NAZARE, Portugal – A big-wave surfer is already dreaming of getting back on his surfboard a day after breaking his back in what the Telegraph describes as “mountainous seas” off Nazare, Portugal.
Britain’s Andrew Cotton, 36, was one of several professional surfers riding big waves Wednesday when a gigantic wall of water came crashing down upon him. A video shows Cotton preparing to abandon his ride before the rolling water appears to throw him dozens of feet, where he lands hard on his back.
“What can I say, I got a little excited this morning and [ended] up having possibly the worst wipeout impact wise of my life,” Cotton wrote on Instagram after he was pulled from the water, put on a spinal board, and taken to a hospital.
Cotton says he broke the L2 vertebra in his lower spine, but there are “no complications,” per Surfer Today. “I’m already looking forward and focusing my energy to get fit and back out there,” he adds on Instagram.
His wife isn’t surprised. “Although it’s the worst thing that could happen to most people, to him it’s just part of what he does,” she tells the Telegraph.
Given his “good prognosis for a rapid recovery … all he will be thinking about is when he can get back in the water.” He should expect no sympathy from the waves of Nazare in the future, reports the Independent, noting the area is home to strong winds and the biggest underwater ravine in Europe, which contribute to waves up to 100 feet tall.
(A lightning strike killed two surfers on Sunday.)
This article originally appeared on Newser: Wild Clip Shows Moment Surfer Breaks His Back