Andrew 'Cotty' Cotton
Raised in North Devon Andrew 'Cotty' Cotton started surfing at the age of 7. While growing up in the South West he only saw big waves on films and in magazines, but after leaving school Andrew started working in a local surfboard factory, where he could surf as much as he desired. His passion for big wave surfing then took him around the world to surf in places such as Fiji, Australia and Hawaii oin some of the world's best waves and he soon realised that he felt comfortable surfing 20ft+ waves in difficult situations.
After training as a plumber, Cotty continued to surf massive winter swells at every chance he got. He helped to pioneer the now famous big wave spots in Ireland and spent lots of time on the West coast learning to ride a Jet Ski in huge waves. His earlier waves at Mullaghmore helped to put the spot on the map. In 2010 Garrett McNamara spotted what Cotty was doing in Ireland and asked him to be a part of the first team in Nazare to surf the biggest waves anyone has ever attempted to surf. In 2011 he towed Garrett into a record breaking 78ft wave.
In 2010 Cotty signed a partnership with Tiki, allowing him to chase the biggest swells in the North Atlantic. His pursuit to surf the biggest cold-water waves provides Tiki with the best winter wetsuit test pilot.
Then in 2013 Cotty choose to quit his plumbing job and made the decision to become a full time professional surfer, partnering with other brands such as Red Bull, Dryrobe and FCS to help make this happen.
In 2017 Cotty was surfing a 55ft wave in Nazare when he broke his back in a massive wipe out. After the accident he focused on regaining his strength to get back to surfing and to take on Nazare. In 2018 he returned and took on the mammoth waves again, overcoming the doubts and fear, feeling more prepared for the winter season than ever before.
In 2021 Cotty was featured in the HBO blockbuster documentary series ‘100ft Wave’, following Garrett McNamara on his attempt to hunt down the ‘Everest of surfing’, the 100ft wave.
Cotty loves to tell his stories of big wave surfing, leading him to create his own film ‘Beneath the Surface’ in partnership with Red Bull. Documenting his journey of hunting down a monster wave of the west coast of Ireland alongside a team of surfers and sailors. He has also given a TED talk about confronting big waves, which is something he continues to share through his YouTube channel.
Cotty now spends his summers working hard, to chase down the big waves all over Europe in the winter, still fuelled by a desire to surf the biggest waves in the world. He also spends his time focusing on SurfFit retreats; helping people to improve their overall fitness and mental outlook, to ultimately surf stronger for longer.