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Shield Surf

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Eat your heart out, Legolas.

"Snowboarding works much better with snow."

The use of a shield, or something in a similar shape and/or size, as a board or sled to traverse through a particular environment.

Being carried on a shield is a different trope entirely.

Compare Body Sled.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Code Geass, Lelouch uses a riot shield as a sled in a landslide. In a mecha, of course. He also uses it early in R2, surfing on slash haken wires and decapitating a Britannian Knightmare in the process.
    • This scene was so iconic that when Bandai made an action figure of Zero's Burai, it came with the riot shield.
  • In Lord El-Melloi II Case Files, Gray does this once with her sentient weapon, Ad, when she has to get across snow to catch up with the Rail Zeppelin. As expected, Ad was slightly miffed by Gray turning him into a shield just so she could use him as a snowboard as he could feel every bump at high speed.
  • In Mobile Fighter G Gundam, Chibodee's Maxter Gundam has a shield (that he never uses) that acts as his hovercraft.

    Comic Books 

  • In the Fate/stay night fan fic Chaos Theory, Shirou uses Rho Aias to let an explosion push him and Rin to safety.
  • Vow of Nudity: While fleeing angry walrusfolk in the snowy mountains, Kay’la convinces Father Pyrestein to cast enlarge on his frying pan so they can sled down the mountain on it and outstrip their pursuers.

    Film — Animation 
  • Hanna-Barbera's The Adventures Of Gulliver. Gulliver uses a surfboard-shaped stone to toboggan to safety.
    • In Mask of Light, Takua and Jaller use Kopaka's Ice Shield to escape from Rahkshi in Ko-Wahi.
    • In The Legend Reborn, Mata Nui uses his Scarabax Shield to surf down a canyon.
  • In Mulan, Mushu does this during an avalanche.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Mentioned briefly in Avengers: Endgame, where, according to Tony, his four-year-old daughter Morgan has been tempted to do this with Captain America's shield, something her actress would later do in Real Life.
  • In The Fearless Vampire Killers, Koukol uses a coffin as a makeshift toboggan to chase the sleigh down the mountain.
  • Granddad, the 6th Earl, in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, reminisces about surfing on a silver tray down the stairs in his castle when he was a wee lad. Grown a bit senile, he attempts it once again during a party, unaware that at his advanced age it becomes a Tragic Mistake.
  • Legolas does this down some stone stairs during the battle for Helm's Deep in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, shooting mooks as he goes. Orlando Bloom commented that Tolkien was probably rolling in his grave at that scene. He does it again in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, but with an Orc body instead of a shield.
  • Our hero and heroine escape from the bus in Speed by riding a small section of the metal floor of the bus.
  • In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, scavenger Rey exits a crashed Star Destroyer on (not-Tatooine) Jakku, and rides a piece of paneling down the sand dune to where her landspeeder is parked.
  • Willow: In the snow chase sequence Willow, Madmartigan and Elora Danan escape using a shield as a sled.
  • Xander in xXx uses a serving tray like a skateboard to grind a handrail down some stairs.

  • Alex Rider: In Point Blanc, Alex escapes from the school by snowboarding down the mountain on a cut-down ironing board.
  • Also happens in Artemis Fowl: Demons are seen using a big hide shield as a makeshift sled down a rocky slope.
  • Done in Terry Pratchett's Jingo, making a Chekhov's Gun of the phrase "Come back with your shield, or on it", when Carrot is getting back to the boat that will take all the guards to Ankh-Morpork.
  • According to Plutarch's Life of Marius, during the war between the Romans and the Cimbri, the Cimbri showed off their toughness and audacity by climbing up naked (!) "through ice and deep snow" to peaks of the Alps and then sliding down from there on their shields.
  • In Allen Steele's novel Orbital Decay, a construction worker putting together a space station manages to ride a huge curved piece of a re-entry shield (well, that and a parachute) back to Earth after the space station he had been constructing broke up in orbit.
  • A Practical Guide to Evil: Ranger slides down a flight of stairs on a stolen shield when she visits/attacks the Dead King in his seat of power. She is rather surprised that the lich forsaw her doing it and installed spikes at the end of the stairs to stop her.

    Live Action TV 
  • Alex Rider: As the series is adapted from Point Blanc, Alex escapes the school by using a modified ironing board to snowboard down the mountain. Kyra lampshades what a bonkers idea this is.
    Alex: This is too straight. [Bends board over the table edge]

    Video Games 
  • BIONICLE: The Game has Kopaka surfing on his shield in pursuit of a Bohrok.
  • In Dynasty Warriors 8, Huang Gai uses a weapon in called an arm blade... which is a metal boat. Yes, a boat. And he shield surfs with it. It's as ridiculous and as awesome as it sounds.
    • Xingcai can do this with an EX attack.
  • The Hulk takes this beyond the impossible in The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction; pounding buses or large trucks flat into shields, which he can then rush onto to create a shield sled. It is just as ridiculously awesome as it sounds.
  • Kingdom Hearts
    • Goofy's "Goofy Turbo" ability in Kingdom Hearts II.
    • In Kingdom Hearts III, the entire party goes "curling" on Goofy's shield on Thebes to go through the fire and later in Arendelle to escape from an avalanche of Ice Dragon Heartless. Both worlds also have one minigame each that involve surfing on Goofy's shield.
  • As the Trope Namer, Link can do this in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, to traverse slopes much more rapidly than usual and ride Sand Seals in the Gerudo Desert. However, when not performed on sand or snow, it wears down on the shield's durability, so it should be used with caution; preferably with weaker, more expendable shields and/or saved until you upgrade your shield-carrying capacity. In the prequel Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, he can even use this to ram into enemies. Riju also uses this as her primary form of combat in Age of Calamity while being pulled by her Sand Seal Patricia, to the point that there's only one or two moves where she isn't riding her shield.
  • Metal Wolf Chaos: Michael Wilson SPACE-Surfs with debris from an orbiting space station that he himself blew up while in his Giant Mecha.

  • Legolas's use of this is parodied in DM of the Rings, where the GM responds "What game do you think you're playing, anyway?" and the accompanying movie screencap has graphics from the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series photoshopped onto it.
    HUD: 24,357 x 5! Kickflip + FS 50-50 + Grind the Steps + Varial Heelflip + Shoot the Orc!
  • Unsounded: While Sette was fleeing the Peaceguard she knocked over a stack of pans and leapt on one to slide underneath a nearby riding hound.

    Western Animation 
  • Captain America shield-snowboards while fighting ice monsters in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures:
    • Jackie pulls this off in the cold open of the first episode, establishing his Adventurer Archaeologist cred and ability to improvise.
    • During "The Lotus Temple", Jade and Jackie have to rescue Xu Lin, the girl cursed to be the temple's guardian. A barrier prevents her from leaving, but Jackie notices a suit of armor that can leave the temple (he knows this because the villain of the episode animated it to attack him). It's too heavy for her to walk in, so they put her on a shield and push her out.
  • Jonny Quest episode "Monster in the Monastery". Jonny and Hadji uses a large shield-like gong to slide down a hill and escape the villains.
  • Link shield surfs a river of magical flame in one episode of the animated The Legend of Zelda (1989).
    • And also surfs off of an explosion of his own bomb, in a move which (probably didn't) inspire glitch hunters down the line.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: In "Campfire Tales", when Flash Magnus is acting as live bait to distract a pair of dragons who kidnapped his fellow soldiers, he briefly stands on his fireproof shield and uses it to surf across the flames one of the dragons is spewing. In "Shadow Play", this shield is put to similar use when it turns up in the possession of the dragon Garble, who is using it as a board for lava surfing.
  • The Secret Saturdays: In "Twelve Hundred Degrees Fahrenheit", Drew cuts a shield-shaped slab of wood from a tree and uses it as a makeshift snowboard. Not to be outdone, Doyle uses his Jet Pack for the same purpose.
  • Sofia the First: In "The Silent Knight", Sofia and Sir Bartleby ride on shields down the hill to catch the latter's love poem to Aunt Tilly, but they arrive too late because it lands on King Roland's hand, and he uses it as a handkerchief before throwing it in the trash. At the end of the episode, Bartleby shield surfs with Aunt Tilly when they start dating.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "An Old Friend", the Bounty Hunter Embo uses his metallic disc-like hat (which he's used for other purposes in the past) as a makeshift snowboard to pursue Senator Rush Clovis down a mountain.
  • Steven Universe: In "Change Your Mind", while trying to catch the falling Crystal Gems, who were all poofed earlier and as such have retreated to their gemstones, Steven uses his shield to surf on some of the pipes in the area.

    Real Life