• Chris Farris

Update on Andrew Cotton – The Road to Recovery

We are delighted to report that Cotty is doing very well and will definitely be attending the 2 Nazare retreat weeks in April/May 2018. You may have seen the wipeout, it was pretty heavy. Luckily, Cotty is extremely fit (SurfFit) and his recovery is expected to be relatively swift.

There has been quite a bit of press around the wipeout and subsequent recovery and Andrew was keen to let you know that he’s progressing quickly and is in good spirits. As well as focussing on recovery he’s also putting time into making the SurfFit weeks even better to have a longer impact on your level of surfing and ocean confidence. He’s pretty well placed to talk about how to remain confident in the sea in challenging situations!

Cotty back on the exercise bike with a back brace.

If you’ve seen the footage of the wipeout you’ll notice that the first explosion somehow bounced Cotty into the air. It’s estimated that he flew roughly 40 feet forwards and 20 feet in the air. He wasn’t actually aware that this was happening at the time as it’s such an unusual occurrence. He did of course notice a floating feeling but wasn’t able to brace for impact, landing bottom first.

This impact damaged his L2 vertebrae. Of course from here he got another wave on the head, then a bouncy Jet Ski rescue before the Ski was wiped out on the inside and he floated through the shore break onto the beach.

Cotty the day after the wipeout at Nazare

Cotty is now back in the UK and has seen spinal specialists who’ve given him instructions on the road to rehabilitation. He will be working closely with his personal trainer and fitness guru Andrew ‘Blakey’ Blake to come back quicker than ever.

The 8th November when the wipeout happened wasn’t a total write off however. Cotty managed to catch this wave before things went awry.

The wave before the wipeout at Nazare on 8th November

He is already doing weights, cycling and swimming and is properly focussed on recovery. Of course he’s taking things easy as it was a serious shock to the body. However, his underlying level of fitness and positive mental outlook will certainly help to speed things up.

Lifting light weights under the watchful eye of a senior physio.

The April/May retreats in Nazare are shaping up to be another fantastic couple of weeks and Cotty and the SurfFit team look forward to meeting you if you’re already booked on.

If you would like to book on or require further information then please visit or email

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