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Much like Breath of the Wild, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom lets you shield surf with any shield in the game, which lets you quickly traverse downhill slopes with just a few button presses. While it was only somewhat useful in Breath of the Wild, Tears of the Kingdom adds a whole lot of depth to the shield surf system.

In addition to letting you descend down slopes, shield surfing in Tears of the Kingdom will also let you traverse gloom without taking damage, grind rails, and duplicate items with a glitch. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about how to shield surf in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

For more Zelda guides and tips, like how to find and activate all Skyview Towers, or an explanation of all Zonai Devices, make sure to read our full Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom walkthrough.

How to shield surf - Zelda TOTK

Shield surfing isn’t particularly difficult to pull off, but it does require a few quick inputs in succession, so getting the hang of it can be difficult. Thankfully, learning has next to no downside, only requiring your time and patience.

totk shield ready

To start a shield surf, you’ll first need to ready your shield with ZL, as if you were defending yourself from an enemy. That’s the easy part.

totk shield jump

From here, you’ll want to jump using the X (or B, if you’ve swapped your controls) button, then quickly tap A. As long as you press A before you reach the ground, you should now be shield surfing.

totk shield surf animation

You probably won’t get much momentum unless you’re on a downward slope, but it’s worth remembering that you can use the paraglider while shield surfing by surfing off a cliff then pressing the paraglider button.

How to rail grind - Zelda TOTK

Along with shield surfing in Tears of the Kingdom comes an advanced version of the mechanic called rail grinding. This is an all-new feature added in this game, and makes use of the Fuse mechanic in a very creative way.

To start rail grinding, you’ll first need an unfused shield, preferably one with a decent amount of durability, and one of a number of different items. You can use a minecart, as seen on the Great Sky Island, or a cart, which can be found in Zonai gacha machines across the world.

totk cart shield

Equip the unfused shield and stand next to the minecart or cart. Activate Fuse from your ability wheel, then fuse the cart to your shield. It might look a little silly, but it unlocks rail grinding, and it’s very simple. Just approach a rail, start a shield surf, and you’ll grind along the rail with ease.

You can also attach a sled to your shield for much better surfing speed and durability in snow and sand, as well as a slight speed boost on grass. It doesn’t fare so well over rocky terrain, however, so you should try to avoid it where possible.