When Surfer Magazine writer Matt Warshaw posted this throwback clip on Tuesday, he put wave-ski innovator Merv Larson among surfing’s greatest pioneers, calling him one of “the most advanced wave-riders of all time.” But if this clip reveals to surfers somebody years ahead of his sport, it is perhaps even more mind-blowing from a paddling perspective. River kayakers wouldn’t master these moves for decades.

Back when Eric Jackson was still in diapers, Larson was perfecting and maybe even inventing a litany of moves that Warshaw struggles to define even today: “Multiple spins, riding backwards (only person to not make it look cheap and tricky), fully controlled whitewater bounces, and whatever that bugged-out Euclidiean fourth-dimension shit is in the final shot.” That, I think, is what we playboaters would call a back loop — in 1969.

–Read the full interview with Merv Larson (and learn what’s under that helmet: a 60s waterproof music player Merv invented) on Surfer Magazine’s blog.

–Check out MORE GREAT VIDEOS on Canoe & Kayak.