If you didn’t know any better, you might think Kelly Slater was sort of like Merlin — aging backwards. Because who, at age 39, pulls out competition tricks like this one, letting the young little whippersnappers eat his spray? (Oh, right. Ok, besides Tony Hawk. )

On his first run in the men’s U.S. Open, held in Huntington Beach this week, Slater landed an aerial backside 360 into a reverse.

The competition was “all but over,” says the Bleacher Report, but Slater, ever the gentleman, offered his spot in the rotation to competitor Yadin Nicol. According to The LA Times:

Slater let Nicol take his spot in the rotation.”When you’re that guy that’s leading, you’re just hoping time is running out,” Slater said. “And then I just started feeling so bad. I came up to him and said, ‘Man, I am so frustrated for you right now. I have priority, but you can have whatever wave you want.’”It was a grand and unnecessary gesture from the champ.

Super-nice and super-talented works well for this guy. Looks like we still can expect to be seeing it for a while.

Video via SurfGeek.TV on You Tube.

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