Zelda: Breath of the Wild (BotW)

How to Shield Surf | Best Shields for Shield Surfing

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Botw - Shield Surfing

This page will show you how to Shield Surf in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (BotW). Read on to see tips for shield surfing, as well as the best shield for Shield Surfing.

How to Shield Surf

What is Shield Surfing?

Botw - Shield Surf
Shield Surfing is one of the best ways to travel downhill faster. All shields can be used to shield surf, but each one of them has a different speed depending on the terrain.

While surfing on terrains such as snow, sand, or grass causes no damage, shield surfing over rocky or rugged areas will cause damage to the shield, as if it were being hit in battle. While the stats are not shown in game, each shield has a different friction on surfaces, resulting in different speeds.

Shield Surfing Steps

Botw - How to Shield Surf
To Shield Surf, follow these steps below:

  • Step 1: Look for a place to Shield Surf. It is better to do it on a downward slope, since you can pick up speed.
  • Step 2: Hold your shield up by pressing the ZL button and start running.
  • Step 3: Tap the (X) button to Jump and quickly press the A button to begin Shield Surfing.
Button Combination
ZL button + X button + A button

Tips for Shield Surfing

Attack Using the Shield

Botw - Attack using Shield
You can attack enemies using the shield by pressing the Attack (Y) button. Attacking using your shield depletes durability, but is useful against low-level monsters.

Extending Shield Surf

Botw - Extending Shield Surf
Travel further by extending your Shield Surf onto a flat surface by pressing the Attack (Y) button. It can also be used to adjust your steering when coming down a hill or a slope.

Terrains for Surfing

Botw - Sand Surf
You should generally only Shield Surf on sandy snowy, or grassy areas only, as it does not deal damage to your shield.

When on one of these areas, it doesn't really matter which shield you use, since they will not break as long as you stay on course!

Doing Tricks

In addition to pressing Y-button will perform a spin, pressing X-button+L-stick simultaneously will make Link perform tricks. While not extremely useful, what fun would boarding be without some tricks to show off?

Best Shields for Shield Surfing

While any shield can be used for surfing, there are a couple that we can recommend for surfing, especially if you are thinking about taking your shield off road and hitting some of the rockier areas.

Radiant Shield

Botw - Radiant Shield

Typically considered to be the best shield for surfing due to its very low friction (making it the fastest shield for surfing), as well as its low damage ratio, meaning that it takes less damage from surfing than other swords. While you may be hesitant to chips away at such a pretty shield on surfing, it's worth turning into your board, as it is easily the best shield for surfing.

If you are trying to win the Shield Surfing Minigame, this shield is hands-down the way to go!

How to Get the Radiant Shield: Defense Rating and Prices

The Daybreaker is also a good shield for surfing due to its friction stat and durability, but reobtaining it if it breaks is somewhat tedious, so we recommend not using it for surfing!

Ancient Shield

Another excellent shield for surfing, thanks to its low friction and very low damage ratio (it actually takes the least amount of damage from surfing out of all shields). The shield can be hard to obtain early on, but after you have the master sword (or have mastered parrying) and can reliably take down guardians, it can be built an infinite number of times at the Akkala Ancient Tech Lab.

How to Get the Ancient Shield: Defense Rating and Prices

Hylian Shield

Botw - Hylian Shield

The Hylian Shield has a standard friction and damage ratio, but what makes the Hylian shield great for shield surfing is its insanely high durability (it's about 13 times more durable than the Daybreaker, which is the second most durable shield. On the off chance that you do eventually break this shield, it can be repurchased in Terry Town, so you have nothing to worry about.

Obtaining the Hylian Shield is a bit of a chore on its own, but considering you will pretty much always use it after you do get it, you might as well take it to the slopes while you're at it!

How to Get the Hylian Shield

Steel Lizal Shield / Knight's Shield

While neither of these shields are particularly great for surfing, boast boasting a standard friction stat, these shields are so common and easy to come across that you don't really need to worry if you do break them by accident, since you will have no trouble getting another. The Lizal shield even has a pretty low damage ratio, so even though its durability is less than the Knight's Shield, it can take extra damage from surfing.

If you do not have any of the three shields listed above, snag either of these common shields and surf to your heart's content!

Steel Lizal Shield Knight's Shield

Zelda: BotW Related Guides

BotW - Tips and Tricks

Beginner's Guide and Early Game Tips

Combat Guides
How to Parry How to Perfect Dodge
Weapons and Armor Guides
Weapon Repair Guide Where to Get Fireproof Armor
Cooking and Elixirs
How to Cook Food How to Make Elixirs
Travel Related Tips
How to Shield Surf How to Tame Wild Horses
The Best Recipes How to Get the Paraglider
How to Make it Stop Raining How to Get the Best Horses
Yiga Clan Hideout Location
Early Game Rupee Farming Guide Treasure Chest Gambling Guide
Best Items to Sell
Other Farming Guides
Star Fragment Farming Giant Ancient Core Farming
Ancient Arrow Farming Arrow Farming
Dragon Parts Farming Blood Moon Trigger Guide
Equipment Guides
How to Get the Master Sword How to Get the Hylian Shield
How to Use Amiibos
100% Clear Guides
Master Mode Guide Hyrule Compendium Completion Guide
Post-Game Completion Guide


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