marshall is a seasoned writer and gaming enthusiast based in Tokyo. He's a prolific wordsmith with hundreds of articles featured on top-tier sites like Business Insider, How-To Geek, PCWorld, and Zapier. His writing has reached a massive audience with over 70 million readers!

Key Takeaway

Hold down the ZL button to hold up your shield. Then, move forward while you’re on a slope. Next, as you’re moving forward, press the X button to jump. While you’re in the air, press the A button to place your shield on your feet.

Besides using the Paraglider, riding horses, and abusing hilariously broken physics, learning how to shield surf is the fastest way to get around in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. All you need is a slope and—you guessed it—a shield! Preferably, one you don’t care about.

Table Of Contents

    How to Shield Surf in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Video Guide

    Shield Surfing Controls Breakdown

    To begin, find a slope of some kind. You need to be moving downhill to shield surf. If you’re on a flat surface, you won’t go anywhere—but you’ll still look cool!

    Besides the terrain requirements, you need to use the correct sequence of inputs to successfully shield surf. That’s nerd lingo for “press the right button at the right time”. The game actually shows you a convenient image with the correct buttons if you talk to a specific NPC in the Tabantha Tundra.

    A Nintendo Switch controller with text telling players how to shield surf.

    We’ll break things down for you—just to make things as clear as possible. Though, once more, make sure you’re on a slope—otherwise you won’t be able to shield surf properly.

    1. Hold down the ZL button to hold up your shield
    2. Move forward while holding up your shield
    3. Press the X button to jump
    4. While you’re in the air, press the A button to place your shield on your feet

    If you press the right buttons at the right time, Link places his equipped shield on his feet. That’s all there is to it! If you’re still having a hard time, practice your timing with the controls.

    Does Shield Surfing Damage Your Shield in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom?

    Yes, shield surfing continuously reduces the durability of your equipped shield. For this reason, you don’t want to shield surf with your best shield; use one that you don’t care about.

    Also, the type of terrain affects how much your shield gets damaged when shield surfing. Rough, rocky ground decreases shield durability more than grassy or snowy areas.

    If your shield breaks while you’re shield surfing, you could take some damage. This depends on how steep the slope is, the type of terrain, and how fast Link is moving. For example, if you’re moving quickly down a steep, stone-covered mountainside—and your shield breaks while you’re surfing—you’ll tumble downhill and lose some health.

    As you can expect, shield surfing is particularly useful in snow-covered areas. Though, these types of locations can pose some health risks. If you want to take to the slopes and shred some powder, make sure to get and equip some armor with cold resistance. On top of that, it could also be useful to cook up something spicy to stave off the chills. Once you’re warm and toasty, you’re ready to get cruisin’ and stay frosty!