Andrew Cotton is a big wave surfer and Red Bull athlete. Growing up in North Devon, he started at 7 and it became his life. He left school and worked in a local surfboard factory until the age of 25 to fund his surf trips. At this point he figured it wasn’t going to sustain him financially so he re-trained as a plumber but this made it clear to him that his real passion lay in big wave surfing. So, with a friend he set about creating online content which, combined with his talent, led him to picking up some sponsors which enabled him to follow his dreams.
He spends much of his time in Nazare in Portugal which is home to the biggest surf able waves in the world. It was there in November 2017 that he broke his back surfing a 75ft wave in a huge wipeout. Thankfully he made a full recovery and a year later her was back surfing those mammoth waves.
Cotty and I met at a Wings for Life event, which is the Red Bull charity who’s goal is to find a cure for spinal cord injury where he ran a breathwork session. It was here I experienced first hand the effects that the breath can have on your mind and your physiology - truly feeling ‘high on my own supply.’
We speak about how he gets into a flow state and about the power of the breath in pushing through the limits we set ourselves. We talk about fear and how he overcomes its and doesn’t let his mind ‘get in the way’ when tackling the biggest waves ever surfed.
His advice felt totally applicable to life in general, from treating the journey like a marathon not a sprint, embracing failure and surrounding yourself with great people that inspire you and help you move forwards.