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How to shield surf in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

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Link shield surfs down a snowy mountain in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Shield surfing is a key form of traversal in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Like Tears of the Kingdom’s predecessor, Breath of the Wild, you can hop on your shield and ride it like a board down slopes and mountains — without burning precious stamina.

In Tears of the Kingdom’s new Fuse ability, shield surfing is way more complex, thanks mostly to the new Fuse ability. Our guide breaks down how to shield surf in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and provides some general tips on how to best use this feature with the new tools at your disposal.

How to shield surf in Tears of the Kingdom

You can shield surf on any shield you pick up — as soon as the Great Sky Island. However, shield surfing may be a bit more difficult to do until you get the paraglider shortly after you reach Hyrule proper.

The short version: You can shield surf by holding ZL to pull out your shield, jumping, and then pressing A while you’re still in the air.

Again, this can be hard to accomplish if you don’t have the paraglider or are at the very least jumping down some kind of angled slope. However you do it, though, shield surfing can be a great method of traversal in Tears of the Kingdom.

Link shield surfs down a snowy mountain at night in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

As mentioned previously, Fuse only enhances this feature. By attaching Zonai devices, you can cover a ton of ground with shield surfing. Try attaching a rocket to your shield. This is a fair bit faster than just running, and looks pretty interesting to boot. However, rockets eat through your energy cell, meaning you can only use this tricks for roughly five to 10 seconds before it breaks when attached to your shield.

If you’re looking to get some verticality with your shield, Fuse a bomb barrel to your shield. These can be found throughout Hyrule once you’ve left the Great Sky Island — specifically where any Bokoblins are. What’s fun with this, is that if you have a bomb barrel when prompting shield surfing, it’ll actually give you a little boost by the way of an explosion. This is great for getting a bit of verticality to shield surf, or even help scale bits of terrain.

Keep in mind, though, that shield surfing will degrade your shield, so don’t do it on any shield you actually want to keep around for boss fights or any other significant encounters.

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