Editor’s Note: Yesterday, while surfing massive Nazaré, Andrew Cotton was caught in one of those moments every big wave surfer faces: making a split-second decision to go right or left, depending on the situation. And on this occasion, the consequences were dire. Taking off on a massive wave, Cotton chose left and the wave detonated on him, breaking his back. The Englishman was kind enough to send us an email from his hospital bed in Portugal. And the account is riveting, pulling back the curtain on an epic session that could have ended much worse. Thanks to Cotton’s will, and a good rescue crew, he will surf again:
We were all amped this morning as it was looking so good. The waves looked good and the wind was still ok. We knew that the wind was going to pick up through the day so we wanted to make the most of it early on. I was out with Hugo Vau filming for a new documentary about Garrett (McNamara) getting back into big wave surfing after his own injury. We were catching some great waves and I’m loving the new boards I’ve got.