Wednesday, 20 March 2013
Just been on the internet, you know it seems pretty hard to escape it these days as it’s everywhere and that but I came across this video and I love it, in fact I’ve watched it numerous times just hoping and wishing that one day I will be a true dagger master.
I have been practicing though, and on occasions over the past 2 years something has flipped in my brain and I am one. As I start uncontrollably humping things, Chairs, tables, mic stands and sometimes even the odd stranger’s leg. Nothing is safe as I go at it like a jack hammer. I might add the strangers are generally male as the only female I like to dry hump like a jack hammer is Katie, which is understandable.
The pinnacle of my daggering career is going to be when I too have the ability to involve a small step ladder, I’m working on it but there might be some health and safety issues. There always is.
Friday, 1 March 2013
‘There will always be another big swell’ is what I tell myself when I miss big waves the same as I tell myself ‘you can’t be everywhere at once’ when I make a bad call concluding in me missing the best or biggest waves. I find myself getting so wrapped up and focused on the Atlantic winter swells I can’t see the wood for the trees so to speak, I need and want to make the most of every swell as I won’t have the luxury of jetting half way across the world in the summer to get my fix. It doesn’t help living in Devon either, because there’s definitely no big waves here so it’s great to leave but always greater to come home to my family.
So this is my Atlantic winter retrospective and a few of the waves I surfed from a few key sessions. It was a pretty epic winter for me and the first real time I’ve spent chasing big swells out of Ireland with a lot of time put in at Nazare, a session at Belharra as well as the old faithful Mullaghmore and a big wave paddle comp at Punta Galea in the Basque Country. Hope you like it.
Monday, 14 January 2013
As you can see Al and myself are having a lovely time on the beach watching the waves and looking for the jet ski even though the sun isn’t shining. Things haven’t gone quite to plan since I left home but we seem to be dealing with whatever comes our way, as you do.
However it was quite stress full getting here due to a small scenario of getting the dates wrong when I booked my plane tickets but after a small panic attack at the Easy Jet desk at Gatwick as they insisted the flight to Lisbon was full, I managed to buy a last minute ticket online. Isn’t the internet just brilliant sometimes.
Being really well looked after by the Nazare Qualifica crew here as usual and Celeste has been cooking us up some treats and the Policia Maritima have even requested to see us tomorrow morning, which is something to look forward too. Maybe they want an autograph of some kind?
Forgot to mention earlier but I can’t seem to find a flight home tomorrow as they are all fully booked back to London so will possibly have to fly back via Dublin but I promise to try and make it back for Monday and the meeting with the bank manager. Hopefully on the way back we’ll crack the windscreen on the hire car and have to pay the excess, get robbed at the Aer Lingus check in desk because our board bags are over 15kg then when I’m teetering on the edge of completely losing it, as I’m going through security I’ll get loads of hassle about the diving weight in my hand luggage and they’ll insist even though it’s not a sharp or a liquid and I’ve travelled with it in my hand luggage for the past 4 years it’s not allowed on the plane so I have to throw it away.
Can’t wait to see you all.
Thursday, 3 January 2013
I haven’t surfed Mullaghmore for nearly 9 months, think it’s broken a couple times and a few people have paddled it when smaller but it’s really rare to get 8 meter plus swell with decent winds which is when Mully really starts to get interesting and can scare the living daylights out of you.
When I saw the chart for this swell it was always going to be a gamble, a quick pulse of swell which was predicted to reach 10 meters at one point with the wind gale force and slightly onshore instead of cross off but there was a window of opportunity which I just couldn’t pass up. So Red Bull very kindly hooked us up with a ski and I did a 24 hour mission with Lyndon Wake to wait it out on the headland, just in case.
I’m not gunna lie there was a lot of driving and at points spirits were low but just before dark the wind dropped enough for us to get out and get a few, the swell was dying fast but there was still a couple sets. I got this bomb and Lyndon possibly got the wave of his life and definitely one of the better waves ever surfed out there but unfortunately no one captured it. Hard to believe as usually there's shots all over the internet before you even get out your wetsuit, but he hasn’t mentioned it much. Hopefully something will turn up.
Friday, 21 December 2012
I’m on a bit of a personal mission at the moment so when a low the size of North America filled the Atlantic all I really wanted to do was surf the biggest waves there was on offer.
As ever it turned into a bit of a scenario, loads of travelling and more driving than once thought humanly possible but a last minute decision left me driving through Portugal and Spain with Eric Ribiere to get to France where the plan was to paddle Belharra, which is a spot 2km out to sea and a world famous big wave spot.
I didn’t really know what to expect although of course I’ve seen videos and photos of the place but it’s usually known as a tow spot, so paddling around out to sea and trying to get yourself in the spot was definitely going to be testing.
The long and short of it I ended up getting a few on the head but I also managed to get myself under this, that’s me on the left and Nathan Fletcher on the right, it’s a pretty bumpy fat wave but a really good experience and I hope to be down there next time it breaks. Thanks to Eric for lending me a board big enough and Alex Laurel for the ski ride out there. I got the photo from Timo Jarvinens facebook page.
Saturday, 24 November 2012
Everything in life is about the perfect timing, I’m beginning to understand this more and more and although it seems a lot of these elements are out of your hands and a lot of luck is involved it’s just not the case and to a degree you can control this yourself. The key is waiting, planning and knowing when the time is right to be on top of your game, peak to early you’re spent when the time comes and too late, well you’ve missed your chance to shine.
I’m the sort of human that generally peaks to early, I get so excited, have so much energy I just find it hard to control and wait for the right moment to release. It’s been a problem all my life but realising and admitting that is the first step, isn’t it? I’ve been working on it for some time and on the odd occasion I’ve nailed it like my first wave at Mullaghmore back in March but I haven’t perfected it yet.
So the waves were pretty big last week, possibly the biggest and most perfect I’ve ever seen but the problem was I peaked to early, got my bones rattled and when it was my time to shine I just couldn’t perform.
It’s all work in progress. But If you feel the need to follow it more closely LIKE my new Facebook page which I’ll update as much as humanly possible or I think appropriate which of course is a blurry bendy line.
Friday, 9 November 2012
Look at that face, how can someone so handsome be so talented? I’m a marketing dream if only someone out there could just see that.
So the reason for the serious face and concentration is I’ve been doing this FII Waterman Survival course down in Nazare, Portugal with World free diving champion Martin Stepanek. Although I do get quite into my training I’ve never been one to do breath holding or anything like that and I usually approach any wipe out scenario just by relaxing and going with the flow and knowing at some point I’ll surface and everything will be just the same as it was before. It’s worked until now so I must be doing something right but I did jump at the chance to do this course and see how the pros do it and get myself more confidence when in the mixer.
The result is I have increased my breath hold big time with a water static of 4.05 minutes and I’ve learned some great training techniques which I can apply in the pool and on dry land, this over time should increase that even more. I’d recommend anyone looking to gain confidence in the sea to do this course as it was a real eye opener.
Thanks Martin and Ryan for passing on your knowledge but also Garrett for getting me involved, really stoked. Thanks.
Thursday, 1 November 2012
‘Dear Katie, please pass this message to Andrew, It’s from the sound of music!!! WHEN THE LORD CLOSES A DOOR HE OPENS A WINDOW!! Xx’
This is the text my mother in law sent Katie late last week. It did touch a little nerve and a tear came to my eye as I did 100 press ups then downed a can of larger to prove real men can get emotional too.
So the reason she sent me this message was I had a bit of bad news last week as my long term sponsor Analog announced they were heading back to the hills and leaving me at the beach. It’s a bit of a scenario really as it seemed to be going so well. That’s life I suppose and times are tough, it was an amazing 7 or so years with the brand and I owe a lot to them in believing in me and giving me that extra bit of help in getting me where I wanted to go. So a special thanks to all involved over the years.
On a brighter note check my new clip out that Mikey edited for me. Anyone fancy sponsoring the best looking big wave surfer in the business? (not including Mark Vissor of course). It’s an opportunity not to be missed.
Saturday, 20 October 2012
I hate making plans too far in advance, it doesn’t have to be organised fun just plain and simple plans like getting from A to B or having to be at C at a certain time. It really gets in the way sometimes but all plans have to be pretty bendy right, nothings a dead cert, which is why I changed my plans to fly back to London last week and go to the G Shock awards which I was nominated for in the sport category. Problem is when you tell people you changed your plans that you arranged months ago so you could go surfing they don’t quite believe you. Fair enough as it does sound a bit much especially if you don’t surf, you’d probably think I’m being pretty rude.
So unfortunately I missed the award ceremony but luckily I managed to surf a couple waves like the one pictured above. But what’s more amazing is that I actually freaking won. So thanks to G Shock for the recognition in what I love to do and Sam Lamiroy for collecting the award for me, luckily for myself and G Shock he’s far better at the old public speaking and drinking, which isn’t hard but unfortunately not quite as good looking.
Thursday, 11 October 2012
Got married the other week, what an amazing day of emotions and joy shared with our nearest and dearest and now we’re on our honeymoon. As a proper romantic and all that I took my lovely wife and 2 gorgeous children to Portugal to watch me surfing, you know team Cotton. They’re like my travelling fan club. I’ve made them up banners, flags and even a cardboard cut out of my face so when I go surfing they all stand on the beach and cheer me on, this can be a little embarrassing at times but that’s life plus it makes me feel great and isn’t that what life’s all about.
Although some of the above is in jest surfing really does make me happy and it feels so good to be back surfing some good waves again and to have team Cotton joining me and cheering me on.
So at this point you’d probably think I’d put in a great photo of the 4 of us having a lovely romantic time in sunny Portugal enjoying our Honeymoon/family holiday. Nah, check out this sick little left I surfed the other day near Nazare. Loving life.