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.
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.