The myth of Alex "Ace Cool" Cooke will forever live on

November 3, 2015 | Surfing
Alex Cooke: he was always Ace Cool | Photo: Warren Bolster

Alec Cooke has lost his life surfing 30-foot waves at Waimea Bay in Haleiwa, Hawaii. The US Coast Guard called off its search for the missing surfer.

The 59-year-old surfer had been missing since October 27th, when he left home to ride a large swell on Oahu's North Shore. His truck was found on the Kamehameha Highway with his dog inside.

Cooke, nicknamed "Ace Cool," was born in Boston in 1956. He is a descendant of the famous Captain Cook, who first documented surfing in the 18th century.

The Biggest Wave: a best-selling postcard of Hawaii featuring Ace Cool

Alex started surfing when he was only six. He was raised in Kauai and Oahu and rapidly became an "authority" in big-wave surfing. In fact, he wanted to rule the discipline.

"I don't want to be a member of the big wave club; I want to be the chairman of the board," he once said.

Cooke was also a pioneer in surfing the iconic Outer Reefs. In 1985, "Ace Cool" was dropped by a helicopter at Outside Pipeline.

The moment was captured by photographer Warren Bolster and became one of Hawaii's best-selling postcards: "The Biggest Wave."

Bolster later revealed that "he wanted to be known as the 'Evil Knievel' of surfing. My admonishments to tone it down fell on deaf ears."

Alec Cooke was a bold character, and he never stopped surfing.

"Ace Cool" participated in the 1986 Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau and finished eighth at the first-ever tow-in event in Jaws.

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