andrew riding big wave

A Chat with Andrew Cotton: Professional Big Wave Surfer

One of the UK’s most celebrated and fearless surfers, we took the chance to catch up with Andrew and talk about his experience in professional sports, time in recovery and how he has used CBD over the years.

About Andrew

Known affectionately as Cotty, Andrew’s talents are not limited to sport and surfing. He is an accomplished and inspirational public speaker, having spoken out on a range of topics, from achieving goals and dealing with failure, to the environment alongside charities such as Surfers Against Sewage. Andrew’s other endeavours include global Surf Fitness Retreats and media work.

Surf Career

From humble beginnings surfing the coast of South West England, Andrew discovered a passion for big wave riding that took him across the world to countries such as Australia, Hawaii and Portugal. It was in Nazare that he got to ride some of the biggest waves ever attempted, reaching the dizzying heights of waves in excess of 70ft.

from the water image of andrew riding a big wave

Using CBD

In a devastating accident in November 2017, Andrew suffered from a compression fracture in his spine, which had to be followed by a long period of recovery. Andrew used CBD throughout the recovery process; however, he explains that he had already been using it.

“To be honest, I think I was using CBD before that, I was looking into ways to recover after training; you read loads of different things, and CBD came up quite a lot.”

“I was looking into ways to sleep better and recover faster after training sessions. I tried various different products and methods of taking it.”

When asked his preferred method of taking CBD, he explained he’d tried several different stages, including adding it to food and coffee.

“But I think the best is just drops under the tongue” he adds.

Thankfully, he made a full recovery and spent several months regaining his fitness. As someone who has used CBD for a long period of time, he realises the importance of taking regular doses and allowing it to build up in the body.

“It’s part of something that I’ve put into my daily routine; it’s not something I would take just before a contest, it’s something that I take every day and build it up so it’s constant. It’s getting into your daily routine like you might take vitamins or supplements, I take CBD.”

“We get into this habit of wanting something instant, with CBD it takes time.”

He adds, “With CBD, it’s not like normal prescription drugs, where you feel like you can almost feel the effects immediately. I think it takes time to build up, we get into this habit of wanting something instant, with CBD it takes time.”

image of andrew cotton on beach

He also warns people to do their research before purchasing a CBD product. “There are a lot of different products out there, and some are better than others, it’s not until you start reading into it a bit more you start understanding it. Not a lot of stuff is amazing.”

Admitting he was unsure about its effectiveness before taking CBD, he says: “There are a lot of claims that it does a lot of different things, and that straight away got me quite sceptical. How can something do so much? But for me, it was all about recovery and trying to sleep better, and it did that.”

Andrew goes on to discuss the importance of sleep in both sport and everyday life. “I think sleep and recovery for anyone, whether you’re an athlete or do whatever, it’s really important and I think for me, that’s why it’s helped. It’s what’s helped me get over injury, but it’s also helped me get over training sessions and big wave sessions.”

“Sleep has kind of become hard, it’s hard for me, but I think taking CBD has definitely helped that.”

“It’s surprising how many people don’t sleep as much as they should. I think this day and age, managing to turn the brain off and get a good 8 to 10 hours sleep has kind of become hard, it’s hard for me, but I think taking CBD has definitely helped that.”

He’s also confident with recommending CBD to others:

“My dad’s in his 70s, and I’ve been trying to get him to start taking it for his arthritis, and he’s pretty old school, if it doesn’t work that day, he thinks it doesn’t work. I’ve been trying to get through to him that you’ve got to give it a proper month or a few weeks to get the benefits. Sometimes he doesn’t notice the benefits because he’s living with it, but I think I notice a difference.”

We really enjoyed chatting with Andrew and wish him the best in future competitions!

Visit the ElleVance Sciences website for CBD oil and other related products. We pride ourselves in our maximum strength, full-spectrum hemp extract, which contains our unique blend of CBD, CBDA and terpenes providing all-round balance and support.

An athlete kicking a football on a pitch.

How do Athletes Manage Injuries?

At the top of their game, athletes train their bodies regularly to ensure they are performing at their peak. People who invest themselves in sport take it on as not merely a passion or a way to make money, but also as a lifestyle choice, and it becomes their way of living.

Injuries can be severe enough to significantly reduce, or even stop, a training programme, which in turn can have an impact on an athletes physical and mental health.

It’s not just athletes who suffer from injuries, and it can be equally as damaging for an active individual to be out of action. With this in mind, to provide you with some advice, we take a look at how professionals manage their injuries.

NB – this is a guide and a general overview, if you are suffering from a sports injury, we advise that the first thing you do is speak to a health professional.


Severe injuries may come with a fair amount of healing time. To help with the physical and mental recovery; it is essential to accept the damage caused and begin to come to terms with it. Acceptance is often the first step to recovery, and it can be a useful tool to help stay positive and begin to move forward.

Learn About the Injury

The more you learn about your injury, the better equipped you will be to recover at a faster rate successfully. By asking the right questions, you can plan a thorough programme that will not inhibit the recovery process and feel a greater sense of control over the situation. Knowing about how and why you were injured can also help to prevent it from happening again.

Questions you should ask include:

  • Do I need treatment or physiotherapy?
  • Do I have several options for treatment?
  • How long will the recovery take?
  • What amount of exercise can I still do?
  • What type of injury do I have?
A broken shoulder bone shown on an x-ray.

Types of Injury

By understanding which type of injury you have, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect.

The most common kinds of injury include:

  • Tendon or ligament tears
  • Muscle strains
  • Joint dislocation
  • Bone fractures

If exercise is something you love to do, the mental strain on missing out can be quite severe. It isn’t uncommon for those who suffer from an injury to experience low mood or even symptoms of depression. Planning your recovery, maintaining an interest in other areas of your life and talking to others can help you to stay positive. If possible, you could try talking to others who are either going through or have experienced, a similar situation to you.

Set Goals

Setting yourself achievable goals help to maintain a positive outlook and provide a useful schedule for recovery, so you don’t rush or overdo it and cause further injury.

Learn About the Healing Process of the Injury

Maintaining and nurturing the healing process is perhaps one of the essential areas when on the road to recovery. Understanding the healing process will help you come to terms with the injury, as well as see the smaller bits of progress that may otherwise be missed.

Be sure you know the amount and type of exercise you are okay with and try to get into a routine as it is essential to maintain fitness levels when out of action.

A Holistic Approach

Some athletes also choose to supplement their recovery with additional, more holistic treatments, for example, sports massage. CBD products are becoming an increasingly popular choice. Growing research and testimonials have shown that cannabinoids like CBD and CBDA can help to manage some of the pain associated with common sporting injuries. Athletes can use CBD oil safely after the World Anti-Doping Agency removed it from their list of prohibited substances in 2018.

See how ElleVance can help you.

A man stretching on a running track.

Maintain an Involvement in the Sport

Even if you unable to train or play, maintaining active involvement in your sports club or organisation can make a considerable difference mentally as well as helping to receive support from fellow teammates and members.

Injury can be a frustrating time, but with the correct approach, it is possible to manage the recovery process and keep the healing time to a minimum. At ElleVance Sciences, we are enthusiastic about helping people to lead an active life and be the best versions of themselves. For more information on CBD products, please take a look at our article on cannabinoids.