Peter Cole

R.I.P. Mr. Peter Cole. A true gentleman.

Not many of the old timers left.

Peter Cole was one of the best. RIP sir.   


Peter Cole.    What a guy.        My fondest memories of him, are his banter in the lineup, on ‘‘macking’’ big surf on the North Shore, or at Makaha.     Imagine being a young surfer (me)  out on a big NS day, with Peter Cole, Fred VanDyke, Buzzy Trent, Bob Shepard and George Downing among others.     Peter was always smiling,  and conversing with others in the lineup.      Really an outgoing person, often teasing Buzzy about how big, or small the waves were.    It was heady stuff, to be in the water with those men, who were legends in thier lifetimes.     From the mid/late '50’s, to the mid/late '60’s, almost every surf film would feature ‘‘the biggest wave ridden’’ and Peter was almost always included in that presentation.   In spite of his ‘‘celebrity status’’ in surfing, he was just ''regular guy" happy to share his enthusiasm for surfing with anyone.    I last saw him about two years ago, and was flattered that he said that he remembered me.    Perhaps he was just being gracious.     He was like that with everyone.     A  humble gentleman, and a gracious WATERMAN, of the highest order. 

Greg Noll and Peter Cole share one at Waimea. Mid 60s

still a role model

a mrker for all 

who listened to the tale

who read and reread the

article in surf guide magazine

about how to judge the size of a wave.

subsequent changes in accepted criterion

has generated the impression that waves are bigger

than ever before.

The measuring tools have changed

are the waves bigger?

and yet there is room

for the belief system that

peter cole still rode the biggest waves ever…

while not holding a camera looking at his own face.



narcissus? NO.




I first posted this because of the impressive nature of Mr. Cole. Not just as a great waterman/surfer, but a mentor in all forms of the word. I got to be aquainted with Peter Cole on the sand at Sunset Beach/Paumalu. I’d go for a swim most days at dawn before going to work. Often times, I would run into him on the beach checking the water before he headed to work. Without me realizing it at first, he was giving me the lay of the land in a very infromative but subtile way. Got to know him a bit before I learned of his impressive resume in and out of the water. It made me respect and even revere him all the more hearing of his feats. The thing is, one would never know what a GIANT he was in the world of surfing in talknig with him. I think his humility was what really made him that giant. It would be rash of me to say I was his friend, but he certainly became a friend to me. Seems they don’t make men like him anymore. He is and will be truly missed. 

R.I.P Mr. Cole. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

Great story Tblank.   Kind of like my Miki story from years ago.  But with regard to Peter Cole;  I was walking up the street from the Pismo Pier back in the 90’s.  There was a guy standing in front of Pancho’s window shopping.   Probably 50 plus or 60 maybe.  He had been in the shop looking at boards.  He made the comment that he had not looked at any current surfboards(short or long) in a few years.  The guy was from Seattle, worked In Aerospace.  Said he used to live on the North Shore.  He hadn’t been back in a couple of years.  But he figured his Sunset board was still under Peter Coles house where he left it the last time he was over.  Lowel

Hi Lowel, Howzit? I would bet that board was under his house. Peter cole was a man of his word and a man of honor. Wonder who that guy was? I had another encounter like that with Kit Horn in '70 or '71 on the pier in Malibu. Talked to him for about five minutes while he waited on his wife. They had just eaten at Alice’s. Didn’t know who he was until he walked away and a guy told me that was Mr. Horn.

Adios Compadre.