Drift speaks to Jim Heimann - cultural anthropologist, graphic design historian and author of a new publication TASCHEN's 365 Day-by-Day Surfing - a collection of vintage photographs and art works that will have you waxing nostalgic for bygone beach vibes.

Rob Lion of Royal Surfboards and Paul Smith of Glide Surfboards in Cork, Ireland meet with Zephaniah Carrigg, purveyor of functional and beautiful surf craft, on a recent visit to the island. Photos: Danny O'Callaghan

Follow cameraman Mike Lacey as he takes on Hawaii. An amazing collection of photos from the spiritual home of surfing. www.mikelaceyphotography.co.uk

Follow Alexandra Gossink as she uncovers the true Morocco. www.ilovetheseaside.com Photo credits: Geert-Jan Middelkoop, Martijn Lansdaal & Alexandra Gossink

A tale of surfing reefs in South Africa, but not knowing what you get yourself into. Drift contributor Tim Conibear points a finger at localism and finds three more pointing right back. Photos: Mike Reich

Chris Preston chats to Neil Randall of if6was9 about his radical take on traditional board design, Noosa's retro vibe, and his love of vintage style. Photos Dane Peterson

Hidden away in a Falmouth boatyard among the classic lines of traditional timber ships is an unusual surfboard factory: one in which the boards are finished with wood and natural oils. Here tradition meets modernism. This is Glass Tiger. Words: Mark Sankey Action photos: Kirstin Prisk Other photos & design: Alexa Poppe

Luciano Burin catches up with Junior Faria, a pro surfer breaking the Brazilian mould, whose atmospheric photographs capture the happiness and freedom of surfing.

Cyrus Sutton made an impression on the international film circuit with his 2003 breakthrough movie 'Riding Waves'. Now the EMMY award-winning documentary maker has turned his attention to the divergent surf scenes of Australia's Gold Coast and Byron Bay. Words: Tommy Leitch Photos: Courtesy of Cyrus Sutton

During December 1970 and January 1971, my father, my brother Duncan and I designed the first Bonzer. It was the beginning of an amazing journey. Words: Malcolm Campbell. Photos: Miguel Barreira

Richard James and his brother Andrew recently finished shooting their first film, a surf trip of 30,000 kilometres along the west cost of Africa. Words and photos: Richard James


The Cotty interview


November 04, 2010 | Words By: Chris S

Andrew Cotton talks to Chris Stevens about life out of the water while recovering from a recent knee operation. Photos: Ben Selway


Andrew Cotton is one of Britain’s free surfers. Over the last few years he’s been at the forefront of the tow-in surf revolution – whipping himself into mutant slabs over at Aileens in Ireland with partner Al Mennie. His antics were featured in the indie movie ‘Driven’, and have resulted in an invitation to the Interternational big wave championships.

Cotty at Aileens, Ireland. Photograph by Pete Fleming

But this Croyde boy has been missing from the line-up for months due to a spat of injuries and a knee op. Following my land-bound period after a recent face-to-surfboard incident, I wanted to find out how a pro surfer copes being banished from his natural habitat. I caught up with Cotty (via email, as the whole Oz to England time difference is a bitch, plus [not to rub salt into wounds] I’m still busy scoring swell here in Byron) to find out…

First off, how’s the knee?
Yeah, it’s all good. It’s knocking on six months now and I’m hoping to get back in the sea very soon. It feels strong and I’m hoping to come back stronger and more focused on my surfing.

It’s been a pretty tough 12 months for you injury-wise, tweaking things here and there – is that because you’re pushing your surfing more and upping the risk, or simply bad luck?
Both really; two of my major injuries last year were done at home, surfing 2-3ft waves. But that’s just how it goes sometimes. The last few big swells before my op I was pushing myself hard, taking a few more risks and going deep as possible. It was partly the fact that I thought I had nothing to lose with my operation date looming and also because over the past year big-wave and tow surfing in Ireland has come on in leaps and bounds – we’re no longer the only guys out there doing it, and we’re all pushing each other in the right direction. Plus it’s safer when you’re not alone: you can take the risks because there’s more back-up if shit goes down.

I was out of the water for a month and it drove me crazy. How’s the surf withdrawal for you?
I has had its highs and lows. I have moments where I lose focus, but I’ve mainly been pretty good. I’ve got a few new goals with my surfing, and it has also given me time to think about what else I want to do to bring in the pennies in the future and start making plans for that.

Seems you still have spreads coming out though… Was that tactical planning on your part, knowing the op was due?
Last year I went all out and put so much time and effort into photo trips and swells that it was wearing me down. At the time I felt I wasn’t getting the results I wanted, whether that was catching the best waves or getting the exposure that I thought I’d get, but it’s paying me back slowly. It feels like that time and money wasn’t wasted, and to be honest it has motivated my recovery. If I can do all those things and surf those waves without an ACL ligament and wearing a knee brace I can’t wait to get back out there with a new knee. It’s gonna be a good winter for me, I can just feel it!

Your sponsors have stuck by you though, which must be good to know.
I hope so! So far so good. I’m pretty pro-active and I’ve never taken them for granted, and it’s not like I’m never going to surf again. I’m hungry for it and definitely have a lot more that I want to accomplish.

What kind of fitness routine are you working on to get yourself back in top surfing condition?
I’ve been doing a lot of road biking, and I’ve been surprised how much I’ve enjoyed it. That’s combined with a gym routine and swimming sessions, so I’ve been keeping pretty fit while out the water. My physio is adamant that I’ll come back way fitter, because I wouldn’t ordinarily have been able to fit in this sort of demanding routine around surfing and travelling.

How’s the out of water time going to affect your tow surfing? I noticed on Twitter that you’re still buying kit, so it’s still a go then?
It won’t effect it at all. I plan to tow as soon as possible, but I also want to focus more on my big-wave paddle surfing this year. Al has already had a couple of huge sessions at Mullaghmore and I’m frothing to get out there with him.

Do you have any survival tips for other surfers facing time out due to injury?
Use the time wisely – it’s not always a negative thing spending time out the water. It can be tough missing surf and hearing all the tales of “wow!”, but it will always be there. I can’t wait to surf again, and I think that spending time out of the water has just boosted my motivation to get back out there – I can’t freaking wait!

So apart from the old knee, what’s your worst surf-related injury and wipeout?
Injuring my pelvis back in October/November last year at Mullaghmore. It was possibly the biggest swell of the winter, and it was the first time I’ve ever really been shaken up by a wipeout. Not a fun experience, but always an experience worth having.

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You can follow Cotty’s antics on his blog or via his twitter account @andrew_cotton

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1 Comments


  1. Great interview. I’ve always held great respect for the British surfer after spending a year in Cornwall…
    You have to be hard core to surf all year round over there.

    1


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