Andrew Cotton started surfing at the age of seven on the North Devon coast. Ever since then, catching waves and being in and around the ocean has been his life. When he left school he worked in a local surfboard factory until the age of 25.
He then re-trained as a plumber, but along the way began to realise that his real passion lay in big wave surfing.
"Pushing the boundaries of big wave surfing in Europe"
At first the Plymouth-born surfer focused on helping pioneer big-wave spots in Ireland, but more recently he turned his attention to Nazaré, Portugal. Numerous Billabong XXL entries followed and he came to wider attention in 2012, when he towed American surfer Garrett McNamara into what the Guinness Book of World Records confirmed as the biggest wave ever surfed.
Since then Cotton has notched up a series of indisputably big waves, one or two of which have caused debate in the press about whether they are bigger than Garrett’s record.
With the national and global media coverage that followed, it might be said that Cotton has been helping to push the boundaries as to what was thought possible and put Great Britain on the surfing map. But his success hasn’t come easy, particularly as his North Devon home is not exactly famed for its big waves.
He's sacrificed a lot to get to where he is today, working hard all summer in order to chase down waves all over Europe in the winter, as well as spending as much time as possible with his wife Katie and their children.