Why I Love…. Big Wave Surfing by Andrew Cotton

Andrew Cotton.  Saltrock Ambassador, and family man from North Devon who surfs the biggest waves on the planet.

What is it that drives this humble, funny guy to pursue one of the dangerous jobs in the world?

When did you start surfing big waves?

I don't think it's at day or discussion, more like an evolvement. Does that even make sense? 

Were you particularly adventurous/daring as a child?

I personally think not but my parents may disagree! 

What is it about big wave surfing that you love?

Mother Nature, you never know what you'll get. 

Was there a moment that if the day had turned out differently you would never have been a big wave surfer?

Maybe if I'd been any good at plumbing! 

What’s the best thing about doing what you do? Is there a worst thing?

There's to many good things about what I do the worst is I can't do it in north Devon 

What are the biggest challenges you face in your sport?

The elements and constantly changing weather forecasts 

What’s your first big wave memory?

Hawaii at 19 yrs old 

Why do you think the sport affected you so strongly?

It's a passion 

Why are you so good at it? Is there something in your personality that makes you so successful?

I'd never say I'm good but I'm very passionate about surfing.
Do you have a stand out big wave moment?

Not really, every trip or swell I manage to get to is a blessing. 

Has there been a low point?

When you’re doing what you love there are no low points.

Would you recommend other people surf big waves? Why?

Safety is always first! 

If someone has an ambition to surf big waves, how would you recommend he or she gets started?

Dream, believe, achieve. 

What do you need to succeed?

All of the above 

If you weren’t a pro surfer is there another way you can imagine earning a living?

9-5 either plumbing of in the surf industry. 

If surfing didn’t exist, is there another sport you would have concentrated on?


Have you had any serious injuries?

Numerous knee injuries including damaging my shoulder and back. I always come back stronger! 

Do you have any techniques for managing your fear?

Preparation and breathing

Would you encourage your kids to surf big waves? Why?

My children can do whatever they love. I'll encourage them to follow dreams, break the norm and have fun. 

Can you imagine ever quitting big waves?

The day it's not enjoyable. 

Is there anything else you can share with us about why you love your sport?

Mother Nature, it's an amazing thing. Get outside and enjoy it while you can!