Wavemaker: The Road To Recovery

Chasing the biggest waves, risking everything and following a childhood dream. This is a story of patience, determination, and revival; a story about the Wavemaker, Andrew ‘Cotty’ Cotton, presented by General Tire.

Mother Nature

“You never beat Mother Nature, you just flow with it, briefly.” — Andrew Cotton

To create history by surfing an 80-foot wave, you have to respect the natural environment around you. For Andrew, accepting the superior power of nature is an integral part of this.

You can’t beat it. Instead, you have to harness its immense and overwhelming power. This is the world of the Wavemaker, Andrew ‘Cotty’ Cotton.

“I do get scared. I like to challenge the fear. If you don’t get scared, it’s really dangerous. You can find yourself in a bad situation. It’s about being scared and challenging that, that’s quite a healthy thing to do, we don’t do that enough as people.”

Making a name for himself

From a plumber and lifeguard in Devon to one of the biggest wave surfers in the world, Cotty first made a big impression in the surfing world after he surfed an 80-foot wave at Nazare beach, Portugal, which earned him recognition at the 2014 Billabong XL awards.

Fast forward three years and Andrew was back surfing at Nazare, November 2017:

“I took too deep a line, and then I got showed who’s boss,”

“I can remember coming to a point realising that I wasn’t going to get in the barrel of the wave, and then thinking, ‘ok, you just need to get off your board and jump”

“I just remember feeling I’ve done something to my back… I think it’s broken.”

The crash

Cotty was attempting to surf a 70-foot wave in November but misjudged it, and broke his L2 vertebrae, the lower part of his spine.

Despite the crash, Cotty luckily avoided surgery and was determined to be out surfing big waves once again.

“It’s the one question everyone asks: ‘Are you still going to continue to surf?’ And it’s the one thing I’ve never questioned”.

Cotty’s relentless desire to get back on the board and to remain positive throughout his recovery process shows incredible patience.


Cotty’s patience allowed him to make it in the sport he loves, to build his own family home, to wait for the perfect wave, and to “disconnect from surfing” during rehab.

Much of his recovery time was spent in London and Manchester, and he would often return to Devon to see his family and conduct more rehabilitation sessions.

The tranquillity of his local beach, Croyd, is where Andrew says it all began – the clear headspace and love for the sea which gave Andrew the dream to be a big wave surfer – something he now gets to share with his family:

“The sea has shaped everything about me. It’s given me my dream, and it’s given me my livelihood at the end of the day,”

“Juggling family and trying to push the boundaries I think it goes hand in hand; it’s motivated me, and it’s exciting to share my dreams and motivations with them,”

Getting back on the board

Cotty’s quest for greatness remains very much alive as he continues his push to break the biggest recorded wave surfed, a record currently held by Garrett McNamara (estimated to be 100-foot).

“You always want a perfect wave and that’s the main motivation… getting my body fit and well, I need a reason for it to heal”.

Cotty’s love for surfing is deep-rooted and his drive for success is insuppressible; despite the horrific crash in Portugal, he looks set on continuing to challenge the breathtaking might of Mother Nature. He is the Wavemaker.

Watch the full feature:  ‘Wavemaker: The Road To Recovery’

Watch Emotional Story Of A Surfer's Comeback After Horrific Accident

Discover more: https://bit.ly/2qMCWsNGeneral Tire introduce ‪the inspirational story of the #Wavemaker. One man's redemption back into the sea for the first time after nearly losing his life to her! Andrew Cotton

Posted by The Versed on Friday, April 20, 2018