Andrew Cotton's Atlantic Winter Reflections
ANDREW Cotton's had a big year, he surfed some of the largest waves the Atlantic has to offer, got married and then took his family on a surfing honeymoon. What a hard charging gent he is.
How's the winter been Cotty? You seem to have had an XXL run followed by a period of smaller waves?
Itâs been a great winter for sure and Iâve put a lot of time into my big wave surfing with a great stint in Nazare then hitting some good charts in Ireland, France and Spain. Now it actually feels nice just to be at home settled for a few weeks and to spend time with family and surfing some fun waves locally.
What do you do when you're not surfing?
I live in Braunton with my wife and two children so I spend as much time with them as I can, this winter Iâve been doing odd jobs but Iâm signed up back to work for the RNLI beach lifeguards again from March for the summer. I really try and have my winters as free as possible so I can chase the big swells and go anywhere at minimal notice, but obviously itâs a balancing act financially.
Do you find it ironic that you lost your main sponsor (Analog pulled out of surf, he wasn't dropped) at a time when you've been going harder than ever before?
Yeah thatâs just the way it is unfortunately and everyone involved was disappointed and heaps of people lost jobs not just the surf team. I was with Analog for over 7 years and we had a great working relationship together which I gradually built up over time and Iâm really grateful for all the support they gave me which helped me get where I am today. Hopefully something else will come along because Iâm really excited about my future in big wave surfing and the next stage of my surfing career.
You're integral to the Praia do Norte Canyon Project, are you surprised that the project has succeeded? That suddenly Nazare is a respected big wave destination?
No not really, it regularly breaks in the XXL range and everyone involved down there in the project knew this and are really passionate about what theyâre doing and have a lot of love for Nazare and it getting the recognition it deserves in the right way. Iâm sort of surprised it took so long for the surfing world to take notice!
How much of that would you put down to the paddle day with Shane Dorian? Did his arrival ink a big old 'legit' stamp on the area?
Thereâs been a few big names sample it this winter, Parko and Slater to name just a couple but I suppose sometimes surfers are desperate to find faults in waves they havenât surfed or even seen âoh its fatâ âdoesnât even look that heavyâ or âwhatâs the fuss aboutâ etc. So yeah maybe Dorian did give it that stamp of approval, he is after all one of the top big wave guys pushing the paddle movement right now.
How much do you think the 100ft wave kerfuffle distracted from the spot's legitimacy?
No not at all, it was a main stream media storm which did nothing but promote big wave surfing like nothing ever before, thatâs got to be beneficial. No one claimed anything especially not Garrett, I think it was a one-off news headline that snowballed. But seriously that day looked enormous, there were probably bigger waves that day? Whoâs to say.
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