Photographer / Filmmaker / Drone Producer / Co-Founder, Máquina Voadora

The Inertia

The big wave season is running at full steam in Nazaré, Portugal and many of the best big wave surfers around the globe have set up camp near Praia do Norte the past few weeks. One of those people is Andrew Cotton, who suffered a massive wipeout last year in which he broke his back and has been working hard toward a recovery ever since then. Cotton won the WSL’s XXL Wipeout of the Year Award for that spill last year and he managed to escape his first big one of this season with nothing more than a broken board.

I captured this raw video during the November 7th swell, showing Andrew Cotton being towed by Garrett McNamara into a wave that was estimated at 60-65 feet, right on the first Peak of Praia do Norte. Cotty manages to launch himself into the wave successfully until running into a bit of chop on the wave face, throwing him off his board. After the ensuing hold down, Garrett rescues Cotty right away, completely unscathed. His surfboard, however, was found on the beach that day in two pieces.

“All good — it’s what I needed for confidence,” Cotty said about the wipeout. “It’s important to know I’m strong enough to take them, though. So I’m stoked!”

Personally, I believe Cotton looks stronger than ever. He just took a wipeout like it was nothing and after last season’s injury, we are all happy to see him back out there charging again with so much confidence.


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