How to Perform
Breath of the Wild:
Slide down slopes
Shield-surfing (or Shield Surf) is a special movement skill mechanic featured in Breath of the Wild and Age of Calamity. In the former, it allows Link to slide down slopes on top of the shield, while in the latter, it's used as an attack and for fast horizontal movement.
Breath of the Wild
In order to Shield-surf, Link has to perform a Shield Jump by holding shield up (ZL) and jump forward on a slope (X), then (A).
There are three factors that affect shield surfing, namely:
- The incline of the terrain: Downward slopes will cause acceleration based on gravity and forward momentum, flat surfaces will cause deceleration and upward slopes will make Link stop.
- The friction of the surface: Low friction terrains cause Link to accelerate quicker, while high friction will cause Link to grind or altogether stop. Friction depends on the terrain, the weather and the shield Link's using. It's important to understand that friction does not produce damage on the shield, as it only deals with the shield's overall speed.
- Low friction terrains: snow and sand
- Medium friction terrains: grass and soil
- High friction terrains: rock and metal
- Weather: Rain significantly reduces the friction exerted on the shield.
- The shield type: Different shields have different degrees of friction; these shields can allow shield-surfing and acceleration sustaining even in rocky terrains:
Effects on Shield Durability
The durability of shields is affected by many of the factors mentioned on the previous section, as well as the player's actions while surfing:
- No damage / low damage:
- Surfing on snow and sand;
- Sand Seal Surfing
- Dirt paths (have medium friction, but don't produce damage)
- Damage: It's produced by two factors, impact and sledding.
- Impact damage consists of the shock exerted on the shield when first performing the skill, when jumping, or when the terrain makes Link catch air and landing, usually 1 point per jump. Small jumps and bumps don't produce damage to the shield. Also, the damage on the shield remains the same regardless of the height one drops from;
- Sledding damage consists of the time Link can shield-surf. This is unaffected by friction. Most shields in the game take 0.25 points of durability per second while surfing, but there are outlier shields with different ratios, from better to worse:
- Ancient Shield - 0.05 points/sec (amounts to ~10:40 minutes)
- Hylian Shield - Average friction rate and sledding damage, but extremely high durability of 800 (amounts to ~53:20 minutes)
- Daybreaker and Steel Lizal Shield - 0.125 points/sec
- Radiant Shield - 0.15 points/sec
- Gerudo Shield - 0.175 points/sec
- Royal Guard's Shield - 0.75 points/sec (Given the fact that this shield only has 14 points of durability, this shield will break the fastest by both the impact and sledding damage, making it the worst shield for surfing in the game)
Contrary to popular belief, the Kite Shield has only average surfing statistics overall in spite of its reputation otherwise.
Sand Seal Surfing
- Main article: Sand Seal Surfing
The Hylian Shield, best in terms of surfing duration
The Ancient Shield, best in terms of surfing duration + acceleration
The Radiant Shield, best in terms of surfing acceleration and speed, but has bad durability and damage rate
The Shield of the Mind's Eye, good acceleration and speed, bad durability and damage rate, but it's the most readily available
The Pot Lid, average acceleration and damage rate, bad durability
The Royal Guard's Shield, worst for surfing overall due due to high damage rate + low durability
The Kite Shield has only average shield surfing statistics overall
Age of Calamity
In Age of Calamity, there are two methods for Link to shield-surf when using his One-Handed Weapon moveset:
- Run and press (X) to do a short surf - mainly for traversing the map
- Press (Y)+(Y)+(X) to do an attack combo
Shield durability and terrain incline or friction are not factors in this game.