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Tears of the Kingdom is now a skateboarding game, thanks to clever players

Link is a pro skater now

An image of Link shield surfing in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. He’s using a shield fused with a minecart so he can cruise along the ground as if it’s a skateboard. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

Watch out, Tony Hawk: Link is coming for your crown. In The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, players have found a way to take shield surfing to the next level and make it more like a skateboarding game. The game just came out on Friday, but players are already shredding in Hyrule by grinding rails and creating unique shields with Link’s Fuse ability.

Link can shield surf in both Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom. When he does, he rides his shield sort of like a snowboard and cruises down slopes. Now, with Link’s new Fuse ability in Tears of the Kingdom, players are creating new kinds of shields. The Fuse ability allows Link to combine two items together to create a new kind of shield using miscellaneous objects in the world.

For example, players have now discovered that you can combine your shield with a minecart in order to get a clunky-looking skateboard.


Did you know you can make a SKATEBOARD in TOTK? #zelda #tearsofthekingdom #totk

♬ original sound - Kahrii

Additionally, the larger world contains new features in the landscape, like rails. Generally speaking, it’s probably easier to use the rails with a minecart or a contraption with a hook. However, players are now using their makeshift skateboards to grind rails, bringing Sonic-esque gameplay to Zelda.

How to shield surf in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

If, like me, you immediately wanted to try skating for yourself, here is how to do it with the standard controls. First, you’ll want to go to the top of a hill or spot with a decent decline, because it’s easiest to do it downhill.

Hold ZL on your controller to wield your shield. While you continue to hold ZL, jump with X and then hit A while Link is still in the air. Link will then flip the shield under him and start to ride it. Note that this will degrade your shield significantly as you ride, so don’t do it if you have a shield you’re saving for other reasons.

From there, you can experiment with different shields to see what feels best. I can confirm that riding around using the Fused minecart and shield feels great. My co-workers confirmed that mid- to late-game Zonai items are also great to use as Fuse materials in this regard. The possibilities in Tears of the Kingdom feel endless. If you really wanted to, you could probably even build Link a skate park to try out his new ride — it only feels like a matter of time until someone actually tries.

The next level of puzzles.

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