I’ve never been impressed by famous people or celebrities. Tom Hanks could sit next to me and I seriously wouldn’t care. That said, in the days before I came on as Executive Director some names were mentioned that did matter to me. People that pioneered the sport of surfing hold a very special place in my value system. Peter Cole is one of those people.
On my recent trip to Oahu to work with our local chapter as well as assist with the North Shore Land Trust efforts with Pupukea I met with Peter. Meeting and talking with pioneers is an honor and a privilege but what I’ve found more times than not is that they are people just like you or I. The difference is that they were around at a time before things we’re as “mature” (or commercialized) as they are now. Much more importantly is the fact that the pioneers “acted” on opportunities. They didn’t sit around and talk… they went. They did things that hadn’t been done before. They paved the way for the rest of us. For me the crème of this crop are those that continue to be involved, continue to make an impact… continue to care and… act. It’s much easier to be a one-trick pony, make a mark in one area and rest on your laurels… Those that continue to make marks are the true leaders. Peter Cole is one of those people.
- He was one of the original crews to charge the North Shore, starting in 1958
- He had Gerry Lopez in his class at Punahou school
- Has surfed the North Shore, continuously, for almost 50 years
- He still surfs Sunset Beach… without a leash
- Won the 1958 Makaha International Surfing Contest
More than any of those single points Peter is still involved. He still gives a damn about what’s happening to the world around him and goes one better… he acts. Peter leads the Surfrider Foundation’s Oahu chapter through the many mine fields involved in paying attention to key issues such as the proposed Sharks Cove mall on the North Shore, the development of large condos at Point Panic in Kaka’ako, the preservation or Pupukea – Paumalu, the John Kelly awards and paying close attention to the possible future development of Waimea Valley (link).
Peter Cole is not only aware of what’s happening around him but he’s leading the way for others to follow.