Remembering Sion

Six years ago this week, Sion Milosky caught his last wave

Six years ago today, the surf world was saddened by Sion Milosky’s passing at Mavericks in a late season winter swell, and reminded in the worst possible way of the risks involved in surfing the world’s biggest waves. Milosky was a rock-solid surfer from Kauai, a once-pro longboarder who was known for fearlessness at Pipe and the heaviest outer reef waves. He was also an accomplished welder and a family man. Shortly after being named Surfing Magazine‘s “North Shore Underground Surfer of the Year” in February, 2011, Milosky flew over to Northern California to take on the coldwater thrills of Mavs. On March 16, 2011, he drowned after a two-wave hold down, just before dark.

Following his passing, a number of contests and awards given in honor of Milosky began appearing throughout Hawaii, including the Sion Memorial Fund, to help raise funds for Milosky’s family. The Volcom Pipe Pro still donates proceeds to the fund today.

We’ll let his Encyclopedia of Surfing entry take over from here:

Milosky won the 2009 North Shore Big Wave Challenge after catching a royal-blue 30-foot jewel at a deep-water break called Himalayas; at the time it was considered the biggest wave ever paddled into. In February 2011, Milosky was named Surfing Magazine’s North Shore Underground Surfer of the Year and awarded $25,000. One month later, using a small chunk of his prize money, Milosky caught an afternoon flight to San Francisco to ride the last big swell of the season at Maverick’s. A few days after arrival, after a triumphant but exhausting six-hour session at Mavs, Milosky fell at the bottom of a 30-foot set wave just before dusk, was held down for two waves, and drowned. “He had a big smile on his face and just turned around and paddled into this bomb,” recalled Maverick’s regular Ken Collins, who was hosting Milosky at his Santa Cruz home. “That was the last time I saw him. The wave just sent him straight to heaven.”

Milosky was 35.