SURF'S UP

Irish Sunday Mirror|May 10, 2020

SURF'S UP
Meet Andrew Cotton, who rides 80-foot waves for fun, has broken his back doing it, but keeps on going back for more...
NEIL MOXLEY

“NO-ONE wants to get injured or die, do they.”

That’s Andrew Cotton, one of the best big-wave surfers on the planet – a man who makes a living intentionally putting himself in danger of an 80ft swell with an unlimited capacity to rag-doll him.

Try to imagine yourself standing on top of that thunderous wall of water with only a fiberglass surfboard offering a route to salvation.

That’s what Cotton was doing two years ago off the coast of Portugal, having decided that THIS wave was the one for him.

But he got it wrong. And ended up breaking his back.

Words don’t do the accident justice. Pictures do. Visit YouTube for evidence.

Done that? Then read the rest of this. You’ll do so with wonderment at the mental state of anyone who chooses to ride big waves for a living.

On the above occasion when the game ended Mother Nature 1 Andrew Cotton 0, he was very lucky there was a return leg at all.

Asked what does he think when he sees that episode of his life again, he said, without a hint of irony: “I think I would have taken a different line [on the wave].

“The consequences of taking that line were lucky and unlucky. I was unlucky to break my back. And lucky it wasn’t worse.

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May 10, 2020