As was the case in Breath of the Wild, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom lets Link use his shield as an improvised surfing device. It’s both fun and useful for getting out of trouble if you know how to do it. But TotK adds a little twist to this fun mechanic by way of the game’s new Fuse ability. If you thought surfing on shields before was fun, then just wait.
Tears of the Kingdom is quickly gaining notoriety for how playful and intuitive its various physics and crafting systems are. Fuse and Ultrahand are cool ways to combine various objects together, but combined with the game’s lifelike physics, players are discovering all manner of interesting ways to get around puzzles, combat, engage in questionable activities, and simply have fun. One such possibility is the ability to fuse random objects to Link’s shield to either boost its defensive characteristics or augment the game’s shield surfing technique depending on what items you attach it to.
Shield Surfing 101: How to master the technique
You may’ve accidentally triggered the shield surf technique if you ever tried jumping while holding your shield up. To shield surf, you’ll want to execute this button combo in this order: X + ZL + A. (You can also swap the order of X and ZL for this combo). Note that only shields with smooth surfaces will work. So something like the Armour-Shard Shield with its spikes will just make you fall.
It’s best to practice this while stationary at first. Once you get a feel for it, a running start will give you some momentum. The steeper the slope you’re going down, the further you’ll move. Note: this does damage to your shield. So save the cheap ones for thrills or use the technique as a quick evasive manoeuvre to mitigate damage to your shield.
Also, when you paraglide while shield surfing, your shield will stay glued to your feet, so feel free to chain surfing with paragliding back to surfing. Also, hitting the shield surf combo while paragliding will put you into a shield surf, so the next time you’re paragliding to the surface, now you can land with style.
Fuse your shields to Zonai Carts and Sleds for more fun
Zonai devices can be found all over Hyrule. Two in particular can be fused to your shield to boost its surfing capabilities: carts and sleds. You can find carts from the Zonai Dispenser above the Upland Zorana Skyview Tower, which is also highlighted in this guide). Sleds can be found at the East Gerudo Sky Archipelago Zonai Dispenser. Note that these are not the only places to find such items, but we’ve had the most luck getting them here. You can hover above dispensers in the map to see what items are available as well.
Once you get these items, drop them in front of you, then hit L to call up your abilities. Highlight the item you wish to fuse and then hit ZL to bind it to your shield. Fusing a cart to your shield will essentially give you a skateboard to roam around with. This offers far greater travel distance and control than just a shield alone. You can also ollie with a cart shield.
Fusing a sled basically gives you a snowboard (but you can use it on grass and other surfaces). You can surf along with galloping horses — which is almost as fun as swimming with tigers (don’t ask).
This doesn’t make your shield invincible. Surfing will still subject your shield to wear and tear, even when fused to something, and it will break. So use it where it makes sense. It’s a pretty fantastic way to get some distance from Gloom Hands.
Shield surfing is just one of the many playful tricks Tears of the Kingdom offers, allowing both fun and strategy. And fuse only heightens the shenanigans you can get up to. Just queue up some appropriate music and watch those steep drops!
Enjoying Nintendo’s new open world game? Make sure to check out the tips we wish we knew before playing, some advice on side quests you shouldn’t miss, the duplication glitch shattering the game’s economy, and all the latest on Hyrule’s Korok murder crisis. Unless you’re still stuck in the tutorial area, or missing the paraglider you should pick up the game’s best shield ASAP.
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