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Big Wave Surfer

Andrew Cotton

The Blue Soup Equipment Company has worked closely with British Big Wave Surfer Andrew Cotton over the last 3 years in developing a multi water sports safety product the UP VEST. Andrew's experience in big wave surfing has helped the team at Blue Soup produce the final version if the UP Vest, a product that we as a group feel provides a level of safety and functionality that is second to none in the water safety field. This practical expertise has enabled the design team to develop a product that offers the same level of safety that until now was only available to elite athletes to everyone no matter what their level of participation may be across multiple sports or pastimes on the water, be it the oceans, rivers or lakes.

Andrew Cotton is a Red Bull sponsored athlete and is a major figure on the international big wave surfing scene. Andrew was born in Plymouth and is a married father of 2 who grew up on the North Devon Coast where he started surfing at the age of seven. 

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 twenty-five. He then re-trained as a plumber, but along the way began to realise that his real passion lay in big wave surfing. Initially Andrew focussed on helping to pioneer big wave spots in Ireland, and more recently he turned his attention to Nazare, 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 Andrew has a number of indisputably big waves under his belt, one or two of which have caused debate in the press as to whether they are even bigger than Garret’s record. With the national and global media coverage that followed, it might be said that he has been helping to push the boundaries as to what was thought possible and put Great Britain firmly on the surfing map. But it definitely hasn’t come easy, particularly as home in North Devon is not exactly famed for its big waves. So it’s meant making a lot of sacrifices 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 two children.

“I’m already very much living my own dream in that I surf professionally and catch some of the biggest waves in the world. But big wave riding is very much in its infancy and there are plenty of big waves still to be discovered and surfed. With pretty much all the great mountains of the world climbed and explorers having reached most of the nooks and crannies on the planet, it really is quite a thing to consider that in big wave surfing you’re able to explore completely new territory and even potentially to push forward the frontiers of what’s considered possible. Some people might see riding these mountains of water as a metaphor for what’s possible in the modern world but for me it’s about getting out into the (usually freezing cold) water with my friends and catching the best waves it’s possible to catch. If along the way I happen to catch the biggest wave ever ridden then hey, it’ll be the icing on the cake.”