We’ve never seen a wipeout like the one Andrew Cotton survived at Nazaré last year. Flying out of the whitewash, at what looks like 20 feet in the air, then being bodyslammed by the heaviest wave on the planet. It wasn’t pretty, to say the least. It was jaw-dropping, gruesome, and undoubtedly life-changing for the British hellman.
“I pressed that eject button thinking this isn’t good,” he said when he described the wipeout. “And this is weird because I didn’t really get any impact and I just had this weightless feeling for what seemed like way too long.”
He paints the picture of the impact perfectly with one word: “BANG.”
When Cotton got back to the UK, doctors gave him the good news that his spine was still intact. He underwent rehab on land for the next several months and in June, the BBC documented Cotton’s return to the water. Now, in a new docu-style Nazaré short film, Cotton says he’ll be making his Nazaré return this upcoming season.
“One-hundred percent I’ll be surfing Nazaré in October,” he says.
By that point, it will have been less than a full year from the day Cotton endured one of the craziest wipeouts ever– making his comeback at the wave where it went crazy.
“Slowly, slowly. But I’ll be stronger and better for it, for sure,” he said.
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Great to be back in the sea again on a board. Next stop #Nazaré 🇬🇧🌊🇵🇹🙌🏽 thanks for following my progress @bbcspotlight . . . #Repost @bbcspotlight ・・・ Big wave surfer @andrew_cotty surfs again in #Devon seven months after breaking his back on a 60ft #wave in #Portugal 🏄♂️ #surfing #nazare #sport #recovery #comeback @redbulluk @redbullspecteyewear @dryrobe @sharpsbrewery @gshock_uk @gshockportugal @silverline_tools @fcseurope