Andrew Cotton has surfed the biggest waves on the planet. Last year he hit the headlines for one of the worst wipeouts of all time. Now six months into his recovery from a broken back, Andrew tells us what it’s like to surf waves the size of 2-storey houses.

Andrew Cotton, 35, is one of the world’s greatest big wave surfers. Born in Plymouth, north Devon, he first began to surf, aged seven. Since then, he has been obsessed with catching waves. After he left school, he worked in a surfboard factory. Aged 25, he re-trained as a plumber but began to realise that his real passion lay in big wave surfing. Initially, Andrew focussed on helping to pioneer big wave spots in Ireland, but he has latterly turned his attention to Nazare, Portugal. He has had numerous Billabong XXL entries.

Last year, he hit headlines across the globe while surfing a monster wave at Nazare, Portugal. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the video below. It resulted in a broken back for Andrew. Despite a gruelling recovery, he is determined to get back in the water as soon as possible. In the fifth episode of Hard as Nails, Andrew tells us how it feels to glide down the face of a mammoth wave and what went through his mind when he realised he was in trouble on that now infamous day. He shows remarkable positivity and stresses that a positive mental outlook is as important as physical attributes. Enjoy!

 

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