According to reports coming out of Portugal today, Andrew Cotton was injured and is alive and recovering in a hospital after taking a ridiculous spill at Nazaré. While riding a left, it looked as though Cotton tried to pull up into the barrel on his backhand before thinking better of it and ejecting. He then can be seen getting thrown out in front of the whitewater by the power of the wave.
Cotton was filming for a new documentary with Garrett McNamara when the wipeout occurred and broke bones in his back. He had to be stabilized on the beach after being rescued. “Basically, if you go right and end up towards the headland it’s harder for skis to come and get you,” Cotton told us. “If there is a set of waves following you can get washed in towards the cliff, which is really bad news. The lefts are usually longer, and in this wind, more hollow. I suppose I made the split-second decision to go left based on those factors. I knew I was deep, but that’s part of the fun of surfing Nazaré. You want to get deep to experience the wave properly.”