Andrew Cotton

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Jog on.

Just a little observation I’ve made. The Irish love to walk, not normal walking like when you walk a dog but this funny little speed walking scenario which isn’t quite jogging yet faster than a normal walk, they dress like there gunna jog but haven’t quite got there yet or maybe there just warming up to it yet I haven’t seen anyone actually jogging.
In the past 48 hours I’ve surfed 5 waves and spent about 14 hours on this fecking jet ski, why so long in the sea and so little waves? You’re probably thinking. Well I’m not as stupid as I look or sound no matter what you think and I managed to find that bit of self control that I seem to lack so often in life and take it as easy and as safe as I possibly could, this meant a lot of watching and choosing my time really because technically I shouldn’t be fully surfing yet although my physio did say I should build up things to where I want to be instead of just throwing myself in at the deep end on the 9 month mark, which is when I’m supposed be back to full surfing fitness. The ski’s been like our car as in we’ve just been cruising about and making the most of the waves which have been in the 6 to 10ft area, all in full paddle range which Big Al made the most of and some of the local crew who charged Aileen’s. Which is always good to witness from the channel, while I quietly had words with myself and ensured that my hand break on life was firmly on and I didn’t listen to Derrick who lives in the other side of my brain.
I filmed my whole 5 waves and 14 hours on the ski with my GoPro camera which is possibly going to make the most tedious and boring GoPro clip known to man, which will be a feat in itself as there’s shitloads out there on the world wide web! But hopefully Richard from Wavedreamer is going to help me on the edit so you’ll have to check it out when it’s done.
Might put my running kit on now and go for a walk, you look silly but everyone’s doing it here and I just want to fit in.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Good things come to those who wait.

I haven’t made one of those involuntary groaning noises in the past 24 hours, um well actually make that 10 as I briefly made a couple this morning when I woke up in the van freezing and realised that it was howling northerly which meant our surfing plans were limited. I got over it pretty quickly though as deep down I knew I shouldn’t really be going to nuts at the moment, ‘take it easy’ is what every fecker keeps telling me, easy for them to say as they haven’t been hanging around all summer listening to every tom, dick and harry banging on about waves, surfs and sessions they’ve had. I think my melting point was when someone said to me ‘oh, so I suppose that’s it for your surfing now then’ not sure what he was getting at or he just wanted to make me feel shit, but I just agreed with him and said I’d taken up croaky instead and was aiming to turn professional at the end of the year. Anyway today we started to goose chase which isn’t something I’m into really, I usually take the piss out of few of the boys at home that drive around all day looking for shit waves which are usually crowded or if not below average, but we managed to find some shelter at this spot, no ideas what it’s called but no one was there and it was pumping.

So no word of a lie this is my first real wave in over 6 months since my knee operation and was my only one of the day, ok I did have a couple of sessions at a little onshore beachie yesterday just to see how the old knee felt but you could hardly call it surfing, just like flapping and stomping maybe? I did cheat a little as I got my big ginger mate to jet assist me but the idea was to get a feel for it for tomorrow, as that’s hopefully when we’ll get some cooking waves. So this is a shot of my first and only wave so far with a new knee, Thanks to Andy the knee surgeon from London, I’ll see you in November for my final appointment and also thanks to James my physio in Barnstaple who had to deal with me winging at him every week for 45 minutes. Oh and of course Al the big ginger fecker for the Jet Ski assist, I love you mate x

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Very, very loose facts.

Oh the rain and cold how I’ve missed you. So I’m over in the emerald isle for a couple weeks trying to get back in the swing of things, and as luck would have it there’s a pretty exciting chart on the cards. I can hardly contain myself and don’t really know whether I’m coming or going or should laugh or cry but I have quickly decided to write down some very very loose facts about Ireland which may or may not interest you. When I say facts I don’t really mean actual facts although I’m sure some of them are facts but others might actually 
 not be 100% factual, if that makes any sense.


  • Michael Jackson briefly lived in Ireland and it was said it helped to inspire him write music.
  • Unless you’re bald you have to wear a swimming cap in the public swimming baths.
  • Ginger is a very popular hair colour.
  • There’s more class wave set ups per mile of coast than you can shake a stick at.
  • My favourite band Westlife comes from Ireland, as do the Corrs.
  • Guinness tastes better here, or that’s what I tell myself when I’m over here.
  • 93% of Ireland is covered in grass.
  • 37% of rocks in Ireland are the same size now as they where 200 years ago.
  • 82% of Americans claim to have Irish ancestry.
  • In Northern Ireland they use Pounds, in Eire they use Euros.
  • Some people say the Irish are lucky.
  • Arther Guinness invented Guinness; apparently the hops are from the same plant as hashish. No wonder they’re so chilled out.
  • Irish girls have pure white skin and big fresh tits……………apparently.
  • There’s some legit big wave set ups here and even though some spots like Mullaghmore have been surfed for years they’ve only recently been getting international exposure.
  • Irelands the only place in the world where you can find four leaf clovers and see leprechauns walking down the street.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Pricks in suits

Summers over and the majority of the surf dudes have gone home but there’s still a few about. Now I’m not usually one to repeat myself, well that is unless I’ve had a couple of ales and am in full social swing but I just had to post these photos up. Yes its wetsuit shopping all over again with both cases being in Braunton which is a good old car journey from the sea.
Case1: God knows how this blokes got a girlfriend, but he must be doing something right as he’s thinking about taking his lucky lady for a slap up meal at The Riverside restaurant in the centre of braunton, the only trouble being he forgot to take his wetsuit off after his epic session at Croyde earlier but it doesn’t seem to bother her.
Case2: What’s more ridiculous than guys who wear boardies over their wetsuits? Guys who wear boardies over their wetsuits and go shopping in Tesco’s! Yep Tesco Braunton seems to be a hot spot for these wetsuit shopping freaks for some reason. I’m still confused to what these surf dudes are actually thinking, are they  going or coming back from the sea and where's their clothes? But where ever this guys going he looks freaking cool and I wish I knew him so we could hang out and go shopping in our wetsuits together, with boardies over the top of course.
Thanks Mike Copping and Horley for the shots, good skills guys.  

Monday, 13 September 2010

Happiness is..........

A couple people didn’t like my last post about the shitty toilet in Newquay but Look how happy I am.
Ok so the reason for the unusual amount of happiness has nothing to do with Newquay but check the sheer joy and excitement on my little face. There are sort of a few reasons for this, I finally feel after some months I’m back in the game surfing wise, which could mean a slightly different approach to my blogging so it will hopefully include some surfing and not just random dribble, all I have to do now is just dust off the cobwebs so to speak. So what better way to celebrate by going and surfing the Severn bore in the pitch black over the weekend. I’m not gunna lie, although it was amazing and slightly different wave riding fun, hanging round in a field for 48 hours to only have the opportunity of catching 4 waves at specific times of the day and night can be slightly tedious if not testing but it was worth it.
There was a small scenario with some guy who kept letting off flares whilst trying to surf the river which was the talk amongst the rest of the fellow bore riders and no one quite knew who he was, although they all thought the guy was a prick as he surfed down the river looked into his flair that he’d just let off, blinded himself then surfed into a tree. ‘Could have killed himself’ was the chat and then ‘anyone know who it was?’ I just pleaded innocent and totally agreed with everyone ‘yep what a complete tool’ ‘what on earth was he thinking?’ the fact that phantom flare surfer did it the next night but with slightly more success took the piss. It did look quite impressive while the flair was going off but I still couldn’t quite make out who it was with the shadows, then the second it went out it took about 30 seconds for everyone’s eyes to adjust back to the darkness causing everyone to go blind and half of the surfers to fall. I was lucky though as I had a couple of pretty long rides. Some guy even shouted at me ‘stop hogging the river’ which I didn’t quite understand but I guess it’s the sort of lingo I’ll have to brush up on if I do it again.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Shit you not.

You’re probably thinking why the hell have you got a photo of a shitty toilet on here or maybe I’ve developed some sort of weird shit fetish but I kid you not this is real life shituation I witnessed in the cold light of day, It was almost like I walked into that scene from Trainspotting, as I gagged and dry wretched, eyes watering I somehow felt the need to take a photo, a strange thing to do granted but I just needed photographic evidence as no one would ever really believe me.
The mind just boggles as to what actually happened here as this scene of mass destruction was in a once grand hotel in Newquay but which is now like most once grand hotels there a hostel, even though it looks like Beirut from the outside and obviously has a few slight issues with cleanliness and the general up keep the place gets packed every weekend full of stag and hen party’s frothing on the Newquay night life. Although the guy who was running it did say there were a couple of people who did actually live there as it was pretty cheap accommodation. Most of the people who stay here probably leave after their weekend of debauchery with one of those red hoodys that say ‘Newquay Life Guard’ on the back which makes me shudder every time I see one. Oh the joys of the stereotypical British sea side, I just love it.
So if you haven’t guessed I’ve been enjoying the delights of Newquay this week with Dan from AG and before you jump to conclusions, no we didn’t stay in the hostel although we did spend some time in it for various reasons and the experience as a whole was pretty eye opening and interesting.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Feeling Invinci-ball

I just got my SAS Invinci-Ball tickets in the post, not gunna lie I am a little excited. Myself and A Blake (nice bloke big features generally) are going so it should be a action packed weekend with hopefully not to many cringe worthy scenarios but you just never know as he can be a bit of a loose cannon at times, well a lot of the time to be completely honest and I’m pretty easily led, some may say.
I just hope it goes better than the last time I went way back in 2004, which only saw me at the ball for approximately 30 minutes, got a little over excited you see and when that happens the outcomes can go either way. It was an odd one though from the start, as to how I even got hold of the dam tickets in the first place. A week before the ball I just so happened to be wrestling at a house party in Croyde, it was one of those wrestles which almost got out of control, like they start off all playful but quickly get a bit serious. The problem was it wasn’t one of my mates this tom foolery was happening with; it was a grown woman that I barely knew. The next day I was already giving myself guilty death threats when the phone rang and it was Nick from Redwood surf shop, he seemed to be reviling in his own sobriety from the previous night which is enough to tip anyone over the edge but when he dropped the bombshell that my said wrestling partner had dropped an envelope in for me my heart sank, what the hell could it be? Thoughts of the worst case possible outcome obviously go through your brain and that situation arises where you need to know what’s in that envelope before you can do or think about anything else.
Just so happened that in the envelope was a pair of VIP tickets for the SAS ball with a little note about what a good wrestler I was! Bonus. I thought I was gunna get sued or possibly a restraining order but instead I get given a pair of VIP SAS ball tickets, I couldn’t quite work it out but suddenly life felt good again and Nicks sobriety not so much fun after all!
As I said my VIP ball experience was short lived and went a little like this; I’d given the 2nd ticket to life companion, housemate and interesting drunk Horley, neither of us knew what to expect and got there a little early, actually really early so the first 20 minutes were spent doing dance floor skids, like the really goods one you used to do at discos when you were at primary school, everyone just stood round the edges not really knowing what to do until someone steps up and breaks the ice by doing a running dance floor knee skid, well that was how we spent the first 20 minutes minus anyone really watching, just a few comments like ‘twats’ and ‘grow up your not in primary school anymore you dicks’. After that the next 5 minutes we spent hunting out the VIP area where the idea was to harass strangers. VIP areas are great for this because everyone’s so bloody cool and these people make perfect targets. Our plan was floored though as the VIP area was pretty much empty, everyone knows cool people are always late. So this moves me on to my final 5 minutes and I have to say this possibly wasn’t the finest 5 minutes of my life.
Some band had started playing and now there are a few more people milling around, I stood at the back of the marquee drinking a beer when something in my brain just clicked and I took off into an auto pilot situation, running across the dance floor, side stepping a couple of people and diving over the barrier in front of the stage, I didn’t want to get on stage or anything, or although no doubt If given half a chance. But I think I’d just seen that sort of thing on TV when watching these festivals with the big crowds and bands playing, crowd surfing, people fainting and getting pulled over the barriers to safety etc I wanted to do that and somehow saw this as my only opportunity in life that I would ever get. Looking back I don’t think it’s that kind of place. The bouncer just grabbed me and asked me to come with him; he quickly cut my VIP wrist band off then bundled me out the Marquee. I spent the rest of the night in the car park thinking thank fuck I didn’t have to pay for that ticket but I’m pretty sure Horley enjoyed himself.   

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Malloy me not

What on earth was I thinking when I left the house this morning to go for a surf, maybe along the lines I thought  I’d actually woken up somehow as a Malloy brother or I was a distant relation to Rasta or Donavon. But it wasn’t till I set my sights on the waves, that the realisation I had only put a wooden belly board in my van to surf with and I was still Me hit hard. It took the old surf craft selection scenario to the another level, as I’m sure any surfer has had that dilemma of what board to ride no matter how big or small their quiver and what the surf conditions.
I’m no stranger to the wooden belly board, as in fact I was ranked No2 in the world back in 2004 and it was a close call between myself and first place who also just happened to be my good mate Skelly, the thing was he loves surfing weird or slightly odd surf craft all the time but for me the reality is when the surfs good I could think of better ways to be ridding waves, like the good old trusty short board, that’s why they call it progression, isn’t it?
Skelly and Myself (Worlds No1 and 2 Wooden Belly Boarders 2004) often travelled together in the past yet every time we plan a trip he’d always do the same thing. My golden rule is never go on a surf trip without a bog standard short board, it’s your bread and butter board and always gets the most use, but skellys odd outlook or maybe ‘broader perspective’ on surfing is somewhat different yet he never seems to learn. Two examples of this; On a 3 month trip to West Aus when packing he decided, out of the 5 boards he was going to take none of them were going to be a standard short board. I warned him he’d regret it  and after 3 weeks of surfing super fun 3-4ft waves on a 6’8 semi gun he crumbled and begged to borrow mine ‘Please Cotton, just one surf’ ‘you could ride your 6’3, you haven’t ridden that much’ he said. ‘Not a chance, I told you’ was my reply although I do seem to remember caving in on a couple of occasions and letting him have a bash.
So as most people learn from their mistakes I went to Scotland with him a couple years ago. His quiver choice was an impressive array of surf craft with consisted of a blow up surf matt, wooden belly board, 6’10, 90’s Maurice Cole piny which had mental channels in, A twinny that looked like it had been found in a garage 30 years ago and probably should of been left there and a 6’8” gulfstream pin tail which was only slightly normal board he had. He was stoked with his selection and on the 14 hours drive up there explained in every detail imaginable what conditions he’d surf every board and why he’s brought it along. Three days into the trip the 14 hours Scottish board selection justification and lecture had been long forgotten, as I waxed up my short board and he was starring at either the blow up matt or the twinny that looked like it had been found in a garage 30 years ago and probably should of been left there. ‘I do like all my boards but I’d have to admit something more normal to surf does seem quite appealing right now.’