Ultrasonic Time of Flight Diffraction (TOFD) for sizing defects is based on the time of flight of the longitudinal diffracted echo(es) that is (arc) generated when a longitudinal wave is incident on a crack tip. TOFD technique so far has been commonly applied for the inspection of thick sections (>15 mm) and thickness below 5 mm from the scanning surface. This paper focuses the applications of the TOFD technique to thin and near surface inspections using shear wave diffracted echo (es) from the defect tips. Experimental result for simulated and realistic defects in thin samples will be presented. © 2006 American Institute of Physics.